An illustration of the Mill Valley Watershed. Courtesy Marin County Watershed Program.
Mill Valley last week got a stark reminder of the watershed that surrounds us – and the flooding that comes when heavy rains mix with king high tides.

The County of Marin and the City of Mill Valley are well aware of the consequences of our proximity to Richardson Bay and the creeks that lead into it, and the agencies helped create the Southern Marin Flood Protection and Watershed Program in the aftermath of massive flooding caused nearly $100 million in damage throughout Marin in 2005.

The program is focused on planning for watershed management and flooding protection, particularly given the hastening pace of sea level rise being caused by climate change. The program’s latest piece of educational outreach is “Mill Valley Watershed,” a gorgeous aerial video of the Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio Watershed and all of the creeks and tributaries that link Mount Tamalpais with Richardson Bay.

The video was made by video production firm Sound Visions Media, founded by Jeff Foster and Ellen Johnson, in partnership with Sam Goldberger. Johnson narrates the six-minute video, “shot mostly from drones that allow the viewer to see what the watershed looks like from above and how water moves through the community,” says Foster.

Here it is:

The video serves as a companion piece of sorts to the “Southern Marin Watershed Guide: Planning for Floods,” a 63-page document released in July to tell “the story of our watershed and the flood risks we face together,” according to Mill Valley City Councilwoman Stephanie Moulton-Peters and District 3 Supervisor Kate Sears. “Flooding affects our quality of life and livelihood: it threatens our homes and our businesses, and can impact everything we do in our normal day-to-day life, from getting our children to school to our access to emergency services.”

“There are no easy solutions, but this guide will help us start from a common point of understanding as we work together to define solutions for the short-term as well as long-range planning. Learning to live with water will be a part of our future together,” Moulton-Peters and Sears add.

As narrator Johnson says: “A watershed is a living, breathing ecosystem, No matter where we live we are all part of the watershed.”

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