Announcements and Upcoming Events

    Adopt-the-Creek Program
    Do you walk the Marsh Creek Trail? Tell us what you saw during your walks! We invite you to become a creek caretaker by reporting your observations. Click above to learn more.

    Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed Meeting:
    Meets on: Second Thursday of each month, 6-8 PM
    Go to to see topic, speaker and meeting location.
    or contact

    About Marsh Creek

    The Marsh Creek Watershed drains the east side of Mt. Diablo. It covers about 128 square miles of rangeland, farmland, protected parkland, and urban land. The creek flows approximately 30 river miles from its headwaters in Morgan Territory Preserve through Brentwood and Oakley to empty into the Delta at Big Break. One of its longer tributaries, Sand Creek, flows from Black Diamond Mines Preserve, through southern Antioch then joins into Marsh Creek. Some other major tributaries are: Dry Creek, Deer Creek, Briones Creek, Curry Creek and Round Valley Creek. (See MAP )

About the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed Group (FOMCW)

  • Website
  • Interests and Concerns
  • Activities and Projects
  • Prior Events
  • Topics and Speakers at prior meetings
  • Contact FOMCW: Email
  • PO Box: 2063 Main St. #311, Oakley, CA 94561
  • FOMCW Meeting Notes (since Jan 2008)
  • Results of GPS Mapping, Water Quality Testing, and Aquatic Invertibrate Monitoring - 2001-2005
    Click on the heading above to see the results from this Contra Costa County program. We thank all the volunteers who participated in these activities.

  • First Steps underway to address Mercury Pollution in Upper Marsh Creek Watershed
    An abandoned mercury mine on the slopes of Mt. Diablo is leaking hazardous mercury-tainted runoff into a tributary of Marsh Creek. Half a million dollars has been obtained toward starting the planning process to solve this problem. More funding will be required, and legal agreements must be put in place before the Contra Costa Flood Control District and other agencies can finally resolve this problem. (see recent article)
  • Salmon in Marsh Creek
    Adult chinook salmon swim up Marsh Creek to spawn (reproduce). During Nov. to January, members of the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed lead walks along the creek to observe these large fish (see locations). You can help to monitor and protect the salmon. Please e-mail Sarah Puckett if you are interested in participating in salmon monitoring during fall and winter. Your sightings help gather important data about the Marsh Creek salmon.
  • If you see anyone harming these fish, please let them know that fishing, spearing or netting salmon or trout, especially while they are spawning, in Marsh Creek is illegal. See the attached document on fishing regulations in Marsh Creek and report any violations to Fish and Game at this toll-free phone #1-888-DFG-CALTIP (1-888-334-2258).

  • Fish Ladder fully funded!
    City, county agencies and non-profit groups have worked for several years on plans to allow spawning salmon to get beyond a 6 foot high cement wall in Marsh Creek to reach several miles spawning area. Finally funding has been approved for a fish ladder. Read more.

  • Dutch Slough Wetland Restoration at the Mouth of Marsh Creek
    Planning is underway to conduct both marsh restoration and scientific research at a tract of land north of Oakley bordering on Dutch Slough.
    Check out the Dutch Slough website (

  • Grant Funding for Protecting Marsh Creek Watershed
    In 2006 a grant was awarded by the Department of Water Resources to the Natural Heritage Institute in partnership with the Resource Conservation District to continue education and stewardship activities in the Marsh Creek Watershed.
    In 2004 the California Coastal Conservancy received a CALFED grant to build watershed awareness, and conduct education, citizen monitoring and planning along the lower riparian corridor. This project was led by the Natural Heritage Institute in partnership with the Resource Conservation District and the Delta Science Center. Some of the Friends of Marsh Creek group activities were supported in part by this grant

    Contact Mary Grim, RCD Watershed Coordinator, at (925) 672-6522 x113 for more information or email


    Past Events in Marsh Creek Watershed

  • GPS Mapping of Marsh Creek (9/10 and 9/23/06)
  • Marsh Creek Clean-ups: (Oakley - 6/3/06 and 5/18/07;
    Brentwood - 9/16/06 and 9/15/07
  • Guided Hike in Morgan Territory Preserve - 6/3/07 and 5/7/06
    Biologist, Jim Hale, led 5-mile hikes in Morgan Territory Preserve and shared his knowledge of plants, animals and Native Americans. 

  • East County Watershed Symposium - March 30th, 2006
    Held March 30 and aired on CCTV
    The featured presentation on the Delta discussed how a levee failure might affect our drinking water, and how we might restore this ecosystem for fish, wildlife and future generations.  Also local groups discussed their efforts to protect and restore our watersheds. DVD's available from Kae Ono at 925-335-1230 or go to
  • Native Wetland Plant Test Plot established at Dutch Slough - March & April 2006
    With the help of Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, other volunteers and the Watershed Nursery, a test plot was established near the mouth of Marsh Creek to determine which native wetland plants will be best to use in a larger restoration of the Dutch Slough area.
  • Tour of Marsh Creek Reservoir - Nov. 30, 2005
    Paul Detjens, an engineer with Contra Costa County's Flood Control District, led a walking tour around the Marsh Creek Reservoir. He discussed the district's plan for increasing flood control protection, and restoring natural habitat upstream of the reservoir.
  • GPS Mapping of Marsh Creek's features - 11/5/05, 9/23/06 and 10/20/07
    Groups of trained volunteers took hand-held GPS devices out to the creek and mapped the location of various features of the creek such as patches of invasive weeds, native plants and man-made structures such as bridges and drainage pipe out-falls. These features, along with water depth and other factors influence the ecology of the creek.
  • Marsh Creek Salmon Monitoring - Nov. 13 and 28, 2005
    East Bay Regional Park District naturalist Mike Moran lead groups of salmon enthusiasts on walks to observe salmon spawning in Marsh Creek. Usually the fall-run chinook salmon begin swimming up the creek after the rains begin. But we observed several salmon even though the rains had not started yet.
  • Round Valley Guided Hike - Oct. 22, 2005
    Biologist Jim Hale, Ph.D. lead about 25 people on a hike in Round Valley. He pointed out local wildlife, native plants and told us about the way Native Americans used them when they lived in the valley.
  • Slide Show on Wildlife of Marsh Creek Watershed - Oct. 18, 2005
    Biologist Jim Hale, Ph.D. presented an overview of the wildlife of Marsh Creek Watershed and Contra Costa County based on his many years of field study of the wildlife of Contra Costa County. We learned about the habits and habitat of everything from dragonflies to mountain lions.

