Two tidal habitat restoration projects in Solano County support Delta smelt survival

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has just announced that state, federal, and local agencies gathered last week to celebrate two tidal habitat restoration projects in Solano County that support the survival of Delta smelt and other fish species as part of the long-term operation of the State Water Project.

Bradmoor Island and Arnold Slough, two neighboring projects in the Suisun Marsh, are designed to provide high-quality habitat and food sources for fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

This event celebrated the completed Arnold Slough project and the start of construction at Bradmoor Island.

“As drought and climate change continue to stress California’s natural systems, these projects to support native fisheries become even more vital. We are excited that they also add new recreational opportunities for Californians to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the California Delta,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.

Construction at Arnold Slough concluded in the fall of 2021 and restored approximately 161 acres of managed wetland into a tidal wetland.

Construction work included infrastructure demolition, three levee breaches, filling ditches to marsh plain elevation, and grading down exterior levee segments to allow overtopping at high tides.

The work done at Arnold Slough also provides for climate change resilience by accommodating sea level rise.

Bradmoor Island is a larger project that will restore approximately 490 acres of managed wetland into a tidal marsh while also providing new recreation opportunities for the public.

Prior to starting construction, actions were taken to control invasive species to prepare the site for restoration.

Construction at Bradmoor Island is expected to begin this month and includes demolition of infrastructure and buildings, and excavation of five levee breaches to restore tidal flow to the site.

Photo: DWR