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Sausal Creek Restoration Project

Project URL link
Sponsoring Agency City of Oakland
Subregions ('East Bay',)
Counties Alameda
Watershed Tributary Sausal
Public or private land? ('Public', 'Private')
Location (lat/lon) 37.804625, -122.216439
Start Date 02/01/2013
End Date 04/1/2014
Location Description Dimond Park, Oakland CA
Sausal Creek Restoration Project

Restoration of 754 linear feet of Sausal Creek in Dimond Park including 180 feet of culvert daylighting. Restoration of channel function, stream bank stablization, erosion prevention, native plant restoration, native trout habitat improvement, and interpretive site features.

Restoration of 754 linear feet of Sausal Creek in Dimond Park including 180 feet of culvert daylighting. Restoration of channel function, stream bank stablization, erosion prevention, native plant restoration, native trout habitat improvement, and interpretive site features.

Drinking Water Supply
Water Quality Improvement
Water Reuse/Recycling
Stormwater Improvements
Groundwater Benefits
Habitat Protection and Restoration
Flood Protection
The above project types correspond to several goals of the Sausal Creek Restoration Project including improved stormwater quality, flood protection, habitat restoration. The project is located within a quarter-mile of a disadvantaged community with a median income level of less than $37,994.
Creating improved flood capacity and protection of adjacent property and infrastructure while improving water quality, native plant and animal habitat, and public stewardship and enjoyment of parks and riparian corridors.
The project is at 100% design and nearly ready to go to bid. It would be difficult to incorporate additional partnerships or project activities at this point.
The project is located within a city park. All impervious surfaces near the project site drain or will drain to pervious areas.

Part 2 - Detail

The Sausal Creek Restoration project will occur on a mostly open, 745 linear-foot stretch of the creek that runs through Dimond Park in Oakland. The project includes the removal of 180 linear-feet of buried creek culvert and 75 linear-feet of concrete spillway. The project will recreate a natural creek meander with pools and riffles, restore native vegetation and create 38,000 square feet of new habitat, stabilize creek banks, improve sight lines to the creek from Dimond Park, create an ADA-accessible walking path adjacent to the creek with interpretive features to raise awareness of the creek, improve flood capacity, water quality, and fish habitat, reduce erosion and downstream sedimentation, and create education and recreational opportunities.

During construction the site will be dewatered and the current population of native trout that reside in this stretch of creek will be moved to habitable pools upstream by a certified fish biologist. Construction will include the removal of approximately 70 existing trees including a significant number of redwoods, in order to make room for the grading of the creek banks. The banks will be stabilized with toe rock, rock slope protection, and bioengineering methods as well as revegetated with a diverse native plant palette that includes 79 trees in 5 to 15 gallon containers, 795 shrubs, and approximately 2,000 herbaceous perennials.


Project design documents can be seen at:

Sausal Creek

The current configuration of the project site is causing significant erosion and bank instability as the water exiting the downstream end of the existing culvert hits the right bank with extreme volume and velocity. This process is undermining the adjacent roadway and structures. The channel is constricted by its proximity to private housing on the right back as well. The project will address issues of water quality, flood capacity, and ecosystem restoration by stabilizing channel configuration, reducing stream velocities, improving flood capacity, and improving native trout habitat.

Threats to public safety, persistent erosion, persistent channel and water quality degradation, detrimental impacts to native trout population.

i. Water Supply (conservation, recycled water, groundwater recharge, surface storage, etc.)

Removal of section of culvert and concrete apron, and widening of creek channel will increase channel capacity and water residence time for increased infiltration in channel and adjacent banks.

ii. Water Quality

Removal of culvert infrastructure, channel and bank stabilization, erosion reduction, and improved riparian habitat will result in water quality improvement.

iii. Flood and Stormwater Management

The reconfiguration of the channel will reinstate a natural hydrologic regime to the restored stretch of channel. Through widening of the channel the project will protect flood capacity and maintain or improve storm flow water surface elevations.

iv. Resource Stewardship (watershed management, habitat protection and restoration, recreation, open space, etc.)

