Civic Center Watershed Restoration (CCWR) is a project to improve the water quality of the Marin Civic Center watershed.
The goals of the CCWR project are to:
- Foster community stewardship of watershed commons around the Marin Civic Center
- Launch ongoing demonstration project showing innovative watershed restoration
- Improve the environmental health and reduce pollution of Civic Center watershed commons in particular the lagoon.
- Engage local volunteers as well as Bioneers attendees in hands-on Watershed Restoration
Since 1998 the Bioneers Conference has met every October at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Civic Center. The prestigious international event brings national attention to the Civic Center area between the South Fork of Gallinas Creek and the Civic Center Lagoon.
The Marin County Civic Center is a state and national Historic Site and a UNESCO-nominated World Heritage Site. As conceived by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Civic Center Lagoon and its surrounding parklands are an area for recreation, notable in that they interconnect manicured landscapes with the natural world
Run-off from the surrounding parking lots and overpopulation by non-native birds have increase water pollution levels. The lagoon connects directly to the South Fork of Gallinas Creek and the San Pablo Bay marshlands, habitat for endangered species such as the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse and California Ridgeway’s Rail (formerly California Clapper Rail).
The Marin Civic Center, which includes the county administrative offices, county fair grounds, and a performing arts and convention center, is going through a substantial transformation. A SMART train station, Civic Center Drive Improvements Project and proposed Farmers Market complex are all clustered near the site where Gallinas Creek escapes its culverts and enters the bayland marsh.
The CCWR project, in conjunction with the Gallinas Watershed Council, is focused on education and community engagement to foster stewardship of our natural commons. We are a coalition of business, foundations, and volunteers intent on improving the water quality and overall environmental health of the Civic Center Lagoon and Gallinas Creek. We have researched and gathered feedback and collected project ideas for creek and lagoon restoration activities.
Our current goal is to install an innovative demonstration floating island with informative signage as a first step. These islands have been used by similar community funded-coalitions in Walnut Creek and Marysville, CA. With plantings on the surface and roots in the water, they provide natural water filtration and wildlife habitat. Once installed, floating islands require little maintenance.
With the help of manufacturer Floating Island West we presented this biological solution at the 2015 Marin County Fair (see photo).
This bio-filter is one of the bio-technologies that we researched and then proposed to the County for the Civic Center lagoon. This green technology was pioneered by Bioneer John Todd. Here is John Todd’s Bioneers presentation where he described how floating island biofilters work:
Our group has gathered support from diverse stakeholders. We also have launched a fundraiser on Indiegogo – please contribute to our fundraiser!
CCWR Project introduction video by Aurora Mahassine and Cynthia Abbott:
Learn about a similar floating island biofilter project in Walnut Creek:
Partial list of Supporters
Bioneers Indigenous Youth Council
Supervisor Damon Connolly
Please Join Our Efforts
Your help now will demonstrate that a model of local business, foundations, and community groups can join with government to foster community stewardship of a Marin County watershed.
Please contact us and let us know that we can count on your support.