It’s been 7 years coming (or, perhaps, 80), but in a few years the Guadalupe River will be reconnected to San Francisco Bay, allowing saltwater to flow into the river and kill off some of the marsh vegetation now choking it.

Scientists say the project is a key step in the effort to restore 15,100 acres of former salt-evaporation ponds back to tidal marshes for fish, birds and other wildlife. The federal and state governments purchased the property from Cargill Salt in 2003.

“Everyone should be excited. We are finally starting to move earth, and projects are moving forward to restore the bay,” said John Bourgeois, manager of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. (From “Restoration Project in Alviso Key to Restoring San Francisco Bay Wetlands,” by Paul Rogers, Silicon Valley Mercury News, January 12, 2010)

The restoration project will cut through a levee near Alviso, put up some gates, and from time to time allow water from the salt ponds to flow into the river. For more information, read this article about restoring San Francisco bay wetlands.

Mercury in the river bottom and salt ponds is also a concern. Scientists want to study whether releasing saltwater into the river will stir up more mercury.

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  1. […] Perhaps this is naive or shortsighted of me, but it seems that the cleanup should be well underway before any new development begins. And if the entire canal will be dredged, the people in charge of dredging should pay attention to what’s being done in California to measure whether dredging will stir up old pollution. […]