Creek Conveyance & Habitat Maintenance Program



About the Program

The creek maintenance program provides a framework to integrate creek maintenance and stewardship across the watershed and to monitor potential problems from year to year. It is a partnership between the District and Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, and Larkspur that conducts annual creek inspections and coordinates removal of vegetation and other debris that could block flows and contribute to flooding. Homeowners are still responsible to keep the creek unobstructed on private property and this program does not acknowledge that removing trees will solve the regional flooding problem.

Every summer District and City/Town staff walk the critical reaches of the creek looking for vegetation or debris that is constricting the channel capacity and other problems. Where isolated issues are identified on private property, District/City/Town staff typically work directly with homeowners. In September, the Conservation Corps is hired to remove excessive vegetation along longer stretches of creek. In certain areas such as unincorporated Sleepy Hollow or Murphy Creek in Kentfield, a community creek-cleanup model is used to engage creekside homeowners to work together on managing the creeks.

The District coordinates the environmental permitting for the program and thus pays special attention to limiting any negative impact to wildlife, particularly threatened and endangered species. To achieve both flow conveyance and habitat protection, lower branches of trees are often pruned while higher ones are left to shade the creek, keeping water cool and preventing algae growth. In places where creek banks are in danger of eroding, deep-rooted native vegetation, such as willows, are encouraged to help stabilize the soil.

The 2017 program budget is $50,000 for work throughout the unincorporated areas and the Cities and Towns. Some funding is kept as a contingency for winter emergency work. This money comes from the flood fee.

Background Documents

Stream Maintenance Program Permit & Maps of critical reach areas (very large document)

2016 Staff Reports to Advisory Board:



The project manager for the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District is Russ Eberwein, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer (


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