Senator Wieckowski highlights Alameda Creek restoration project to address sea level rise

The Senator secured funding in the state budget to redesign the creek and improve marsh and bird habitat

FREMONT – Supporters of a project to restore Alameda Creek and build up sediment near the baylands to address the threat of sea level rise joined Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) today for a ceremonial check presentation next to the creek.  Wieckowski championed the project in the Legislature and secured $31.4 million in funding.

“We are here to show how moving sediment to the baylands can help us prepare for sea level rise in a smart, natural way that benefits the public and wildlife habitat,” said Wieckowski, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  “This collaborative project has another important element: I believe it can be a model for so many other areas of our state that are also threatened by sea level rise. What we learn through this project should also be replicated across our state by communities facing similar problems.”

Alameda Creek is the largest local tributary that feeds the bay.  But sediment remains stuck in the channel and is unable to make it to the baylands where it is needed for marsh and mudflat accretion.

"What makes this effort unique is that it is transforming the approach sediment management. Rather than treating sediment as a waste product to be managed, it’s treated as a valuable natural resource on which the future of our baylands depend. How the Bay Area manages sediment will have huge impacts on wildlife and communities as they adapt to rising sea levels," said Rebecca Schwartz, San Francisco Bay Program Director for Audubon California.

As part of the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, a competition involving people from across the world and 90 different organizations and firms, organized to create projects to protect the Bay Area from sea level rise, designers on team Public Sediment showed how the project could work to the benefit of the public and wildlife.  Several team members were present at today’s press conference highlighting the project.

Architects of the project said by reconnecting sediment flows from Alameda Creek to the marshes near the bay, the project creates an ecological infrastructure to adapt to sea level rise.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.

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