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Searsville Lake and Dam Panorama
Searsville Watershed Restoration Project


Stanford University is proposing to implement the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project to restore and enhance this watershed.

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About the Project

The Searsville Watershed Restoration Project involves:

  • Reestablishing natural free-flowing creeks and sediment transport processes
  • Establishing fish passage through a tunnel to be constructed through the base of the Searsville Dam
  • Restoring streams and riparian habitats immediately upstream of the dam
  • Flushing a substantial amount of sediment currently trapped behind the dam
  • Replacing the surface water diversion and storage capacity through modifications to the downstream San Francisquito Creek Pump Station and Felt Reservoir

This will transform the area of the current Searsville Reservoir into a confluence valley, complete with freeflowing streams and a natural riparian forest. This project will also allow for sediment to be transported to the bay where it will help restore natural functions and fortify the shoreline.

Current Project Status

Updated May 2, 2024

Stanford formally started the state (California Environmental Quality Act) and federal (National Environmental Policy Act) environmental review processes for the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project (SWRP) in February 2023. The environmental application review process is being conducted by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

Work on the SWRP is continuing on a number of fronts including design work on project components, implementing coordinated pre-construction biological monitoring, continuing the Tribal consultation process, and updating the Climate Change analysis to incorporate recently updated NEPA guidelines. We hope to announce a publication date for the EIR/EIS later this year.

Searsville Dam

Project Overview

Learn more about the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project.

Vintage Postcard for Searsville Lake

Project History

Discover over 100 years of history related to the Searsville Dam and watershed.

Looking Across Searsville Dam During Heavy Flow


Find resources and links that provide more information about the project.