San Francisco Bay wetlands

Tidal wetland habitat at Greco Island, San Mateo County.

A coalition to prevent the spread of invasive Spartina 

The San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project is a coordinated regional effort, led by the California State Coastal Conservancy, California Invasive Plant Council, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Project partners work together to protect the Bay’s extraordinary coastal biological resources by removing invasive species of cordgrass, which outcompetes native vegetation, reduces biodiversity, alters tidal channels, and degrades wildlife foraging and nesting habitat.

Through regional partnerships with more than 150 landowners and resource agency partners in all nine Bay Area counties, the project team works across 70,000 acres to restore tidal marsh habitat by monitoring and treating invasive Spartina, enhancing habitat with native plants and high-tide refuge islands, and monitoring California Ridgway’s rail populations. This work protects the major investments made by agencies around the Bay to restore native tidal wetlands.

Protecting wildlife and communities

Removing invasive Spartina is essential to maintaining the health of the Bay’s wetlands, which provide important habitat for wildlife, including the endangered California Ridgway’s rail. These wetlands also provide green infrastructure, slowing down wave energy and preventing erosion, which helps protect neighboring communities from rising sea levels. Since launching the Invasive Spartina Project project in 2000, project partners have worked together to reduce invasive Spartina in the Bay from 805 acres to less than 23 acres, with zero detection of invasive Spartina at many sites (though it remains critical to monitor the entire project area each year). More than 450,000 native plants have been planted and 82 high tide refuge islands have been built to enhance habitat for Ridgway’s rails and other wetland wildlife.

Learn more

Are you working along the Bay Area shorelines and waterways? Work with us!

If you are working at sites along creek mouths, shorelines, or any waterways that connect to the Bay, please get in touch with us.

Together, we can stop the spread of invasive Spartina.

Contact the ISP

Project Components

Monitoring and treating invasive Spartina

Restoring with native plants

Monitoring endangered Ridgway’s rails

Progress in pictures

News and Updates

Winter 2023 project update

Read this update for the latest on treatment, monitoring, and more.

May 2024 presentation

Poster with Progress Update shared at the 2024 State of the Estuary Conference.

Latest treatment schedule

See the schedule from the project team.

Project reports

View reports, study results, and more.