Ecological restoration of wetland wins civil engineering award for flood control

On September 14, 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) San Francisco Section presented the Sonoma Land Trust‘s Sears Point Wetland Restoration Project with its Outstanding Flood Management Project award.

This presentation was part of ASCE’s annual awards program recognizing remarkable accomplishments in civil engineering. Sonoma Land Trust, Ducks Unlimited, and other project partners were honored.

In addition to its ecological restoration objectives, the Sears Point project aims to provide protection from flooding due to rising sea levels and storm surges.

The 2,327-acre Sears Point project, one of the largest tidal wetlands restoration projects in the nation, includes restoration of a 970-acre coastal wetland ecosystem in northwestern San Pablo Bay, and enhancement of more than 1,350 acres of seasonal wetlands and uplands grasslands in southern Sonoma County.

Restored wetlands provide so many functions,” says John Brosnan, Baylands program manager for the Sonoma Land Trust. “They reduce the risk of flooding highways and rail lines, improve water quality, provide critical habitat for endangered species, and also offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching and environmental education.

The Sonoma Land Trust conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open land for the future of Sonoma County by:

  • Developing long term land protection strategies;
  • Promoting private and public funding for land conservation;
  • Acquiring land and conservation easements;
  • Stewardship including the restoration of conservation properties; and
  • Promoting a sense of place and a land ethic through activities, education and outreach.

Sonoma Land Trust is a local, non-governmental, nonprofit organization funded largely by membership contributions. The Land Trust works closely with private landowners, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and other public agencies at all levels of government, nonprofit partners, and foundations. Sonoma Land Trust is a member of the California Council of Land Trusts and is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Since 1976, Sonoma Land Trust has protected more than 48,000 acres of beautiful, productive and environmentally significant land in and around Sonoma County.

All photos courtesy of Sonoma Land Trust.

See restoration project’s Year One status report (PDF).

See EPA website for Sears Point restoration.

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