County of Marin - News Releases - Dredging Novato Creeks

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2016

Novato Creeks Due for Dredging

Routine sediment removal helps prevent flooding during winter storms

San Rafael, CA –Three creeks in Novato are being dredged this summer as part of a routine schedule to prevent flooding during the rainy season. The work starts July 25 and should continue through the end of October, according to the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

A tractor operator works to dredge a Novato creekDredging work on Novato creeks starts in late July and wraps up by the end of October.
Accumulated sediment will be removed in the eastern parts of Flood Zone 1, including in the lower reaches of Novato, Warner, and Arroyo Avichi creeks from Diablo Avenue near the downtown area to just downstream of the railroad tracks off Rowland Way, just behind the Century Rowland Plaza movie theater. All told, about 1.5 miles of creeks will be dredged within the flood zone this year.

The flood control district has contracted with Great Lakes Environmental & Infrastructure Solutions to perform the work for $1,421,640. The sediment removal work typically occurs every four years or when sediment reaches a certain height and is conducted to improve creek capacity during winter storms. Creeks in Novato’s Flood Zone 1 experienced limited flooding in 2006 and 2014, but district personnel breached the creek levee below the railroad tracks to lower the waters upstream and prevent significant flooding.

Workers will use trucks and heavy equipment to do the work in and near the creeks weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. In temporary spurts, it will be noisy for residents in downtown neighborhoods adjacent to the creeks.

This year, some of the sediment removed from the creek will be used by the district to begin constructing the initial phases of a new structural core levee within Deer Island Basin, between Slade Park on Manuel Drive and the City of Novato Corporation Yard on Davidson Street. The 1,800-foot-long structural core levee is being built in response to the gradual and long-term effects of climate change and sea-level rise. The target completion date for the preliminary structural core levee work is September 30 and funding is coming from the Flood Zone 1 budget. The levee work is part of a larger grant-funded project to design and construct an overflow spillway and detention basin.

The district’s mission is to reduce the risk of flooding for the protection of life and property while utilizing sustainable practices. County staff uses effective, transparent, and responsive planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of County-owned facilities such as creeks, levees, stormwater pump stations, detention basins, bypass drains, and ditches.

For more information about the Flood Zone 1 sediment removal project, check the Novato Flood Protection and Watershed Program webpage


Dave Nicholson
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6535
Email: Dave Nicholson
Public Works website