Woolpert Contracted to Collect Lidar Data and Imagery of Central California River for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The aerial and vessel-based data will be integrated into a seamless model to support the agency’s ongoing San Joaquin River Restoration Program.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2023) — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has tasked Woolpert with collecting topographic and bathymetric lidar data and hydrographic imagery for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The SJRRP is a comprehensive, long-term effort to restore flows to the San Joaquin River and to rebuild a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river.

Under the task order, Woolpert will collect 7 miles of aerial lidar data and 23 miles of vessel-based hydrographic imagery. This is the first Woolpert project to combine and deliver both aerial and vessel-based components.

“With the acquisition of eTrac in 2022, Woolpert gained the capability to collect vessel-based hydrographic data and conduct marine survey,” Woolpert Program Director David Neff said. “We now have the unique ability to provide end-to-end geospatial services that integrate aerial and vessel-based datasets into a seamless model.”

The vessel-based data collection for this task was completed in July. Woolpert mobilized a vessel equipped with an R2 Sonic 2020 Multibeam Echosounder from its San Rafael, Calif., office, where the hydrographic data is now being processed. The vessel was launched from locations along the San Joaquin River corridor, and overlapping multibeam data was acquired throughout the project area.

Woolpert Project Manager Megan Blaskovich said that the aerial data was successfully acquired earlier this month, and the team is now combining the aerial and vessel-based datasets into a seamless digital elevation model that will assist the SJRRP’s Arroyo Canal Fish Screen and Sack Dam Bypass Project.

“It has been rewarding to serve our clients with an expanded set of capabilities and to be able to utilize our expertise in such an environmentally forward way,” Blaskovich said. “Geospatial services are crucial to mitigating the impact of climate change both domestically and around the world. We're excited to be part of the solution.”

The project is expected to be completed in October.

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