Environmental Stewardship

Like most business and families we serve, MID takes earth-friendly actions every day. From procuring clean, renewable resources in our power mix and recycling many of the materials we use every day to encouraging energy conservation and being smart stewards of our water resources, these actions help make our community a greener, healthier, and more comfortable place to live. Learn more about some of our stewardship projects currently underway.

Lower Tuolumne River Habitat Restoration Program

In December 2023, MID and Turlock Irrigation District and the San Francisco Pacific Utilities Commission (SFPUC) launched a collaborative, holistic habitat restoration program for the lower Tuolumne River to improve the health and long-term recovery of the fishery and local communities it serves.

This self-funded, $80 million collaboration exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships in making critical, lasting improvements to ecosystem and community health along California waterways, like the Tuolumne River.

MID, TID and the SFPUC selected the nonprofit River Partners, California’s leading riverway restoration organization, to lead planning and restoration for the multi-year effort. Boasting a 25-year track record of innovative and effective river and floodplain restoration throughout the Central Valley and across the state, River Partners will lead a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, ecologists, and other technical experts in the planning and design needed to implement the restoration.

Outcomes to Boost River Health

Through the end of 2024, River Partners will design a series of restoration projects along the lower Tuolumne River and its floodplain from Don Pedro Reservoir downstream to the San Joaquin River that will improve conditions for salmon and other native aquatic species.

By 2030, project partners aim to develop 77 acres of suitable salmon rearing and floodplain habitat and add approximately 100,000 tons of gravel in specific river reaches for optimal salmon spawning and rearing.

Once implemented, proposed in-stream and floodplain-restoration efforts will positively impact overall ecosystem health of the Tuolumne River and populations of endangered salmon that call the river home. This comprehensive restoration plan will advance a holistic approach to creating better river conditions for fish, including the addition of gravel to increase vital spawning habitat and restoring historic floodplain areas along the river to improve important feeding, rearing, and migration conditions. The restored floodplains will also recharge critical groundwater supplies and boost river and fish health.

Project leads also anticipate that the proposed multi-year restoration will increase water-supply reliability for water users over the long term, which will support the region’s thriving farming economy and agriculture-related jobs.

To ensure program success, partners will seek input from a diverse assortment of community groups and interests, including elected officials, agencies, private landowners, regional water managers and users, conservation groups, and Native American Tribes.

Tuolumne River Mainstem Channel Restoration Upstream of Old La Grange Bridge Project

Located within the lower Tuolumne River upstream of the Old La Grange Bridge near the town of La Grange, California, this project aims to provide spawning and in-channel habitat that improves the productivity of fall-run Chinook salmon and rainbow trout (O.mykiss). Additional goals include providing gravel for replenishment of downstream riffles as gravel is naturally transported downstream over time.

Clean, washed gravel will be added to the Lower Tuolumne River in the form of riffles and gravel bars. In addition to creation of spawning habitat, large wood features and boulder clusters will be added to increase in-channel habitat complexity and diversity, improving habitat for juvenile salmon and trout.

OLGB Project Fact Sheet (PDF)