Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency
Natomas Levee Improvements Program, Landside Improvements Project
Archaeological surveys utilizing innovative techniques were designed to identify buried prehistoric resources before the start of construction, avoiding lengthy delays and saving public funds on a high-profile public works project.
In the mid-2000s, A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assessment of Natomas-area levee structural integrity revealed significant deficiencies, spurring a major effort to upgrade these critical flood-prevention features.
Charlane Gross was instrumental in efforts to identify, inventory, and evaluate cultural resources. Archaeologists utilized shovel testing techniques rarely implemented in California along a 42-mile levee corridor focused on the Sacramento River, documenting sites that had gone undiscovered despite over a century of archaeological investigations. One such location was identified through Carbon-14 dating as one of the oldest Native American sites in the Sacramento Valley.
Along with responsibility for coordinating staffing of multiple archaeological teams, Ms. Gross and the project team navigated between state, federal, and local agencies, as well as project engineers and the Native American community, each of whom had specific concerns and occasionally conflicting needs.