We’re happy to spread the word about the “3rd” Habitat Goals project which is now published: The Subtidal Habitat Goals.  EBCNPS reviewed the draft document and provided some input on impacts to eelgrass beds, specifically with regard to Point Molate and the East Bay.   We also asked that the document provide some information on how to establish marine reserves where eelgrass resources might be best conserved.  Here’s our previous post on this plan.

An excerpt from the Subtidal Habitat Goals website:

Subtidal Habitat Information is Now Available

Government agencies with authority for managing the estuary lack sufficient information about subtidal habitats in the bay to inform planning decisions. Although a tremendous amount of scientific information is available from research and monitoring in the bay, little of it is useful in making decisions about specific proposals for develpment or restoration as it relates to subtidal habitat. Part of the reason for this shortfall is that subtidal habitats are usually invisible in the bay’s turbid waters, and most sampling methods cannot provide detailed information about the location and condition of the various habitats. Equally important is the need to learn more about the functions of these habitats, how they respond to environmental change, and how to protect and enhance them.

This report describes six subtidal habitat types with maps showing their known current distributions, and analyzes present-day threats to those habitats. It presents recommendations for addressing those stressors, for advancing scientific research and understanding, and for protecting and restoring subtidal habitat within the constraints and challenges of an urbanized estuary, and of incomplete knowledge. It also describes some of the pioneering efforts that have taken place to restore subtidal habitat in the bay.

Neither a policy nor regulatory document, this report offers guidance on opportunities for subtidal restoration and protection. Implementation will occur through a number of avenues: local governments may incorporate these recommendations into their planning processes and documents, non-profits may use them when seeking funding for restoration or management projects, and researchers may wish to refer to the report when setting priorities for research. Regulatory agencies may use this report to evaluate, revise, or implement their policies.

You can read the FULL REPORT HERE


Excerpt from Page 158: Restoration Opportunities (bold type added by us)

Subtidal-Wetland Design Integration Restoration Objective 1-1:

Select sites that have the greatest opportunities for integrating subtidal habitat with other restored or important habitats for pilot subtidal restoration projects near locations identified by the San Francisco Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Project. Possible locations include:

• San Pablo Bay: study potential resources and restoration activities in areas offshore from Sears Point, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Tubbs Island, and other restoration sites.

• Corte Madera area: Muzzi Marsh, Corte Madera Ecological Reserve, Heard Marsh: existing wetlands and restored eelgrass, link to living shoreline project

• Richardson Bay: wetland restoration linked to existing oyster/eelgrass populations

• Breuner Marsh and Point Molate: link to Point San Pablo eelgrass bed

• Eastshore State Park: wetland restoration linked with oyster and eelgrass restoration, creek daylighting

• Central and North Bay Islands: link rocky habitat with eelgrass and oyster beds

• South Bay Salt Pond sites; Eden Landing and other sites: link to southernmost eelgrass population, native oyster restoration.