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Salt Pond Restoration in San Francisco Bay

Monitoring marshes for birds!

Thousands of acres of south San Francisco Bay that lay under industrial salt ponds for over a century are now being restored to native tidal marsh. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project has acquired almost 24 square miles that salt producers had diked along the bay's tidal margin. The ongoing restoration must balance varied needs for habitat. Some ponds are still managed for high salinity to attract nesting Western Snowy Plovers. Other areas are restored to marshes with normal salinity. When completed, the South Bay will be home to the largest tidal wetland restoration on the West Coast. Welcome news for hungry migrating sandpipers, like these Marbled Godwits.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote® 

Salt Ponds Give Way to Tidal Marsh on San Francisco Bay

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
     [Flock sounds of Western Sandpipers and Marbled Godwits]
As sandpipers migrate south to San Francisco Bay this September, they’ll be greeted by new expanses of tidal flats. This prime foraging habitat for shorebirds supplies essential fuel for the birds’ annual long-distance journeys. Western Sandpipers and Marbled Godwits, for example, are on their way to Mexico and Central America, some even farther south.
[Flock sounds of Western Sandpipers and Marbled Godwits]
Thousands of acres of south San Francisco Bay that lay under industrial salt ponds for over a century are now being restored to native tidal marsh. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project has acquired more than 15,000 acres -- that’s almost 24 square miles – that salt producers had diked along the bay’s tidal margin.
Some ponds are being managed for high salinity to attract nesting Western Snowy Plovers. Other areas are being restored to marshes with normal salinity, ideal for birds like the endangered California Clapper Rail.
[Clapper Rail calls]
Project manager John Bourgeois says that the marshes are coming back faster than expected. [By 2013, one quarter of the acreage will have returned to native habitats.] When completed, the South Bay will be home to the largest tidal wetland restoration on the West Coast.
What welcome news for those hungry migrating sandpipers.
[Flock sounds of Western Sandpipers and Marbled Godwits]
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Marbled Godwit 126433 recorded by T. G. Sander; call of Marbled Godwit 60819 by W.W. H. Gunn; call of Clapper Rail 2895 by R.S. Little
Flock sounds of Western Sandpipers 1006 recoded by Martyn Stewart of Naturesound.org
Mudflat ambient recorded by C. Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org   September 2012  Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# saltpond-01-2012-09-30    saltpond-01       
key web links: http://www.southbayrestoration.org/Project_Description.html
http://science.kqed.org/quest/video/from-salt-ponds-to-wetlands/

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