Marsh Creek Watershed

Marsh Creek watershed is the second largest watershed in Contra Costa County. It originates on the eastern slope of Mt. Diablo and flows 30 miles through the rapidly growing communities of Brentwood, Oakley, and Antioch in eastern Contra Costa County and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Introduction to the Marsh Creek Watershed

“Marsh Creek is the second largest Watershed in Contra Costa County. Marsh Creek originates 2,000 feet up the eastern slope of Mt. Diablo, approximately 35 miles east of San Francisco. It is one of the fastest urbanizing watersheds in California, and the creek flows for 30 miles through the rapidly growing communities of Brentwood, Oakley, and Antioch in eastern Contra Costa County and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Marsh Creek forms an important ecological link between the Delta and the Diablo Rangeland and offers a vital natural refuge among multiplying subdivisions. Marsh Creek is also uniquely situated and provides significant spawning habitat near the mouth of the productive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, so is therefore a priority watershed for restoration of salmon habitat in the Bay-Delta System.” (“Marsh Creek, American Rivers).

To better understand the extent of the Marsh Creek Watershed, you can follow a drop of water from Mt. Diablo into the Delta using the River Runner Samlearner tool. You can access the tool at this link.

Marsh Creek Watershed Council (MCWC)

The Marsh Creek Watershed Council is a voluntary, non-regulatory forum to achieve integrated, long-term watershed planning, management and funding, and increase communication and access to information regarding the watershed. This group began to come together and hold meetings in the Spring of 2022. 

Meetings are typically held on the last Tuesday of the month from 4:00 to 5:30pm. These meetings take place both on Zoom and in-person, depending on the month. 

The 2023 MCWC meetings are planned to occur on: January 31, February 28, March 28, April 25, May 30, June 27, July 25, August 29, September 26, October 31, November 28, and December 26. These dates are subject to change.

Please click the box below for more information and to join the MCWC email list.

Click here for more Information and to join the MCWC

Marsh Creek Watershed Water Quality

Many people and groups have been monitoring water quality in Marsh Creek since 2000. Water quality can tell us important information about the health of a creek including if it is too warm for certain kinds of fish, and if water quality is improving or getting worse over time.

Click here for more Information

Restoration Projects

Creekside Park Restoration Project

In the city of Oakley, at Creekside Park, American Rivers has been working in partnership with East Bay Regional Park District, the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, and the city of Oakley to increase the restored riparian area and floodplains along Marsh Creek. This is a multi-benefit restoration that is bringing over 700 linear feet of the creek back to life on 2.4 acres of land. This project provides habitat for native fish and wildlife, improves water quality, increases resiliency to a changing climate, and enhances the experience of those hiking along the Marsh Creek Trail. This project also aims to improve the quality of life for Delta residents in one of the most densely developed areas of the region by reducing flood risk, improving recreational opportunities, and providing a place to make meaningful connections with the natural world of the Delta region.

Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project

The Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project is a multi-benefit flood control, creek restoration, and public access project. Construction was completed in January 2021 and involved widening the Marsh Creek channel along approximately 4,000 linear feet near downtown Brentwood and creating a floodplain bench. Planting of native vegetation took place from January through April 2021 and will continue until spring 2023. The project will provide quality habitat for Chinook Salmon and Swainson's Hawk and create a shady parkway, improving recreational and educational opportunities along the Marsh Creek Regional Trail and for residents around Contra Costa County.

To view the Three Creeks Parkway Project Facebook Page, click here.

Click here for more information

Dutch Slough Tidal Restoration Project

The Dutch Slough Wetland Restoration Project is an approximately 1,200-acre freshwater wetland restoration project at the mouth of Marsh Creek. The mouth of Marsh Creek will be re-routed onto the Dutch Slough project site to benefit native fish species. Construction of the wetland channels began on the Emerson and Gilbert parcels between 2018 and 2019 and restoration planting began in 2019. To watch the restoration video, click here.

