South Bay Projects
Part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, the Bair Island project will restore 468 acres of tidal marsh. Ducks Unlimited is partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on this project, which is the first component of a larger restoration project aimed at restoring 1,400 acres of the entire 2,600-acre Bair Island complex. In addition to wildlife benefits, tidal action and island drainage will assist with mosquito control, an important aspect in light of the prevalence of West Nile Virus within such close proximity to urban areas.
"The Bair Island restoration project being delivered by Ducks Unlimited here at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge is a great example of how federal agencies and private nonprofits can combine efforts for the betterment of people and wildlife alike," said Biddlecomb. "The Fish and Wildlife Service owns the land, has some funding for restoration and has the capabilities to manage this habitat for the long term. Ducks Unlimited brings restoration expertise as well as dollars to stretch those limited Fish and Wildlife Service funds. Ducks Unlimited has been able to acquire state dollars from the Wildlife Conservation Board, funding from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and private dollars from the Lester Family Foundation to help complete this project. It saves the Fish and Wildlife Service money, ensures the restoration is done to the highest of engineering and biological standards and saves the taxpayers money all at the same time."
New Chicago Marsh
New Chicago Marsh is a 340-acre remnant salt marsh within the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. New Chicago Marsh suffers from severely altered hydrology and substantial subsidence. Ducks Unlimited has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore this important and dynamic marsh. The Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to DU for additional funding and cost-effective project delivery. Not only can DU deliver projects for a relatively low cost, but also it brings in outside funding. In this case, DU has North American Wetlands Conservation Act dollars and was recently awarded a grant from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation. It is an excellent example of what synergy between public and private partnerships can generate.
New Chicago Marsh photos – click to enlarge
New Chicago Marsh is next to the refuge's Environmental Education Center, which offers educational programs and facilities for 10,000 students, teachers and parents each year. The site is also easily accessible to the 700,000 annual visitors of the refuge's extensive trail system.
For more information on DU's projects in California, visit the California Projects page.