Project Actions

Green Gulch pasture from above Hwy 1
Green Gulch pasture from above Hwy 1

Aaron Sunshine

Project Partners

This project is possible with the cooperation of a number of project partners. Project supporters will hopefully grow as future project funding becomes available. Marin County Department of Public Works is managing a number of site improvements including the Pacific Way bridge and the intersection with Highway 1. The San Francisco Zen Center at Green Gulch owns the adjacent land and has cooperated on project easements and possible restoration work on their own property. And of course the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is our right hand moving forward, with help in project communications, growing native plants, and managing future community volunteers.

Current funding is supported by generous grants from the California Coastal Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Game, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Additional funding options are currently being pursued.

Existing Site Conditions

The Redwood Creek watershed extends from the peaks of Marin County’s tallest mountain, Mount Tamalpais, to the Pacific Ocean at Muir Beach. The watershed encompasses an area of less than nine square miles, yet it harbors an incredibly diverse ecosystem and rich assemblages of plant and animal species. Within this small watershed are found the open expanse of grassland, the dense tangle of coastal chaparral, the deep mystery of mixed hardwood and old-growth redwood forest, the ephemeral wealth of seasonal wetlands, and the refreshing niches of riparian woodland. And yet on the edge of one of the nation’s most densely populated regions, these habitats extend in an unbroken mosaic from the ridge tops to the sea.

The Redwood Creek watershed is home to some of the west coast’s most imperiled species, such as Coho salmon, steelhead trout, the northern spotted owl, and the California red-legged frog. As an indication of its ecological value, the watershed is included in one of the 25 global biodiversity “hot spots” recognized by the Nature Conservancy and targeted by the global conservation community as key to preserving the world’s ecosystems. It is also within the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve, one of over 400 reserves designated by the United Nations to provide a global network of the world’s major ecosystem types. In this setting the Muir Beach restoration is a celebration of local nature while addressing truly global environmental concerns.

Proposed Actions and Benefits

The National Parks Service, in cooperation with Marin County, are undertaking a wide variety of site improvements. For specific examples read Proposed Actions. This project is on the level with the Crissy Field restoration in the Presidio and the Giacomini restoration in Point Reyes. While significantly enhancing habitat for threatened and endangered species, the changes to natural areas will restore ecological processes to the site that have been missing for decades. While keeping the rustic feeling of the area, changes to amenities will make the site more functional for all visitors. And trail improvements on the site and in the surrounding area will make the site a recreational hub for exploring this region of the Marin Headlands.

Project Documents

Construction Designs for Restoration

Construction Designs for Visitor Access and Amenities

Construction Designs for Pacific Way Bridge

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
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