Common Questions https://www.southbayrestoration.org/ en Another Common Question: Why does restoration take SO LONG? https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/another-common-question-why-does-restoration-take-so-long <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Another Common Question: Why does restoration take SO LONG?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/17/2021 - 12:32</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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:<br /> 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.</p> <p>So…yeah, it’s been a while.</p> <p>Yet we’re only under construction at two of our Phase 2 project locations with another set to ramp up in 2021 and a fourth in 2022. Which brings us to another in the series of Common Questions: Why does restoration take so long?</p> <p>The biggest explanation is simply that there are many steps, each of which takes a fair bit of time on their own, and they mostly have to be done in sequence rather than in parallel. Here were our major steps to launch Phase 2 at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, and how long each step took. We are working through the same steps over similar time scales at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, but the process started 1-2 years later.</p> <ul> <li>2012-2013: Develop and screen alternatives</li> <li>2013-2014: Create initial designs and conduct activities like hydrodynamic modeling and field surveys</li> <li>2013-2015: Draft, publish, and circulate the environmental analysis for public comment</li> <li>2015-2016: Finalize the environmental analysis document, including selecting a Preferred Alternative and responding to comments. There were also publication delays associated with the federal government shutdown.</li> <li>2016-2018: Conduct additional geotechnical engineering and other designs sufficient to inform permit applications.</li> <li>2016-2018: Apply for environmental permits. The last application was submitted in early 2017. The last permit was issued in October 2018.</li> <li>2019-present/ongoing: Work continues with additional designs, construction specifications, easements, securing local agency permits, holding construction contract bidding, and so on.</li> </ul> <p>When you first hear about seven or eight years from first step to first pile of dirt imported and placed, it seems crazy.</p> <p>But when you look at each of those steps and what goes into them, it is more reasonable. We didn’t fritter, dilly-dally, dither, or lollygag in doing this work. The team worked very hard and diligently through these steps. Ecosystems are complex, and it’s important to ensure we – as well as our neighboring communities, regulatory agencies, environmental interest groups, other key stakeholders, and the public – have the necessary information to help craft the best on-the-ground actions.¹  Plus, since the outset of the Restoration Project, our team has stood by prior commitments to inclusiveness – incorporating multiple rounds of review and using a consensus approach.</p> <p>This process takes time and resources, but it is worth it to have more scientific certainty and a broader base of support and input!</p> <blockquote> <p>¹That’s not to say there weren’t some inefficiencies. There were two government shutdowns, plenty of staff changes, a global pandemic, easement to obtain, and contracting challenges to work through.</p> </blockquote> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/pmt_eir_party_4-12-16.jpg" title="Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2193-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pmt_eir_party_4-12-16.jpg" width="3264" height="1982" alt="Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pmt_eir_party_4-12-16_0.jpg" width="3264" height="1982" alt="Project managers review final environmental analysis, 2016" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Tue, 17 Aug 2021 19:32:35 +0000 Dave Halsing 2193 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/another-common-question-why-does-restoration-take-so-long#comments Wait…Are Salt Ponds Good or Bad? https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/waitare-salt-ponds-good-or-bad <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Wait…Are Salt Ponds Good or Bad?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/12/2021 - 14:09</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Hi and welcome back!</p> <p>One goal of this blog was listing the Top Ten Questions I get about this Restoration Project. You can check out previous entries on that list <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog-timeline">here</a>.  Here’s a question from the rest of the Top 10.</p> <p>Are salt ponds good or bad?</p> <p>The answer is not obvious. Because we are doing our best to convert over 15,000 acres of former salt-production ponds into tidal marsh or improved managed ponds for habitat purposes, it would be understandable to think they were “bad” from the perspective of what is best for the environment or local biological communities. But it’s not entirely correct</p> <p>Salt ponds are certainly not natural systems. They are highly modified systems much like croplands or ranchlands or forests managed for timber production are. And while each of those examples represents a loss of the state of nature from pre-development times, they nevertheless provide some habitat value for some species at least some of the time. Some bird species like phalaropes and eared grebes prefer to forage in the high-salinity ponds that were at the end of the chain of salt production, which involved gradually evaporating water and concentrating the salts.