Redwood Creek Restoration

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In the lower reaches of Marin County, Redwood Creek drains a seven-square-mile watershed that provides critical spawning and rearing habitat for threatened coho salmon and steelhead trout. Decades of agricultural activity, channel straightening, and levee construction along the northern California creek has resulted in the loss or degradation of large areas of floodplain woodland, riparian vegetation, and in-channel complexity.

ESA led the planning and design effort for the 33-acre Redwood Creek restoration, focused on the enhancement of salmonid passage and refuge habitat. Strategies for enhancing the natural recovery potential of the reach and in-stream habitat included the construction of multiple naturally-anchored engineered log structures; the removal of existing levees to reconnect the natural floodplain; and comprehensive grading to restore historic tributaries and backchannels. The restoration also reintroduced dynamic channel/floodplain processes and improved and expanded riparian habitat for nesting songbirds. We provided a feasibility analysis, conceptual and final design, construction documents, and construction support.

ESA's restoration enhanced the in-stream and riparian habitat and reduced downstream flood risk in the community of Muir Beach. The project increased the creek's storage capacity with the reconnection of the creek to the historic floodplain; reduced flow velocities by adding in-stream structures; and introduced riparian vegetation.

Specialized Services

  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling