Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD) is thrilled to announce the successful completion of the 2-year Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Enhancement Project construction project earlier this year. Along with improved wetland and riparian habitat, the newly enhanced 21-acre constructed wetland now boasts the following visitor amenities:
ADA walking trails
A new boardwalk and viewing platform
Dip-netting areas for students
Ten new interpretive panels
Originally constructed in 1974, 2019 also marks the 45th anniversary for this historic wetland as well as the 95th anniversary for MVSD. We hope you will join us in commemorating these significant milestones while enjoying the following activities:
Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Master of Ceremonies Doug McConnell, host and managing editor of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell Sunday nights at 6:30 on NBC Bay Area
Wildlife programs including bird walks, dip-netting for children and families, and live animal presentations!
Nature-oriented community partner booths
Fun, free activities for children and families, including a “Passport to Adventure” to collect stamps and stickers for prizes!
Refreshments, live music and much more!
See invitation here or below for more information — We hope you can join us for this celebration!
The Board of Directors of the Mt. View Sanitary District has declared its intention to amend its Conflict of Interest Code to add the new District positions Maintenance Scheduler/Planner and Administrative Services Manager and to change the reporting categories for the Wastewater Operations Supervisor and Laboratory Analyst positions. A continued Public Hearing has been scheduled for November 8, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. To review a copy of the proposed amendment click here.
Moorhen Marsh is closed to the public as pre-construction activities related to Phase B work on the Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project begin. Some of the pre-construction activities underway include pond dewatering, fish rescue, vegetation cutting and installation of the wildlife exclusion fence. Currently, Moorhen Marsh is anticipated to be closed to the public through February 3, 2019.
The Moorhen Marsh Western Pond Turtle Habitat Enhancement Project will include wetland and riparian habitat improvements, installation of the new ADA trail, the construction of the viewing platform and board walk, a second dip-netting site for school students, and enhancements to wetland and riparian habitat to benefit western pond turtle, North American river otter, green heron, and black-crowned night heron.
In conjunction with data collected during the Western Pond Turtle Study, consulting biologist Jeff Alvarez and District Biologist Kelly Davidson, along with biologist Gary Kittleson and reptile veterinarian Louisa Asseo, co-authored an article on the potential of injury and mortality to western pond turtles during upland vegetation maintenance activities like mowing and disking. The article was accepted for publication by the journal of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Western Wildlife, and was published online October 23rd.
Western Wildlife is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, notes, reviews, perspectives, and correspondence on the ecology, natural history, management, and conservation biology of animals. You can access the current volume at the Western Wildlife website here: http://wwjournal.org/home/current_volume/. You can access the article on our website at this link
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
These programs are perfect for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Contact Stephanie Seregin at Sseregin@mvsd.org or 925-228-5635 x10 to learn more and book your classroom programs today!
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.
Please join us on Coast Cleanup Day – September 16 – to remove invasive stinkwort (Dittrichiagraveolens) from the edges of McNabney Marsh. Stinkwort was first reported in California (Santa Clara County) in 1984. It has now spread to 36 counties including Contra Costa. Stinkwort is not palatable, can be poisonous to livestock, and can cause contact dermatitis in people. It is found primarily along roadsides and other disturbed sites. Unlike many annuals, stinkwort flowers and produces seeds from September to December – so this is a good time to remove it. If you are up for a little work, you can help us make a big difference in the spread of this invasive plant. Reservations and signed liability forms are REQUIRED. We will provide: latex gloves, plastic bags, water, and a pizza lunch at the end of the day. Participants bring: work gloves, a hat, and sunscreen and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. A mat or knee pads are also recommended. For more info and to RSVP, contact Heidi Petty at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MVSD’s Moorhen Marsh, a 21-acre freshwater constructed wetland, is home to approximately 150 western pond turtles (WPT), including nesting turtles. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife considers the western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) as a Species of Special Concern and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a proposal to list it as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
MVSD has been studying WPT since 2009 to better understand the population ecology of the species and how best to protect and manage for its success at Moorhen Marsh.
In June, we had an unusual guest contributing to our research efforts–“George”–an ecological-scent detection dog who is part of the Harvey Dog program of Los Gatos-based, H. T. Harvey & Associates, Ecological Consultants. Harvey Dogs are trained to detect specific species and give their handlers, who are experienced ecologists, a cue when the species is present. Using their superb noses, dogs can detect a target species from smelling the live animal or particulates such as scat, remains, nests, or feathers in an area of up to 30 acres in a day.
George and his trainer, Lauralea Oliver, visited Moorhen Marsh to conduct the final stages of his training in detection of WPT nests. As he investigated the marsh, he practiced finding WPT nests, without disturbing the sensitive habitat. By supporting the development of more efficient and effective methods to detect the hard-to-find WPT nests, MVSD aims to more accurately and quickly identify where to install protective barriers around nests to prevent predation, monitor nests for hatching success, and continue to contribute to research on the reproductive habits of this declining turtle species.