Dutch Slough Celebration

On May 14th the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, California Department of Water Resources, American Rivers and Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed partnered to host an event celebrating the Dutch Slough Restoration Project. The Dutch Slough Restoration site is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas along East Cypress Road in Oakley. DWR plans to take this former dairy farm and return it to its natural state by breaching the levee.  Now that the permitting process is coming to a close, and the necessary permits have been issued, it was time to open up the site to the public so that they can see firsthand the benefits that will come from restoring this piece of the delta. With the cooperation of the surrounding landowners the celebration showed off the potential of the site.  

The day started with a creek cleanup. Volunteers showed up at 9:00 AM and dug in, picking up trash along the banks of Marsh Creek.  After the cleanup lunch was provided for participants at the celebration site, just downstream of the cleanup. After lunch there was a brief ceremony. Diane Burgis, Executive Director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, was the Mistress of Ceremonies, and speakers included Colleen Isenberg from Congressman Jerry McNerney’s office, Mayor Kevin Romick from the City of Oakley, Patti Finfrock from the California Department of Water Resources, Mike Carlson of the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, and  John Cain from American Rivers.  Topics ranged from the importance of a healthy delta ecosystem, to the history of the delta, and the importance of this project. 

After the presentations attendees had the option to see the site themselves with a self-guided tour. The tour included several interpretive stations set up around the site. One station featured an anthropologist who discussed the rich Native American culture of the area. Another station featured Mike Moran of the East Bay Regional Park District, who discussed the diverse ecosystem that exists in the delta, along with examples of the types of animals that can be found there.  The historic vineyard, which has grapevines that are over 150 years old, was a highlight of the tour. Matt Cline from the Three Wine Company offered wine tastings featuring grapes that were grown on site.   

Thank you to all who attended, and to the volunteers who helped make this event a success.
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