San Francisco Bay Delta

Project Summaries

SF Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund projects listed below are part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources. Also see environmental results from completed projects.

Projects on this page are organized in three categories:

Restoring Wetlands

San Francisco Bay is now home to major wetland restoration. Since 1998, over 20,000 acres of wetlands are on their way to being restored. Resource agencies are using the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report to guide recovery of an additional 95,000 – 105,000 acres of tidal wetlands. The SFBWQIF has invested $100 million in 19 projects to restore over 4,000 acres of wetlands around the Bay.

Photograph of the Cullinan Ranch Levee Setback
Cullinan Ranch Levee Setback

Projects - Restoring Wetlands

  • Breuner Marsh Restoration Project

    Project Facts

    Funding: $1,500,000 (non-federal match = $1,500,000)
    Schedule: January 2014 – December 2016
    Recipient: East Bay Regional Park District
    Partners: California State Coastal Conservancy, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    This project will create, restore and enhance 164 acres of wetlands and uplands habitat at Breuner Marsh along the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond. The restored area will be a self-sustaining tidal wetlands area with adjacent seasonal wetlands and coastal prairie habitats, and will provide a key link in the Bay Trail system. The project is designed to accommodate a sea level rise of 55 inches by the year 2100 and includes uplands in order for the wetlands to be able to transgress inland. Site preparation has already begun and the project is estimated to be completed in 2016.

  • Cullinan Ranch Restoration Project - Solano County

    Project Facts

    Total = $1,900,000
    EPA = $1,400,000
    Match = $500,000
    * Leveraged funds = $12,375,327
    Schedule: Oct 2011 - Dec 2015
    Recipient: Ducks Unlimited
    Partners: US Fish and Wildlife Service, CA Department of Fish and Game.

    Cullinan Ranch was once part of an extensive network of tidal marshes in the North Bay. It was diked in the late 1800s for farming until USFWS acquired the property in 1991 and incorporated it into the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Subsequent restoration has been delayed because of the need to protect Highway 37 from flooding associated with tidal reintroduction. Project elements include protecting existing infrastructure, and breaching and lowering levees to allow sedimentation processes to restore tidal marsh. Restoration will improve ecologic health, habitat connectivity and water quality of the lower Napa River and San Pablo Bay.

    Cullinan Ranch Restoration Project Exit

  • Emerson Parcel of Dutch Slough Restoration - Contra Costa County

    Project Facts

    Total = $4,154,200
    EPA = $1,400,000
    Match = $2,754,200
    * Leveraged funds = $6,659,700
    Schedule: Oct 2011 - Sept 2015
    Recipient: California State Coastal Conservancy

    Partners

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, CA Department of Water Resources, Reclamation District 2137, CA Department of Fish and Game.

    The California State Coastal Conservancy has been planning tidal marsh restoration at Dutch Slough, an area of 1,178 acres of diked lands, since 2002. This project will fund restoration of Dutch Slough's Emerson Parcel which will restore 270 acres of tidal marsh, 20 acres of riparian woodland and scrub, and 100 acres of open subtidal waters.

    Restoration activities include grading for tidal marsh elevations, levee breaching, construction of water control structures, and re-routing Marsh Creek to restore the creek delta on the Emerson parcel, providing seasonal freshwater flow cues to out-migrating salmon.

    Dutch Slough Wetland Restoration Project Exit

  • Quartermaster Reach Restoration
    Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy logo

    This project will restore the area previously covered by San Francisco’s Doyle Drive to creek, dune and tidal marsh adjacent to the existing Crissy Field wetlands, expanding wildlife corridors in a highly urban setting. The area, known as Quartermaster Reach, is part of the Presidio of San Francisco. The restoration will also provide public access through a new trail and boardwalk with interpretative features. The project is coordinating closely with the Caltrans’ Doyle Drive highway construction project which has provided significant cost sharing opportunities.

    Grantee: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
    Project Partners: Presidio Trust, National Park Service, Caltrans
    Funding: $2,000,000 = $1,000,000 (EPA) + $1,000,000 (Match)
    Project Timeline: September 2012 – August 2016

    Environmental Results

    • Create 4.7 acres of wetlands and 3.3 acres of coastal scrub upland.
    • Daylight 1,050-foot length stream channel.
    • Create a contiguous habitat corridor between restored wetland and SF Bay.
    • Involve community volunteers in growing 35,000 native plants at the Presidio Native Plant Nursery for vegetating the restoration site.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Culvert construction for tidal exchange
    Construct two 34-foot wide culverts in Mason Street to enable a hydrologic connection and expanded tidal exchange between the restored marsh, Crissy Field Marsh and the Bay
    Presidio Trust $0 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
    2. Marsh restoration
    Daylight approximately 1,050 feet of braided stream channel and marsh, and provide a boardwalk/trail to ensure public access and resource protection
    Presidio Trust, Parks Conservancy, Caltrans, Community Volunteers $127,958 $0 $127,958
    3. Creek and Riparian restoration
    Daylight approximately 200 feet of stream channel and associated riparian habitat at the critical juncture between Thompson Reach and the marsh site.
    Presidio Trust, Parks Conservancy, Community Volunteers $872,042 $0 $872,042
    4. Community Outreach
    Educate visitors about the project and recruit future stewards
    Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust $45,000 $0 $45,000
    5. Monitoring and reporting
    Conduct pre- and post-project monitoring of wildlife, hydrology/geomorphology, and vegetation
    Presidio Trust, Parks Conservancy, National Park Service $0 $0 $0
    TOTAL   $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000
    This project leverages an additional $16 million in construction costs from Caltrans.

