Restored wetlands offer new habitat for Presidio wildlife


Aerial view showing the Quartermaster Reach wetlands

For the first time in over 100 years, the Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow watershed will be connected to the San Francisco Bay. The unveiling of seven acres of restored tidal marshland and a new pedestrian trail at Quartermaster Reach marks a significant milestone in the 20-year revitalization of one of San Francisco’s original watersheds.

Restoration staff removed concrete and brought an 850-foot length of stream once buried in a pipe back aboveground, allowing the freshwater of the stream to flow into the saltwater marsh and San Francisco Bay. The entire site has been re-contoured to enable the natural flow of water through the wetland.

Bridge over Quartermaster Reach in the Presidio

This new brackish habitat will attract a variety of plant and animal species. The team is busy planting 23,000 plants—including more than 40 different species of native saltmarsh and dune plants grown in the Presidio Nursery—to offer refuge for the Presidio’s many migrating shorebirds, as well as aquatic animals like fish, crab, and the native Olympic oyster.

With just 15% of historical wetlands remaining in the San Francisco Bay, projects that restore wetlands are critical to protecting local biodiversity. Wetlands help regulate climate, control pollution and flooding, and offer habitat to native wildlife.

Planting at Quartermaster Reach wetlands

“Seeing the return of natural landscapes is a very inspiring thing,” our President & CEO Chris Lehnertz told the San Francisco Chronicle about the Quartermaster Reach project.

Thank you for your support of the Parks Conservancy, which makes restorative projects like this one possible!

Maritte O'Gallagher

Maritte O'Gallagher started as a Science Communications Intern for the National Park Service in October 2017 and is now a Science Communications Assistant for the Parks Conservancy.