Hamilton Wetlands Shaping
The site of the current Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project was historically a tidal salt marsh until a levee was constructed along the Bay margin and the land reclaimed for agricultural purposes in the late 1800s. Funds were appropriated for the construction of Hamilton Army Airfield in 1931 and the facility was in operation until 1974. The base has been in the process of closure under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act since 1988.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission teamed to convert the closure of Hamilton Army Airfield into a wetland restoration area as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The initial Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project Feasibility Study was completed in 1998 (USACE 1998). The Basis of Design for the Seasonal and Tidal Wetlands was completed in 2008 (USACE 2008).
The functional purpose of the Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project is to create a diverse array of wetland and wildlife habitats at the Hamilton Army Airfield parcel. This will benefit a number of endangered species as well as other migratory and resident species. The project area has subsided so site elevations must be raised in order for the wetland to function properly.
The wetland restoration project will benefit the San Francisco Bay regions because it provides a beneficial reuse site for dredged material and thus avoids the adverse environmental impacts of open water disposal. At the same time, it creates a high value wetland for habitat. The Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project is characterized by a system of levees, a large tidal wetland area, a system of seasonal wetlands (north seasonal wetland and south seasonal wetland), internal berms, and a wildlife corridor connecting the northern seasonal wetland with the southern seasonal wetland.
Photos are of North Seasonal Wetland Area