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Corte Madera Ecological Reserve Tidal Marsh Restoration

Home  /  Projects   /   Corte Madera Ecological Reserve Restoration and Public Access Project

Goal

Restore tidal marsh and a seasonal wetland to provide habitat for special-status species and enhance public access.

WRA was hired by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (the District) to design and implement wetland habitat restoration and public access features for this project in Marin County, California.

Approach

WRA provided restoration and public access design to benefit the ecosystem and local community and continues manage the habitat at the site.

WRA led the restoration design through construction documents for more than four acres of tidal marsh and a quarter-acre of seasonal wetland adjacent to the Corte Madera Ecological Reserve. WRA is also the Engineer of Record for the new tidal channel and marsh plain system design.

The restored tidal marsh habitat provides habitat for Federal-listed endangered species, including California Ridgway’s rail and salt marsh harvest mouse, as well as fulfilling mitigation requirements for the District. The project includes new public amenities such as a new public trail segment adjacent to the restored tidal marsh, benches, signage, and interpretive panels.

WRA completed the CEQA documents and obtained permits from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

WRA Landscape Restoration currently leads the ongoing vegetation and invasive species management at the site. Their work includes maintaining irrigation of native wetland plantings for the duration of the dry season; monitoring for and controlling invasive species with an emphasis on California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) ‘high’ rated plants, assessing overall plant health and replanting as necessary to meet success criteria; and maintaining the physical infrastructure of the site to ensure access for workers and to limit disturbance from the public.

Impact

The successful restoration efforts have restored tidal connectivity to the project site and allow habitat in support of Federal-listed species to thrive.

The restored marsh was reconnected to the San Francisco Bay through a constructed channel, allowing the marsh to flood during high tides. The project was designed to preserve low lying land, which will convert to tidal marsh as sea levels rise, keeping the habitat resilient.

The restored marsh and surrounding bayfront recreational trail are open to the public!

Experts

Project Specifics

Markets

Ecological Restoration, Parks and Open Space

Status

Construction was completed in January 2021. The restored tidal marsh and seasonal wetland will be monitored for five years to ensure successful establishment of these important wetland habitats. WRA Landscape Restoration currently leads the ongoing vegetation and invasive species maintenance at the site.

Detailed Services

Biological Studies, Regulatory Permitting, CEQA and NEPA, Habitat Restoration Design, Public Access Design, Resiliency and Adaptation, Construction Support, Environmental Compliance Monitoring, Habitat Maintenance, Monitoring and Reporting
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