Action 12: Managed Wetlands
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Maximize habitat benefits of managed ponds and other non-tidal wetlands and waters.
Maximize habitat benefits of managed ponds and wetlands (including storage and treatment wetlands and ponds, current and former salt production ponds, and managed floodplains) for a wide range of species. Support studies and actions to enhance and expand habitat value of managed ponds and wetlands and minimize negative impacts to aquatic species and water quality.

Overview

For more than a century, humans have managed marsh and pond habitats to attract waterfowl for hunting. More recently, diked former wetlands and salt ponds are being retained and enhanced as managed ponds that address subsidence issues, species protection goals, and restoration priorities. Managed ponds (shallow or deep open water areas) provide valuable habitat for critical vegetation, small mammals, and a wide variety of waterbirds. Managed wetlands (such as diked marshes) can provide habitat for critical vegetation, marsh-dependent birds, and small mammals where full tidal restoration is not feasible.

Task Description

Fund, implement, and monitor managed pond enhancements to increase nesting waterbird success and grow populations.

Task Lead(s)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California State Coastal Conservancy,, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

California Department of Water Resources, California Waterfowl, Delta Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Suisun Resource Conservation District, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Davis, Yolo Basin Foundation

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$

Milestone(s)

Five reports summarizing results of habitat enhancement measures.

Task Description

Investigate the effectiveness of specific habitat enhancement measures (such as changes in configuration, management, or operation of managed ponds or wetlands) to provide increased successful bird nesting, foraging, roosting, and high tide refugia with surveys for three to five years following implementation of measures.

Task Lead(s)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California State Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

California Department of Water Resources, California Waterfowl, Delta Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Suisun Resource Conservation District, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Davis, Yolo Basin Foundation

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$

Milestone(s)

Five reports summarizing results of habitat enhancement measures.

Task Description

Study the ability of managed ponds and other non-tidal habitats to sustain diverse species of vertebrates, invertebrates, and endemic and endangered plants over time. Analyze species use, density, and diversity as compared to tidal wetlands.

Task Lead(s)

California State Coastal Conservancy

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California Department of Water Resources, California Waterfowl, Delta Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Suisun Resource Conservation District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Davis, Yolo Basin Foundation

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$

Milestone(s)

Report released and results shared comparing species use and diversity in various managed pond and wetland habitats.

Task Description

Develop a methodology for assessing the risk-adjusted long-term costs and benefits of managed ponds, managed wetlands, and non-tidal wetlands and waters. Methodology should take into account habitat benefits for multiple species and changes in operations and maintenance requirements to adapt to sea level rise and climate change and prevent water quality impacts. In the upper Estuary, the methodology should also account for the cost/benefit of how the water is “sourced” and how the actions impact partners.

Task Lead(s)

California State Coastal Conservancy

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Suisun Resource Conservation District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Davis, Yolo Basin Foundation

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$

Milestone(s)

Methodology tested and evaluated for future use across the region.

Task Description

Develop and implement predation control measures on managed ponds. These measures include camouflaging habitats and installing exclusion fencing.

Task Lead(s)

California State Coastal Conservancy

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California Department of Water Resources, California Waterfowl, Delta Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Suisun Resource Conservation District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Davis, Yolo Basin Foundation

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$$

Milestone(s)

Measures tested and implemented at five sites.

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Updates and Emerging Issues

Since 2016, this Action has been expanded to include managed wetland and inundated floodplain habitats, and its focus has shifted to balancing the benefits of such habitats between waterbirds and fish. Tasks and milestones pertaining to integrated predator control have been moved to Action 15: Invasive Species.

Climate Change Considerations

The effects of climate change and sea level rise challenge the long-term viability of managed ponds. Projected higher water levels, more frequent and intense storms, and regional salinity shifts may make it difficult or even impossible in the future for managers to maintain target habitat conditions inside the ponds, which may become subtidal habitat. Tasks under this Action will help evaluate the costs and benefits of maintaining these areas under climate change scenarios to inform future management.

Equity Considerations

Managed wetlands, as with other types of wetlands, are frequently located in areas of great cultural significance to Tribes and may support culturally important plants. Both Tribes and surrounding frontline communities must be involved in planning activities for managed wetlands.

Blueprint Goals

LivingResourcesGoal
ResilienceGoal
Review Action 12: Managed Wetlands in the report...
Pages-from-Final_2022Blueprint

Connections to Other Actions

Watershed connections provide unique habitat and ecosystem services closely related to or dependent upon:

Action 8: Wetland Monitoring
Action 9: Intertidal / Subtidal Habitats
Action 10: Tidal Marsh
Action 11: Transition Zones
Action 14: Creeks