Tidal Marsh Ecosystem Recovery

CA clapper rail

Ridgway's Rail at High Tide/Chris Cochems

Huge Threats Are Focus of Plan in SF Bay Area

Recovery Plan

Only 8 per cent of the San Francisco Bay's original marshlands remaining viable today. The Service has proposed the second largest tidal marsh recovery effort ever attempted in the U.S.

The official final recovery plan (48.04 MB PDF) focuses on 17 species of imperiled birds, plants and animals. The recovery effort will be entirely voluntary, seeking to capitalize on the great affection of Bay Area residents for the Bay.

soft birds' beak, Vallary Bloom, USFWS

Soft Birds-Beak, Valary Bloom, USFWS

Threats and Challenges

Habitat loss is the most obvious challenge, because so much tidal marsh has been lost or degraded. In some areas the remaining marsh is only a few yards wide and the potential for sea level rise threatens even that.

Other threats include invasive plants and animals, such as non-native red foxes and smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). Combating the harmful impacts of cordgrass is one example of how the plan should work. See the Invasive Spartina Project, which we help fund.