Zone 12 – Between Bridge and 36th Streets off Foothill Boulevard, Oakland

The District restored a section of Peralta Creek that traverses Highway 13 backyards. Retaining walls along the channel had begun to fail, creek banks had eroded, and trash and silt had accumulated, reducing the channel’s capacity to carry stormwater.

Before beginning the project, the District worked with the city of Oakland and the Unity Council, a community group that communicated with property owners and renters affected by the project. Owners, renters, and neighbors were so enthusiastic about the project that the District was able to acquire rights to all additional needed easements within about three months, a task that normally takes many months.

Between June and November 2008, the District widened and cleaned out the creek bed. Nonnative vegetation was removed, and native shrubs and trees were planted to create a lush riparian habitat for birds and wildlife. By returning the creek to its natural condition, water quality has been improved.

The Peralta Creek Restoration Project received the following awards:

  • 2009 Environmental Project of the Year (less than $5 million) from the Northern California chapter of the American Public Works Association
  • 2009 Growing Smarter Together Award—Preserving and Protecting the Environment from the Association of Bay Area Governments
  • 2009 Outstanding Small Water Project of the Year from the San Francisco chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • 2009 Outstanding Small Water Project of the Year from Region IX (California statewide) of the American Society of Civil Engineers
Before the restoration, Peralta Creek embankments were badly eroded.
After the restoration, improvements in flood control have created a beautiful natural area.