Alviso Waterway Reconnected To The Bay

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Mother Nature scored another victory Wednesday in the ongoing fight to return San Francisco Bay to its natural habitat, as water officials threw open the gates to a water control project in the Alviso area of San Jose.

The gates were opened between the old Alviso Slough and Old Salt Ponds, marking the first time those two waters have been connected in nearly a century.

”We can open this thing as wide as 40-feet,” said John Bourgeois, director of the project, which actually involves eight gates for a more gradual water flow. “Until the community of Alviso has full flood protection in place, we want to monitor this cautiously to make sure we’re not putting anyone at risk as we start to restore these habitats.”

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Mendel Stewart with the National Fish and Wildlife Service said that the restored habitats are more appropriate for native species.

”There are a lot more harvest mice, clapper rails, and lots of other kinds of shorebirds and seagull kinds of birds,” said Stewart.

Richard Santos, who is on the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, said that the new environment will be good for people as well.

”People like yourself could come out here and walk these trails and enjoy it, and see the sea lions here honking,” said Santos.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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