The North End Restoration Project
In January 2015, Marin County hired consultants to begin feasibility and assessment processes for developing the multi-beneficial North End Wetlands Enhancement and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Project. The project's objectives are to alleviate chronic flooding and road safety hazards, improve the function of Lewis and Wilkins creeks, enhance riparian and wetland habitats, and allow for future expansion of Bolinas Lagoon as sea level rises.
The project area includes the intersection of roads at the Bolinas "Y" comprising portions of Olema-Bolinas Road, Bolinas-Fairfax Road, and Highway 1, and extending upstream through Lewis and Wilkins Creeks which drain through the "Y" into the northern tip of the lagoon. Consultants are working on Phase I of the project which includes a baseline study of the area's existing biological, cultural, and physical resources and identifying the project's restoration goals. Phase II includes an opportunities and constraints report detailing the findings from those studies as well as three conceptual project designs. The Draft site conditions report was completed in January, 2016 and can be accessed on Marin County's website. The upcoming third annual State of the Lagoon meeting, slated for late 2016, will present the project design alternatives to the community for discussion and feedback so be sure to check our Meeting Information page for more information on that event.
Year Three of Kent Island Restoration Complete: Natives Returning and Island Shifting!
Thanks to the hard work of 159 staff and volunteers, the third year of plant removal is continuing to make progress on the reduction of nonnative plant species on Kent Island. Over 22 dates and 700 hours of donated time, student and local volunteers irrigated and removed several plant species such as fennel, acacia, iceplant, sweet clover, sea rocket, bush lupine, bird's foot tree foil, french broom, scotch broom, and algerian sea levender to name a few. Thanks to volunteers over 60,000sq ft of invasive plants were removed in 2015, equivalent to over 12 basketball courts! And all of this work is paying off. Project managers have documented an increase in native plants such as Pink Sand Verbena, which is important for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Managers have also noticed increased erosion in the areas of plant removal, namely along the southeast region of the island, suggesting that the project is already changing the island's shape! Progress on the project would not be possible without the help of volunteers who are truly the heart of this community based process, so we hope you join us on the island!
Season four removal dates are underway and will be held now through October, 2016 on the 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday of every month. To join one of our volunteer days or organize a special work day for your own group or organization, contact Kate Bimrose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kent Island Restoration Project
Kent Island forms a barrier island in the interior of Bolinas Lagoon that is a geomorphic feature unique to California. In the past, Kent Island's plants adapted to salt water inundation, sand burial, and erosion, allowing the island to recover from storms and earthquakes, and change shape depending on wind, wave, and geologic factors. In recent years, invasive nonnative plants have infested the island, pushing out native dune and wetland habitat, trapping sediment, and causing the island to grow. In 2010 funding was received through the National Estuary Restoration Act to help restore roughly 23 acres of Kent Island through plant removal. An effort implemented directly from the Locally Preferred Plan, the Kent Island Restoration project will provide several important benefits to the lagoon, including: 1) removal of invasive plant species; 2) restoration of regionally rare flood-shoal tidal delta habitat for native plants; 3) potential nesting habitat for endangered snowy plovers; 4) strengthen the areas resiliency to future earthquakes and storm surges, and; 5) improved hydrologic function and sediment transport throughout the lagoon.
Although a primary stand of mature pine and cypress trees will be left intact to continue supporting a colony of nesting great blue herons, the goal of removing nonnative vegetation (french bloom, cypress, pine, non-native beach grass, iceplant, and acacia) intends to restore the island's tidal marsh ecotone and coastal dune habitat. That's where you come in! Funding for plant removal is secured through 2018 so come out and be a part of the effort. By signing up to be a volunteer you will learn to identify nonnative plants, get hands-on training, and be a part of the team working to protect and restore the beautiful landscape of Bolinas Lagoon.