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The Role of Tidal Marsh Restoration in Fish Management in the San Francisco Estuary


Tidal marsh restoration is an important management issue in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary). Restoration of large areas of tidal marsh is ongoing or planned in the lower estuary (up to 6,000 ha, Callaway et al. 2011). Large areas are proposed for restoration in the upper estuary under the Endangered Species Act biological opinions (3,237 ha) and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (26,305 ha). In the lower estuary, tidal marsh has proven its value to a wide array of species that live within it (Palaima 2012). In the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta), one important function ascribed to restoration of freshwater tidal marshes is that they make large contributions to the food web of fish in open waters (BDCP 2013). The Ecosystem Restoration Program ascribed a suite of ecological functions to tidal marsh restoration, including habitat and food web benefits to native fish (CDFW 2010). This background was the basis for a symposium, Tidal Marshes and Native Fishes in the Delta: Will Restoration Make a Difference? held at the University of California, Davis, on June 10, 2013. This paper summarizes conclusions the authors drew from the symposium.


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