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Giacomini Wetlands Phase II to Begin Next Week

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Date: July 11, 2008
Contact: John A. Dell’Osso, 415-464-5135
Contact: Lorraine Parsons, 415-464-5193

The National Park Service (Park Service), California State Lands Commission (CSLC), and Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) have secured the necessary permits for construction of Phase II and have selected a contractor. Hanford ARC, based in Sonoma, Calif., was the contractor that performed the first phase of the Coastal Watershed Restoration Project in 2007, and the company is very experienced in working in tidal and creek systems with environmentally sensitive habitats and species. Hanford will be using biodiesel-fueled trucks for hauling excavated sediments to the quarries, which are being fully restored to natural conditions under a separate project in 2009.

The Park Service conducted some preliminary activities to improve construction conditions, including mowing and baling of vegetation to decrease the amount of material that would need to be cleared and disposed of either on-site or off-site. It also worked to dry out the site to improve construction conditions. A tide-induced breach of the levee during an extreme high tide series (7.0 ft above Mean Lower Low Water) on July 1, 2008, caused a temporary setback in these efforts, but the breach was repaired on July 3, 2008. The Park Service conducted extensive efforts for several days to rescue and recover marine and outer estuarine species such as juvenile leopard sharks and batrays that became stranded in the former pasture areas due to the fact that levees disrupted the outflow of water during ebb or outgoing tides. This event strongly supports the contention of estuarine scientists that marshplains, as well as channels, are important foraging areas for juvenile marine and outer estuarine species during high tide events during certain times of the year.

We wish to thank the local community and park visitors for their support of our project and their patience during construction. While construction does cause some impacts to residents and visitors, we are hoping that you will find the results of our efforts worthwhile, particularly after we finish construction of Phase II in 2008. We also hope that you become part of the restoration project by joining one of our drop-in community or organized group planting days this fall. Also, look for seminars and field trips being planned this summer and fall to update the community and visitors on status of the restoration effort, as well as on specific aspects of the restoration effort such as changes in bird use, vegetation, and hydrology.

Our goal is to effectively disseminate information to the public so that the community residents and visitors know what to expect during construction. Lessons learned from Phase I are being incorporated into Phase II in terms of how to minimize impacts for residents and visitors. Once the construction schedule and specifications are finalized, the Park Service and PRNSA will release information to the public about the anticipated construction schedule; construction and hauling routes; any anticipated traffic delays from construction, and schedule for temporary or permanent closures of trails. The public outreach effort will include regular updates of this website, as well as other means such as flyers, meetings, press releases, and knocking on doors.

PRNSA helped to raise most of the monies for this project and is managing the construction portion in collaboration with the Park Service. PRNSA has engaged Winzler & Kelly (Santa Rosa, Calif.) to manage construction during Phase II. The Park Service will provide environmental monitoring during the project to ensure that impacts to valuable natural resources such as wetlands, riparian habitat, and special status species are minimized to the extent possible.

  • Phase II of the restoration project is now scheduled to start on July 16, 2008.
  • Construction will start in the East (adjacent to Point Reyes Station) and West (adjacent to Inverness Park) Pastures.
  • Construction will continue through November 30, 2008, except for revegetation, which will extend into December 2008.
  • Currently, efforts are being conducted to improve construction conditions through vegetation removal via mowing and drying out of the site after a tide-induced breaching of the levee on July 2, 2008.
  • Off-site hauling is anticipated to begin during the first week of September and will be conducted with biodiesel-fueled vehicles, which is expected to minimize noise and air quality impacts.
  • No closures of trails are expected in July 2008.

For more information, visit our Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project: Phase II Construction Updates page.

-NPS-

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Point Reyes Lighthouse

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