</p> <p>Further, many former salt ponds – the ones near the beginning of that industrial salt-concentrating process – are only a little saltier than the ambient conditions of San Francisco Bay. The microbes and aquatic invertebrates that can live and grow in these ponds provide food sources for fish and birds as well. Even the periodically dry salt moonscapes that we call “salt pannes” can host western snowy plovers and multiple tern species.</p> <p>Lastly, berms that rise from within salt ponds are good roosting spots for many bird species, as they are typically located away from terrestrial predators (such as raccoons or feral cats) and from frequent human disturbance.</p> <p>From an ecological perspective, it’s not as simple as whether salt ponds are ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Nature is pretty adaptable, and at least some different kinds of organisms have figured out how to make use of them. We still want to restore our former salt-production ponds to tidal marsh or keep them as ponds but enhance them to make their waters more like those of the Bay and thus even more useful to wildlife. But they aren’t without their benefits.</p> <p>You can learn more about the habitat values of salt marsh and ponds from our Wetlands Factsheets, available <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/page/factsheets">here</a>.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" title="Dave Halsing" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2186-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;,&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" width="2517" height="2029" alt="Dave Halsing" title="Dave Halsing" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Dave Halsing</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-07/wl-30cropped.jpg" width="1200" height="709" alt="Caspian terns on a pond island." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Mon, 12 Jul 2021 21:09:54 +0000 Dave Halsing 2186 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/waitare-salt-ponds-good-or-bad#comments Common Questions: Where Can I Bring My… https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/common-questions-where-can-i-bring-my <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Common Questions: Where Can I Bring My…</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 06/18/2021 - 09:53</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Where can I bring my dog? My drone? My bike? My…self?</p> <p>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…</p> <p>You cannot bring your dog anywhere into the locations that are part of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project itself, even if dogs are allowed in the adjacent city or county parks. That’s because our Project takes place on parts of a National Wildlife Refuge and a State Ecological Reserve. These public lands are managed largely for wildlife, and even though public access and recreation are ALSO part of the mission of the federal and state agencies that run them, that access must be compatible with the needs of the wildlife. Even well-behaved dogs on leashes pose unacceptable risks to wildlife. For example, small animals and birds may smell, hear, or see a dog, perceive it as a predator, and scatter from nests or young, resulting in a lower percentage of them making it to adulthood. We also know that some dog owners are not 100% compliant about keeping their dogs on leashes when they are supposed to be, which adds further risk.</p> <p>Similarly, you cannot pilot your drone within our project areas, for most of the same reasons. The noise, velocity, and erratic movements of a drone are novel stimuli to the birds and other wildlife that live in our restoration areas, and their presence can disturb or even prevent successful foraging, mating, or nesting behaviors. Even wildlife that has habituated (gotten used) to noises from nearby highways, airplanes, or boats that are common in our urban environmental can have trouble with drones because they are new. And, of course, accidents sometimes happen – like <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-07/thousands-of-eggs-abandoned-after-drone-crash-at-orange-county-nature-reserve">the drone that crashed in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve</a> and caused nesting terns to abandon almost 2,000 eggs. So they are prohibited…again, even when the adjacent property owners sometimes allow them.</p> <p>But enough with the negativity!</p> <p>You <strong>can</strong> bring your bicycle on most of the public access trails in the Project! A few of them are only open for seasonal hunting access, and some of what looks like recreational trails are actually designated only for maintenance and operations work, often because they are not improved enough for public safety purposes. But setting those exceptions aside, there are <strong>many</strong> terrific trails that are open to bicycles. The Bay Trail’s central spine design standards call for trails to be wide enough and surfaced for bicycles. (Of course, all project trails are compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so they are wheelchair-accessible too.)</p> <p>Lastly, where can you bring yourself?