The McDaniel Slough Wetland Enhancement Project: Our Restoration staff has provided needed technical assistance focused on hydrology, engineering, and fish habitat improvements for a 240-acre tidal wetland restoration project located in north Humboldt Bay, on lands owned and managed by the City of Arcata and California Department of Fish and Game. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) staff has also provided expertise with the salt and brackish marsh wetland restoration components of the project.
The project area was former tideland before it was diked and drained in the early 1900’s and most of the salt and brackish marsh habitats were converted to other uses. Four tide gates will be removed at the mouth of McDaniel Slough, providing a greater tidal prism and improved passage for federally listed anadromous salmonids and other aquatic species. Some wetland areas will become mudflat while others will be restored to salt and brackish marsh. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has provided significant funding through two national programs and also in-kind contributions of staff time for the project.
2005 National Coastal Wetlands Grant-Arcata Baylands Project: Restoration staff provided assistance to the California Coastal Conservancy and the City of Arcata with writing a $928,000 proposal to Service’s National Coastal Wetland Grant Program. Staff assisted the agencies with in-depth review, editing, and also provided biological expertise to the effort. The proposal was subjected to a national competitive review process and was ultimately selected for funding. Funds are being used to protect, restore and enhance 147 acres of wetland habitat on lands owned by the City of Arcata in north Humboldt Bay.
Scientific and Technical Alliance for North Coast Estuaries (STANCE):
Restoration staff was instrumental in the development of the group STANCE. The mission of STANCE is to contribute to an interdisciplinary science-driven approach to guiding estuary restoration and management on the North Coast. The group is comprised of individuals, agencies and organizations interested in improving coordination of data collection, research efforts, resource based education efforts, restoration project implementation, and land management across Humboldt Bay and the Eel River estuary. Meetings occur monthly and presentations are regularly given on local research projects, biological and physical monitoring information, data needs, species specific studies, and other key topics. Both Restoration and Refuge staff provide regular technical assistance through meetings, assisting with development of meeting agendas, identification of speakers for presentations, and doing presentations ourselves when needed. The group is currently working to develop a restoration strategy for Humboldt Bay and is also involved with the efforts of California Sea-Grant to implement the Humboldt Bay Ecosystem Management Program and the Humboldt Bay and Eel River Delta Subtidal Habitat Goals Project, both funded by the California Coastal Conservancy.