Wetlands: Beach Drive Wetlands

The Beach Drive Wetlands are in the Chicken Point area of Bayside Acres in the area roughly enclosed by Beach Drive, Oak Drive and Point San Pedro Road. Prior to the construction of the Loch Lomond Marina in the early 1960’s, the channel between Beach Drive and the Marina was open Bay water. The construction of the Marina resulted in the narrowing of this area into an inlet, or channel, which is, itself, in danger of becoming silted over and filled (see Beach/Marina Inlet pages for more information).

beachdrivewetlandsTo maintain these wetlands, a pipe was placed under Beach Drive to connect the wetlands to the Bay water.  A flap gate was included on the Bay end of this pipe to prevent a back flow into the wetlands during incoming tides.

However, over time the pipe had corroded and collapsed and the flap gate had broken. The wetlands were, as a result, more isolated from the Bay and in danger of becoming stagnant and eventually becoming filled and lost forever.

The most urgent need to rescue these wetlands was to replace this pipe under Beach Drive and the flap gate. As can be seen in these photos, the pipe had become crushed over the years and the flap gate had broken. As a result, the wetlands were not “flushing” properly and had become stagnant and in danger of filling in with silt.inletpipe1

On July 20, 2006, a meeting was held between Coalition representatives and Marin County to discuss what was needed to restore and preserve these wetlands. A summary of that meeting and the handout of supporting material is available in the Library.

The County was very supportive of this project but did not have the finances to fully fund it. Supervisor Susan Adams, District 1, pledged $5,000 from her discretionary fund if the remainder of the necessary funds could be raised by the Coalition.

inletpipe2A presentation on the status of the Wetlands was given by Rodney Ruskin at the Coalition’s annual meeting on June 30, 2007. He also presented an appeal letter to the community for support, both personal and financial, to achieve the objectives set by this committee.

The proposed new pipe (10 feet of 20″ pipe), flap gate (called a “valve” in the drawing) and air gap (12″ vertical pipe and “grid”) are shown in the drawing below.

The work was projected to cost roughly $25,000. A total of $20,000 was raised from three private donors which adds to the $5,000 pledged by Supervisor Adams.

The contract was given to Linscott Engineering. After some delays due to permit issues which were successfully resolved, the work began in January 2008 and was completed in early February. The photos below show the completed project (although the grid at the top of the air vent had not yet been installed in these photos).

A great deal of thanks for a monumental effort and wonderful success goes to Committee Chair Rodney Ruskin!