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San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

Tolay Creek Biotechnical Levee Enhancement

Organization: Ducks Unlimited Inc.
2001 Grant Recipient - Napa and Sonoma Counties

Purpose

This Grant project was designed to enhance publicly-owned wetland habitat in the northern San Francisco Bay ecosystem. The project’s goal was to improve wetland-upland transitional habitat and to improve levee integrity at the Tolay Creek wetlands, located in the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area, and San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The Tolay Creek Unit is 435-acre tidal marsh complex located along Tolay Creek south of Highway 37 in Sonoma County. The upper lagoon of the Tolay Creek Unit is a former reclaimed agricultural field that received tidal restoration through levee breaching in 2001.

Since tidal flooding was reintroduced to this lagoon, the protective levee has received wave forces that have caused substantial erosion and loss of fringing marsh habitat. The enhancement activities re-contoured the levee’s slope to a more gradual angle to help withstand wave forces. In addition, a biotechnical fabric was used to hold the levee’s soil in place while fringing marsh vegetation becomes established.

The vegetation assisted with protecting the levee by dissipating the wave forces, and provided valuable habitat to many wetland-associated wildlife species that occur in the area. To encourage the growth of fringing vegetation, seeds and plugs of native plant species indicative to the brackish water habitat were introduced during the enhancement activities. These species included, among others, marsh gumplant, coyotebush, cordgrass, saltgrass, and pickleweed.

2012 Update

The levee at Tolay Creek continues to function well and provide a gradual slope that is able to dissipate the force of wave action.

NRPI Database Entry:
http://www.ice.ucdavis.edu/nrpi/NRPIDescription.asp?ProjectPK=412
Greg Green and Jasper Lament were the original Directors of this project.

Documents

Volunteer Opportunities

To inquire about opportunities to volunteer for Ducks Unlimited Inc. activities, visit their website: http://www.ducks.org/how-to-help/volunteer

Primary Contact for the Project

Dr. Renee Spenst
Regional Biologist
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Phone: (916) 852-2000
Email: RSpenst@Ducks.org
www.ducks.org

Secondary Contact for the Project

Steve Carroll
Regional Engineer
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Phone: (916) 852-2000
Email: SCarroll@ducks.org
www.ducks.org

Quick Links

Project Photos

Repaired levee showing gradual slope and natural fiber erosion control that will foster the development of vegetation to stabilize the levee.

Repaired levee showing gradual slope and natural fiber erosion control that will foster the development of vegetation to stabilize the levee.

New public viewing area of the Tolay Creek Unit of the CA Department of Fish and Game.

New public viewing area of the Tolay Creek Unit of the CA Department of Fish and Game.

Satellite image of N. SF bay.

Satellite image of North San Francisco Bay.

4)	Tolay Creek's tidal wetlands are located in San Pablo Bay NWR (National Wildlife Refuge) and Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area. T hey are open to limited public use, including hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation.

Tolay Creek's tidal wetlands are located in San Pablo Bay NWR (National Wildlife Refuge) and Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area. They are open to limited public use, including hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation.

5)	Wetlands restoration in SFB is complicated by the presence of several threatened and endangered species. This is the California clapper rail, a federally listed species, which occurs at Tolay Creek.  It uses Spartina saltmarsh habitat Construction in wetlands is restricted during the rail’s reproductive season.

Wetlands restoration in SFB is complicated by the presence of several threatened and endangered species. This is the California clapper rail, a federally listed species, which occurs at Tolay Creek. It uses Spartina saltmarsh habitat. Construction in wetlands is restricted during the rail’s reproductive season.

Last modified: 7/18/2012 10:29 PM by S. Haren

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Water Resources Collections and Archives
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