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Sears Point Restoration Project

Photos courtesy of Sonoma Land Trust

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Location: Along Highway 37, East of the Petaluma River

Website: www.sonomalandtrust.org

Project Description: The Sonoma Land Trust’s 2004-05 acquisition of 2,327 acres along the northern edge of San Pablo Bay marked the Bay Area’s single largest acquisition since the purchase of the Cargill salt ponds in 2003. The property, which extends from the Bay to 400 feet above sea level on the slopes of Cougar Mountain, includes diked agricultural baylands, seasonal wetlands, vernal pools, perennial seeps and 11 miles of stream corridors.

SLT plans to restore 970 acres of tidal marsh, modify agricultural practices to enhance seasonal wetlands on 400 acres, and implement watershed management activities to benefit grasslands, seasonal wetlands, and riparian corridors on nearly 1,000 acres of uplands. Ponds will be built within one of the known CA red-legged frog dispersal corridors with the intent of establishing breeding on site.

The public will enjoy not only the benefits of increased carbon sequestration, buffering against predicted sea level rise and storms, endangered species habitat, and increased quality of water entering the Bay, but also the chance to see it first hand. SLT plans to extend the Bay Trail by over 2.5 miles with the possibility of an additional 3.5 miles of trails connecting to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and SLT’s future Baylands Center.

With the restoration planning complete, SLT is now working toward final design and securing permits. Construction is planned to begin in June 2011.

Contact: Julian Meisler julian@sonomalandtrust.org