Army Corps of Engineers Partnership

Development of the Partnership
The Flood Control District’s partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dates back to the Corps' flood protection construction work starting in the late 1950s. Recently, for Lower Walnut Creek, the district renewed its partnership with the Corps of Engineers with the new purpose to reevaluate the proper function of the Corps-constructed channel.

The Corps official name for this process is the Lower Walnut Creek General Reevaluation Phase Feasibility Study. The Flood Control District uses the simplified name, Lower Walnut Creek Restoration.

Unified Goal and Vision
No matter what the name, the partners share the same goal of determining the best way to operate and maintain this channel in a sustainable manner. The district’s vision statement for the project can be found here.

The recent CEQA scoping notice also provides a good project overview:

[Lower Walnut Creek] is a highly-engineered trapezoidal channel that requires extensive maintenance, which is often in conflict with habitat values present in the creek.   The objective of this study is to identify the best way to balance the competing needs for flood protection and ecosystem restoration.   This may include modifying the channel cross section and building setback levees along the lower reaches of the creek to recreate a larger floodplain.  The alternatives we develop and evaluate will focus on providing the capacity necessary for flood risk reduction while creating additional wetlands, riparian habitat, and the potential for revegetation throughout the floodplain.  The study will also explore the feasibility of providing fish passage beyond the first major drop structure for listed species such as Steelhead and Chinook salmon as well as improving recreation in the area.

The costs of the planning process are shared equally between the federal government (as a special appropriation from Congress) and the Flood Control District. The project’s progress depends heavily on whether Congress provides sufficient funding for the federal side of the project.