Historic Breaching of the Montezuma Wetlands Phase I

Breach at Montezuma Wetlands

550-acre Restored Tidal Marsh breached to the Bay

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the 550 restored tidal marsh of the Montezuma Wetlands were breached, connecting the wetlands to the Bay.

At the confluence of where fresh and saltwater meet in the SF Bay Delta Estuary, the Montezuma Wetlands was one of the most valuable habitats in the SF Bay Region until the late 1800s, when it was diked and separated from the surrounding wildlife. 

Due to its unique physical geography in the SF Bay Estuary, restoration of tidal wetlands at the Montezuma site has been described by scientists as vital for meeting regional goals for recovery of many listed species including salt marsh harvest mouse, salmonids, Delta and longfin smelt, and California least terns. The restored and preserved habitat in Phase 1 also includes 244 acres of vernal pool preserve, and upland transition habitat.

More than a dozen permits and over 8.5 million cubic yards of sediment later, these efforts will reach a critical milestone with the return of these 550-acres to the tides on Tuesday October 27, 2020.

In 2018, the Montezuma Tidal and Seasonal Wetlands Restoration project was one of the first projects to be funded by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. Funds from the $1.6 million Measure AA grant were used to prepare the site for Tuesday’s breach.

David Lewis of Save the Bay said "This project is delivering on the investment of Bay Area voters who approved the Regional Measure AA parcel tax in 2016. We’re investing in the natural solutions that can make the bay healthier in the face of climate change.”