Friday September 30, 2022

Marin Independent Journal

One of the largest wetland restoration projects around San Francisco Bay is closer to launching its final phase of construction after receiving a $20 million infusion of state funding.

The funding, approved by the California State Coastal Conservancy in a unanimous vote last week, will be used to restore 1,600 acres of former tidal marshland near Bel Marin Keys that had been converted to agricultural fields.

“This will be one of the biggest restoration projects in the bay,” said Jessica Davenport, the agency’s Bay Area program manager. “It’s vital for restoring the habitats that were lost over the past 100 years, especially with sea level rise. It’s so important to restore these wetlands now so that they can keep up with sea level rise.”

Led by the conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the estimated $165 million Bel Marin Keys Wetland Restoration Project began work in late 2019. It is the largest piece of the 2,600-acre Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project. About 650 acres of marshland near the former Hamilton Army air field were restored in 2014.

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