State Resource Agency Approves Plan for North Bay Habitat, Species Conservation

North Bay Baylands RCIS

Partners Include MTC, Caltrans, SCTA, San Francisco Estuary Partnership

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife this month approved the North Bay Baylands Regional Conservation Investment Strategy(link is external) produced by MTC, Caltrans, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership(link is external), the Sonoma County Transportation Authority(link is external) and other organizations with support from scientists and members of the public. Better known among the partner agencies as the RCIS, the new strategy outlines a comprehensive plan for protecting sensitive tidal marsh, freshwater marsh and upland areas that provide critical wildlife habitat across portions of Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. These include shoreline areas along San Pablo Bay as well as historic baylands, where sea level rise is expected to substantially alter the ecological landscape over the coming decades. 

By identifying strategic conservation investments that reconnect and improve marsh habitats and build landscape resilience, the RCIS is designed to complement existing conservation plans and to help guide planning for major infrastructure projects such as the long-term transformation of State Route 37 as well as for local governments, conservation organizations and land managers. Examples of potential RCIS conservation and habitat enhancement actions include:

  • Land acquisition and protection;
  • Habitat creation and restoration;
  • Restoration of creeks and rivers;
  • Restoration of habitat on public land;
  • Installation of wildlife crossings; and
  • Removal of fish passage barriers.

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority's website features more information about the North Bay Baylands RCIS(link is external). The California Department of Fish and Wildlife website includes more information about Regional Conservation Investment Strategies(link is external) throughout the state.