The Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (District) will host a public workshop on Tuesday, October 4 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at 255 Glacier Drive, Martinez to receive public input for the planning phase of an ambitious restoration project for Lower Walnut Creek.
The Walnut Creek watershed is the largest in Contra Costa County, contains eight cities and more than 300,000 residents. The restoration project area consists of the most downstream 4 miles of this watershed that drains to Suisun Bay and is called Lower Walnut Creek.
The District’s long-term vision is to restore and enhance habitat in Lower Walnut Creek and to provide sustainable flood management, while allowing opportunities for public access and recreation. The first public workshop was held in December 2015 early in the planning process. The purpose of this second workshop is to receive public feedback on the restoration alternatives that have been developed to date.
“Since last year, we have worked closely with a representative group of stakeholders to design a project with multiple benefits for flood protection, water quality, wildlife habitat, and other community interests,” said Paul Detjens, District Senior Engineer and project manager for the restoration effort. “The District would like to share with the public what we’ve come up with and to listen to the community’s thoughts about the project.”
An important principle that has guided the planning phase of the project is to anticipate changes such as Sea Level Rise and to design a system that is resilient to change without expensive and environmentally-disruptive management actions.
“The project offers a unique opportunity to connect and expand habitats at the landscape scale, and to do it in a way that will provide benefits with future sea level changes,” said Michelle Orr, the principal technical consultant for the project who works with Environmental Science Associates based in San Francisco.
The community workshop will feature presentations describing different alternatives for the restoration of Lower Walnut Creek and will create a community forum to offer feedback about the direction of the restoration project. The public can also participate in the ongoing conversationa bout Lower Walnut Creek on the project’s Facebook page which can be accessed through www.lowerwalnutcreek.org. There, the public can learn more about the project and view a multi-episode video series produced by the District called Lower Walnut Creek Adventures.
In addition to the community workshop on October 4, the District invites the public to participate in Lower Walnut Creek field tours on October 1 and November 12. These site tours offer a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the restoration potential of Lower Walnut Creek. Seats are limited and registration is required. To register, visit www.lowerwalnutcreek.org.