Colma Creek Restoration and Adaptation Project
Lower Colma Creek; City of South San Francisco: San Mateo County; Measure AA Region: West Bay
Prepare technical studies, undertake community engagement, perform design and engineering work, and develop a permit acquisition plan
Safe, Clean Water and Pollution Prevention Program; Vital Fish, Bird and Wildlife Habitat Program; Integrated Flood Protection Program; Shoreline Public Access Program
2023 UPDATE; All technical studies were completed. Conceptual, schematic, and 35% design-level plans were completed in June 2023. Community restoration education events, such as planting and clean up days, were conducted in April 2023.
2022 UPDATE: The project team conducted a site survey and built hydraulic/hydrologic models to maximize habitat creation while reducing flood impacts in the lower Colma Creek reach. The team held several volunteer planting and weeding days throughout the year.
The project consists only of planning and design, with a significant focus on community engagement in the design process. In addition, to plan for community involvement in the future restoration work, the project includes creation of a test plant nursery and community education on restoration planting using that nursery. This design work builds upon the planning and community engagement of the Resilient South City project of 2017-2018, which was a part of the Resilient by Design Challenge that brought together local residents, public officials and local, national and international expert teams to develop innovative community-based solutions to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes throughout the bay area. Further design concepts and community engagement continued after the Resilient by Design Challenge as the “Colma Creek Connector” project from 2019-2020.
The project aims to reshape the banks of tidal reaches of Colma Creek and the Bay shoreline to restore and expand tidal marshes and critical habitat for the Ridgway's rail and other wildlife. The restoration project will also have significant flood mitigation benefits and will be designed to provide for expanded public access to nature and a vital new connection for the disadvantaged community to access the Bay and Bay Trail. The newly formed San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District (“District”), which may be a source of implementation funds, is very supportive of utilizing nature-based solutions as part of its holistic approach to building resiliency to climate change-related impacts of sea level rise, flooding, and coastal erosion. This grant provides critical support for aligning stakeholders around the feasibility of a restoration-led approach to this multi-benefit project.