Since the early 1900s, levees constructed at the southern end of Tomales Bay for roads and dairy farms have served to hydrologically disconnect Lagunitas Creek and its tributaries from their floodplains. As a result, wetland conditions within the Waldo Giacomini Ranch and Olema Marsh (Project Area) have been degraded, and hydrologic and ecological functionality of what was once of the largest integrated tidal marsh complexes in Tomales Bay has been substantially reduced. Natural wetlands provide many important functions for humans and wildlife, including floodwater retention, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Because two-thirds of the Bay’s freshwater inflow passes through the Project Area, these wetlands may have once played an integral role in maintaining health of Tomales Bay, which has deteriorated over the last century because of excessive sedimentation, water and sediment quality problems, non-native species invasions, and other issues.
In 2000, the National Park Service acquired the Waldo Giacomini Ranch for the purpose of wetland restoration using a combination of Congressional appropriations and mitigation monies from the California Department of Transportation. Because the Project Area is in the northern district of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it is managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.
In this section, you will find a variety of Management Plans and other documents and web pages pertaining to the planning, management, and operation of the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project, along with information about how the restoration is progressing. Click on a link below to find out more.
Associated Web Pages
Planning and Permitting Documents
NBC's OpenRoad Comes to Marin and Giacomini
The Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project was featured in August and September 2018 on the OpenRoad with Doug McConnell TV show. The episode was all about the tremendous conservation legacy of Marin County, including our beloved wetlands!
Science at the Seashore: Giacomini Wetlands
Giacomini Wetlands: A Legacy for Tomales Bay, with Doug McConnell
Your Wetlands: Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project podcast
Take an historical tour of this "working dairy ranch turned restored wetlands" project with Point Reyes National Seashore's wetlands ecologist Lorraine Parsons.