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Clearing the way for water in the Oceano Lagoon

Richard Rivera of Aquatic Environments takes an armload of bulrushes out of a waterway next to Lakeside Drive in Oceano. Behind him is Paul Rivera.
Richard Rivera of Aquatic Environments takes an armload of bulrushes out of a waterway next to Lakeside Drive in Oceano. Behind him is Paul Rivera. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Employees of Concord-based Aquatic Environments Inc. have been using machetes to trim bulrushes to the water level in the Oceano Lagoon. The goal, said Dean Benedix of county public works, is to clear paths for water to flow through the lagoon to flap gates that lead to the Arroyo Grande Creek and then the Pacific Ocean.

The work started Oct. 15 and is expected to wrap up this week. Eighteen employees worked over the weekend to cut the plants by hand and then haul cuttings to a dump.

In all, about 2,400 linear feet of material will be taken away, said Nick Diaz, a project manager for Aquatic Environments. “The county is doing as much as it can to prevent any sort of flooding down here,” Diaz said.

The work has to be done by hand so as not to harm any endangered species in the lagoon, he said.

The cost of the work was not immediately available, but it is being funded by the San Luis Obispo Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

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