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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alviso in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Salt Ponds

Past, Present, Future

 
 
Salt Ponds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
1. Salt Ponds Marker
Inscription. Beginning with the Ohlone people, who harvested salt for local use and regional trade, small scale salt production on San Francisco Bay expanded into one of the largest industrial solar evaporation complexes in the world. Salt production transformed the South Bay landscape and contributed to the loss of more than 85 percent of the rich tidal marshes that once surrounded the Bay. However, salt ponds can be a natural part of San Francisco Bay.

Twenty-five square miles of former commercial salt ponds in the South Bay, now publicly owned, are being restored to a mix of wetland habitats designed to provide homes for a variety of wildlife. A portion of the salt ponds will be restored to tidal wetlands for wildlife threatened with extinction, including the salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail. But many of the salt ponds will remain ponds. These ponds will serve as feeding and resting habitat for shorebirds and ducks migrating on the Pacific Flyway, and as places for American avocets and black-necked stilts to feed, nest, and raise their young.
 
Erected by Santa Clara County Parks and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
 
Location. 37° 25.865′ N, 121° 58.75′ W. Marker is in Alviso, California
Salt Ponds Marker and New Chicago Slough image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
2. Salt Ponds Marker and New Chicago Slough
, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Hope Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the trail of the Alviso Marina County Park. Marker is in this post office area: Alviso CA 95002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Location, Location, Location (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Water Everywhere (about 400 feet away); Discover Alviso’s Rich History (about 400 feet away); The Port and Town of Alviso (about 400 feet away); The Steamboat Jenny Lind Disaster (about 500 feet away); China Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bayside Cannery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Warehouse and Docks (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alviso.
 
More about this marker. This trail is also part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
 
Also see . . .  South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. (Submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Categories. EnvironmentNatural ResourcesWaterways & Vessels
 
The Salt Ponds image. Click for full size.
3. The Salt Ponds
The rectangular shapes around the South Bay in this infrared photo are salt evaporation ponds. Their different colors reflect the types of algae and bacteria living in the varying concentrations of salt water. The color red indicates ponds with high levels of salinity while blue and green mean low salinity.

Photo: Courtesy of Santa Clara County Water District.
Alvarado Salt Works image. Click for full size.
4. Alvarado Salt Works
The Alvarado Salt Works in Alameda was typical of salt harvesting operations around San Francisco Bay in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
5. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
American avocet
Recurvirostra americana
Photo: @ Frank Baltis


Black-necked stilt
Himantopus mexicanus
Photo: Lloyd Gomez, @ California Academy of Sciences
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
6. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Snowy plover
Charadrius alexandrinus
Photo: Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles,
@ California Academy of Sciences


Western sandpiper
Calidris mauri
Photo: Glenn and Martha Vargas,
@ California Academy of Sciences
New Chicago Marsh image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
7. New Chicago Marsh
Harvested salt, waiting for processing, can be seen in the distance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,030 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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