Stormwater Plan Overlooks Floating Homes

Beginnings of tidal creek at Gate 6 1/2 | photo and post by Larry Clinton

In early March, the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District held a community meeting to discuss Marin City Stormwater Plan Project concepts. The focus of the meeting was to get community input on ways to decrease flooding in and around Marin City, but residents of Gate 6 ½ attended to express their concerns about outflow of stormwater into our community.

Currently, excess groundwater in Marin City is diverted to a detention pond between the Gateway Center and Highway 101. Because it is connected to Richardson’s Bay by a conduit under the freeway, the pond fills at high tide and drains back into the bay at low tide. That outflow has carved a tidal creek which winds its way along the Gate 6 ½ dock, undercutting numerous floating homes.

The District discussed various concepts for managing that outflow in the future. Two of them show the outflow still directed in the vicinity of Gate 6 ½. One alternative shows it being redirected into the Waldo Point Harbor lagoon and along the west side of West Pier.

Felicity Gordon, whose home is the first one impacted by the tidal stream, noted that if more groundwater is fed into the detention pond, the volume of the outflow will only increase, causing further problems (see video below).

Paul Bergeron suggested that the district should consider eliminating the current discharge pipe in favor of a northern discharge pipe, perhaps equidistant between Gate 6 ½ and Commodore Marina.

The district website mentions that in the “near future,” scoring criteria will be used to assess different flood mitigation options and invites people to participate in an online survey. However, the survey is open only to Marin City residents, not floating home owners. The next Community Meeting is scheduled for July 9. It seems the only way for our concerns to be heard is to attend the meeting and speak up. More details of the meeting will be reported in the Floating Times as they are announced.


Video by Felicity Gordon shows tidal creek undercutting Gate 6 1/2 homes.