Restoration of the heavily eroded 20-acre Tiscornia Marsh at the mouth of the San Rafael Canal will use dredged sediment to create new habitat for the endangered Ridgeway’s rail and salt marsh harvest mouse, migratory shorebirds, and other marsh species. Meanwhile, improvement of an adjacent levee will enhance public access along a levee-top section of the Bay Trail and, perhaps most critically, provide flood protection for the nearby Canal District, a dense, low-income community that’s home to many Latino immigrants —and also among the Bay Area’s most vulnerable to sea-level rise. “Our project will help with that, because that section of the levee is uneven and low,” says Barbara Salzman, executive director of Marin Audubon, which owns the marsh parcel. “We’ll help make that a more secure area.” The grant funds come from 2016’s Measure AA, a parcel tax that generates about $25 million a year for protecting and restoring San Francisco Bay. Salzman says it could be two more years before the final design is ready for permitting.

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A small but mighty wetlands project on the San Rafael waterfront is moving forward thanks to a $1 million planning and design grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.

Restoration of the heavily eroded 20-acre Tiscornia Marsh at the mouth of the San Rafael Canal will use dredged sediment to create new habitat for the endangered Ridgeway’s rail and salt marsh harvest mouse, migratory shorebirds, and other marsh species. Meanwhile, improvement of an adjacent levee will enhance public access along a levee-top section of the Bay Trail and, perhaps most critically, provide flood protection for the nearby Canal District, a dense, low-income community that’s home to many Latino immigrants —and also among the Bay Area’s most vulnerable to sea-level rise. “Our project will help with that, because that section of the levee is uneven and low,” says Barbara Salzman, executive director of Marin Audubon, which owns the marsh parcel. “We’ll help make that a more secure area.” The grant funds come from 2016’s Measure AA, a parcel tax that generates about $25 million a year for protecting and restoring San Francisco Bay. Salzman says it could be two more years before the final design is ready for permitting.

About the author

Nate Seltenrich is a freelance science and environmental journalist who covers infrastructure, restoration, and related topics for Estuary. He also contributes to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma and Marin magazines, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and other local and national publications, on subjects ranging from public lands and renewable energy to the human health impacts of climate change. He lives in Petaluma with his wife, two boys, and four ducks. www.nate-reports.com