This dataset includes reconstructed habitat types and ecological characteristics of lower Walnut Creek, representing average dry-season conditions prior to substantial Euro-American modification (~late 1700s-late 1800s). Documentation of historical ecological conditions is intended to serve as a tool to help support and guide wetland restoration and flood risk management along lower Walnut Creek. This dataset was produced as part of the Flood Control 2.0 project which is funded by the EPA Water Quality Improvement Fund.
During the mid-19th century, the lower Walnut Creek watershed was a landscape dominated by extensive wetlands, meandering creeks, and grassy plains. The marshes, sloughs, and meadows provided habitat and food for a huge number of wildlife species ranging from grizzly bears and elk to clapper rails and steelhead. Over the past 150 years, urban development, diking and filling of wetlands, and channelization of streams has resulted in dramatic changes to the watershed, and much of the historical habitat has been lost.