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.
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.
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.
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 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 by email.