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Creek Restorations

Peralta Creek Restoration Video. Video requires Windows Media Player.

Creeks in our communities provide natural beauty and valuable habitat for many plants and animals. In many of our urban neighborhoods, however, creeks run through underground pipes or concrete channels. The Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District's goal is to restore these urban creeks in the County to more natural conditions while ensuring flood protection. Restoring essential habitat for wildlife species enhances the ability of species to adapt to climate change.

Agua Caliente Creek Restoration Project

Agua Caliente Creek flows through a single-family residential neighborhood in the southern Alameda County City of Fremont. Before the County restored this creek, a narrowly confined channel limited creek flow and creek banks were steep and eroding. Now, this creek mimics a natural meandering creek, resulting in improved water quality and reduced neighborhood flooding. Creek banks feature more than 50 native plant species, including oaks, buckeye, alders, big leaf maples, western Sycamore and a variety of shrubs. All of these native plants provide vital habitat for wildlife.

The County restored a roughly 400 foot section of creek between Paseo Padre Parkway upstream and Tumbleweed Common downstream. Agua Caliente Creek drains a watershed area of approximately 1,130 acres.

View photos of the project.

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Castro Valley Creek Daylighting and Restoration Project

Adjacent to the new Castro Valley Library is Castro Valley Creek. Not long ago, this creek was partially buried in a concrete culvert. The Public Works Agency is bringing the creek back to what it used to be — a sunlit meandering stream lined with trees and plants. Residents can now stroll along the creek from Castro Valley Blvd. to Norbridge Ave. and cross the new pedestrian bridge made from a converted railroad flat car. The bridge connects the library to the opposite side of the creek where children play at a new playground and learn about nature and science at a creekside amphitheater.

View photos of the project.

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Lion Creek Restoration Project

Lion Creek currently flows through a concrete channel in a highly urban section of east Oakland. As part of redeveloping the area, the County is "greening" the Coliseum Garden Housing Complex by restoring a portion of Lion Creek. The County is creating a 700-foot long natural channel planted with native vegetation that supports wetland habitat. Designed to help protect clean water, this project will remove pollutants before water is discharged into San Francisco Bay downstream. The project fully complements the new housing complex by providing a beautiful, natural creek as well as providing an opportunity for educating local residents.

Photo of Lion Creek corridor before construction.

Before: The soon-to-be natural Lion Creek corridor before construction began.

Photo of Lion Creek corridor during construction.

During: The same stretch with the new creek installed and a new pedestrian bridge and the existing concrete channel to the left. Landscaping will begin Spring 2010.

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Peralta Creek Restoration Project

The Peralta Creek Restoration Project was initiated to provide flood protection to the adjacent properties while creating an improved sustainable environment and wildlife habitat. The project turned a man-made channel back into natural habitat and revitalized the socially disadvantaged urban neighborhood with park-like views and a restored creek.

The project also improves water quality, provides wildlife habitat, and protects the property of neighboring residents from flooding. Throughout the project, the County worked closely with homeowners to make sure their needs and preferences were incorporated. The project team encountered a number of design challenges working in this urban neighborhood, but the final project met all the goals of flood protection, habitat restoration, and community involvement.

Alameda County Public Works Agency's Peralta Creek Restoration Project received both the 2009 APWA (American Public Works Association) Environmental Project of the Year and the 2009 ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) Growing Smarter - Preserving and Protecting the Environment Award for the Peralta Creek Restoration Project.

Photo shows Peralta Creek before. Shows deteriorating concrete flood channels, debris and trash accumulation.

Before: The corridor was blight with deteriorating concrete flood channels, debris and trash accumulation.

Photo shows peralya Creek restored to its natural state.

After: The efforts resulted in an aesthetically pleasing corridor lush with color and teeming with tree frogs during spring months.

View Creek Restoration Video

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San Lorenzo Creek Restoration & Trailhead Project

The San Lorenzo Creek Restoration Project is a pilot for a proposed pedestrian and bicycle trail along one of the largest creeks in the East Bay. A 40-foot deep by 150-foot wide stream gorge in downtown Hayward is the site of this successful creek restoration. The County's Flood Control District stabilized more than 400 feet of stream bank, constructed three trailheads with creek overlooks, installed ten interpretive panels and banners, and enhanced more than a thousand feet of creekside habitat.

If the long-term vision of creating a 12 mile urban creek and trail system is realized, this project will be the centerpiece, providing a scenic rest stop and entry point. This trail system would connect the San Francisco Bay Trail on the western edge of San Lorenzo to the Bay Area Ridge Trail on the Eastern edge of Castro Valley and provide unique recreational opportunities for residents.

View photos of the project.

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