Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project
Here you will find information on the Flood Control District's Lower Walnut Creek and Pacheco Marsh restoration projects.
February 10, 2014: The District is pleased to announce the selection of Environmental Science Associates (ESA) as the lead planning consultant for the Lower Walnut Creek community-based planning effort. The comprehensive planning process is expected to last approximately two years, and produce a recommended alternative for environmental enhancement and flood protection in the lowest four miles of Walnut and Pacheco Creeks. Currently, the planning team is reviewing past technical analyses, many of which are available under the “Reports and Documents” tab on this webpage. The District and ESA anticipate starting the public outreach portion of the project in a few months.
Select from the menu choices for background information on the project and ways you can get involved.
Walnut Creek Watershed
The Walnut Creek watershed is the largest in Contra Costa County, draining over 150 square miles, and containing eight cities and over 300,000 residents. The lowest, or most downstream, portion of this watershed is called Lower Walnut Creek, and it consists of a wide trapezoidal earth channel with levees on one or both sides. It is populated with a diverse assortment of wildlife both in the water and in the adjacent marshlands.
Sediment Buildup & Restoration
The channel is heavily impacted by sediment and has partially silted up, which affects its flood carrying capacity. But removing the sediment also removes the habitat and wildlife, and the sediment would quickly return. Something needs to be done. But what is the best solution? The Flood Control District feels a restoration project is the answer.
This web page is focused on the Flood Control District’s Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project, which re-evaluates the antiquated design and revisits the required maintenance practices of the Lower Walnut Creek flood control channel.
The Flood Control District’s long-term vision is to have a sustainable channel that provides critical flood protection in a way that is more compatible with the plants and animals that call the creek home.
This can likely be accomplished by:
- Creating additional wetlands, riparian habitat, and revegetation potential
- Moving back the channel levees in the lower reaches to provide additional capacity for floodwaters
- Reducing de-silting costs
Local ControlOn June 10, 2014, President Obama signed legislation that removed the Corps of Engnieers from management of the lowest 4 miles of Walnut and Pacheco Creek. Now, the creeks between the BNSF Railroad and the mouth at Suisun Bay are locally controlled by the Flood Control District and restoration planning can begin in earnest. Click here to see a map of the restoration area and here to view an artist’s sketch of what a restored Lower Walnut Creek can look like.
For more details about the watershed and the project, click on the menu choices to the left. If you have questions on this project or on other Flood Control District restoration projects, please contact Paul R. Detjens at firstname.lastname@example.org.