DU awarded funding for Bay Area restoration

Funding to restore key parcels on the north shore of San Pablo Bay

© courtesy Sonoma Land Trust

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., – June 9, 2020 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) was recently awarded more than $2.9 million from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to restore key parcels on the north shore of San Pablo Bay.

The funding is part of a Collaborative Protection and Restoration (CPR) vision to acquire, restore and enhance wetlands at the edge of San Pablo Bay, connecting 14,000 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.  

“It is incredibly exciting to add these huge puzzle pieces to the growing map of restored habitats in San Pablo Bay,” said Renee Spenst, regional biologist for DU. “We are thrilled that the Restoration Authority is supporting these efforts to improve the resilience of north San Francisco Bay to climate change. These efforts will also create rearing grounds to support commercially important fish species, provide winter habitat for thousands of ducks, and introduce the next generation of land stewards from Vallejo to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.”

In the first year of the CPR, partners plan to repair infrastructure at the Haire Ranch, allowing wetlands in the area to fill and attract waterfowl. Dredged sediment that would otherwise go to the Bay or the ocean will be used to rebuild wetlands at Cullinan Ranch. Within five years, project partners expect to cut a hole in the Cullinan Ranch East levees to reconnect land that hasn’t been touched by tidal waters for 130 years, quickly creating a new marsh area, or ‘insta-marsh’ that will develop within a few months, as opposed to several years.

“This funding is key to implementation of the Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy—a comprehensive conservation and restoration plan to restore the Sonoma Creek baylands,” said Kendall Webster, Land Acquisition Program Manager for Sonoma Land Trust.

The San Pablo Bay Collaborative Protection and Restoration project is a broad partner endeavor to continue restoration efforts in San Pablo Bay. The project was developed by DU, Sonoma Land Trust (SLT), San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of the Refuge. Funding partners include California Wildlife Conservation Board, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Restoration Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Castro Cove Trustee Council and Cargill.

Additional Quotes:

Kendall Webster, Land Acquisition Program Manager, Sonoma Land Trust
“This funding is key to implementation of the Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy, a comprehensive conservation and restoration plan to restore the Sonoma Creek baylands to tidal marsh and reestablish natural processes between San Pablo Bay and the Sonoma Creek watershed, reduce flooding, and provide recommendations to the highway 37 redesign project that integrate habitat restoration with transportation goals.”

Melisa Amato, Acting Manager, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
“This funding is key to implementing the goals and objectives of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge to restore habitat for the benefit of migratory birds and endangered species.”

Naomi Feger, Friends of the Refuge
“This is key for the continued restoration efforts at the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Friends of the Refuge congratulate Ducks Unlimited and the Sonoma Land Trust and look forward to supporting this collaborative effort.”

Jessica Davenport, Deputy Program Manager, San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority
"The Restoration Authority is pleased to be able to support this project to restore habitats and provide conservation education on the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This project will also provide much needed local jobs during the difficult economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Renee Spenst, Regional Biologist, Ducks Unlimited
“It is incredibly exciting to add these huge puzzle pieces to the growing map of restoring habitats in San Pablo Bay. We are thrilled that the Restoration Authority is supporting these efforts to improve the resilience of north San Francisco Bay to climate change. These efforts will also create rearing grounds to support commercially important fish species, provide winter habitat for thousands of ducks, and introduce the next generation of land stewards from Vallejo to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.”

 

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