For Immediate Release –
San Rafael, CA –
Public invited to comment on environmental impacts of flood mitigation project
The draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Corte Madera Creek Flood Risk Management Project has been released and is available for review online. The draft report presents an analysis of the environmental impacts of the potential flood mitigation project intended to reduce frequency and severity of flooding, and to protect life and property in the creekside communities of Ross, Kentfield, and Larkspur.
A 45-day public review period for the draft EIR began on February 1, and public comments are due by March 17. Comments can be emailed directly to the project team or mailed to the attention of Project Manager Joanna Dixon at P.O. Box 4186, San Rafael, CA 94913.
A web-based public hearing on the adequacy of the draft EIR will be conducted by the District Board of Supervisors on March 2. Please check the meeting agenda, to be posted online February 25, as the item will likely take place in the afternoon. The public is encouraged to attend the March 2 virtual meeting to provide comments on the draft report.
The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District hosted two community workshop meetings in June 2020, conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those sessions provided an overview of the Corte Madera Creek Flood Risk Management Project, including potential design concepts and timelines. A public scoping meeting was held online in August 2020 to solicit input for the draft EIR. Comments received during the scoping period are included in the draft EIR, with references to where those comments have been addressed within the report.
While the draft report is generally consistent with what was presented during the past meetings, it now details three alternatives for the proposed project (see Chapter 5 of the draft EIR). Those alternatives look at two variations of reduced project scope and one that reduces the use of concrete materials. The draft also includes maps and exhibits showing the flood risk reduction for adjacent communities with the project.
In March 2019, the project transitioned from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-led partnership with the Flood Control District to a locally managed project by the District, the Town of Ross, the Friends of Corte Madera Creek, and other local stakeholders. The project was redefined to be more reflective of local community priorities and integrates multiple upgrades, which include flood risk mitigation, ecosystem restoration, improved fish passage, recreational enhancements, environmental benefits and regulatory compliance.
A final EIR, which will address the submitted public comments, potentially would be released this July and be presented to the District board for certification in September. Based on this process, construction potentially could start in 2022.
The preliminary cost for the project is approximately $14 million, but the estimate will be refined through review of potential project options and subsequent design phases. Funding sources include the Ross Valley Flood Control Zone 9 storm drainage fee, grant funds from the California Department of Water Resources, grant funds from the State Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 funding, and other future grant sources being pursued by project stakeholders.