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Design of Buffer Zone Channel to Protect San Francisco Bay Wetlands

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0304,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15727)
Authors:   Raymond K. Will, Principal Engineer
Keywords:   channel, wildlife, wetlands

A new residential and industrial community is being constructed in Hayward, California on land previously used to harvest sea salt and agricultural crops. The site is adjacent to San Francisco Bay and a regional tideland wildlife preserve. A condition of approval of the project by government agencies was the requirement to separate the residential area from the tideland by the creation of a buffer zone containing a water-filled channel. The objective is to create a water barrier to prevent domestic animals from migrating into the tidal marshes and preying on endangered species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse. Tidal flow studies were conducted to determine the feasibility of using natural tidal flows and surface water runoff to fill the channel and induce circulation. Groundwater from saline and freshwater aquifers were also considered as sources to fill the channel. The adopted design uses a fresh water well and incorporates a landscape irrigation system to fill the channel. A water treatment system includes aeration, aquatic plant nutrient removal, filtration, and recirculation. The presentation will include plan maps of the development, details of the buffer zone channel design, and before-and-after construction photographs.

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