Building with nature: Can reviving a marsh save this California town from sea level rise?
In late August last year, with a heavy rainstorm pounding the San Francisco Bay area, a small army of volunteers from around the globe and many San Francisco Bay Area companies and non-governmental agencies began a project to re-design and preserve a coastal marsh on the northern tip of Golden Gate Park.
California’s drought is over but the battle for water is not. The land on which the project is situated is one of several wetlands that together make up the lower delta of the Embarcadero Bay. This marsh is one of the few large parts of the wetlands protected by conservation easements which prevent development on them. To preserve this land, the project is called The Preserve Delta and Bay.
The project is trying to bring back the marsh that has been largely lost to urban development. It also aims to increase the quality of life by creating affordable housing, and improving public access to the shore of the Embarcadero Bay. According to the Preserve Delta website, the project is about restoring the “beauty and the culture of the urban Bay,” and creating “a new public realm alongside the historic marina.”
The marsh in question contains saltmarsh, mangroves and tall grasses which the project wants to re-green. The marsh is an ecologically sensitive area on the California-Nevada border, so the project is trying to do something quite unusual that’s unusual everywhere: to protect an area of land which already has a significant amount of protection through conservation easements.
The Preserve Delta and Bay is a joint project of several organizations including The Nature Conservancy, which is helping to fund the project, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and San Francisco’s Office of Emergency Management.
The Preserve Delta and Bay is a joint project of several organizations including The Nature Conservancy, which is helping to fund the project, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and San Francisco’s Office of Emergency Management
The project is taking up a large chunk of federal