The Japan Ecosystem Conservation Society recently visited several Ducks Unlimited project sites in the South San Francisco Bay. The tour included several completed projects and one upcoming construction site on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where DU is working with the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project as they restore over 15,000 acres of former commercial salt production ponds back to managed habitat and historic tidal marsh.
The Japan Ecosystem Conservation Society is one of the major think-tanks and environmental groups in Japan and has been working rather closely with national and local government agencies in Japan for the last 30 years. The visiting Japanese group enjoyed seeing several species of waterbirds and several mallard broods during their visit, with the group president remarking later that he was “truly impressed with Ducks Unlimited’s outstanding work done to restore wetland around San Francisco Bay.” The international visitors hope to use examples like the South San Francisco Bay restoration to implement habitat improvements of their own in Japan.
DU will soon begin two projects in the South San Francisco Bay, one near Menlo Park and one near Mountain View, which will restore 1,000 acres of marsh habitat and enhance several managed ponds used by waterfowl on the Don Edwards Refuge. The San Francisco Bay is an important wintering area for ducks along the Pacific Flyway, and the Don Edwards Refuge hosts some of the largest mid-winter duck numbers in the Bay. DU projects improve conditions for ducks, as well as positively impact water quality in SF bay. Federal partners recognize these water quality improvements that DU projects provide, as evidenced by DU’s recent award from an EPA water quality improvement fund.