The San Mateo County Transportation Authority’s Wetland Mitigation Restoration Project was recently selected as the Environment Enhancement Project of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation.

The project, in cooperation with Caltrans, restored 7.85 acres of wetlands at the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Foster City.  The wetland restoration work included construction of a 2,400-foot long tidal channel, installation of a 48-inch storm drain/tidal supply pipe and tide gate, extensive grading, irrigation and landscaping. The TA contributed $3 million toward the habitat with another $2 million coming from Caltrans. 

Native salt marsh vegetation, including Pickleweed, has been planted to naturally colonize the marsh.  In addition, the tides have brought in additional seeds that will germinate and grow, adding to the area’s biological diversity. 

The wetlands provide a habitat for a host of unique plants and animals adapted to life where the ocean meets the land, including animals found only in San Francisco Bay and threatened with extinction, such as the endangered California Clapper Rail.

The wetlands project was created to alleviate impacts associated with the Route 101 Auxiliary Lane Project between Ralston Avenue in Belmont and Marsh Road in Redwood City.

Established more than 20 ago, the California Transportation Foundation is now the leading charitable transportation organization in the state.  With generous donations, CTF supports California’s transportation community with various programs such as scholarships for students planning a career in transportation; financial assistance to those injured on the job and to the families of transportation workers who died; and career development, awards and recognition.