Pacific Commons Preserve Restoration

Vernal Pool and Endangered Species Habitat Mitigation and Long Term Management of a 444-Acre Preserve.

pacific commons spring landscape

Goals

  • Secure environmental permits and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements for the development of the Pacific Commons retail project
  • Design and construct vernal pool habitat for endangered species
  • Conduct preserve monitoring and management

Project Description

pacific commons irisFor more than 25 years, WRA has worked on the Pacific Commons/Warm Springs project, located on 875 acres of land in Fremont, California.  During early stages of the project, WRA worked with developers to ensure regulatory compliance and to conserve 444 acres of land near the Pacific Commons development site for restoration.  WRA developed and implemented an Ecological Restoration and Long-term Management Plan which resulted in the creation of an open space preserve and the successful construction and establishment of 174 vernal pools.  The vernal pools provide habitat for such rare species as vernal pool tadpole shrimp and California tiger salamander.

The project required close coordination with local, state, and federal agencies, and was reviewed favorably by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Game.  Following successful completion of development-related mitigation obligations, the restored habitat was officially incorporated into the adjacent Warm Springs Seasonal Wetland Unit of the USFWS Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.

The restored Preserve is a mosaic of vernal pools, connecting swales, and grasslands which are home to vernal pool tadpole shrimp, California tiger salamander, burrowing owl, and several rare plant species including the endangered Contra Costa goldfields. WRA continues to provide support services for these restored and created habitats, working with the USFWS to survey for rare plants such as the endangered Contra Costa goldfields, as well as providing technical support and monitoring vegetation.

vernal pool creation bay area

The site also includes an 18-acre stormwater treatment facility that was designed to treat stormwater from the adjacent new development.  WRA designed the hydrology of the wetland and developed detailed grading plans to provide a diversity of wetland habitats within the treatment wetland.  WRA continues to provide monitoring services for these restored and created habitats, working with the USFWS to monitor and control invasive weeds and to coordinate grazing operations.

Deliverables

  • Federal and State Permits
  • Wetland Restoration and Management Plan
  • Annual Monitoring and Reporting
  • Long Term Management Plan

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