For Immediate ReleaseFebruary 01, 2017
Tidal estuary in West Marin slated for restoration
San Rafael, CA – Stewardship of Bolinas Lagoon, a wildlife-rich tidal estuary designated as a wetland area of international importance for nearly 20 years, will be discussed at a public meeting February 9 in Stinson Beach. The annual State of Bolinas Lagoon Conference starts at 7 p.m. at the Stinson Beach Community Center, 32 Belvedere Avenue.
Several studies have been published over the past 10 years to address the restoration of this 1,100-acre jewel of West Marin nature. The estuary, managed by the Marin County Open Space District, is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a narrow and low-lying spit of land on which dozens of Stinson Beach homes are located. About three miles of State Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway) serves as the eastern border of the lagoon, and Olema-Bolinas Road is along the western lagoon waterfront.
This year’s conference will focus on draft conceptual design alternatives for the North End Wetland Enhancement and Sea Level Rise Adaptation Project, commonly called the North End Project. It was recommended in 2013 by a scientific review group to rehabilitate important wildlife habitats and address years of habitat alteration.
A key facet of the project is adaptation to sea level rise and chronic flooding while improving functions of tributary creeks and allowing for gradual expansion of the lagoon’s perimeter. Roadway flooding is another component to be addressed while respecting the habitation improvement goal for shoreline birds, waterfowl, and fish, including special-status species such as steelhead and red-legged frog.
Phase I of the North End Project was completed when reconnaissance surveys of existing biological, cultural, and physical resources within the project area were conducted and summary report of the findings was drafted. Representatives from the open space district plan to show three conceptual designs during the February 9 conference. The Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Council will vote on its preferred alternative later this spring, and then it will go to the Marin County Open Space District Board of Directors for approval, followed by formal California Environmental Quality Act review.
Residents and other interested parties will get a chance to interact with restoration project coordinators, scientists, management staff, and local community representatives. Public input will be welcomed throughout the approval process and environmental review.
The event is being hosted by the Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Council, which works in partnership with Marin County Parks, the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore.
For more about Bolinas Lagoon, visit the webpage devoted to its Ecosystem Restoration Project.
Veronica PearsonProject Manager, Bolinas Lagoon RestorationMarin County Parks
Marin Civic CenterSuite 260San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3745Email: Veronica PearsonMarin County Parks website