April 2015

We are excited to announce our first community meeting on May 14th. After much stakeholder planning and alternatives development, we are ready to share our progress with the community. Please join us on the 14th, and share the flyer with your friends.
Community Meeting May 14

Thursday, May 14th 7:00-8:30 PM 
Marin Humane Society Auditorium 
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato

Please join staff from Marin County's Novato Watershed Program and scientists from the San Francisco Estuary Institute for an introduction to the Novato Watershed Program and an intriguing presentation on the historical ecology of lower Novato Creek and surrounding baylands.


Meet staff and neighbors and learn about efforts underway to improve the level of flood protection in Novato Creek. Learn about the historical ecology of lower Novato Creek, and discover how historic conditions may affect current and future flood control and habitat restoration actions. Find out about the Novato Watershed Program's timelines and how to become involved.

View the flyer.  

Public Review of Flood Protection Alternatives
Our contractor, partners, and Technical Working Group have been working to identify, define, analyze, and rank elements to reduce flood risk and restore habitat. Once the elements have been evaluated, they will be packaged into alternatives to be modeled to further flood protection benefits. We anticipate the Alternatives Memorandum, which explains the process for selecting elements and packaging into alternatives for modeling, will be posted to the website and ready for public review the first week of May.

The Memorandum and its findings will be presented at a public meeting of the Flood Control Zone #1 Advisory Board on May 7th, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Novato Fire Protection District Board Room, 7025 Redwood Blvd. Meeting materials will be posted to the Program website as soon as they are available.

Once public review is completed, the contractor will begin the modeling process, which will take most of the summer. A second community meeting will be scheduled this winter to review modeling results.
Update on Flood Control 2.0
Flood Control 2.0 is a project of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership via a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The Novato Creek watershed is one of its three focus areas.

The goal of the project is to develop a set of innovative approaches for bringing environmental benefits and cost-savings to flood protection infrastructure along the San Francisco Bay shoreline.

Through an interdisciplinary team linking regional science expertise with on-the-ground flood control agencies, the project will advance channel redesign to restore wetland habitat, water quality, and shoreline resilience through demonstration projects at three creek mouths: lower Novato, San Francisquito, and lower Walnut creeks.

For the Novato Watershed Program, Flood Control 2.0 convened a science technical review team meeting in 2013 to develop lower Novato Creek/bayland concepts, and has conducted an analysis of the historic ecology of lower Novato Creek. The historical ecology analysis will be presented at the May 14th community meeting; the report will be posted on the Novato Watershed Program website when it is finalized in late May. In 2016, the grant will fund modeling and final design of one project alternative.
The Novato Creek Flood Protection and Watershed Program is a project of the County of Marin Department of Public Works.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Online Watershed Tour
New! Online Novato Watershed Tour spotlights several of the locations identified through watershed studies as areas where projects could be implemented to reduce flooding and restore habitat. Ongoing studies this summer will further quantify the potential benefits of these solutions.

Get to Know Your Watershed
Novato's own iconic natural landmark, Mt. Burdell rises to an elevation of 1,558 ft, separating the Novato Creek and San Antonio Creek watersheds. The hillsides support grasslands, oak and bay woodlands, and serpentine outcrops featuring California's state rock. These serpentine areas support several plant species that are specially adapted to these heavy metal-laden soils. See the maps and field guides prepared by the Marin County Open Space District for more information (photo by L. Williams).