Posted on April 26, 2023
Announced earlier this week that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management Office approved $2.2 million in new funding to restore the Elkhorn Slough.
The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with funding leveraged by the Inflation Reduction Act owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with NOAA and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation.
“With this effort, we’re using a holistic approach to put the puzzle pieces of an ecosystem together and restore an entire coastal landscape,” notes Reserve Manager Dave Feliz
90% of California’s wetlands have disappeared over the last century, and the Elkhorn Slough features the most extensive salt marshes in Califronia south of San Francisco Bay, per the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. Without help, even these marshes are expected to vanish within 50 years due to rising sea levels, subsidence, and tidal erosion.
The marshes are a key part of the ecosystem at Elkhorn Slough that supports more than 340 birds, 550 marine invertebrates, and 102 fish species.
“We are building this marsh high enough to last in the face of rising seas, long after most other marshes in the estuary have drowned,” says the Reserve’s Tidal Wetland Program Director Monique Fountain, who is heading up the restoration project as part of a larger, ongoing marsh restoration initiative.