Westlands invested $9 million in a project to restore to wetlands 2,100 acres of pastureland near Sacramento. Westlands image

published on November 18, 2020 - 1:37 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Westlands Water District, in conjunction with the California Department of Water Resources, has finished wetland restoration of 2,100 acres of pastureland near Sacramento.

Located in Yolo County, the Lower Yolo Restoration Project will support aquatic and wetland-dependent species from salmonids to hawks, according to a press release. The project will also support the recovery of the Delta smelt.

Headquartered in Fresno, Westlands Water District is the largest water district in the United States, overseeing the distribution of water to more than 1,000 square miles in western Fresno County as well as Kings County.

Westlands invested $9 million in the project as part of the California EcoRestore project, which aims to restore 30,000 acres of habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Westlands purchased the Lower Yolo Ranch in 2007 with the intention of converting the land. The project took three months to complete.

The project restored:

—1,682 acres of tidal marsh

—364 acres of transitional upland buffer habitat

—47 acres of enchanted existing riparian habitat

—35 acres of existing tidal march enhancement

The project had four goals:

—restoring the marches, floodplains, wetlands and grasslands will bring back ecosystem functions associated with those land types

—providing food webs to restore Delta smelt numbers

—providing rearing habitats for salmonids

—supporting species associated with those environments, including the Sacramento splittail and Swainson’s hawk

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