Published: March 3rd, 2016
By John Upton
OAKLAND, Calif. — As the birdwatchers of Arrowhead Marsh strain through binoculars for glimpses of California clapper rails, they could easily miss the warning signs of an obscure threat to the species’ survival.
Grassy banks at the heart of the marsh are sloughing at the edges. With a spike in sea levels looming, chunks of mud are already dissolving into the tidal waterway, shrinking one of the few remaining homes of a species that once nested throughout the marshes that ringed San Francisco Bay’s sweeping watershed.
As agencies and nonprofits toil to restore and conserve San Francisco Bay Area marshlands, aiming to defend against rising seas and nurture wildlife, and as voters consider introducing a property tax to support the effort, a bewildering crisis has emerged.
There’s not enough mud.
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The Bay Planning Coalition, in collaboration with other California agencies, is advocating to reauthorize the full funding for the Water Resources and Research Development Act (WRRDA). Part of this funding is aimed towards research and projects in dredging and beneficial reuse in the San Francisco Bay Area to address some of the issues brought up in regards to “mud shortage” in the Bay’s marshlands.Tags: beneficial reuse, bpc, dredging, sediment, WRRDA