Click here for more information

Visit our Watershed Partner Groups

Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed

The Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed (FOMCW) is a community organization whose mission is to protect, conserve, and restore Marsh Creek and its tributaries, and to inspire appreciation and conservation of the Marsh Creek Watershed.

This in-stream volunteer field team is engaged in cleanups, restorations, native plantings, educational events, and more. Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed provides volunteer opportunities throughout the community and welcomes folks of all interests and expertise to help protect, preserve, and celebrate the natural features in our backyards! 

Click the below to learn more and add yourself to the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed Email list.

Click here for more information

American Rivers

American Rivers is a national nonprofit organization that protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Staff from American Rivers has been working with the CCRCD, the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, the Contra Costa Flood Control District, and other partners to implement restoration projects and engage local community members on Marsh Creek since 1998.

Click here for more information

East Bay Regional Park District

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a park system comprising 73 parklands throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The system includes 1,250 miles of trails, including the Marsh Creek Regional Trail. This is a paved, multi-use trail that currently runs from Creekside Park in Brentwood to the Delta shores of Big Break.

Click here for more information

CCC Flood Control and Water Conservation District

The Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District was formed in 1951 to protect local communities through constructing and maintaining regional flood control facilities on its properties. The Flood Control District has a Watershed Program in which they enforce provisions of the Stormwater Management and Discharge Control Ordinance (under Title 10), provide public education, inspect businesses for compliance with clean water regulations, test water quality, remove pollutants from gutters and drains, and provide seed money to local private nonprofit environmental groups for enhancement of creek and riparian habitat.

Click here for more information

Photographs throughout Marsh Creek Watershed

Derek Emmons




Derek Emmons

Skills: Regenerative land management and community engagement

Fun Fact: Student of life that nerds out on eco-cultural restoration, hangs out on hilltops, at home cruising in the Subaru, swimmer looking for water.

Derek Emmons

Actively pursuing opportunities for collaboration, Derek engages land managers, urban and rural farmers to identify strategies that balance immediate social needs with the long-term vitality of our ecological systems.

Raised in the East Bay, Derek’s professional experience includes non-profit work in urban forestry, environmental education, permaculture design, and community development through Peace Corps Nepal.

Graduating in 2010 with a BA in Environmental Studies: Sustainable Food Systems from UCSC, Derek holds an MA in Geography from CSULB 2020.  His thesis research focused on the social drivers of riparian restoration on the working lands of the upper Tule River watershed of Tulare County, CA.

His current interests include identifying and showcasing farms demonstrating regenerative practices such as soil carbon sequestration, storm water infiltration, hedgerows, biodiversity enhancements, rematriation, and management for ecological flow regimes.

Derek’s vision of scaling up regenerative land management, agroecological resilience, and food justice includes embracing diversity with a holistic perspective on collective wellbeing.

Victoria Woolfolk


Victoria Woolfolk

Skills: Environmental education, community engagement, research processes, insect identification, report writing.

Fun Fact: Victoria competes in triathlons and will hike or bike up any hill/mountain she can get her feet or wheels on. She summited Haleakalā in Maui, HI on bike in the summer of 2021. Her next challenge is pending. Victoria also loves to cook and create random dishes from available seasonal produce.

Victoria Woolfolk

Victoria (she/her) is from Orange County, CA. She graduated in 2021 from University of California, Davis with a BS in Environmental Science and Management with an emphasis in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Insect Biology. She participated in a research lab at UC Davis exploring the impacts of human development on insect/plant relationships over time. Following this, she worked as an environmental consultant to identify and resolve soil and/or groundwater contamination to protect water resources throughout the Bay Area.

Victoria grew up helping her dad weed and tend to his extensive vegetable and fruit tree garden and spent many family vacations camping in various national parks. Victoria considers herself very lucky to have grown up with access and connections to the outdoors and wildlife. She understands the importance of access to healthy, natural places for individual and community wellbeing. Victoria is excited to work with CCRCD and partners to help achieve more safe, accessible, sustainable, and functional natural areas regardless of community wealth, race, or composition.