The project will improve habitat for a resident population of native rainbow trout. New creekside interpretive path will increase visitation to creek area, improved access to and visibility of the channel will increase recreation opportunities, and partnership with local watershed awareness group will increase stewardship of this creek.

Increases Water Supply Reliability
Advances/ Expands Conjunctive Management of Multiple Water Supply Sources
Increases Water Use and/or Reuse Efficiency
Provides Additional Water Supply
Promotes Water Quality Protection
Reduces Water Demand
Advances/Expands Water Recycling
Promotes Urban Runoff Reuse
Addresses Sea Level Rise
Addresses other Anticipated Climate Change Impact (e.g. through water management system modifications)
Improves Flood Control (e.g. through wetlands restoration, management, protection)
Promotes Habitat Protection
Establishes Migration Corridors
Re-establishes River-Floodplain Hydrologic Continuity
Re-introduces Anadromous Fish Populations to Upper Watersheds
Enhances and Protects Upper Watershed Forests and Meadow Systems
Other (Please Describe)
Increases Water Use Efficiency or Promotes Energy-Efficient Water Demand Reduction
Improves Water System Energy Efficiency
Advances/Expands Water Recycling
Promotes Urban Runoff Reuse
Promotes Use of Renewable Energy Sources
Contributes to Carbon Sequestration (e.g. through vegetation growth)
Other (Please Describe)
$1,885,000(low) - $2,635,000(high)
Alameda Co. Flood Control District, Local Oakland Measure DD Bond, River Parkways Prop 50 grant
Approximately $15,000/year for first 5 years, decreasing for remainder of project lifespan
Local funding
Drought Preparedness
Use and Reuse Water More Efficiently
Climate Change Response Actions (Adaptation to Climate Change, Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Reduce Energy Consumption)
Expand Environmental Stewardship
Practice Integrated Flood Management
Protect Surface and Groundwater Quality
Improve Tribal Water and Natural Resources
Ensure Equitable Distribution of Benefits
Reduce Reliance on the Bay-Delta
Reduce Water Demand
Improved Operational Efficiency and Transfers
Increase Water Supply
Improve Water Quality
Improve Flood Management
Practice Resources Stewardship
Other Strategies (Please Describe)
Groundwater Management Plan
Urban Water Management Plan
Water Meter Requirements
Groundwater Monitoring Requirements
AB 1420 Compliance
BMP Compliance
CEQA Compliance
Water supply reliability, water conservation and water use efficiency
Stormwater capture, storage, clean-up, treatment, and management
Removal of invasive non-native species, the creation and enhancement of wetlands, and the acquisition, protection, and restoration of open space and watershed lands
Non-point source pollution reduction, management and monitoring
Groundwater recharge and management projects
Contaminant and salt removal through reclamation, desalting, and other treatment technologies and conveyance of reclaimed water for distribution to users
Water banking, exchange, reclamation and improvement of water quality
Planning and implementation of multipurpose flood management programs
Watershed protection and management
Drinking water treatment and distribution
Ecosystem and fisheries restoration and protection
Reduced Reliance on the Bay-Delta
Projects that directly address a critical water quality or supply issue in a DAC
Urban water suppliers implementing certain BMPs as on page 17 of Guidelines
Be designed to manage stormwater runoff to reduce flood damage (PRC §5096.827)
Be consistent with the applicable Regional Water Quality Control Plans (Basin Plans) (PRC §5096.827)
Not be a part of the State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC) (PRC §5096.827)

Improve Water Quality - Urban Runoff Management:

  • Reduce erosion and sedimentation through stabilization of stream banks and reduction of incising
  • Enhance riparian buffer with creation of more robust and stable riparian corridor
  • Increase awareness and stewardship by improving circulation to and around creek area. Improve stewardship of and appreciation for the creek


Improve Flood Management

  • Reduce flood risk for neighboring properties
  • Lower water surface elevations
  • Increase channel flood flow capacity


Practice Resources Stewardship - Ecosystem Restoration

  • Improve native plant diversity with creation of 38,000 square feet of new native plant riparian corridor
  • Improve native trout habitat with creation of pool and shelter for the trout, improved water quality, and reduction of barriers to upstream movement

Project team

Part 3 - Benefits