</p> <p>Well, anywhere in the publicly accessible trail networks at our pond complexes provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – or in many of the adjacent city, county, or regional park agencies/districts. Maps and descriptions of public trails and amenities at the Restoration are available <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/pond-complexes/alviso">here</a> and <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/pond-complexes/eden-landing">here</a> and <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/pond-complexes/ravenswood">here</a>.</p> <p>But I want to emphasize how important it is to <strong>stay on the trails</strong>! Please don’t venture down into what look like moonscapes – the dry salt pannes – to get a closer look at the colors in the remaining waters. Don’t wander into the marsh to see if there’s a bird there. Don’t try to test the cohesion of a mudflat at low tide. It’s harmful to the plants and wildlife, and it could be dangerous to you. My sincere thanks!</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" title="Dave Halsing" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2182-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;,&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" width="2517" height="2029" alt="Dave Halsing" title="Dave Halsing" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Dave Halsing</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-06/bike_tour_behind_moffet_field_pic21534-crop.jpg" width="1412" height="1028" alt="Bicyclists tour trails near Moffett Field, Alviso ponds" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Fri, 18 Jun 2021 16:53:31 +0000 Dave Halsing 2182 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/common-questions-where-can-i-bring-my#comments What Are You Going to Do About Sea Level Rise? Part 2 https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/what-are-you-going-do-about-sea-level-rise-part-2 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What Are You Going to Do About Sea Level Rise? Part 2</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 05/26/2021 - 15:50</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In our <a href="/blog/next-most-common-question-what-are-you-going-do-about-sea-level-rise">last entry</a> here at Salty Dave’s Wetland Weblog (still hoping for some better name suggestions…), I wrote about sea level rise and related aspects of coastal flood management and adaptation. I also covered our overall process for planning to make our restoration efforts successful in a world with higher tides.</p> <p>But I only got partway through it, because there was too much to tell in one blog entry – my editorial staff is telling me that Twitter’s 280-character limit has warped everyone’s attention span such that no one wants to focus on a piece that’s over 600 words and that 300-400 words would be better. I have more faith in you than that and know that you’ll be able to…wait, hang on…I gotta check the score of the Giants game…</p> <p>This time, we’re going to dig in with Part 2 of how we plan for and incorporate sea level rise in our project. I wrote earlier about how we include things like habitat transition slopes to help marshes migrate upslope over time, and levees that are wider than they need to be, so that they can be topped up as needed later. But the process actually begins long before we put pen to paper (or, more accurately, a mouse to a computer-assisted design software program).</p> <p>Proper planning for sea level rise means we have to think carefully about which ponds to aim to restore to tidal marshes. Our 2007 preliminary plans were completed before we understood the great rate and magnitude of sea level rise that might occur. Those plans may be too optimistic about how many acres of tidal marshes we can produce without bringing in added sediment supply (more on that below). We need to refocus our marsh restoration efforts on the best available opportunities. This includes focusing on ponds that are not so subsided that they are already "behind the curve" when it comes to sea level rise.</p> <p>Those deeper and more subsided areas will be kept as managed ponds, which is important, because plenty of different birds use these ponds and the levees around them for foraging, roosting, or nesting. We want to protect and enhance those habitats too, so having multiple reasons to set some ponds aside is often handy. (It’s important to remember, however, that managed pond habitat is also at risk from higher sea levels, as the levees surrounding them were originally designed for salt production and not to protect against rising seas. Under higher sea level rise scenarios, they will face increased risk of erosion and overtopping too. The mental model a lot of us have of being able to retain pond levees and habitats indefinitely is not totally accurate.)</p> <p>We are also considering pilot projects to help jump-start restoration so that marshes can develop more quickly. By reusing material from offsite upland excavation projects and/or dredging, we can augment naturally occurring sediment supplied by the tides, raise pond bottoms to marsh elevations, and maybe even add sediment in thin layers in the future to help out marshes we restore today. We are interested in whether it would be helpful to place dredged sediments on mudflats outside of ponds to increase the natural sediment supply. And we are trying to direct more sediment from area creeks into the interiors of restoration areas, rather than streams carrying it out into the Bay. There are costs and regulatory hurdles to these added mechanisms, but we are seeking to utilize them more fully in the coming years.