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Salt Ponds: Ecological Restoration

Envs 187 Group Project: Salt Ponds

Susana Cabrera-Mariz

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of Salt Ponds: Ecological Restoration

Salt Ponds Salt Ponds Structure Biodiversity(Number/Types of Species)
-Shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors,invertebrates and marsh species.
-280 species of birds
-Bio-diversity hotspot!
Meeting Time: 9am, Saturday Nov. 3rd
Bring a Lunch (Double Day) & Binoculars!

Directions: From I-880 or Highway 101, exit on Highway 237 toward Alviso. Turn north onto Zanker Road. Continue on Zanker Road to the Environmental Education Center entrance road (a sharp right turn at Grand Blvd.) The distance from Hwy. 237 to the entrance road is 2.1 miles. PROGRESS Create approximately 330 acres of tidal salt marsh & tidal channel habitat
(Fall 2010: COMPLETED)
Enhance 240 acres of shallow ponds with 50 nesting islands for migrating shorebirds
(Completion expected in 2013: UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Connect 1400 acres of ponds to the Bay, creating new marsh and shallow water habitats
(Fall 2009 COMPLETED)
-First Pond A8 tide gate opened (June 2011)
(If mercury testing shows no problems, additional tide gates to open in 2012. )
-Open 2.2 miles of new Bay Trail between Mountain View’s Stevens Creek and Sunnyvale (2010 COMPLETED) Determining factors as to why a specific spot is chosen:
-possible financially
-feasible goals
-historical structure
-social acceptance
-importance The habitat we are looking at in this project is located within a tidal wetland and is a salt pond, thus given the name South Bay Salt Pond Restoration. The California Wildlife Protection Act has a definition which encompasses many of the other descriptions and gives a clear picture as to what a wetland is considered  “lands which may be covered periodically or permanently with shallow water and which include saltwater marshes, freshwater marshes, open or closed brackish water marshes, swamps, mudflats, fens, and vernal pools” (Fish & Game Code 2785). Name: tidal wetlands
Classification system: tidal wetlands are classified based on 3 different categories:
o   State definitions
o   Federal definitions
o   And classifications based off of definitions -Moderate Climatic conditions: The salt ponds are able to absorb and release heat energy more slowly than adjacent land.
-Provide foraging and nesting area for shorebirds and marsh species. (CA Clapper rail & Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse )
-Salt Production: Cargill
-Improve hydrology and water quality.

- Interaction of Biotic & Abiotic Factors Plants Abundant
-Cordgrasss (Invasive)
-Coyote brush
-variety of grasses and wildflowers depending on season.

Animals: over 280 species of birds use this area, depending on season spring and fall migration.
Keystone species: Salt Pond brine shrimp, providing much needed resource for wildlife. feeds fish, birds and nutrients production.
-Rare: Salt marsh harvest mouse, Brown Pelican,Bald Eagle, Clapper Rail,Snowy Plover,Least Tern -> threatened & endangered Low salinity Salt Ponds
(macroalgae, fowl and invertebrates)
- Salt Lettuce
- Bay Pipe Fish
- American Pelicans
- Least Terns
-wintering birds Salt pond
-Range: few feet in width-1,000 acres.
- Source of nutrients
- Habitat
-Dominated by Cord grass and Pickleweed
- Dry climate & wind
-Part of the pacific fly way Description of Salt Ponds
- Abundance/Dominant Species Keystone/rare Historical Land Overview
Tidal marsh: 190,000 acres of the bay area.
-tidal marsh
-marsh plains
-salt ponds
Edges: non-tidal freshwater marsh habitats
Santa Clara Valley
-willow stands
-vernal pools Medium salinity
- Salt Ponds Green Algae
- Brine Shrimp & Flies
- Northern Shovels
-Avocets High salinity Salt Ponds
- fish cannot live
- Brine Shrimp
- Grebes
- Gulls
-Black Necked Stilts
- Phalaropes Endangered species
- California Clapper rail
- California Least Terns
- Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. Function species level

ecosystem level salt pannes pond levees &islands CONCLUSION high salinity ponds low salinity ponds Function Individual Level/Population Level California clipper rail
Habitat comprised of tidal salt marsh with direct tidal circulation Salt marsh harvest mouse California least tern Higher density in marshes with transitional vegetation
Low density in brackish marshes Preferred habitat middle and high zones of tidal marshes in pickleweed
Depends on perennial salt marshes for food and cover Western Snowy Plover Nest on beaches kept free from vegetation and near estuaries
Threats include; dreading, habitat loss,nesting disturbance,pollution, predation by domestic and wild animals Usually nests on vegetated beaches but it can also be found breeding along the tidal waters
Nests in dry salt ponds while using oyster shells plots for nesting.
Population has declined due to “poor reproductive success”
Population affected by habitat loss, recreational disturbance, flooding of nests and a high number of predators.
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