Salt Pond Restoration

South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Feasibility Analysis, 1999 -2002

Collaborating Organizations 

Wetlands and Water Resources

Funding Organization

Wetlands and Water Resources, Save San Francisco Bay Association, California State Coastal Conservancy, Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge

Project Description

This project was a collaborative project between Dr. Philip Bachand, founder of Bachand & Associates and Dr. Stuart Siegel, founder of Wetlands and Water Resources.  This study provided a starting point for (1) evaluating all topics relevant to the purchase and restoration of some or all of the South Bay salt ponds, (2) examining the suite of biological, physical, chemical, and economic issues relevant to restoring tidal marsh on the entire 26,000-acre South Bay salt pond complex as well as the smaller 15,000-acre Cargill sale area, and (3) integrating data into a pond-by-pond restoration feasibility determination. From these analyses, we developed a set of key conclusions pertinent to undertaking acquisition and restoration. This study provided a foundation for initiating the technical aspects of salt pond restoration planning being undertaken by the California State Coastal Conservancy.

We collected nearly 200 technical supporting documents and discussed salt pond restoration and management issues with field experts. Wetlands and Water Resources developed a GIS database for the South Bay salt ponds, gathering data from a variety of sources and using GIS tools and data to understand the interaction of salt pond and South Bay attributes in affecting restoration feasibility. The report quantitatively estimated sediment deficits and pond desalination and presented cost estimates for various restoration scenarios.

The full project report can be ordered from Bachand & Associates.

Publications and Final Reports

Siegel, S.W. and P.A.M. Bachand.  2001.  Ecological Restoration of Salt Ponds in South San Francisco Bay – A Feasibility Analysis.  Wetlands and Water Resources, San Rafael, CA.  20 June.  Publicly Available on Aquatic Commons, Published: 2001.