Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wetland restoration - in time or too late?

The San Francisco Bay is rimmed with barely above sea level landfill where marshes used to be. Wetlands and estuaries are important buffers against storm surge and many tens of thousands of acres around the Bay now have residential, commercial and transportation infrastructure build on them. Many more acres have been serving as salt evaporation ponds.

Now SF Gate reports that a local environmental group founded 45 years ago - Save the Bay - just issued a report urging local governments to put a plan together to restore over 36,000 acres of wetlands by the year 2050. The land to be restored has been purchased over the past decade, but now over $1.4 billion needs to be raised for the actual restoration.

This is an entirely right and noble process, but you can see how slowly it is planned to progress, and you can get an idea of the cost of restoring wetlands. All of the current wetlands - including these newly restored ones - will be submerged if the sea level rises, of course.

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