  • Marsh Creek Trail Bike Ride - Oct. 9, 2005 .
  • Hike in Morgan Territory Preserve - May 7, 2005

  • Sneak Peek at Dutch Slough Restoration Site - May 1, 2005
    On May 1st, 2005 the public was allowed a preview visit to three parcels of private land (approximately 1100 acres) that will be restored to a freshwater marsh.

  • Gardening with Native Plants Workshop - April 3 and 17, 2005

  • Earth Day Work Party - April 24, 2005
    A small restoration project was begun at the north end of Creekside Park, Brentwood. Enthusiastic volunteers cleared weeds on the creek bank and put down mulch in preparation for restoring native plants this coming fall when the rains begin.
  • Watershed Planning Group - 2003
    A previous group completed a Marsh Creek Watershed Issues Catalog which was published in December 2003.


    Marsh Creek Watershed and The Delta In the Press!

    County gets cash to clean up mercury mine (Oakley Press 2/22/08)
    Salmon take stairway to spawning heaven (Brentwood Press 12/7/07)
    Oakley's Creekside Park gains support (Oakley Press 10/12/07)
    Salmon to climb ladder to spawning success (Brentwood Press 10/5/07
    Watershed Slide Show & Art Exhibit- Befriending the Local Landscape (BW Press 9/15/07)

  • Marsh Creek Clean-up 110º Magazine, Sept. 2006
  • See articles on Delta fisheries and water use
  • Care for the Earth is a local call: Welcome to the Marsh Creek Watershed, 110º Magazine; September 2005
  • Potential seen in restoration plan: Public pressure and landowners’ desires to turn a proposal for development into an opportunity to restore wetlands and learn about nature, Contra Costa Times; May 22, 2005
  • Enjoying the Creek with our friends: Learning to speak on behalf of Marsh Creek, 110º Magazine; May 2005
  • Oakley Clean-Up Day, Oakley Press, May 13, 2005
  • Sneaking a Peek at Dutch Slough, Oakley, Brentwood and Discovery Bay Press April 29, 2005
  • Born to be Wild Trout: Local fish goes global, San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Life; April 22, 2005
  • Saving Salmon, Oakley, Brentwood and Discovery Bay Press; January 7, 2005
  • Friends seek to Help Marsh Creek: More than a Dozen East County Residents are Committed to Protecting and Restoring the Watershed, Contra Costa Times, Oakley News; November 26, 2004
  • Cleaning up Marsh Creek: 350 Children, Youth and Adults Work Together for Community Restoration, 110º Magazine; November 2004

  • Top

    Watershed References:

  • Marsh Creek Watershed Map
  • Marsh Creek Watershed - Past and Present - (21 MB) prepared by the Natural Heritage Institute and the Delta Science Center at Big Break
  • Corridor Width Report --Conceptual Stream Corridor Master Plan for Marsh Creek and Tributaries (7 MB) by the Natural Heritage Institute
  • Envisioning Brentwood's Creeks: A Green Resource for the Future (12 MB) by UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture Dept. and the Natural Heritage Institute
  • Marsh Creek Watershed Resources Inventory
  • Marsh Creek Watershed Issues Catalog
  • Septic Tank Brochure* (392 KB)

    *Files in PDF format. Please click here if you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader ®, which is available free.


    Cities and Local Agencies:

    The following cities, agencies and local organizations are active in Marsh Creek Watershed and interested in its welfare:

    Resource Agencies and Links:

  • City of Brentwood's Clean Water Program
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Mosquito Vector Control
  • California Department of Fish and Game
  • CCC Agriculture
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Urban Creeks Council
  • CCC Flood Control District
  • Natural Heritage Institute
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Contra Costa Clean Water Program Collaborative stormwater pollution control program of Contra Costa County, nineteen of its incorporated cities and the Contra Costa Flood Control & Water Conservation District.
  • County’s New Stormwater Regulations Requirements for site designs that minimize impervious surfaces and treat stormwater on site.
  • Contra Costa County Public Works Department Click on Public Services, Canals and Creeks, for information about the County’s flood control, clean water and watershed programs.


    From 2002-2003 a Marsh Creek Watershed planning process (conducted in the upper watershed ) produced a catalogue of issues. This project was funded through grants from the California Department of Conservation and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


    Oakley starts progress on Creekside Park at Laurel Road

  • Main Menu and Home Page



    County’s New Stormwater Regulations

    Requirements for site designs that minimize impervious surfaces and treat stormwater on site.

    This Marsh Creek Website - contact Mary Grim, Contra Costa Resource Conservation District