giacomini wetland restoration

I was fairly far into reading some of the numerous pages about different aspects of the Giacomini wetlands restoration project when it occurred to me that I hadn't read about a single set-back in the project to date. Everything seemed to be just great, in fact, not only was just about everything going as planned, it was going faster than anticipated, and if it wasn't going to plan, then it had simply skipped over unnecessary years worth of transition habitats to a state closer to what they want to see. I think I was just surprised to read about a project that seems to be working quite well. In addition, they seem to have an excellent outreach program and whoever is writing up these reports is very good at writing up reports. All the potential problems that have been discussed in class just seem to fade away into the background and disappear. If you ever need to do a restoration project, do it in point reyes.

At first, they were assuming a kind of linear progression of ecosystem types that followed the classical notion of succession leading to a climax vegetation type with the expectation that it could take up to 20 years to get to where they wanted to be (going from pastureland to a tidal wetland). However, after they started the project and breached the levees, they found that the transition was non-linear and more closely followed the threshold/state shift model we discussed earlier in the class.

The project is only it's second year ( if I was reading that correctly), and they already are reporting increases in bird species and improvements in water quality. I certainly don't question the accuracy of what they're reporting and there's probably an obvious desire to show the community that what they're doing is having positive results, but, if it were up to me, I just can't help feel like I'd want to be a little more conservative in reporting how the project is progressing simply because it will probably be a long time with set-backs along the way before they truly reach their goal. Actually, I'm really glad to have learned about the RFS project and to read about some of these projects because I was beginning to think that restoration projects will always require a very long time to succeed...and in the end probably won't succeed. This makes it seem like it actually works.

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