Restoring Wetlands at Yosemite Slough

Yosemite Slough Wetlands Restoration – Candlestick Point SRA

Habitat Restoration

The Candlestick Point State Recreation Area  is located in the southeast part of San Francisco. The state purchased this project area, including Yosemite Slough, because it recognized the historical nature of the tidal marshes and mudflats.

The two-phase restoration of Yosemite Slough will create the largest contiguous wetland area in the County of San Francisco. The project will help restore essential wildlife habitat, improve water quality, and prevent erosion along the shoreline of the City of San Francisco—an area of the bay where tidal wetlands have been most impacted and suffered the greatest loss due to urbanization. According to our partner agency the California State Parks Foundation –

Goals and objectives of the proposed restoration are to 

  • Increase the area subject to tidal influence by excavating three areas that were formerly part of San Francisco Bay
  • Restore habitat diversity by adding 12 acres of tidally-influenced wetlands and marsh area and remove chemically-impacted soils from upland areas to improve the quality of existing habitat
  • Improve habitat for special status species (e.g. western snowy plover and double-crested cormorants) by a nesting island along the north shoreline
  • Improve the quality of life for the surrounding community by creating a clean, beautiful local park for viewing wildlife habitat
  • Create an environmental area that local schools can use for field trips
  • Connect to the Blue Greenway, an important effort to build 13-miles of Bay Trail along the southern waterfront of the San Francisco Bay Trail.
[space height=”12″] Phase I of the project was the restoration of 7 acres along the north shore of Yosemite Slough.  Work broke ground in June 2011 and was completed in June of 2012, one year ahead of schedule. The $14.2 million project was supported by private and public monies which included a small award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9/ San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund/San Francisco Estuary Partnership.

SFEP’s grant supported continuing work of  Bay Youth for the Environment, a wetland education program of the California State Parks Foundation, which propagates and places native plants in the Yosemite Slough Wetlands. This project offers participating youth from the underserved Hunter’s Point community a unique combination of training in wetland ecology, horticultural techniques, and nursery operations, plus gives them some general life/professional skills development.  The youth involved in the project organize and attend community meetings and events to do outreach about the ecology of the restored wetlands and wetlands stewardship.

Project results included more mid- and high marsh cover, more transitional habitat, and a reduction in invasive plants.  The project offers an example of tidal marsh restoration in an urbanized watershed and provides community involvement and stewardship of Candlestick Point along with improved stormwater quality.

Phases II will restore wetlands on the south side of Yosemite Slough and add capital improvements. Design work on the south side has begun.