San Joaquin Marsh Enhancement – Phase I

Location: Orange County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Completed

Habitat Type: Tidal Wetland

Cost: $2,492,900

Assembly District: 74

Senate District: 37

Congressional District: 45

Project Lead/Grantee:
UC Natural Reserve System (Bill Bretz 949-824-6031)

This project enhanced approximately 50 acres of existing freshwater marsh habitat on the San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh Reserve. The project was part of an effort to restore the natural gradient found historically at Southern California coastal wetlands.

The project was designed to restore some of the site’s most important natural characteristics which have been significantly altered and degraded due to the effects of a century of agricultural and urban development in the wetlands and surrounding watersheds of the Reserve. The focus of Phase I is the development of a water supply and distribution system that would enable the reserve manager to bring in supplemental water from San Diego Creek to maintain a diversity of seasonal and permanent wetland habitats. Other key elements of the project included: excavation and revegetation of degraded seasonal ponds, improvements to water outflow conditions, and establishment of coastal sage scrub and riparian habitats.