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San Francisco Bay Delta

Rebuilding Habitat and Shoreline Resilience through Improved Flood Control Project

This project will redesign flood control channels to restore wetland habitat, water quality, and shoreline resilience at two creek mouths: Lower Novato and Lower Walnut Creeks, and document lessons learned for the flood control design at the mouth of San Francisquito Creek. The flood control districts pursuing these projects will be advancing the concept that ecologically beneficial flood management designs can work. Project benefits include creating 750 acres of tidal marsh; beneficially reusing 70,000 cubic yards of sediment; and improving 2 miles of stream channel.

Project Facts

Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/ABAG
Funding: $1,552,059 (non-federal match = $1,570,000/leverage = $32,368,000)
Project Period: September 2012 – December 2016
Partners: San Francisco Estuary Institute, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, Committee for Green Foothills, Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District

Environmental Results Summary: Rebuilding Habitat and Shoreline Resilience through Improved Flood Control Project

OUTPUTS (Activities, efforts, and/or work product during project period)

OUTCOMES (Environmental results)

(1-5 yrs)


Conduct historical analysis of how streams connected to tidal regions and estimate watersheds’ coarse sediment supply

Develop regional classification scheme and conceptual models for channel redesign and sediment reuse

Convene a regional advisory committee made up of local experts for ongoing technical input and hold a workshop with national experts for review of conceptual models

Conduct economic analysis of realigning channels vs. sediment removal and disposal

Analyze policies and regulations and draft recommendations for future flood control restoration projects

Develop regional implementation toolbox documents, website, and sediment "match-up" online database

San Francisquito Creek Implementation Project: conduct final project design and permitting; construction;; transfer of lessons learned; public outreach

Novato Creek Implementation Project: conduct historical ecology study, site evaluation and conceptual design; final project design and permitting; pre-project monitoring; public outreach

Walnut Creek Implementation Project: Develop initial conceptual models and refine conceptual models

Regional Public Outreach and Education: Develop museum exhibit; Develop podcasts, signage, and other outreach at each pilot project site

San Francisquito Creek: improve hydrogeomorphic conditions along 2800 feet of the San Francisquito flood control channel.

Novato Creek: a flood control project that has been designed and permitted to achieve the long term environmental results stated

Walnut Creek: a flood control project that has hydrogeomorphic information necessary to be designed to achieve the long term environmental results stated

Reduction of millions of dollars of flood control channel maintenance costs and redeployment of these funds to restoration

San Francisquito Creek: improve ecological functions of 4.1 acres tidal marsh and 2800 feet of channel bank

Novato Creek: beneficial reuse of 70,000 yd.³ of sediment, over 2 miles of improved stream channel, potentially 800-1200 acres of restored tidal marsh to improve water quality and habitat for steelhead, black rail and Ridgway’s rail.

Walnut Creek: improve conditions along over 2 miles of Walnut Creek and restoration of over 25 acres of tidal marsh

Reclassify millions of cubic yards of “waste sediment” as a resource available for reuse (up to 800,000 cu yd in Walnut Creek alone)

Improve resilience to sea level rise due to improved habitat and shoreline stability resulting from increases of sediment reaching the Bay margin

Full List of Project Summaries