    Project Contact: Natalya Blumenfeld (nblumenfeld@parksconservancy.org) | (415) 561-3046
    Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Exit

  • San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Enhancement
    Audubon Society logo

    This project will enhance approximately 300 acres of tidal marsh by improving tidal exchange and nutrient cycling of Sonoma Creek marsh with San Pablo Bay through a new excavated channel. Material from the excavation will be used to create new transitional ecotone habitat area in the marsh which provides important high tide refugia for marsh wildlife. As well, the improved tidal exchange will decrease stagnant water and thus reduce the need for application of pesticides to control mosquitoes which will improve water quality in the marsh.

    Grantee: Audubon California
    Project Partners: US FWS, Wildlife Conservation Board, Marin Sonoma Mosquito Vector Control District, STRAW, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (SPBNWR)
    Funding: $314,512 = $235,884 (EPA) + $78,628 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – December 2014

    Environmental Results

    • Reduce pesticide applications to control mosquitoes by >75%.
    • Enhance ecological functioning of 300 acres of tidal marsh through increased tidal circulation.
    • Create marsh – upland transition zone as high tide refugia for marsh wildlife.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Project Management and Regulatory Compliance
    Grant reporting and contractual costs for project permitting
    Audubon, Consultant $141,720 $33,693 $175,413
    2. Final Design
    Prepare engineering plans and bid package documents
    Consultant $37,640 $0 $37,640
    3. Baseline Monitoring
    Prepare QAPP and pre-construction baseline monitoring
    Audubon, SPBNWR $56,524 $44,935 $101,459
    4. Construction and Post Project Monitoring (~$2mil in leveraged funds as described below) Contractor, Audubon, SPBNWR $0 $0 $0
    TOTAL   $235,884 $78,628 $314,512
    This project leverages ~$2 million from the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, STRAW, Friends of the Refuge, Wildlife Conservation Board, Marin Sonoma Mosquito Vector & Control District.

    Project Contact: Rachel V. Spadafore (Rspadafore@audubon.org) | (415) 388-2524
    Audubon California Exit

  • Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration
    Sonoma Land Trust logo

    The Sears Point Restoration Project will restore 960 acres of tidal marsh, create 30 acres of transitional habitat, and enhance seasonal wetlands and across nearly 1,300 acres of adjacent grasslands. Restoration of Sears Point will result in an uninterrupted swath of tidal marsh extending from the Petaluma River to Tolay Creek. This project will fund Phase 1 pre-breach activities including mobilizing equipment, remediating 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, constructing a 2.5 mile flood protection/habitat levee, and constructing internal marsh topography to accelerate sediment accretion on the subsided baylands. When fully restored, the tidal marsh will also provide additional flood protection, carbon sequestration, and water quality improvement.

    Grantee: Sonoma Land Trust
    Project Partners: Ducks Unlimited, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Funding: $1,883,882 = $941,941 (EPA) + $941,941 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – September 2015

    Environmental Results

    • Remediation of 12,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil.
    • Construction of 2.5-mile multi-purpose levee for flood protection, habitat, and the Bay Trail.
    • Excavation of 6 miles of new tidal channels.
    • Construction of 500 marsh mounds designed to accelerate sediment accretion.
    • Longer term outcomes expected from levee breach activities, for which funding is still being sought, include restoration of 960 acres of tidal marsh, creation of 30 acres of transitional habitat, and seasonal wetland enhancement across 1,300 acres.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Construction management Ducks Unlimited $125,000 $125,000 $250,000
    2. Mobilization, site preparation, demolition Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited $75,000 $75,000 $150,000
    3. Soil remediation Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited $153,520 $50,000 $203,520
    4. Excavate tidal channels and construct levee Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited $300,171 $403,691 $703,862
    5. Construct marsh mounds Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited $175,000 $175,000 $350,000
    6. Project management Sonoma Land Trust $113,250 $113,250 $226,500
    TOTAL   $941,941 $941,941 $1,883,882
    This project leverages an additional $2.8 million from CA Dept. of Water Resources, CA State Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

    Project Contact: Julian Meisler (julian@sonomalandtrust.org) | (707) 526-6930 ext 109
    Sonoma Land Trust Exit

  • South Bay Salt Pond Mercury Studies
    Coastal Conservancy logo

    This project will fund studies on the fate, transport and bioaccumulation of mercury in the 15,000 acre South Bay Salt Pond Project area to provide information needed to determine the management regime of Pond A8 (the pond with the highest mercury concentrations) as well as other future management of the ponds as they are restored to tidal wetlands. These studies have been identified as needed through the comprehensive planning process for the Salt Pond Project and recommended by agency managers and scientists overseeing the restoration.

    Grantee: California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC)
    Project Partners: USGS, UC Davis, Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), City of San Jose (SJ), USACE,San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI)
    Funding: $1,023,000 = $500,000 (EPA) + $523,000 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – December 2014

    Environmental Results

    • Further scientific understanding of mercury cycling in tidal wetlands and salt ponds to adaptively manage future restoration activities planned over the next 10 years.
    • Restoration of 2,901 acres of tidal wetlands (Pond A8-15, Pond A18) that reduces mercury inputs to the food web.
    • Provide biosentinel species results to agencies and scientists to inform other wetlands restoration projects in the Bay-Delta region.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    • Study 1- Bathymetry
    Determine the amount of erosion in Alviso Slough and the release of mercury as a result of restoration of Pond A8 to muted tidal flows in 2011
    USGS $214,000 $276,000 $490,000
    • Study 2- Flow & Sediment Flux
    Determine the amount of mud suspended in Alviso Slough, and the fate and transport of the mud - whether mud ends up in Pond A8, Pond A6 or the open bay
    USGS, SJ, SCVWD, USACE $70,870 $122,000 $192,870
    • Study 3- Mercury Diel
    Investigate seasonal changes in the amount of mercury in the mud, as well as the first big storm event of the year, to see if mercury changes with the seasons
    USGS $10,692 $0 $10,692
    • Study 4- Biosentinals
    Determine the amount of mercury in fish in the 3 sloughs (Alviso, Mallard, and Guadalupe Slough) and bird eggs in the ponds after restoration in Pond A8
    UC Davis, SFEI $150,000 $90,000 $240,000
    5. Science Oversight/QAPP USGS, SFEI $20,000 $35,000 $55,000
    6. Project Management SCC $34,435 $0 $34,435
    TOTAL   $500,000 $523,000 $1,023,000
    This project leverages an additional $715,000 from state and federal sources.

    Project Contact: Brenda Buxton (bbuxton@scc.ca.gov) | (510) 286-0753
    South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Exit

  • South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Marsh Restoration at Pond A17

    Project Facts

    Total = $1,350,000
    EPA = $725,000
    Match = $625,000
    * Leveraged funds = $5,850,000
    Schedule: Sept 2011 - Nov 2013
    Recipient: California State Coastal Conservancy

    Partners:

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, CA Department of Water Resources

    This project will restore 130 acres of tidal marsh at Pond A17, a former salt pond in South San Francisco Bay, and home to the largest wetlands restoration project on the West Coast. The project design will enhance habitat for endangered and migratory birds, improve water quality in the Bay through increased filtering of pollutants, and is anticipated to keep pace with sea level rise. The tidal wetlands habitat will be restored through levee lowering, levee breaching, and the construction of internal ditch blocks to redirect flows to remnant marsh channels.

    South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Exit

  • South Bay Salt Pond Tidal Wetland Restoration Phase 2 Planning

    Project Facts

    Funding: $866,021 (non-federal match = $866,021)
    Schedule: January 2014 – December 2016
    Recipient: California State Coastal Conservancy
    Partners: US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Alameda County Public Works Agency, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and local cities

    This project will fund completion of the planning and environmental documentation required for the construction of Phase II restoration projects. When Phase II projects are complete at the Ravenswood and Alviso complexes, an additional 1005 acres of tidal marsh and 60 acres of managed ponds will be restored. Phase II restoration projects include climate change adaptation features, such as large transition zones, elevation heterogeneity and plans for inland marsh transgression. Funding of these activities will keep the Conservancy's schedule of beginning Phase II construction projects in 2016.

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Restoring Watersheds

The SFBWQIF has invested over $22 million to help implement 23 pollutant reduction action plans (known as total maximum daily loads, TMDLs). These address water quality impaired by some of the most challenging pollutants in the Bay, including sediment, trash, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pathogens. The following highlights a few of these projects.

Photograph of Rutherford Reach
Rutherford Reach

Projects - Restoring Watersheds

  • Alameda Creek Restoration
    Resource Conservation Districts logo

    This project addresses three subwatersheds in the Alameda Creek watershed that are important habitat for native anadromous fish and are impaired by sediments and nutrients. The RCD will partner with NRCS and landowners to establish stream buffers; restore channels and riparian areas; and conduct grazing management and/or rural road improvement to manage sediment.

    Grantee: Alameda County Resource Conservation District (RCD)
    Project Partners: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Alameda County Public Works, Alameda Creek Watershed Council
    Funding: $576,432 = $181,270 (EPA) + $60,607 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 - June 2015

    Environmental Results

    • ~ 6 stream miles and 3,840 acres treated with erosion control BMPs.
    • ~ 10 miles of streams assessed for current condition and recovery potential for native anadromous fish.
    • Long term water quality improvements in the subwatersheds to benefit native fish habitat.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Funds Total Cost
    1. Outreach & Technical Assistance
    Outreach to landowners, develop plans and conduct initial assessments
    RCD, NRCS $22,912 $0 $22,912
    2. Implementation
    Project design, permitting and construction
    RCD , NRCS, landowners $114,768 $0 $114,768
    3. Monitoring
    Develop measuring and monitoring protocols, QAPP, conduct pre and post field assessments
    RCD, NRCS $12,318 $40,000 $52,318
    4. Adopt-a-Spot Education
    Coordinate education and volunteer events
    RCD, NRCS , community members $2,765 $5,540 $8,305
    5. Information Sharing
    Coordinate with Alameda Creek Watershed Council through presentations and workshops, develop online content
    RCD, NRCS, Alameda Creek Watershed Council $776 $15, 067 $15,843
    6. Grant Administration RCD $27,730 $0 $27,730
    TOTAL   $181,270 $60,607 $241,877
    This project leverages and additional $334,555 from Natural Resources Conservation Service funding.

    Project Contact: Leslie Koenig (Leslie.koenig@ca.nacdnet.net) | (925) 371-0154 ext 115
    Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) Exit

  • Clean Watersheds for a Clean Bay, Implementing the PCB TMDL

    Project Facts

    Total = $6,940,000
    EPA = $5,000,000
    Match/leverage = $1,940,000
    Schedule: March 2010 to January 30, 2014
    Recipient: Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association
    Partners: California Department of Health Services and the cities of Richmond, Oakland, San Carlos, and San Jose.

    Bay Area stormwater agencies are accelerating PCB TMDL implementation in the watersheds surrounding the Bay. The project focuses its activities in watersheds that are contributing PCBs and other pollutants to the Bay including identifying PCB "hot spot" source areas, referring source areas where appropriate to regulatory agencies for clean-up and abatement, coordinating with municipalities to enhance removal of polluted sediments during routine sediment management activities, retrofitting 8-10 urban runoff treatment facilities to remove polluted sediments, and implementing a risk-reduction program Exit for consumers of Bay fish in partnership with the California Department of Health Services.

    Clean Watersheds for a Clean Bay
    Implementing the PCB TMDL
    SF Bay Fish Advisory Public Service Announcement Video Exit

  • Coyote Creek Trash Reduction Project (Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities)

    Project Facts

    Total = $942,867
    EPA = $680,000
    Match = $262,867
    * Leveraged funds = $119,550
    Schedule: September 2011 to June 2015
    Recipient: City of San Jose, Environmental Services Department
    Partners: Downtown Streets Team, Destination Home, Santa Clara Valley Water District, eBay.

    Trash is a primary cause of water quality impairments in San Francisco Bay and the Regional Water Board has instituted trash reduction goals beginning with a reduction of 40% by 2014 and a goal of zero by 2022. The project will improve water quality in Coyote Creek by addressing trash at its source: litter, illegal encampments and illegal dumping. This project will engage the surrounding neighborhoods to prevent litter and eliminate illegal dumping sites. It will also assist the homeless through a creek cleanup work program to make progress towards improving water quality and riparian habitat needed to support fish and wildlife. The project's results will help inform other cities of ways to reduce trash flowing from their streets, storm drains, and public spaces to San Francisco Bay.

    City of San Jose, Environmental Services Exit  
    City of San Jose Healthy Creeks, Healthy Communities Grant Kickoff Event

  • Estuary 2100 Resilient Watersheds for a Changing Climate

    Project Facts

    Total = $11,378,730
    EPA = $4,922,000
    Match/leverage = $6,456,730
    Schedule: Feb 2009 - Feb 2016
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments
    Partners:
    Bay Conservation and Development Commission, City of San Francisco Planning Department, Community Conservation International, Save the Bay, Waterways Restoration Institute, USGS, California Land Stewardship Institute, Santa Clara County Parks, Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Center for Research on Aquatic Bioinvasions, Invasive Spartina Project, California State Parks Foundation, Marin Audubon Society, Urban Creeks Council, San Francisco Estuary Institute.

    Sixteen discrete on-the-ground projects in 4 different program areas:

    • Wetland and Watershed Restoration: remove mercury laden sediment from the Guadalupe watershed (TMDL implementation), restore creek banks to reduce stream sedimentation on privately owned lands, focused efforts on invasive Spartina eradication and initiation of Littorina eradication, and restore estuarine habitat in the South Bay Salt Ponds, Yosemite Slough, Arrowhead Marsh and Eden Landing.
    • Monitoring Changes in the Bay: produce adaptive management plans that address climate change effects for wetlands restoration projects at Corte Madera Creek and Pond A8 of the South Bay Salt Ponds.
    • LID and Stormwater BMPs: identify and quantify suitable public lands for two Bay Area counties that can be converted from impervious to pervious land cover to manage urban runoff, implement a green street in a low-income San Francisco neighborhood, conduct municipal pesticide reduction trainings and target outreach to reduce urban pesticide use.
    • Public Outreach: work with over fifteen partners to coordinate information on project results and conduct a public outreach campaign.


    San Francisco Estuary Partnership Exit
    Podcast Exit

  • Greener Pesticides for Cleaner Waterways
    S.F. Estuary Partnership logo

    The Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a TMDL for pesticide toxicity for all urban creeks in the Bay Area in 2005. The toxicity has been tied to residential pesticide use. Using social marketing and social media, this project will conduct an advertising campaign to reach a critical mass of Bay Area residents and provide training to local retail store employees to promote less toxic pesticide options and pesticide free practices.

    Grantee: San Francisco Estuary Partnership /Association of Bay Area Governments
    Project Partners: Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, City of San Jose, Alameda County Clean Water Program, Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group, Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program, Contra Costa Clean Water Program, San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District, Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program, the Bay Protection and Behavior Change consortium, and the "Got Ants?" project
    Funding: $333,334 = $250,000 (EPA) + $83,334 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – October 2014

    Environmental Results

    • 5% reduction in Bay Area residents applying pesticides within their households.
    • 10% increase in residents who believe they can control pests without toxic chemicals.
    • Train 300 retail employees about less toxic pesticide alternatives to inform customer choice.
    • Advances implementation of Diazinon and Pesticide Related Toxicity in Urban Creeks TMDL.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Campaign Coordination
    Coordinate partners to prepare for campaign implementation
    SFEP lead, all partners $11,912 $0 $11,912
    2. Targeted Outreach
    Provide less-toxic pesticide information through retail stores: shelf-talkers, signage, training retail store staff, and in-store events (Our Water, Our World program support)
    All partners $66,154 $35,000 $101,154
    3. Media Outreach
    Develop outreach pieces and disseminate through print and online media
    All partners $95,821 $48,334 $144,155
    4. Evaluate Environmental Outcomes
    Track and evaluate project effectiveness
    All partners $30,780 $0 $30,780
    5. Project Management and Reporting
    Coordinate progress reports, invoices, and final reports
    SFEP $45,333 $0 $45,333
    TOTAL   $250,000 $83,334 $333,334
    This project leverages an additional $273,000 from state and local partners.

    Project Contact: Athena Honore (ahonore@waterboards.ca.gov) | (510) 622-2325
    San Francisco Estuary Partnership Exit

  • Estuary 2100, Phase 2: Building Partnerships for Resilient Watersheds

    Project Facts

    Total = $4,818,272
    EPA = $3,613,704
    Match/leverage = $1,204,568
    Schedule: March 2010 to March 2015
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments
    Partners:
    California State Parks Foundation, California Coastal Conservancy, California Land Stewardship Institute, County of Marin, City of Mill Valley, Napa Resource Conservation District, Sonoma Ecology Center, Southern Sonoma Resource Conservation District, City of Fremont, City of Richmond, San Francisco Estuary Institute.

    Ten discrete on-the-ground projects in 3 different program areas:

    • Wetland and Watershed Restoration: restoring estuarine habitat at Yosemite Slough and subtidal and eelgrass habitat in several Bay locations (PDF) (12 pp, 3.7M). Exit
    • Water Quality Improvement: implementing TMDL actions for pathogens and sediment in Richardson Bay, Sonoma Creek and the Napa River and tracking progress towards TMDL goals.
    • LID and Stormwater BMPs: constructing and monitoring tree well filters in Fremont, and analyzing stormwater diversion options in Richmond following stormwater characterization.


    San Francisco Estuary Partnership Exit

  • Improved Flood Control Channel Design
    S.F. Estuary Partnership logo

    This project is an ambitious effort through flood channel redesign to restore wetland habitat, water quality, and shoreline resilience at three creek mouths- San Francisquito, Lower Novato, and Lower Walnut creeks. The redesign takes sediment clogging local flood control channels and redistributes it in areas where wetlands can be restored. The results of these projects at the local scale will inform a regional strategy to maximize environmental, economic and regulatory benefits for flood control districts and other regional agencies responsible for sediment management.

    Grantee: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments
    Project Partners: San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), San Francisco Bay Joint Venture (SFBJV), San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (JPA), Committee for Green Foothills (CGF), Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (MCFCWCD), Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (CCFCD)
    Funding: $3,122,059 = $1,552,059 (EPA) + $1,570,000 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – December 2016

    Environmental Results

    • San Francisquito Creek: Create 4.1 acres of tidal marsh; deliver sediment to 79 acres of tidal marsh for climate change resiliency; and 2800 feet of channel improvements.
    • Novato Creek: Beneficial reuse of 70,000 cubic yards of sediment, 2 miles of improved stream channel, and long term restoration of ~600 acres of restored tidal marsh.
    • Walnut Creek: Restore 25 acres of tidal marsh, improve 2 miles of stream channel.
    • Produce an economic analysis of the cost-effectiveness of sediment reuse projects.
    • Provide model flood control projects with widespread applicability.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Regional Channel Redesign & Sediment Assessment
    Undertake historical stream-shoreline analysis, sediment supply analysis, and develop regional classifications for conceptual models
    SFEI $470,000 $873,000 $470,000
    2. National and Local Scientific Guidance
    Convene regional forums to help develop conceptual models and/or review project designs
    SFEI, SFBJV $85,000 $25,000 $110,000
    3. Economic Analysis
    Provide economic analysis of realigning channels vs. removal and disposal of sediment
    Consultant $30,000 $0 $30,000
    4. Regulatory and Policy Guidance
    Develop guidance document on flood control redesign projects and restoration
    BCDC, SFEP, SFBJV $139,000 $25,500 $164,500
    5. San Francisquito Creek Project
    Final project design, construction, post-project monitoring
    SFCJPA, SFEI, CGF $100,000 $131,000 $231,000
    6. Novato Creek Project
    Historical ecology analysis, conceptual design, pre-project monitoring, final design, public outreach
    MCFCWCD, SFEI $385,000 $410,000 $795,000
    7. Walnut Creek Project
    Conceptual models and initial project design
    CCFCD, SFEI $50,000 $60,000 $110,000
    8. Regional Implementation Toolbox
    Develop a public website that provides regional classifications, conceptual models, regulatory guidance, economic analysis, as well as a database that can match available sediment with opportunities for beneficial re-use
    SFEI, SFBJV $92,000 $0 $92,000
    9. Regional Public Outreach
    Deliver project findings to a broad regional audience through Oakland Museum exhibit and other outreach methods and materials
    SFEI, SFBJV, BCDC, SFEP $45,000 $45,500 $90,500
    10. Project Management SFEP $156,059 $0 $156,059
    TOTAL   $1,552,059 $1,570,000 $3,122,059
    This project leverages an additional $32,368,000 from local and state sources.
  • Napa River Restoration
    Napa County, California, logo

    This project continues implementation of the Napa River Watershed Sediment TMDL to improve water quality and restore steelhead and Chinook salmon populations, which have suffered declines as a result of high concentrations of fine sediment in spawning gravel and declines in in-stream habitat. The project will complete construction on the 4.5 mile Rutherford Reach and begin restoration on the 9 mile Oakville-Oak Knoll Reach downstream. Salmonid habitat will be enhanced through bank stabilization measures, creation of floodplain benches, installation of in-stream habitat structures, and planting of native riparian vegetation. Wildlife habitat will be increased and enhanced through conversion of agricultural land into native riparian forest and management of invasive plants.

    Grantee: Napa County
    Partners: Rutherford Dust Restoration Team, California Land Stewardship Institute, Tessera Sciences
    Funding:$3,000,000 = $1.5 million (EPA) + $1.5 million (Match)
    Project timeline: October 2012 – March 2016

    Environmental Results

    • Achieve the 2017 TMDL target of 51% sediment source reduction (19,000 tons/year) from channel incision and bank erosion sources on the mainstem Napa River.
    • Rutherford Reach: Stabilize approximately 3,500 feet of eroding stream banks along 5,625 feet (1.1 miles) of river channel and create up to 10 acres of riparian habitat.
    • Oakville – Oak Knoll Reach (long-term): Stabilize approximately 1,000 feet of eroding stream banks along 1,400 feet (0.3 miles) of river channel and create up to 2.4 acres of riparian habitat.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Rutherford Reach Restoration
    • Restore 1.1 miles of the Napa River to improve salmonid habitat and water quality by constructing a widened riparian corridor and removing vineyards to enlarge the floodplain, followed by three years of revegetation to stabilize streambanks
    • Monitor physical, water quality and geomorphic changes and fish habitat conditions to be implemented with landowner funds
    Napa County, Rutherford Reach Dust Restoration Team $1,400,000 $1,400,000 $2,800,000
    2. Oakville - Oak Knoll Reach Restoration Phase 1
    • Begin restoration along 0.3 miles of the Napa River to improve salmonid habitat and water quality followed by three years of revegetation to stabilize streambanks
    • Monitor physical, water quality and geomorphic changes and fish habitat conditions
    Napa County,
    California Land Stewardship Institute
    $100,000 $100,000 $200,000
    TOTAL   $1,500,000 $1,500,000 $3 million

    Project Contact: Richard Thomasser (Richard.Thomasser@countyofnapa.org) | (707) 259-8657
    Watershed Information Center and Conservancy (WICC) of Napa County Exit

  • Napa River Restoration - Oakville to Oak Knoll (OVOK) Reach Site 18

    Project Facts

    Funding: $1,217,350 (non-federal match = $1,217,350)
    Schedule: January 2014 – May 2017
    Recipient: Napa County
    Partners: Landowners, Napa County Resource Conservation, Friends of Napa River and the Farm Bureau

    This project will continue implementing high priority sediment reduction measures along the Napa River to reduce fine sediment sources at Sites 23, 22, and 21 of the Oakville to Oak Knoll (OVOK) reach, one of the most incised reaches of the Napa River. The purpose of the OVOK Restoration Project is to restore and enhance long-term river and floodplain function, improve the quality and resilience of aquatic and terrestrial riparian habitat, and reduce property damage and sediment delivery associated with ongoing bank erosion processes. The existing bank will be set back to provide a stable cross-section to reduce fine sediment loading from bank erosion, resulting in removal of 8.6 acres of vineyard and establishment of a new floodplain area. The project will include widening the channel, enhancing the floodplain, reducing channel bank erosion, and installing large woody debris structures to improving aquatic habitat through a joint public-private partnership. The project will also support further development of the TMDL Implementation Tracking and Accounting System (ITAS) to help track TMDL progress and implementation of water quality enhancement actions including rapid assessments and methodologies for assessing rural roads, bank erosion and restoration activities.

  • Napa River Sediment TMDL Implementation and Habitat Enhancement Plan

    Five discrete projects addressing sediment sources identified in the Napa River Sediment TMDL Exit

    Project Facts

    Total = $3,265,000
    EPA = $1,500,000
    Match/leverage = $1,765,000
    Schedule: June 2011 to June 2014
    Recipient: Napa County

    Partners

    California Land Stewardship Institute, Napa Resource Conservation District, UC Cooperative Extension.

    • Rutherford Reach Restoration: construction of a widened riparian corridor and removal of vineyards to enlarge the floodplain along 0.9 miles of a 4.5-mile reach of the Napa River.
    • Oakville - Oak Knoll Restoration: restoration design of a 3.9 mile reach of the Napa River, including landowner agreements and Arundo removal to prepare the site for restoration.
    • Ranch Water Quality Plans: outreach and education to ranchers to incorporate BMPs into ranch plans with a target of implementation on 80% of Napa watershed grazing lands.
    • Rural Roads Assessment: county survey and assessment of rural roads and associated stream crossings to produce a prioritized list of projects necessary to meet the TMDL goal of 50% sediment delivery reduction. In addition the County Roads Maintenance Manual will be updated with improved BMPs to guide these future road improvement projects.
    • TMDL Tracking and Accounting System: establish a system to track progress toward achieving the Sediment TMDL and identify necessary tools to better prioritize implementation.


    Watershed Information Center & Conservancy of Napa County Exit
    Napa River Restoration Project - December 2011

  • Packaging Waste Source Reduction Pilot
    Clean Water Fund logo

    This project targets takeout food packaging, the largest documented source of trash in urban runoff that in turn ends up in our bays and oceans. The project will assist local jurisdictions (Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, South San Francisco and San Mateo County) to develop source reduction methods for their local businesses and will provide model approaches for municipalities to meet their trash reduction permit requirements.

    Grantee: Clean Water Fund
    Project Partners: Cities of Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, South San Francisco and San Mateo County
    Funding: $354,683 = $257,293 (EPA) + $85,764 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – August 2014

    Environmental Results

    • Reduce trash from takeout food packaging by 36,000 pounds/100 businesses/year.
    • Help municipalities meet the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit 40% waste reduction target.
    • Provides new approach to reducing trash in inland and coastal waters- moving from capture and control to source reduction.
    • Reduces cradle to grave/ lifecycle impacts associated with disposable packaging.


    Project Details by Task

    Tasks Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Total
    1. Develop Case Studies
    Work with local governments and food establishments to develop cost-effective models to reduce takeout food disposable packaging
    CWF, San Jose, San Francisco, San Mateo, South San Francisco $47,958 $26,547 $74,505
    2. Source Reduction Campaign
    Develop takeout food source reduction outreach plan and educational materials
    All partners $126,658 $33,014 $159,672
    3. Develop Metrics
    Measure change in trash composition as it moves through stormwater system to local creeks and the Bay and impact of source reduction on the amount of trash in local waterways
    San Jose, CWF $11,066 $8,162 $19,228
    4. Model Policies
    Develop first U.S. model policy encouraging Bring Your Own beverage containers, which can achieve a 13% reduction in beverage container litter
    CWF, San Francisco $25,371 $18,041 $43,412
    5. Grant Management-
    Administer agreements with local agencies
    CWF $43,240 $0 $43,240
    TOTAL   $257,294 $85,764 $343,057
    This project leverages an additional $1,635,360 from partner government agencies.

    Project Contact: Miriam Gordon (mgordon@cleanwater.org)
    California Director, Clean Water Fund | (415) 369-9170
    Clean Water Action - California Exit

  • Reducing Nutrients to SF Bay through Additional WWTP Sidestream Treatment

    A growing body of evidence suggests that the historic resilience of the San Francisco Bay (SF Bay) to nutrient enrichment could be weakening, and thus generates increased concerns for regulators and stakeholders. This regional project will:

    • evaluate new best-available treatment technologies for treating nitrogen-rich internal recycle streams (sidestreams) at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs);
    • quantify potential nutrient load reductions to SF Bay and estimate high-level cost & benefit of sidestream treatment; and
    • assess water quality improvements to SF Bay due to sidestream treatment at WWTPs with sophisticated computer modeling.

    Funding: $517,650 (non-federal match $517,650)
    Recipient: East Bay Municipal Utility District
    Schedule: January 2014 – January 2016
    Partners: Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA), HDR Engineering, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Delta Diablo (DD), East Bay Dischargers Authority (EBDA), Oro Loma Sanitary District (OLSD), San Jose/Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility (SJSC) and San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFRWQCB), San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) and ReNUWIt (Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure) which includes Stanford and UC Berkeley

  • Removing Mercury in the Guadalupe River Watershed: Remediating Calcine Paved Roads and Jacques Gulch

    Project Facts

    Funding: $800,000 (non-federal match = $800,000)
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/ABAG
    Schedule: October 2013 – December 2015
    Recipient: Napa County

    Partners

    Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute

    This project will reduce mercury entering the Guadalupe watershed and San Francisco Bay by remediating the last two high priority mine waste sites in the Almaden Quicksilver County Park in Santa Clara County. Remediation of three miles of calcine (roasted mercury ore) paved roads, where mercury concentrations range from 33 mg/kg to 233 mg/kg, will be completed by 2015. A 25% design for remediation at Jacques Gulch is the next critical step needed in developing accurate cost estimates for implementation and solidifying multi agency support for the project called for in the Guadalupe River Watershed Mercury TMDL.

  • San Francisquito Creek Stabilization at Bonde Weir
    San Mateo Resource Conservation District logo

    This project is located on San Francisquito Creek, on the border between the cities of Menlo Park and Palo Alto. San Francisquito Creek is one of the few free-flowing urban creeks in the Bay Area and is also home to one of the last remaining wild steelhead trout populations. The 100 year-old weir, identified as a high priority fish migration barrier, will be replaced with engineered streambed material which will maintain flood protection, while opening access for steelhead and other aquatic organisms to 40 miles of potential rearing and breeding habitat.

    Learn more about the San Francisquito Creek Bonde Weir removal event (September 5, 2013)

    Grantee: San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (SMRCD)
    Project Partners: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, Flycasters, Inc. of San Jose and Acterra
    Funding: $100,000 = $75,000 (EPA) + $25,000 (Match)
    Project timeline: September 2012 – December 2013

    Environmental Results

    • Restore 120 linear feet of San Francisquito Creek.
    • Restore access to 40 miles of stream for steelhead spawning and rearing.
    • Improves habitat for threatened steelhead in anchor watershed.


