Author Archives: circlepoint

Calling all Classroom Teachers!

MVSD is partnering with the Lindsay Wildlife Experience to provide 3, new 1-hour classroom programs for elementary school students in Contra Costa County. These wetland and pollution prevention themed programs will be available October 2017- January 2018. Program Choices include:

  • Craft a Wetland Critter
  • Water Quality for Life
  • Wetland Wonders

These programs are perfect for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Contact Stephanie Seregin at or 925-228-5635 x10 to learn more and book your classroom programs today!

Construction Completed through the week ending September 29, 2017

Following is a summary of main work items performed recently:

  • Completed keyways in ponds D and E.
  • Continued reconstruction of the levees in ponds E and D utilizing geogrid.
  • Continued moisture conditioning pond soils.
  • Continued dewatering local ponding water in pond E.
  • Removed unsuitable concrete fill from existing levees in pond D and placed as foundation for island.
  • Removed pipe culverts and weirs between ponds C and D and between ponds D and E.
  • Wallace-Kuhl (field geotechnical) took in-situ density tests and moisture contents for compacted levee keyways and levee reconstruction

Upcoming work:

  • Complete levee keyway in pond C.
  • Continue excavation and forming the deep water channels in ponds C, D and E.
  • Continue reconstruction of the levees in ponds C, D and E utilizing geogrid.
  • Cut/fill and grade pond bottoms to correct elevations.
  • Start removing and replacing water control structures.
Otter photo

The River Otter Ecology Project (ROEP) Produces Second Report for MVSD

MVSD and ROEP began a partnership in September 2016 to better understand the population of North American River Otters in the Peyton Slough Wetlands. This second report from ROEP highlights what was learned in the first 10 months of the study including otter presence, abundance and habitat use within Moorhen and McNabney marshes, sex ratios, and recommendations for mitigating disturbance to otter populations for tide gate closures and the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project in 2017 and 2018.

We are also pleased to announce that we will be adding a prey study later this year to better understand otter diet and foraging ecology in the wetlands. To access the latest report, please click on the link below.

River Otter Study – Second Report (July 2017)
MVSD River Otter Study Interim Report (February 2017)

Construction Updates – Week of June 26, 2017

Week of June 26, 2017

  • Notice to Proceed (NTP) was issued to Water Rock Construction on June 14, 2017.  NTP allows the contractor to begin work on the project.
  • Public access to Moorhen Marsh was closed on June 14, 2017 in order to allow the contractor to begin working in the marsh.
  • Once the NTP was issued, the contractor began mobilizing the necessary equipment and materials to begin construction work.
  • Construction activity began on the site on June 20, 2017.
  • The contractor is currently completing the de-watering process in ponds D and E.

The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project

Phase A construction will close Moorhen Marsh from mid-June through November 2017. Phase B will likely close the marsh from mid-June 2018 through November 2018. Please check The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Enhancement Project webpage frequently for updates or call 925-228-5635 x 10 during business hours.

For more information on the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project, take a look at the brochure.

For project details, construction updates, photos and videos, visit The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Enhancement Project webpage.


The River Otter Ecology Project (ROEP) Produces First Report for MVSD

In September 2016, ROEP placed six camera traps in the wetlands. Surveys and camera checks are conducted weekly. The videos are reviewed, catalogued and studied to better understand the otter population using MVSD’s wetlands. The goals for the project include:

  • noninvasively gather information on river otter presence, abundance, and habitat use within Moorhen and McNabney Marshes,
  • document sex ratios as possible,
  • document pup emergence and survival
  • advise on mitigations for disturbance in otter habitat due to vegetation removal, dewatering, dredging and other work associated with upcoming maintenance and habitat enhancement projects in Moorhen Marsh and McNabney Marshes.

To learn more about what was accomplished and what we still need to learn, please see the attached report.

River Otter Study – First Report


The turtle exclusion fencing project will be completed today, April 18th. MVSD is re-opening Moorhen Marsh to the public at 7 am on April 19th. Please be advised that the California Conservation Corp (CCC) will still be on site weed-eating some of the levee trails on April 19th. Birdwatching, photography and other visitor activities could be impacted. The CCC will finish up all activities tomorrow. We are grateful to the CCC for all of their hard work on this project!

MVSD Welcomes the California Conservation Corps – Vegetation Removal Begins in Moorhen Marsh!

As reported earlier, the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project (Project) will break ground this summer. To remain compliant with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to prevent loss of bird nests in Moorhen Marsh during construction, MVSD has contracted with the California Conservation Corps to remove vegetation in and around the construction site — Ponds D, C, and E — in Moorhen Marsh. These are the ponds to the west of Peyton Slough. By removing this vegetation early, birds will not nest in the construction site and will move their nesting activity to safer, non-construction areas in the wetland or Peyton Slough.

The crew from the California Conservation Corps will start work on January 25, 2017 in Pond E.  To learn more about the California Conservation Corps visit their website at: