Design Guidelines for Tidal Wetland Restoration in San Francisco BayDownloads
Public access to restoration experience and design guidelines for wetland habitat projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Produced by the The Bay Institute, Philip Williams & Associates, Ltd., and Phyllis M. Faber with funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy
Over the last 150 years, approximately 90% of the tidal marshes that fringed San Francisco Bay have been destroyed as a result of progressive diking and filling for agricultural, salt pond, and commercial development. Within the last three decades, however, there has been a dramatic change in public attitudes towards wetlands. They are now valued as uniquely productive natural resources and public policy now seeks not only to protect existing marshes, but also to restore former marshes as functioning wetland ecosystems.
The purpose of the Design Guidelines is to evaluate and document actual restoration experience in San Francisco Bay and produce design guidelines.
- San Francisco Bay;
- saline tidal marshes fully connected to the Bay, excluding managed wetlands;
- addressing pragmatic practical design questions often encountered in restoration practiceóas opposed to scientific research or regulatory compliance questions;
- advice based upon experience and observation; the guidelines are neither regulation nor specification.
The target audience is all individuals who have some degree of responsibility for decisions made on tidal wetland restoration design, including regulatory agency staff, land managers, resource managers and restoration practitioners.
We have structured the Design Guidelines to identify and assess key design issues. We do this by:
- Explaining our conceptual model of how restored marshes evolve and function based on our own observations and other researchers' assessments of restored marshes.
- Describing the planning context used in restoration practice that creates the framework for design decisions and considering site-specific factors as well as geographic variability in the environmental setting and variation in project objectives.
- Addressing the major design questions that dictate the grading of the site template prior to reintroduction of tidal action.
For information about the design guidance and monitoring data, contact Jeremy Lowe, [email protected], (415) 262-2304
If you have comments or suggestions about the website, please send them to [email protected]
The Design Guidelines was produced by the The Bay Institute (TBI), Philip Williams & Associates, Ltd. (PWA), and Phyllis M. Faber with funding to TBI from the California State Coastal Conservancy (Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000).
The Design Guidelines benefited greatly from our Science Review Panel consisting of Peter Baye, John Callaway (University of San Francisco), Steve Granholm (LSA Associates), Fred Nichols, Stuart Siegel (Wetlands and Water Resources), and Si Simenstad (University of Washington).
Valuable input was received from Grant Davis, Ron Duke, Steve Goldbeck, Mike Josselyn, Neal Van Keuwin, Anitra Pawley, Barbara Salzman and Howard Shellhammer.
Monitoring of the wetlands has only been possible with the support of local foundations and citizens groups, namely the Marin Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Fred Gellert Family Foundation, and Marin Audubon Society. We are grateful for permission to use their data in this project.
Special thanks to Angela Moskow, Ann Dickinson, Nick Garrity, Catherine Lee, Rebecca Wilson, Brad Evans for their contributions to the project.
This report was funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy and created in collaboration with The Bay Institute and the authors. The document and the original data sets presented as appendices to this report are in the public domain. However, none of these products or their underlying data sets may be used for commercial purposes.
Text - PDF - 1.2Mb
Figures - PDF - 50.0Mb
Appendix A.1 Vegetation Colonization - colonization elevations observed around the Bay - Excel spreadsheet - 136kb
Appendix A.2 Hydraulic Geometry - hydraulic geometry relationships measured in restored and natural marshes - Word document - 209kb
Appendix A.2 Hydraulic Geometry - hydraulic geometry relationships measured in restored and natural marshes - Excel spreadsheet - 423kb
Appendix B.1 Salt Marsh Restoration Experience in San Francisco Bay - PDF - 0.8Mb
Appendix B.2 Metadata for Main Monitoring Sites
- Muzzi Marsh, Warm Springs, China Camp - metadata for monitoring sites - PDF - 6.9Mb
- Sonoma Baylands - metadata for monitoring sites - PDF - 4.3Mb
- Report list of other sites - list of PWA monitoring reports other marshes in San Francisco Bay
Data from the monitoring sites are in PDFs. Original spreadsheet files for each of the monitoring sites can be provided by Jeremy Lowe, [email protected], (415) 262-2304.
Appendix B.3 Warm Springs - monitoring data for Warm Springs (Coyote Creek Lagoon) - PDF - 31.9Mb
Appendix B.4 China Camp - monitoring data for China Camp - PDF - 6.1Mb
Appendix B.5 Muzzi Marsh - monitoring data for Muzzi Marsh - PDF - 15.8Mb
Appendix B.6 Sonoma Baylands - monitoring data for Sonoma Baylands - PDF - 30.7Mb
PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat Reader.