Team Ham: Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project
Point Blue's STRAW Program is a key partner in the historic Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project in Novato, California led by the California Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore nearly 2,600 acres of wetland habitat in North San Francisco Bay.
The Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project is the largest wetland restoration project in the United States to beneficially reuse dredged sediment and is contributing to a regional goal of more than doubling the amount of tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay-- a habitat that has dwindled to less than 10% of it's historic presence. This project is aligned with Point Blue's highest priority to create resilient ecosystems that sustain vibrant wildlife and human communities for generations to come in the face of accelerating environmental change.
Engaging the Community
STRAW engaged approximately 1,300 to 1,600 students and teachers to install over 2,000 native plants on about 150 acres of seasonal wetland habitat and upland transitional habitat from 2012 to 2014.
Plants for this project were collected from the site and adjacent watersheds and grown on site by Hamilton Nursery Manager Christina McWhorter. The vegetation being planted helps with water filtration, carbon sequestration and flood control while providing important habitat for species of conservation concern.
To volunteer at the Nursery, contact Nursery Manager Christina McWhorter.
Novato High School Students in a Starring Role
Point Blue's STRAW Program engaged 150 students from science teacher Michelle Stern's biology classes at Novato High School in the 2012-13 school year and worked with a select few students who were passionate about continued involvement in this project in the 2013-14 school year.
In addition to participating in habitat restoration installation, the students learned how scientists use birds and other factors as indicators of restoration success and collected baseline waterbird and soil data at the site in 2013.
Students received several classroom lessons on wetlands, watersheds, carbon cycle and climate change, and overall history of the Hamilton wetland site from Point Blue's STRAW staff, Faculty and scientists.
One of our superstar students, high school junior Shayna Maci Warner, sought us out on her own volition to work with us on an environmental journalism piece around high school student involvement in habitat restoration. Read her piece below.
Restoring Your Perspective on Teenagers:
Novato High School Students Get Excited About Doing Conservation Science
By Shayna Maci Warner, Novato High School Junior