Shasta College Erosion Control Training Facility Goes International!

Hi all, John Here

A little while back, the Shasta College Erosion Control Training Facility (shameless plug: located in beautiful Redding, CA and available for all your training needs!) recieved some special visitors.

A contingency from the Department of Environment in Malaysia dropped on by, accompanied by their tour guide: Eric Bernsten, CPESC, CPSWQ from the State Water Quality Control Board accompanied by Chris Bowles owner of cbec EcoEngineering out of the Sacramento area.


The purpose of the tour was to see some of the rather innovative techniques that we’ve been demonstrating at the ECTF over the past little while.

Me and my students demonstrated a variety of BMPs. And the ladies and gentlemen from Malaysia were not afraid to jump in and get a little dirty themselves.

Before the group arrived, the students took some time to prepare their test channel for the visit. Scour stop was previously installed below the outlet pipe. They smoothed the channel bottom and added a layer of decomposed granite (DG (highly erosive)), then added a layer of compost over the DG. They installed Enka mat (TRM) below the Scour Stop, and were securing the TRM when the Malaysian contingency arrived.

The group observed as the students seeded the test channel and sprayed Flexterra through the Enka mat. The visitors got to measure velocity at 12 ft/sec at the pipe outlet onto the Scour Stop and 5 ft/sec over the Green Armor System. 

We also did a little Streambank protection.  Shasta college students made and installed willow wattles on a slope above Stillwater Creek, and applied native straw to the disturbed soil area. Using the College’s Finn T-60, the folks from Malaysia sprayed Flexterra over the mulch.

 They also observed the beginning of a brand new compost trial. Three plots were established on an 2:1 slope.   


1st Plot: commercial rye blend was applied and covered with 2” of compost.

2nd Plot: Elymus glaucus (a California native grass) was applied and covered with 2” of compost.

3rd Plot: 2” of compost was applied and Elymus glaucus was broadcast on top of the compost.



The trial was established to determine two things.

  1. Will the compost maintain its position on the slope through the rainy season and
  2. Will a 2” application of compost inhibit the growth of native grasses and commercial annual rye when the seed is sewn below the compost?

A comparison will be made over time between the plots with native seed sewn above and below the compost application – something that I’ll be sure to blog about in the future.


And to top it all off, good ol’ Mike Mangus from the local news was on the scene to do a news story, check it out below…

We had an awesome day!  It was really something special to be able to exchange ideas, perspectives and of course, it’s always fun when you can get a little dirty playing with the toys!  Thanks to everyone who came out!  Next time, we’ll have to do this over in your neck of the woods!




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