This 1,200-acre project is the first large-scale tidal restoration project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, designed within an adaptive management framework to test different restoration approaches that will inform future restoration efforts in the region.

Why does this project matter?

When completed, Dutch Slough will be transformed back to its natural state before it was turned into pasture, restoring lost Delta wetlands habitat to benefit native species, creating opportunities for public access, and increasing the scientific understanding of restoration ecology in the Delta.

What is ESA doing to help?

ESA has led the restoration design of the Dutch Slough wetland complex from concept through final design. ESA worked with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and a Technical Advisory Committee to develop the conceptual restoration plan and feasibility study. ESA staff then assisted DWR and the Reclamation District 2137 with resolving various technical issues, addressing important cultural resources, preparing construction documents (plans and specifications), obtaining permits, and providing construction support.

The restoration design aims to revive a diverse array of habitats. This involves reintroducing tidal action to a significant portion of the site and constructing new flood protection levees. Native plant communities will be reestablished to enhance ecological diversity and resilience. The project includes the following major components: restoration of tidal marsh habitat, tidal channels, riparian habitat, subtidal open water habitat, and native grassland; enhancement of managed non-tidal marsh and irrigated pasture areas; construction of new levees to mitigate flood risk to adjacent properties; removal of power lines, irrigation infrastructure, and rerouting of a sewer force main outside the restored marsh habitat; and development of public access infrastructure in collaboration with the City of Oakley and the East Bay Regional Park District.

The project is designed within an adaptive management framework to test different restoration approaches, which will inform future large-scale restorations for the long-term restoration goals for the Delta.

Connect with our team

News & Ideas