Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project

LWC Website Color Background
Welcome to the Lower Walnut Creek home page.

Here you will find information on the Flood Control District's Lower Walnut Creek and Pacheco Marsh restoration projects. Select from the menu choices for background information on the project and ways you can get involved.

Interested in taking a Lower Walnut Creek Site Tour?

These small group tours are an exclusive opportunity to learn more about the restoration project and visit areas that are normally off-limits to the public. Visit the project Get Involved page for more information.

 Project Update:

 After the big push to publish the comprehensive Project Study Report. The LWC team has been tirelessly working "behind the scenes" to secure environmental permits and to prepare construction plans. This really isn't very glamorous work, but it's critically important. We're filling vacancies on our social media team, so look for more updates coming soon.

View the Project Study Report here. 

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.  
Pacheco Marsh
06 Pacheco Marsh
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.

Long-Term Vision

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 
Other objectives include improving the level of flood protection and expanding recreation opportunities along the creek.

Click here to view an artist’s rendition of a restored Lower Walnut Creek.

Local Control

On June 10, 2014, President Obama signed legislation that removed the Corps of Engineers 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.

A Flood Control 2.0 Implementation Project

Click here for more information