South Bay Salt Ponds: Cargill Acquisition

Status Completed County Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara
Project Type Non-mitigation Location Not Mapped
Project Area (Acres) 16,500 Last Updated 19 June 2019
Project Abstract This project involved the acquisition by DFG and USFWS of salt ponds in south San Francisco Bay owned by Cargill, Inc. for habitat restoration, flood protection, and improved public access. The 15,100 acre purchase represents the largest single acquisition in a larger campaign to restore 40,000 acres of lost tidal wetlands to San Francisco Bay.
Project Groups South Bay Salt Ponds | South Bay Salt Ponds: Acquisition

Project Identification

306 JV - Record Number

Habitat Plan

ActivitySubActivitiesHabitatSubHabitatAcresActivity StatusWater Regime
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection Bay Habitat (SFBJV Only) Salt pond 15,100 Completed Unknown/Unspecified
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection Bay Habitat (SFBJV Only) Salt pond 1,400 Completed

Related Habitat Impacts

HabitatAcres LostType of Loss
No Data


Cargill Salt Ponds Completed 15,100
Napa Plant Site Acquisition Completed 1,400


DateTypeDescriptionSite Name
2003-03-30 Project end date
2002-01-01 Project start date


Contact Dave Halsing State Coastal Conservancy Not applicable/Unknown


Acquisition/Preservation/Protection WCB Wildlife Conservation Board $74,000,000
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection USFWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service $8,000,000
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation $6,330,000
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection Packard Foundation $6,330,000
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection William and Flora Hewlett Foundation $6,330,000
Acquisition/Preservation/Protection Goldman Foundation $1,000,000

Related CRAM Assessments

Visit DateVersionSite NameWetland TypeIndex Score
No Data

No files found.

How to Use the Habitat Development Curve

Habitat Development Curves (HDCs) are used to determine the developmental status and trajectory of on-the-ground projects to create, restore, or enhance California wetland and stream habitats. Each HDC is based on assessments of habitat condition for different age areas of one habitat type that in aggregate represent the full spectrum of habitat development. The assessments of condition are provided by expert applications of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). Visit the CRAM website for more information about CRAM.

For each HDC, reference condition is represented by areas of a habitat that consistently get very high CRAM scores, have not been subject to disruptive management practices, and exist within landscapes that are protected and managed for their natural conditions. The horizontal lines intersecting the top of an HDC represent the mean CRAM score and standard deviation of scores for 25 qualifying reference areas.

The age of a project is estimated as the elapsed time in years between the groundwork end date for the project and the date of the CRAM assessment. To add or update a groundwork end date, use the Project Events form in Project Tracker ( The minimum age in years of a non-project area, including any natural reference area, is estimated from all available local information, including historical maps and imagery, historical written accounts, and place-specific scientific studies of habitat development.

An HDC can be used to address the following questions:

  1. At what time in the future will the area of assessed habitat achieve the reference condition or other milestones in habitat development? The HDC can answer this question if the CRAM score for the assessed area is within the confidence interval of the HDC. The answer is the time in years along the HDC between the current age of the assessed area and the future date corresponding to the intersection of the HDC and the reference condition or other milestone.
  2. Is the area of assessed habitat likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace as most other areas of the same habitat type? The habitat area is likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace if the CRAM score for the area is above, below, or within the confidence interval of the HDC, respectively.
  3. What can be done to improve the condition of the habitat area or to increase its rate of development? HDCs by themselves cannot answer this question. Possible answers can be inferred by the following analysis that involves HDCs:
    1. Examine the HDC for each of the four CRAM Attributes;
    2. Identify the Attribute(s) scoring below the HDC;
    3. For any low-scoring Attribute, examine the component Metric Scores (note: the Metric Scores for any public CRAM assessment in the CRAM database can be obtained through EcoAtlas);
    4. Assume the low score of an Attribute is due to its low-scoring Metric(s);
    5. Consider modifying the design or management of the habitat area in ways that will sustainably increase its score(s) for the low-scoring Metric(s).

For more information about CRAM Attributes and Metrics, including their scientific rationale, see the CRAM Manual.

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CRAM Site Scores