This year saw the start of new phases for several of Ducks
Unlimited’s long-term conservation projects in the San Francisco and
Monterey Bay Areas. In 2018, DU completed the first phase of the 60-acre Elkhorn
Slough Tidal Restoration Project in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough
Foundation. During this phase, ground elevations across the site were raised
two to three feet to allow tidal marsh plants to take root, improving habitat
for waterfowl and marine wildlife south of Santa Cruz. During the project’s
second phase, slated to begin in late 2019, DU will restore and enhance an
additional 58 acres of habitat adjacent to the slough’s main channel. This site
will also be raised to help establish marsh plants.
In Menlo Park, DU is currently completing design plans for
several water-control structures on the 630-acre Ravenswood site as part of the
second phase of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. The new infrastructure
will allow for improved water management on 335 acres of shallow managed ponds,
while the remaining 295 acres will be restored to tidal marsh and upland
habitat. Construction will begin in 2020. DU is amajor partner in this phase of
the South Bay project, which will restore more than 2,000 acres of former salt
production ponds on five different sites in the coming years.
Additionally, this spring DU installed 350 reef structures
along the Richmond shoreline as part of the Giant Marsh Living Shoreline Project. These structures, made from sand,
cement, and shells,were specially designed as habitat for native Olympia oysters. These oysters
and other aquatic species that will benefit from the new reef structures serve as important food for diving ducks
in San Francisco Bay.