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As Executive Project Manager of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project, Dave Halsing brings more than 11 years of experience in environmental consulting to the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. At firms including Environmental Science Associates, AECOM, and URS, he has worked on or managed environmental and infrastructure management, restoration, and enhancement projects in and around San Francisco Bay. In seven of those years, he worked on various aspects of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, including its Phase 2 alternatives development, design, environmental analysis documents, and permitting. In the last two years, he worked as a deputy to his predecessor, John Bourgeois, helping to keep all the Project’s pieces in motion while collaborating with the Project Management Team and project partners. Other project work relevant to the Restoration Project involved San Francisco Bay habitat restoration or enhancement, public infrastructure, regulatory processes, alternatives development, and stakeholder or public engagement.

Prior to his consulting career, Dave was a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. His work focused on integrating economics, spatial data, and decision sciences into the natural and physical sciences that were the USGS’ primary focus. Dave has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Stanford University and a Master of Science in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He brings a strong project management background and a multidisciplinary approach to this challenging, multi-objective, multi-stakeholder project.  

San Leandro Reservoir absorbs Moraga Creek. Credit: Steven at Komoot.com
San Leandro Reservoir absorbs Moraga Creek. Credit: Steven at Komoot.com

Musings on Watersheds

One of my goals in 2022 (only partially satisfied) has been to remember to notice and appreciate the things that are mundane and common but that are impressive, important, beautiful, or just cool to think about.

In that latter category is the concept of a watershed.

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Island Ponds are breached to Coyote Creek, 2006. Credit: Mark Bittner
Island Ponds are breached to Coyote Creek, 2006. Credit: Mark Bittner

Remaking the Connections

Remember craigslist?

Seems like a million years ago, and it was definitely pre-social media, but craigslist was a virtually free online, geographically oriented marketplace for housing, vehicles, furniture, recreation equipment, dates, and whatever else. Back in the day, I found one apartment, multiple housemates, and a bicycle using craigslist, and it didn’t cost me a thing.

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Save The Bay hard at work in Ravenswood. Credit: Ivan Parr
Save The Bay hard at work in Ravenswood. Credit: Ivan Parr

Another Partnership: Save The Bay

If you’ve been reading this blog at all – and I know that you have Mom, so don’t try to deny it – you know that we feel strongly about the importance of partnerships to the success of our Project.

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Dumbarton Marsh, December 2020. Credit: Cris Benton
Dumbarton Marsh, December 2020. Credit: Cris Benton

Memo to Self: Remember to Tell People Why Tidal Marsh Restoration Matters

If you work in the environmental field long enough, it becomes easy to forget that not everyone starts with the same understandings or intuitions that we do. For example, when I talk with members of the public or the media, I sometimes skip right over the “why” of what we are doing so I can get right to the “what,” the “when,” and the ”how” of it.

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Birds forage on mudflats. Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Birds forage on mudflats. Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

A Slick Strategy for Spiking Sediment Supply*

We’re trying something new here at Salty Dave’s Wetland Weblog: a two-author post! The topic below is so interesting that we needed two people to cover it. I’m joined by Julie Beagle, Environmental Planning Section Chief in the San Francisco District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I’ve used my usual imprecise language in the plain text below, and Julie has weighed in with corrections and clarifications to make the story more complete. Her words are in italics. I am grateful for Julie’s work with me on this.

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Crews and equipment working at Ravenswood. Credit: Ivan Parr
Crews and equipment working at Ravenswood. Credit: Ivan Parr

And More Construction!

If you were one of the intrepid few who ventured over to Salty Dave’s Wetland Weblog a few weeks ago and read the piece about our Phase 2 project at the Island Ponds, you know how excited we are to be underway there.

But now, I have a question for you:

What’s better than having a project site in construction?

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Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016
Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016

Another Common Question: Why does restoration take SO LONG?

I noticed the other day that the planning for Phase 2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project began in 2012. Putting that in context:
Barack Obama was in his first term as President, the San Francisco Giants had only won one World Series, Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries, and the hottest social media platform was Snapchat.

So…yeah, it’s been a while.

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Bicyclists tour trails near Moffett Field, Alviso ponds
Bicyclists tour trails near Moffett Field, Alviso ponds

Common Questions: Where Can I Bring My…

Where can I bring my dog? My drone? My bike? My…self?

These are common – and important – questions. The explanations and reasoning behind the answers are at least as important as the answers themselves. I’m trying to tighten up these entries, so let’s dive right in…

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Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey & Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA
Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey & Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA

The Next Most Common Question: What Are You Going to Do About Sea Level Rise?

After covering a few other topics in my blog entries, I thought this would be a good time to revisit another in the list of common questions I get from students, media, and other interested people. This one is such a meaty topic that there’s enough content for two blog entries on it…LUCKY YOU!

Here’s the first one; we’ll run Part 2 in a few weeks.

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View from Bedwell Bayfront Park overlook, Ravenswood. Credit: Michael Macor, SF Chronicle
View from Bedwell Bayfront Park overlook, Ravenswood. Credit: Michael Macor, SF Chronicle

Subtle Beauty

I’m a native of San Francisco, and I lived in various spots on the Peninsula until I was almost 40 years old. Over most of that time, the Bay was just a thing I had to drive across on a bridge or cross under in a BART train to get where I was going.

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Cargill salt stacks, 2010. Credit: Cris Benton
Cargill salt stacks, 2010. Credit: Cris Benton

The Most Common Question: What Is Up with Those Crazy Colors Around the Edges of the Bay?!?

In my job as Executive Project Manager of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, I do a lot of media interviews, public appearances, presentations to elected officials, and site tours with groups of students and other interested groups. I also meet a lot of people socially. In those settings, the “what do you do?” question comes up a lot.

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Eden Landing Pond E6C. Credit: Cris Benton
Eden Landing Pond E6C. Credit: Cris Benton

What Are We Doing at Eden Landing? And When?

Hello – and welcome back to Salty Dave’s Wetland Weblog, where we ironically embrace a lot of alliterative archaisms!

I am psyched to have gotten our first Reader Suggestion for a blog entry topic: Brian Coyne asked about what we are planning to do at the Eden

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Photo: Dave Halsing
Photo: Dave Halsing

Introduction to Salty Dave’s Wetland Weblog

We’re trying out something new here at the Project’s website: a blog! I know: blogs are very 2002…but, uh…having had yet another birthday, I realized that I’m getting old enough that 2002 doesn’t seem that long ago to me. I still have a sweatshirt from 1996 that I wear pretty often, so I’m not discarding a good piece of casualwear OR a fun way to reach the stakeholders and various audiences for the Restoration Project just because either one dates back to the Clinton administration.¹

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