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 Get Involved page for more information on tours.
Construction was completed in 2022. 31,000 native plants were installed in February 2022 and a three year plant establishment and monitoring period is underway. This period will conclude in December 2024.
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? 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 maintenance practices of the Lower Walnut Creek flood control channel, and envisions a sustainable interconnected system of tidal and seasonal wetlands, open waters, and uplands.
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.
Other objectives include improving the level of flood protection and expanding recreation opportunities along the creek.
Here is an artist’s rendition of what a restored Lower Walnut Creek could look like.
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 work can go from concept to reality.