</p> <p>Let me know if you want to read more on sea level rise. It’s a very rich topic.</p> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" title="Dave Halsing" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2177-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;,&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Dave Halsing&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/default_images/Dave%20Halsing%202%201-9-21%20cropped.jpg" width="2517" height="2029" alt="Dave Halsing" title="Dave Halsing" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Dave Halsing</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/15-980acompressirvingpondab2winterducks.jpg" width="1024" height="586" alt="Winter ducks at the more subsided Alviso ponds, 2008. Credit: Judy Irving, Pelican Media" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Wed, 26 May 2021 22:50:57 +0000 Dave Halsing 2177 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/what-are-you-going-do-about-sea-level-rise-part-2#comments The Next Most Common Question: What Are You Going to Do About Sea Level Rise? https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/next-most-common-question-what-are-you-going-do-about-sea-level-rise <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Next Most Common Question: What Are You Going to Do About Sea Level Rise?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/07/2021 - 11:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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!</p> <p>Here’s the first one; we’ll run Part 2 in a few weeks.</p> <p>Probably the second most common question is about whether and how the tidal marsh restoration efforts will “work” in a future with higher sea levels. A related question is how we are addressing the risk of sea level rise in our project. So let’s start at the top.</p> <p>Future sea level rise in San Francisco Bay is an undeniable fact, though there are still uncertainties in the amount, timing, and rates of increases in sea level. That said, each new model or projection of future sea level rise indicates that we should be preparing for higher water levels sooner than previous projections called for.</p> <p>Importantly, neither of the two landowners in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – manager of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge – and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife – manager of Eden Landing Ecological Reserve – is a flood protection agency. Their primary missions and bases of technical expertise are a long way from planning for long-term coastal flooding related to sea level rise.</p> <p>Accordingly, the Restoration Project’s legal responsibility is to at least maintain current levels of de facto flood risk management. To do that, any place where our actions, such as breaching former salt-production pond berms, would cause a decrease in existing protection, we raise and otherwise improve levees to offset that decrease. Where possible, we also work with local flood protection or public works agencies to incorporate other levee or water management structure improvements or strategies to increase the current levels of flood risk management.</p> <p>Our designs also include several different aspects of sea level rise adaptation. For example, we are working to establish tidal marshes, which act like sponges to slow, spread out, or even hold back high waters related to peak high tides, storm surge, and wave run-up. At the landward edge of many of our tidal marshes, we are building habitat transition zones, which are gentle slopes that connect uplands to the bottoms of ponds or the marshes we restore. These sloped habitats further blunt wave run-up, storm surge, and high tides. They also provide a "ramp" for marshes to migrate uphill in the future as marsh plants grow on newly deposited sediments brought in by the tides. These slopes are also important habitats for wildlife that need to escape high water levels as sea levels rise.</p> <p>Our work to improve existing levees can also provide the base for future increases in levee heights as needed to protect against rising waters. This strategy involves building a wider base than is needed for guarding against today’s flood risks so that additional elevation can be added later without requiring additional areas of fill or habitat impacts.</p> <p>Most research and sea level rise projections show that established marshes and sloped habitats in the South Bay can keep pace with sea level rise for another few decades, if tides and creeks continue to deliver the same amount of sediments. So it’s important to restore as much tidal marsh as we can now to get it established before the expected highest rates of sea level rise occur.