The Physical Evolution of a Wetland Restoration

by Tim Abbe, Philip Williams & Associates Ltd, San Francisco, United States,
Betty Andrews, Philip Williams & Associates Ltd, San Francisco, United States,
Phyllis Faber, Philip Williams & Associates Ltd, San Francisco, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


Since European colonization, San Francisco Bay has lost 95 percent of its original wetlands. The success of recent efforts to restore wetlands throughout California and the U.S. cannot be ascertained without proper monitoring programs. Because much of the current wetland restoration is carried out as mitigation, the success of such projects must be tracked in order to guide future mitigation efforts. The Warm Springs Marsh at the south end of San Francisco Bay was a designed wetland restoration and mitigation opened to tidal action in the winter of 1986. Monitoring and analysis of the site's physical evolution has shown that dramatic changes have occurred since the site was opened to tidal action. The large tidal prism introduced by the restoration has enlarged Coyote and Mud Sloughs between the Bay and the site. Upstream of the site, the sloughs have experienced sedimentation. Expected sedimentation rates of 3-4 feet per year were found to occur only in the lagoon cell closest to the slough channel, with very little sedimentation in more remote cells.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (fresh water) | Ecological restoration | Wetlands (coastal) | Water resources | Tides | Winter | Site investigation | Environmental issues | California | United States

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