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Contra Costa County Watershed Atlas

Designed as a tool for people with all levels of expertise in watershed management and planning, the Contra Costa Watershed Atlas is an important document for people concerned about watersheds in the county. the 150-page, full-color book includes maps, photographs, statistics and text.

Contra Costa County Watershed Atlas

About the Atlas

The Contra Costa County Watershed Atlas (Atlas) is a large format, full color, 150-page book of maps, statistics and text about the 28 major watersheds in the County. Though focused on the state of natural ecosystems on the watershed scale, the Atlas also provides information about the human community and the county as and eco-region.

The first chapter provides an overview of the county including statistical data, text, and base maps. Additionally, the Atlas includes the complete CCWF Creek and Wetland Enhancement Project Database, samples of GPS data collected by community groups on creeks, as well as resources and volunteer opportunities for people looking to become more involved locally. Maps provided at a countywide scale include: watersheds, creeks, political boundaries (cities, spheres of influence and unincorporated communities), planned land use, demographic data, topography, hydrology, earthquake fault lines, flood plains, soils, aspect, slope, vegetative cover, temperature, rainfall, impervious surface, historical and current steelhead trout populations and color aerial photographs.

Subsequent chapters focus on individual watersheds and include text, lists of resources and active community groups, statistical data and maps including: aerial photographs, creeks, watersheds, political boundaries, population density, planned landuse, protected lands and restoration projects.

The Atlas was the catalyst for these groups to collaborate to create a resource for education and outreach, resource restoration coordination, and data centralization. This project demanded that organizations, agencies and volunteers come together to centralize, create, and share GIS data; consolidate databases; and contribute text and photographs. These efforts were realized at many different levels, each representing important developments in the outreach and cooperation necessary for effective watershed management.

  • Strong community volunteer groups surveyed miles of creeks using a Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection program launched by the CCWF;
  • Governmental, regulatory, and local agencies fostered relationships to share Geographic Information System (GIS) data; and
  • Restoration project databases were consolidated to provide a vision of activities in the County.

The Contra Costa County Watershed Atlas is a project of the Contra Costa Watershed Forum. The document was prepared by the Contra Costa County Community Development Department, which serves as staff to the Watershed Forum. Additional support and assistance was provided by the County Public Works Department and members of the Watershed Forum.

The development of the Watershed Atlas was funded in part by a CALFED grant and a Prop 13 State Water Resources Quality Control Board grant. Additional funds were provided by the Contra Costa Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund, the Contra Costa County GIS Policy Committee, the Contra Costa County Community Development Department, and the Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Money from the sale of the Atlas helped pay for some of the printing costs.

How to Get a Copy of the Atlas

Watershed Atlas Cover ImageAn electronic .pdf file of the Atlas is available for download (for free).  It is a large document (141 Mb), and we recommend that you save it to your computer for better viewing.  To download the file, right click on the image of the Atlas, and save it to your computer.

A print version of the Watershed Atlas costs $25 (includes tax). If you would like us to mail it to you, there is an additional $5 shipping charge for each Atlas mailed. You are welcome to visit our offices in downtown Martinez to purchase and pick-up copies of the Atlas. A receptionist at the front desk will be able to assist you.

If you would like your order shipped to you, send the address to which you would like the book(s) sent, and a check (no cash/no credit card) to:

Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development

30 Muir Road

Martinez, CA 94553

Attn: Abby Fateman

Please make checks payable to Contra Costa County. We cannot accept payment by credit card. If you would like to pay in cash, you may do so in person at our office. Do not mail cash. Receipts will be mailed by our Accounting Department within a month of payment.

Questions should be directed to Abby Fateman. Abby can be reached by email: or by phone (925) 335-1272.