Planned wetlands restoration under Presidio Parkway. Click image to enlarge in a new window. [Credit: The Presidio Trust]
Earlier this week, the San Francisco Airport Commission voted to approve $7.3M in funds for stream day-lighting and wetlands restoration in the Presidio. And while Airport funding had completed some projects closer to home- and had been previously involved in partly funding the original restoration of Crissy Field- this infusion of cash is to compensate ecologically for the long-planned extensions to the airport's runways. Ironically, the last place the airport want birds to show up is on a runway, so this suits all involved. The basics: it's the water from El Polin spring flowing again to the Bay, this time under the new Presidio Parkway once known as Dolye Drive, and into Quartermaster's Reach. A menu of three alternatives were looked at- Stream, Wetlands, Lagoon- and they chose Wetlands. All you really need to know is:
Under this alternative, approximately 8.5 acres of native habitat would be restored, including upland scrub, riparian, freshwater dune swale, brackish marsh, and salt marsh.Transforming what was once the boundaries of Crissy Field and the old Army base. El Polin spring was restored, in part, last year, along with archaeological excavations of the first Spanish civilian settlement site in the Presidio, part of a system of footpaths along creeks and arroyos dating back thousands of years, extending between native american settlements in what is now Crissy Field and the Yerba Buena/Mission Dolores area. Also included in the funding is a relatively minor project, the restoration of the fresh-water marsh at the east end of Mountain Lake, where thirsty eucalyptus are both lowering the water level and shedding debris. There were no eucalyptus there when Juan Bautista de Anza identified the lake as a source of fresh water in 1776.
· SFO Runway Work Helping Wetlands Revival Take Off [SF Examiner]
· Doyle Drive About to Disappear Forever, Say Hello to Your Lovely New Tunnel [Curbed SF]
· Getting Down and Dirty With The Archaeologists [Curbed SF]
* With deepest apologies to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II