The Marsh That Restored Itself  

Bob Walker photographWhen people drive by the salt marsh along the Bay Bridge approach, they probably think that the marsh has existed since primeval times. But their expectations deceive them. The historical marsh ended at the MacArthur Freeway Maze. The driver is on an artificial peninsula built for bridge access. The marsh they see built itself in this century, largely from sediments washed out of the Sierra.

Concentrated and prolonged human disturbance is the cause of most degraded habitats. What I think is important to understand is that, given time, the natural processes producing a landscape still operate and are quite robust. In most cases, if we can simply marshal the societal will to stop human interference, nature will heal her own wounds.

Christopher Richard
Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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