Yosemite Slough Wetland Restoration
The Yosemite Slough Restoration Project is an historic 28.8 million dollar wetlands restoration and park development project located within Candlestick Point State Recreation Area in southeastern San Francisco.
The land was purchased in 1977 by the California State Parks Foundation and became California’s first urban state park. Like much of the San Francisco shoreline, the area was historically a wetland and major stopover for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. It also served to provide important habitat for the endangered Ridgway Rail and salt marsh harvest mouse.
It wasn’t until July of 2013 that the first phase of the wetland restoration was completed, transforming a 21 acre-site covered with dilapidated warehouses, contaminated soils and construction debris into a fully restored wetland with 7 new acres of tidal wetlands. Later that year, the North Side project - Phase 1 was recognized by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s Outstanding Environmental Projects.
Work is currently underway on capital improvements including plans for a new 800 square foot interpretive center. 50% of the drawings for the south side wetlands restoration were completed and approved in 2014. Ultimately the project seeks to restore 34 acres of habitat, including a total of 10 acres of tidal wetlands or 29% of the project area.
In addition to the restored tidal marsh habitat, the project offers two isolated bird nesting islands and transitional areas to buffer sensitive habitats. Once fully realized, the park will also provide recreation, inspiration and education for local residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors. Overall the restoration of Yosemite Slough and Candlestick Park gives testimony to the fact that people and wildlife both benefit from wetland restoration projects. This one being especially significant for its location in the Bayview-Hunters Point where the quality of life is being improved thanks to expanded public access to the waterfront. The restoration of Yosemite Slough is a pivotal link in the revitalization effort underway along San Francisco’s waterfront.
Project Website: California Department of Parks and Recreation
Press Coverage: SF Gate, November 23, 2011 - Candlestick Point wetland reclaimed as key habitat
All photos and graphics courtesy of California State Parks Foundation.