At 15,100 acres, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is the largest wetland restoration ever undertaken on the West Coast. Commercial salt ponds near Hayward (Eden Landing), San Jose (Alviso), and Foster City (Ravenswood) will be reverted to natural marsh, mudflat, and other managed wetland habitats. Improved flood protection and recreational use are some of the many benefits of this project.
As part of the salt pond project coalition, the District is helping to restore approximately 5,500 acres of Eden Landing ponds. Existing salt pond levees and dikes are being removed to allow water to flow naturally in and out of the low-lying wetlands. Restored tidal flow will also help remove silt deposits that have built up in the lower reaches of Old Alameda Creek. These deposits now limit the stormwater conveyance capacity of the creek.
Between 2010 and 2011, roughly 630 acres of tidal marsh habitat were restored along the bay by reestablishing tidal flow to former salt ponds within the California Department of Fish and Game’s Eden Landing Ecological Reserve at the eastern end of the San Mateo Bridge.
Lessons learned during the first phase of the project will be applied to the restoration of the entire 5,500-acre Eden Landing pond complex. The District is currently working to obtain funding for the second and third phases. Once restored, the wetland will attract migratory birds and endangered species, as well as provide recreational opportunities for the public.