September 10, 2008
Contact: John Dell’Osso
Contact: Lorraine Parsons
What’s Happening at the Giacomini Wetlands This Week (Week of September 8 - 12, 2008):
- West Pasture Starts Up Again: For several weeks, most of the activity in the West Pasture has been hauling of excavated sediment to the quarries. However, hauling from this pasture will end this week, and the contractor will begin next week removing portions of the northern sections of the Lagunitas Creek levee. The contractor will access this area from the North Levee, which will start to be deconstructed at the end of September. Construction and equipment activity on the North Levee will require permanent closure of the informal path in this area starting approximately September 15, as the trail will be removed as part of levee removal.
- Olema Marsh Restoration: In two weeks, the contractor will breach a portion of a small berm that limits hydrologic connectivity of Bear Valley Creek with Lagunitas Creek. Bear Valley Creek flows into Olema Marsh, which is severely impounded due to loss of outflow through one culvert and the presence of an earthen berm near the inlet of the remaining culvert. No material will be off-hauled from Olema Marsh. This restoration component will require temporary closure of the Olema Marsh Trail starting approximately September 22. The closure is not expected to extend beyond October 1.
- Hauling and Disposal of Sediment: Hauling of excavated sediment from the West Pasture to the quarries will end this week. Hauling from the East Pasture is expected to begin September 29 and run for two to three weeks. Hauling is being conducted with biodiesel-fueled trucks. Most of the East Pasture levee material has been used to fill drainage ditches and construct high tide refugia, with the rest being used at the Dairy Mesa to restore the natural topography of the Mesa.
- Tidal Channel Creation and Realignment of Tomasini Creek: Construction contractors are currently focusing on creation of tidal channels and sloughs and high tide refugia for rails in the northern and central portions of the East Pasture. The middle and lower Tomasini Slough channels have been completed, and contractors are working on the upper Tomasini Slough currently. In addition, this week, contractors will be starting on connecting the currently leveed section of Tomasini Creek to the new upper Tomasini Slough. The Tomasini Slough will be the new alignment for the currently leveed portion of Tomasini Creek within the Giacomini Ranch. Starting today, the contractors will begin some of the smaller tidal channels in the East Pasture.
- Levee Removal: All of the levees have been removed in the East Pasture, and the central and southernmost portions of West Pasture levees have been removed. Final removal of levees in the West Pasture will begin next week (see West Pasture Starts Up Again). At some of the southernmost areas, levees have been completely removed, but in the middle and northern portions of the ranch, a small amount of outer levee material is being retained as a berm to maintain dry working conditions through late October.
- Eucalyptus Removal: a separate set of contractors has completed removal of a large portion of the non-native Eucalyptus trees on the Giacomini Ranch property near the Martinelli Ranch, which is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Thanks to a donation by a local member of the Point Reyes community, more than 60 medium- and large-sized Eucalyptus trees were felled and, when possible, chipped and evenly redistributed within the work area. Smaller-diameter trees will cut by Park Service staff during the next month. This week, Park Service staff will begin felling some of the smaller trees within the work area.
- On Saturday, September 27, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) and the Seashore will be hosting the second of four field seminars on the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. The seminar on September 27 will focus on challenges and opportunities in restoring estuarine wetlands and changes expected with the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. The presentation will be led by Lorraine Parsons, Wetland Ecologist for the Seashore and Project Manager for the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. In addition, there will be an update on status of the Giacomini construction project. All of the seminars are open to the public at no cost. The workshops and seminars will meet at 10 a.m. at the corner of 5th and C Streets in Point Reyes Station.
Other Field Seminar Topics include:
- Saturday, October 25: Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project: Dynamics of bird use (Jules Evens, Principal, Avocet Research Associates);
- Saturday, November 22: Changing flow patterns and fish use in the Giacomini Restoration Area (Brannon Ketcham, Hydrologist/Water Resources Chief; Michael Reichmuth, Fisheries Biologist, Seashore).