Wetland Habitat Restoration

Some of the functions that are lost when watersheds are destroyed include filtration of pollutants, recharge of aquifers, flood storage capacity, and habitat maintenance for native flora and fauna. Throughout the Salinas Valley much of the historical wetland habitat has been converted to rural and agricultural uses. Much of the runoff from these modified habitats is funneled into created, or highly altered, waterways that are essentially used as drainage ditches to remove excess water. This water often has very high nutrient and pesticide concentrations, which eventually enter the Monterey Bay Sanctuary.

Wetlands allow for the finest sedimentary particles (which transport pesticides, metals, and other pollutants) to settle out of the water column, preventing the concentration of these materials at deepwater locations such as the Moss Landing Harbor. Restored wetland vegetation and microbial organisms "clean" water by removing and breaking down nutrients. Restored upland vegetation around the wet corridors buffer the wetlands protecting these habitats from being impacted by human activities.

Two very general principals guide our restoration of native habitats and ecosystems:

  • The first is that restoration sites should be developed as biodiversity centers, which can function to preserve as many native species as possible and to spread these species into other habitats in the future. All native habitats in our regional watersheds are rare, and the few surviving habitats are often highly degraded, and thus low in ecological diversity. Historically, these same native habitats covered very large geographic areas. Unless there is a compelling ecological, political or socioeconomic reason not to do so, we strive to make all of our restoration areas biodiversity centers.
  • The second guiding principal is that restoration is a natural process. The main focus should not be on static plans, but on this active process of ecological succession. A primary restoration goal is to establish a natural succession of native species, often using aggressive early native colonists to help control invasive non-native weeds. These weeds usually dominate grazing lands, farm edges, and non-agricultural open space throughout watersheds. Whenever possible, weed control should be part of the natural process of ecological succession. Each restoration site is a spatial and temporal mosaic of native habitats and species. There is no static end point. This is especially true for rare annual plants that depend upon the periodic provision of open space, which is usually created by disturbance to perennial species.

Below are summary documents of several of our restoration sites around the Moss Landing area.


Calcagno1.pdf1.38 MB
Calcagno2.pdf1.42 MB
Calcagno3.pdf1.64 MB
Granite.pdf1.31 MB
Molera Treatment.pdf1.31 MB
Moonglow.pdf1.2 MB
Tope.pdf418.41 KB
Tottino.pdf1.43 MB
Dolan.pdf1.21 MB