Cullinan finally in the fold

March-2016-CoverFrom Estuary News:

“Real estate developers often name their projects for what they’ve displaced: Quail Acres, Live Oak Estates. Egret Bay would have been another such necronym. The 4,500-home development proposed for the former Cullinan Ranch on San Pablo Bay in 1983 would have left little room for egrets, or other birds. A citizen’s group, Vallejoans for Cost Efficient Growth, supported by Save the Bay and other environmental organizations, helped kill Egret Bay, and, in a deal brokered by Congresswoman Barbara Boxer, the land became part of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Then came the process of restoring the badly subsided 1,500 acres to tidal wetland. On January 6, the dike between Cullinan and Dutchman Slough, a tidal arm of the Napa River and San Pablo Bay, was breached in three places, reconnecting the parcel to the Bay for the first time since it was drained and planted in oat hay in the 1880s. The waters rushed in, followed by thousands of canvasback ducks—one of the intended beneficiaries of the refuge—and other waterfowl. “They’re taking advantage of the fact that here, all of a sudden, is a food source,” says Refuge Manager Don Brubaker. “All you have to do is add water. It’s like making oatmeal.” … ”

Continue reading from Estuary News here: Cullinan Finally in the Fold

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