Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
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.

Main content start

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.

Public Comment Period Now Open

Stanford has formally started the state (CEQA) and federal (NEPA) environmental processes for the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project in February 2023. The environmental application review process is being conducted by the California Department of Water Resources and US Army Corps of Engineers. 

Interested parties are encouraged to engage in the process, and comments on the Notice of Intent (NOI) and Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the environmental impact report are currently being accepted. Comments can be submitted anytime during the NOI/NOP review period. 

Public comments are due by 5:00 PM on April 7, 2023. You can submit your comments to either the US Army Corps of Engineers or Department of Water Resources. Comments do not need to be submitted to both agencies. 

Two virtual public scoping meetings were held on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

Click here to access the US Army Corps of Engineers Federal Register Notice of Intent. 

Click here to access the Department of Water Resources Notice of Preparation. 

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.