On Sunday, October 25th, the San Francisco Bay gained 1,000 acres of tidal marshland thanks to a ten-year planning effort by Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited and a number of federal, state and local agencies and organizations.
Considered in 2004 to be the most threatened wetland habitat in the North Bay and the most ecologically significant acquisition available in the Bay Area at the time, the properties at the far northern end of San Pablo Bay were acquired by Sonoma Land Trust through partial support from the Moore Foundation, with additional funding built into the grant for initial stewardship planning.
Approximately 55,000 acres of tidal marsh existed in the North Bay before being diked, drained and converted to agricultural lands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. On October 25th, the 140-year-old Sears Point levee was breached in a matter of minutes.
"We are literally changing the map of the bay with this project,” said Julian Meisler, Sonoma Land Trust’s Baylands program manager. “That’s important not because we are trying to go back in time, but rather, because we all depend on a functioning bay. It is vital to our safety, our economy, and for all the wildlife who call it home. This is our legacy and it’s wonderful to have one of which we, as a community, can be proud."
"We have turned a new page in the history of wetlands at San Pablo Bay,” Dave Koehler, Sonoma Land Trust executive director said. “Returning the tides to Sears Point restores health to a natural resource that is vital to our future."
To learn more:
- Read the Sonoma Land Trust press release here.
- Read San Francisco Chronicle coverage here.
- Read Press Democrat coverage here.
- Read Sonoma Index Tribune coverage here.
Read Associated Press coverage here.
- Watch footage of the moment the levee was breached: