Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
The Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project is part of an effort to restore the more than 350,000 acres of tidal wetland in the Delta Region that have been lost to agricultural reclamation over the last 150 years. The project is the first large-scale tidal wetland restoration effort in the Delta and represents an important step towards restoring fisheries habitat in the Bay-Delta ecosystem.
Dutch Slough is an approximately 1,200 acre site in the western Delta, situated in the city of Oakley in eastern Contra Costa County. While the site is currently used as pasture, its location and elevation make it ideal for significant restoration of tidal marshland, riparian, and upland habitats.
The project will restore over six miles of shoreline, re-establish natural ecological processes, and reinvigorate native species populations such as Chinook salmon, Sacramento splittail, and various waterfowl. The plan is also designed to encourage conscientious recreational use of the site and includes a public trail system, a community park, and educational centers. Utilizing an adaptive management framework, the project will concurrently implement and scientifically evaluate the wetland restoration plan in order to expand understanding of ecological restoration and examine the efficacy of current methods.
American Rivers is an ongoing participant in the project’s planning and implementation in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Institute, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, the California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), and the City of Oakley.
The DWR purchased the Dutch Slough land in 2003 with funding from the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program and SCC. The majority of the planning will be completed by summer 2011 with major construction expected to begin in 2012. Funding will be provided by DWR, SCC, CALFED, and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).