The Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project is the first major tidal wetlands restoration site in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to be implemented by DWR. The project will transform 1,187 acres of land into tidal marsh to provide habitat for salmon and other native fish and wildlife.
The Dutch Slough project will be the Delta’s largest restored fresh water tidal marsh. The tidal marsh is designed to create conditions that will favor native aquatic species over non-native fishes such as largemouth bass. Young salmon in Marsh Creek will be able to hide from predators in the marsh at high tide. Scientists expect that the tidal marsh will provide rearing habitat where the young salmon can grow strong before they journey to the ocean, boosting their survival rates.
Construction on two of the parcels, Emerson and Gilbert, started in May 2018 and was completed late in 2019, followed by revegetation planting starting in late 2019. Restoration of the third parcel, Burroughs, will likely begin in 2022.
The construction included grading channels for the re-routing of Marsh Creek and marsh areas. When grading was completed the marsh areas were flooded by pumping water in from the adjacent sloughs
On Monday, October 4, 2021, DWR breached the Little Dutch Slough levee, allowing water from the Delta channels to flow in and out with the daily tides, reestablishing a tidal marsh, and creating a rich habitat for fish and wildlife. When completed there will be 5 breaches. The one on the Gilbert parcel and 4 on the Emerson parcel.