Otherwise known as the North Reach of Lower Walnut Creek, Pacheco Marsh is a 122 acre former tidal marsh located adjacent to the mouth of Lower Walnut Creek. This portion of the restoration project is a partnership between John Muir Land Trust and the Flood Control District.
The partners' goal for the site is to restore the degraded wetland habitat to historic tidal conditions and maximize habitat values while for allowing for compatible recreational uses.
The Flood Control District is focusing on the habitat restoration as part of the greater Lower Walnut Creek Restoration project, while the Land Trust is focusing on providing passive recreation opportunities (such as bird watching) and long term stewardship. More Pacheco Marsh information can be found on John Muir Land Trust's Pacheco Marsh website.
Pacheco Marsh historically was part of a broad marshland at the shoreline of Suisun Bay that was nurtured by periodic overflows from Walnut Creek. In more recent times, the Pacheco Marsh has been diked and drained, and then partially filled with dredge spoils. In the 1950s, a large sanitary sewer outfall and access road was constructed down the middle of the parcel, and the parcel at the north end of Pacheco Marsh was used to offload sand mined in the bay. In the 1980s, a 39 lot industrial subdivision was proposed to be built on the marsh which would have obliterated any remaining habitat value.
In the 1990s, the parcel owners defaulted on their property taxes, and in 2001, the parcel was acquired by the partners at a tax default sale. Soon afterwards, a feasibility-level restoration plan was prepared and portions of this plan have been incorporated in the Lower Walnut Creek Restoration plans.
In late 2019, the 18 acre parcel between Pacheco Marsh and the shore of Suisun Bay was purchased by the Marathon Petroleum Company and in 2020 they donated it to the John Muir Land Trust to be incorporated in the project. This addition greatly expanded the restoration and recreation potential of Pacheco Marsh.
Pacheco Marsh is a large, important part of the larger Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project. Once the restoration grading is complete (tentatively scheduled for summer/fall 2021), the John Muir Land Trust will embark on a separate but related project to install the public access amenities. After construction, the John Muir Land Trust will be the long term steward of Pacheco Marsh.
Here is a simulated view from the north end of Pacheco Marsh, looking south towards Mt. Diablo.