Success Stories: Tidal Marsh: Carl's Marsh

Julian Wood and Nadav Nur

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Carl’s Marsh is a great example of successful tidal marsh restoration. After this 42-acre dry fallow field was breached in 1994, sediment began accumulating with each tidal cycle, and the site is now a lush tidal marsh supporting a diversity of birds including several endangered California Clapper Rails. This collab- orative project between California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and Sonoma Land Trust was more successful than expected. The transition from fallow agricultural land, to productive mudflat habitat for shorebirds, to a fully vegetated marsh was rapid, occurring within the first five years. Carl’s Marsh now supports over 60 pairs of breeding Samuel’s Song Sparrows. This subspecies of Song Sparrow is found only in the tidal marshes of San Pablo Bay and is recognized by CDFG as a Bird Species of Special Concern.