Big Wetlands Restoration Effort Begins in San Francisco Bay

This week saw the kickoff of the third-largest wetlands restoration project in the U.S., and the largest in the West, in San Francisco Bay, where tidal flows will be returned to 16,500 acres of salt ponds over the course of 30 years. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project came about when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) put together a purchasing group involving federal and state agencies and several foundations; the group bought the 53 ponds, some ringing the bay and some 40 miles north near the Napa River, from agricultural giant Cargill for $100 million. As marshes are renewed, scientists expect to see healthier salmon runs, the return of some endangered species, and in general a healthier bay ecosystem. The project is huge and complex and many skeptics doubted it could be done at all. Congrats to San Fran for having a large, progressive vision and, you know, doing it.