PROJECT: Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area Green Island Unit Restoration Project

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California Least Tern Photos by Karen Taylor,
California Department Fish and Game

Location: Adjacent to Napa River, near American Canyon, CA

Website: Ducks Unlimited Restoring Tidal Wetlands in American Canyon, CA

Project Description: The Green Island Unit, formerly known as the Napa Plant Site, was acquired in 2003 by the State of California. The project area includes approximately 1,400 acres that were utilized as salt evaporation ponds consisting of the two highest salinity ponds, the wash ponds, and the crystallizer beds of the Cargill North Bay salt production facility prior to its acquisition. The project objective is to restore former salt evaporation ponds to natural tidal wetlands that support populations of fish and wildlife, including endangered fish species, migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. Historically the site was dominated by tidal wetlands fringing the Napa River, prior to reclamation for oat hay and cattle pastures in the 1850s and eventual conversion to salt production in the 1950s. Project implementation includes multiple levee breaches, levee lowering, internal tidal slough enhancement and construction of public access features. Once the site is open to the public, future public access opportunities will include fishing, walking trails, kayaking, educational opportunities, scientific study, bird-watching, nature observations, and photography. Ducks Unlimited obtained restoration funding for project implementation from California Wildlife Conservation Board and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is providing construction management services. Restoration is anticipated to be complete by November, 2010.

The 2010 breeding season at Napa Plant Site included 46 nests with 104 eggs counted and 92 successful hatches to date (2 late nests have potential to hatch). This is while construction was going on around the colony with newly created habitat islands.

Project Partners: Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation Board, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Resources Legacy Fund, and Ducks Unlimited

California Department of Fish and Game:
Karen Taylor

Ducks Unlimited:
Renee Spenst