Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project

Lower Walnut Creek

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 Get Involved page for more information on tours.

Latest Update:

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.

All nine Lower Walnut Creek Adventures episodes (so far) are now found on their own page. Also see our Facebook feed directly below.

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? 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.

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.

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.

Lower Walnut Creek Final Art Postcard

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 work can go from concept to reality.

A Flood Control 2.0 Implementation Project

Flood Control 2.0