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Saving the Baylands

Original post made on Nov 1, 2013

The Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve marshlands, home to the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse and the California clapper rail, have turned to fall colors of red and gold. Behind the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center, yellowing native Pacific cord grass nods at the channel's edge, and the succulent pickleweed, which tastes briny and tart, is crimson.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 1, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Viman
a resident of University South
on Nov 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

Excellent summary. Congratulation to the authors.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2013 at 11:52 am

What about saving the Interpretive Center and the Boardwalk. The Interpretive Center is closed, dark and derelict and the Boardwalk is a danger to walk on. I would hate to lose that Boardwalk as it is a wonderful way to get closer to the marsh and the Bay.

Both are being left to rot away and are a danger to anyone who tries to use them.

It is about time that some thought was done on preserving these two amenities.

Posted by Eileen
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

Nice story attempting to cover a very complicated situation when it comes to ensuring the vitality of our Bay and its shorelines.

I would add: The Faber-Laumeister marshes are part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge managed by the US FWS. As such, the lands are dedicated fully to wildlife conservation under Federal management. Today these marshes are beautiful, healthy and dynamic, and home to the highest density of clapper rails on the Bay shoreline south of the Dumbarton Bridge. Its exciting story is that its restoration from a diked state several decades ago was completely natural, needing protection but no human revegetation (suggested in the story) once it was breached to reestablish tidal action. While not all locations of former marshlands have the opportunity of direct tidal flow, any time we can reintroduce tidal effect, Nature can go to work, as is being done wherever feasible in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. That project recently celebrated its 10th year, now planning for the next decade.

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) for Moffett Field includes many studies on the problems of contamination and restoration of the lower bay area. The participants in this activity include the state and federal agencies responsible for regional water quality, and environmental coordination for cities in the lower bay area for the rebuilding of the marshlands. The next RAB meeting is 14 November at the Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue, Mountain View. This is an opportunity to status where we are now and what is planned for the future. The agencies which provide the funding are participants.

Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm


There is a Capital Project planned for the Interpretive Center and the Boardwalk. See Page 75 at this link:

Web Link

Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

In better days, you'd call it a swamp, pump out the water, fill it in, and build some houses. Thanks for preserving the mosquito habitat for everyone.

Posted by Ellie
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

It is too bad that palo alto is thinking of building a trash processing plant at the bay lands just when nearly all the 41 dtrash umps that ringed the SF Bay have been closed. Many dumps were converted to parkland as was supposed to happen here before we decided to do the opposite - we may convert parkland to a trash dump and processing plant.

Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm

"we may convert parkland to a trash dump and processing plant"

That irrepressible Palo Alto progressivism strikes (out) again.

Posted by J.N.
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Hope we can keep the baylands WELL!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Bikes2work, thanks for the link. Hadn't seen any of this before. Hope it happens.

Posted by Paulo Stop
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2013 at 6:53 am

Maybe we should cluster more garbage bottles, tether them together and anchor them in the middle of the marsh ponds again. Remember that nonsense?

Oh and Mr.Recycle, nice try but huge fail based on your non-understanding between the differences of a swamp and a tidal marsh.
You should become more educated about things; it'll really improve your snarkability!

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

Get out there on Thursday or Sunday afternoon and the Interpretive Center is not closed, dark or derelict. Yes the hours are spotty and those pesky barn swallows might poop on you, but the boardwalk doesn't look particularly dangerous to me. I suppose some renovation of the amenities would be welcome, as long as it doesn't come at too much cost to the ecological efforts in the area. Last weekend in the building I looked again at the map from the 50s that outlined the planned tourist hotel, restaurants, bayfront homes, marina and boat launching ramps, erasing any vestige of natural habitat. I think in that era there were also plans to make Yosemite unrecognizable.

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Musical - re: map of fifties - friends in Redwood Shores bought homes based on developer projections of water access to the bay, restaurants, shops, etc. What was projected has not happened and never will - the developers have fled the scene. That is a cautionary tale- developers have a bad habit of selling an approach before they have researched the ability to produce the results, especially when dealing with watershed areas and land fill projects on the bay.

Assume that the tax-paying home and business owners in the city are the "investors" - investors need to research and support those projects that have exceeded the "risk" threshold for success. That requires a lot of management of spin by the numerous proposals being offered up for review.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

A huge but worthy highway sign could say "GET TO KNOW YOUR BAY !" with a link that points to all restoration agencies.

Posted by Sally
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

For an interesting look at the ecological history of the Palo Alto Baylands, go to the Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter and check out the Baylands History maps on one of the touchscreens. As recently as the mid 1800's, everything east of what is now 101 was tidal marshland. Since then, most of it has been diked and filled with garbage and with dredgings. It is very interesting to contemplate our human impact, and what we want our impact to be in the future.

The EcoCenter is open Mon, Thurs, Fri 11:30-1:30 and on Saturday it is open from 10-3. Web Link

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