This year saw the start of new phases for several of Ducks Unlimiteds 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 projects second phase, slated to begin in late 2019, DU will restore and enhance an additional 58 acres of habitat adjacent to the sloughs 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.