California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Bahia Acquisition and Tidal Marsh Restoration

bahia marsh

Bahia Marsh Restoration Project
Photo by Gena Lasko, CDFW

Location: Bahia, Petaluma River, Novato, California

Total Project Cost: $17.16 Million; $14.145 Million State ($3.345 Million Ecosystem Restoration Program; $5.8 Million California Coastal Conservancy; $4.5 million Wildlife Conservation Board; $500,000 CalTrans); $107,000 Federal (NOAA); $1.35 Million Local ($50,000 Marin County Board of Supervisors; $800,000 Marin Open Space District; $500,000 Marin Community Foundation); $1.518 Private ($518,686 Marin Baylands Fund, $1 Million North American Wetland Conservation Council)

Partners: Marin Audubon Society, California Coastal Conservancy, Marin Open Space District, Marin County Board of Supervisors, Marin Community Foundation, Marin Baylands Fund, North American Conservation Council, CDFW

Project Summary: The purpose of the overall project was to acquire the 631-acre Bahia property on the Petaluma River and to restore 330 acres of currently diked wetland habitat to tidal marsh. Marin Open Space District now owns 208 acres, Marin Audubon Society maintains 62 acres of filled land and seasonal wetlands and CDFW now owns 362 acres of wetlands.

This project met Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) goals and objectives for the North Bay region by supporting Chinook salmon, steelhead, Sacramento splittail, delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon, salt marsh harvest mouse, California clapper rail, San Pablo song sparrow, salt marsh yellow throat, neotropical migratory songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds populations.

The project addressed the primary stressor on the property, a levee that was removed to allow restoration to the tidal marsh and improved natural salinity regimes, channel complexity, upland-wetland ecotone, upland refugia and fragmented floodplain.

This project was concluded on Dec, 12, 2009.