</p> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/transition_zone_habitat_-_hth_safer_bay_may_2018_5.jpg" title="Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey &amp; Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2171-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey &amp; Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/transition_zone_habitat_-_hth_safer_bay_may_2018_5.jpg" width="878" height="613" alt="Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey &amp; Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey &amp; Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-05/transition_zone_habitat_-_hth_safer_bay_may_2018_6.jpg" width="878" height="613" alt="Habitat transition zone. Credit: H.T. Harvey &amp; Associates, SAFER Bay Public Draft Feasibility Report, 2019, San Fransicquito Creek JPA" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Fri, 07 May 2021 18:35:35 +0000 Dave Halsing 2171 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/next-most-common-question-what-are-you-going-do-about-sea-level-rise#comments The Most Common Question: What Is Up with Those Crazy Colors Around the Edges of the Bay?!? https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/most-common-question-what-those-crazy-colors-around-edges-bay <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Most Common Question: What Is Up with Those Crazy Colors Around the Edges of the Bay?!?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/161" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Halsing</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 03/25/2021 - 16:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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. I then get to try to explain what the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is and what work I do on it.</p> <p>The most common question I get as part of either of those two scenarios is “What is <strong>up</strong> with those crazy colors around the edges of the Bay?!?”</p> <p>If you already know the answer to this, feel free to click over to <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/video-and-audio/june-2005-north-creek-levee-breach-part-2">this link</a> on our project website and see a very awesome but somewhat low-res video of a 2005 breach event featuring KTVU’s Dennis Richmond and a less seasoned version of John Krause, manager of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. If you don’t know the answer, keep reading…</p> <p>When lots of salt was being made along the edges of San Francisco Bay, they did it by sectioning off little bits of the bay into one pond or cell, evaporating some of the water, making it a little more salty, then shunting that water into the next pond, where a little more water evaporated, making it a little more salty still, and then repeating those steps through a series of ponds of ever-increasing salinity until what remained was essentially harvestable salt. What the salt-makers had was a metaphorical assembly line of more and more concentrated salt water.</p> <p>That’s an oversimplification, but it’s basically how it worked. And it turns out that different types of aquatic microbes, algae, and invertebrates can grow and thrive in different salinities. AND it also turns out that these different organisms have their own colors, some of which are pretty remarkably rare in nature. So when we are flying into one of the Bay Area’s airports¹, we look down and see all kinds of crazy colors, and what we are mostly seeing is what kind of microbes grow in different salinities.</p> <p>At the end of that chain, the dry salt flats, called pannes, are bright white because salt is white. But the reds, pinks, and oranges are areas that are still in salt production. Salt-making company Cargill still makes a lot of salt at its Newark facility, and on a clear day, you can see the salt pile from a great distance. The bright green areas are ponds that are either still in production but only a little saltier than the Bay, or that are planned for restoration that we just haven’t gotten to yet.</p> <p>So, there you go. For more beautiful photos of the crazy colors of the marshes, sloughs, ponds and pannes, check out Cris Benton’s kite aerial photography <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kap_cris/albums">here</a>.</p> <ol> <li>My favorite is OAK because of its proximity to my house, understated chic, and satellite location of Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. Not necessarily in that order.</li> </ol> </div> <div class="field--name-field-image"> <div class="field__item"> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"> <a href="https://www.southbayrestoration.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/50347597647_1daed6eabc_o.jpg" title="Cargill salt stacks. Credit: Cris Benton" data-colorbox-gallery="gallery-blog-2154-KRxJ2lbSuGg" class="colorbox" data-cbox-img-attrs="{&quot;alt&quot;:&quot;Cargill salt stacks. Credit: Cris Benton&quot;}"><img src="/sites/default/files/2021-03/50347597647_1daed6eabc_o.jpg" width="1200" height="800" alt="Cargill salt stacks. Credit: Cris Benton" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> <figcaption>Cargill salt stacks. Credit: Cris Benton</figcaption> </figure> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Thumbnail</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-03/50347597647_1daed6eabc_o.jpg" width="1200" height="800" alt="Cargill salt stacks, 2010. Credit: Cris Benton" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/blog-categories/term" hreflang="en">Common Questions</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-display field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog Display</div> <div class="field__item">Thumbnail</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/authors/dave-halsing" hreflang="en">Dave Halsing</a></div> </div> Thu, 25 Mar 2021 23:52:04 +0000 Dave Halsing 2154 at https://www.southbayrestoration.org https://www.southbayrestoration.org/blog/most-common-question-what-those-crazy-colors-around-edges-bay#comments