    Project Details by Task

    Task Implementing Parties US EPA Funding Match Leveraged Funds Total
    1. Project Management
    RCD personnel and contractual costs for project coordination
    SMRCD, NMFS, CDFG $5,820 $0 $49,130 $54,950
    2. Project Permitting
    RCD personnel, consultants and in-kind services from project partners: NMFS & CDFG
    SMRCD, NMFS, CDFG $0 $0 $45,300 $45,300
    3. Construction
    Barrier removal, streambed stabilization, streambank restoration
    SMRCD, NMFS, CDFG $69,180 $25,000 $123,755 $217,935
    TOTAL   $75,000 $25,000 $218,185 $318,185
    This project leverages an additional $218,185 of mitigation dollars generated by the San Francisco Bay Bridge project.

    Project Contacts: Joe Issel (joe@sanmateorcd.org) | (650) 712-7765 ext. 106
    Kellyx Nelson (Kellyx@sanmateorcd.org) | (650) 712-7765 ext. 102
    San Mateo County Resource Conservation District Exit

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Greening Urban Development: Reducing Polluted Runoff

There is growing recognition that green development practices, such as low impact development (LID), using natural hydrologic processes to treat polluted runoff, should become common practice. To encourage widespread adoption of LID stormwater treatments, the SFBWQIF awarded $2.95 million to local governments to implement six projects throughout the Bay Area. Projects range from small one-block pilots to large-scale multi-block efforts. The projects also assist communities to develop policies and technical expertise necessary to continue to support and encourage green development practices.

Photograph of plantings at the Newcomb Avenue Low Impact Development Retrofit
Newcomb Avenue Low Impact Development Retrofit

Projects - Reducing Polluted Runoff

  • Cesar Chavez Street LID Pilot Project

    Project Facts

    Total = $2,240,000
    EPA = $1,200,000
    Match/leverage = $1,040,000
    Schedule: Feb 2010 - Dec 2012
    Recipient: San Francisco Planning
    Partners: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Friends of the Urban Forest, Plant SF, CC Puede.

    The project on Cesar Chavez is the largest green street retrofit in San Francisco. It incorporates Low Impact Development (LID) features such as stormwater planters, run-off reducing improvements, and permeable concrete with traditional infrastructure upgrades along a mile-long corridor to improve water quality.

    The overall goal is to serve as a template to foster the wide-spread utilization of green infrastructure and LID to significantly reduce pollutant contributions to the Bay from San Francisco's combined sewer system.

    Cesar Chavez Street Design

  • San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine Project

    Project Facts

    Total = $705,610
    EPA = $307,646
    Match = $397,964
    * Leveraged funds = $1,800,000
    Schedule: Oct 2011- Oct 2014
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments

    Partners

    Caltrans and the cities of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo.

    This is the beginning of a model project to create a green stormwater spine along San Pablo Avenue, a state highway in the East Bay, to foster widespread use of LID designs and BMPs. Seven East Bay cities will work with SFEP and Caltrans to design and install highly visible green infrastructure projects to reduce stormwater pollutants. Each city will treat approximately 1 acre of impervious surface with a site-specific LID technology such as a bio-swale, rain garden, and/or permeable pavement.

    Outreach to local governments via green streets forums and a model ordinance will promote more implementation of sustainable infrastructure.

    San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine Exit

  • Fremont Tree-Well Filter

    Project Facts

    Total = $270,668
    EPA = $203,000
    Match/leverage = $67,668
    Schedule February 2009 to December 2013
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments
    Partners: Architects for Humanity, San Francisco Estuary Institute

    EPA awarded a $203,000 grant to install tree well systems to treat stormwater pollutants, including trash, from over 14,000 square feet in an industrial area. The San Francisco Estuary Institute is conducting pollutant reduction monitoring for the project. The city will develop a tree-well filter installation guide to direct future installation of the filters to treat stormwater.

  • Newcomb Avenue

    Project Facts

    Total = $1,502,421
    EPA = $492,500
    Match/leverage = $1,009,921
    Schedule February 2009 to December 2013
    Recipient: San Francisco Estuary Partnership/Association of Bay Area Governments, City and County of San Francisco
    Partners: Architects for Humanity, San Francisco Estuary Institute

    Newcomb Avenue, now recognized as the greenest street in San Francisco, was completed in December 2011. The project replaced a nearly 100% impervious streetscape with LID elements, such as permeable pavement, sidewalk landscaping, trees, and stormwater planters.

    Environmental Benefits

    • Improved water quality through treatment of stormwater by the project's block-long implementation of LID components
    • Contribute to the understanding of LID BMP design effectiveness: The project tests the effectiveness of various BMPs and their ability to retain stormwater runoff.
    • Serve as a model for future projects in the San Francisco Bay Area: Information gathered from ongoing monitoring of this project will inform future LID projects in San Francisco and other areas around the Bay. In order to comply with new stormwater permit provisions requiring implementation of LID to protect local streams, creeks and the Bay, municipalities need project relevant information to help determine what is cost-effective in their jurisdictions.
    • Neighborhood renewal by street beautification: The project's amenities, including new plants and trees, traffic calming features, and sidewalk design will foster community pride.


    More information about the Newcomb Avenue Project:

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Environmental Results of Completed Projects

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