A restoration project was under way today along the San Rafael shoreline, with volunteers submerged in bay waters working to maintain oyster and eelgrass beds.
The pilot project, organized by the California State Coastal Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy, the state Wildlife Conservation Board and other partners, is focusing on two Bay Area sites including the San Rafael Bay in Marin County, and an area in Alameda County along the Hayward shoreline.
Today's work started at 10:30 a.m. just north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and involved volunteers and researchers -- many in wetsuits -- planting eelgrass by hand.
The project aims to protect shorelines from erosion while gaining knowledge on restoration techniques to protect eelgrass and oyster habitats.
The conservation groups consider these areas "living shorelines" that provide a habitat for plants and animals in the Bay.
Eelgrass is an underwater flowering seagrass. Many species, including shrimp and crabs, live in the grass, which is found along the Pacific coast.
Bay City News Service