U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Corte Madera Creek Flood Control Project (Units 2, 3, & 4)



Photos: Fish ladder shown during low level (left) and during storm flows (right) in Corte Madera Creek at entry to concrete channel area.


About the Project

View a map of the project study area (pdf)

The project goals are to make improvements to Corte Madera Creek in Ross, Kentfield, & Larkspur by:

  • managing flood risk in a manner that is fully implementable and supportable by the local community;
  • reducing the likelihood and consequences of flooding on human life & safety, and reducing the risk of flood damages;
  • improving fish passage;
  • minimizing future erosion of unprotected creek banks & improving bank stability along the earthen channel in Ross;
  • preserving or restoring the natural creekbed and associated riparian habitat;
  • preserving or improving, to the extent practicable, the recreational experience & aestheic quality of Corte Madera Creek; and,
  • minimizing long-term maintenance requirements of the project.

The project is located along three reaches in Ross Valley and extends along San Anselmo Creek and Corte Madera Creek from:

    • Sir Francis Drake Blvd. bridge in Ross, under the Lagunitas Bridge to the upstream end of the concrete channel near the Ross Post Office (Unit 4)
    • The upstream end of the concrete channel in Ross, downstream through the College of Marin to the College Avenue Bridge in Kentfield (Unit 3)
    • The College Avenue Bridge, downstream past the Kent Middle School to the Bon Air Road Bridge in Larkspur (Unit 2)

Status & Next Steps

November 28, 2016 update & next steps
October 17, 2016 update & next steps
The project is currently in the Feasibility Study phase and is being implemented under the US Army Corps of Engineers planning process. Click here for more information on the SMART Planning process. A number of conceptual measures have been identified that will be used to develop and compare project alternatives for achieving the project goals.
On December 23, 2015, the environmental review process for the project began with the release of the Notice for the Preparation/Intent and Notice of Scoping Meeting of a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR) for the project. This document includes a description of the project.
A Public Scoping meeting was held on January 28, 2016 to describe the environmental review process, to provide an overview of the project and to take comments from the community on potential environmental effects to be addressed in the EIS/EIR.
The purpose of this public scoping session was to provide individuals, organizations and agencies an opportunity to raise concerns about the potential environmental effects of the project. Comments were recorded and made part of the formal EIS/EIR record.  Following a staff presentation on the overview of the EIS/EIR process and the project, the majority of the session time was allocated to receiving public comment. 
It is important to note that scoping sessions are not designed and intended to provide a “Q & A” format.  Responses to comments and questions were limited at the scoping session, in the interest of giving everyone a chance to speak, and since the purpose of the session was for the public to provide information to the County and the Corps of Engineers.  Responses to questions received will be provided through the EIS/EIR process and will be available to everyone interested in the project.
The Draft EIR/EIS will include descriptions of project alternatives that will be developed over the next several months by the project design team. Following the release of the Draft EIR/EIS, the public will have an opportunity to comment on these alternatives at a public hearing.  Notice will be sent to everyone on the mailing list indicating the availability of the Draft EIS/EIR and the time and location of the hearing. The public will be requested to conduct further review and provide additional comment on the alternatives prior to issuance of the final EIS/EIR.
To help provide guidance on how to comment by March 1, 2016, please read on:
The environmental review process for this project was originally initiated in 2008.  As part of that prior effort, the US Army Corps of Engineers produced a 2010 Baseline Report that provided initial elements for the EIS/EIR and identified measures and project alternatives that were put forward at that time. This report, along with the Corte Madera Creek Project and Conceptual Measures posters and presentation slides shown at the January 2016 public scoping meeting, are meant to assist the public with their understanding of the proposed project by describing and illustrating the various conceptual project elements currently being considered.  Public scoping comments for the EIS/EIR should be focused on the potential environmental effects of these conceptual project elements and components.
In order to provide everyone more time to send in comments on the project, the original comment period was extended from February 15 to March 1, 2016. This comment period is now closed.
This deadline is set to ensure comments are submitted early enough to be properly addressed in the Draft EIS/EIR document. The public will have other opportunities to submit comments on specific alternatives developed for the Draft EIS/EIR document.
As part of the project process, community input and public participation will be sought at many points through the life of the project. These are anticipated to include on-site, local neighborhood and broader community meetings led by the County, as well as public input and review meetings led by the US Army Corps and public meetings specifically required as part of the environmental review process. These opportunities will be advertised in advance to promote broad opportunity for participation. Receive notices about these and other meetings related to the Ross Valley Flood Protection & Watershed Program by providing us with your email address.

Preliminary Schedule (Pending project approval & Federal funding)

Project Phase

Typical Duration

Feasibility Study & Environmental Review

3 years

Real Estate & Final Design

2 years


1 to 2 years

Total Project Duration
6 to 7 years


Upcoming Meetings

Next expected series of neighborhood meetings: December 2016

Past Public Meetings

October 10, 2017 7:00-9:00p at the Ross Town Council, District staff discussed latest plans to restore Allen Park Riperian Corridor which includes removal of Ross Fish Ladder. The meeting featured presentation slides of a draft conceptual plan.
Question & Answers Summary (Coming Soon!)
August 22, 2016 6:00-8:00p at the Ross School Gymnasium, Ross School, 9 Lagunitas Road, Ross. The US Army Corps of Engineers & Marin County Flood Control District held a community meeting to discuss the Corte Madera Flood Control Project, commonly referred to as Unit 4, Unit 3, and Unit 2. The meeting provided a presentation on the feasibility study and an opportunity for additional public input.
April 25, 2016 5:30-7:30p at the Ross School Gymnasium. Congressman Jared Huffman, Supervisor Katie Rice, and the Army Corps of Engineers hosted a community discussion on proposed flood control projects in the Corte Madera Creek floodplain. The meeting provided an opportunity for additional public input and supplemental review of the scope of work for the proposed projects in the Corte Madera Creek, commonly referred to as Unit 4, Unit 3, and Unit 2. View the slide presentation and poster displays from this meeting.
April 20, 2016: Corte Madera Creek Walk. A group of interested people joined staff for a leisurely walk and information talk along the Army Corps Project area on Corte Madera Creek from Lagunitas Rd. to Kentfield Rehab area.
January 28, 2016: About 70 community members gathered at the Marin Art and Garden Center to participate in a Public Scoping meeting and to provide public comments. Learn more on the NEPA/CEQA process.
Scoping Meeting Agenda
Corte Madera Creek Project display
Conceptual Measures display
Slide presentation
Audio recording of the Public Scoping meeting

Comment Form (Word) (pdf)

Background Documents

Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement - MCFCWCD and USACE

USACE Corte Madera Creek Flood Control Study Baseline Report (December 2010)

USACE Project Map (from USACE project website)

Link to USACE Corte Madera Creek Flood Control Project website

Resolutions requesting USACE to proceed with lower level of design protection:


Cost & Funding

The preliminary cost estimate for the project is currently $14 million (per the 2011 Capital Improvement Plan Study for Flood Damage Reduction and Creek Management for Flood Control Zone 9/Ross Valley). Further development of the project details and project feasibility may result in increased estimated cost. Present and future funding sources may include the Ross Valley Flood Control Zone 9 Storm Drainage Fee, US Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Water Resources and other potential grant funding sources.

Implementing Agency & Partners

Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers and in cooperation with Ross, Kentfield, Greenbrae & Larkspur.


The project manager for the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District is Hugh Davis, P.E., Associate Civil Engineer (hdavis@marincounty.org). Receive notices about these and other meetings related to the Ross Valley Flood Protection & Watershed Program by providing us with your email address.


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