Author Archives: Stephanie Tolbert

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: