Moorhen Marsh Management Plan / Martinez, CA


Mt. View Sanitary District maintains Moorhen Marsh as an environmental benefit to receive treated effluent from their wastewater treatment plant. This 20-acre constructed wetland complex functions as an oasis for a wide variety of aquatic, bird and mammal species and operates as a popular education facility. Since its construction in 1974, maintenance has been conducted on an “as needed” basis resulting in sediment accumulation in ponds, structurally compromised levees and problems with invasive species.

Overall Progress

Wildscape Engineering managed the development of a comprehensive management plan to guide the use, maintenance and oversight of this unique wetland and education facility. Now in effect, the management plan facilitates long-range budgeting for and prioritization of maintenance and capital improvement projects. The plan includes conceptual cross-sections for levees with a variety of features including maintenance access, bank stabilization, wetland benches and trail access. Moving into the future, the Management Plan functions as a written resource on the history and current conditions of the Marsh and provides a foundation and guide for the District to implement an adaptive management strategy to meet infrastructure needs while improving wildlife habitat and visitor and educational experience.

In an additional task, Wildscape Engineering developed a “levee-toolkit” to provide the District with a variety of approaches to retrofit and maintain levees while meeting the multiple objectives of infrastructure reliability, improved habitat and an enhanced visitor experience. Designs included biotechnical measures, wetland benches, riparian buffers and rock protected banks giving the District the ability to choose the most beneficial option for each levee location.

Project Design Elements

  • Levee Design
  • Bank Stabilization
  • Management Plan
  • Water Budget
  • Habitat Design
  • Visitor Access
  • Adaptive Management

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