Moss Landing Marine Labs And PG&E Restore Wetland In Monterey County That Will Provide Clean Surface Water For The Community

An 18-acre wetland in Castroville was re-flooded today through a partnership between the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, Central Coast Wetlands Group (CCWG) at Moss Landing Marine Labs and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The restored wetland will provide an ecosystem that will be able to naturally clean 80,000 gallons of surface water for the community every day.

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"Wetlands provide important natural resources for our communities, create natural habitats for wildlife, native plants and clean water, remove pollution and help to combat the effects of climate change," said CCWG Director Ross Clark.

The wetland is part of the Moro Cojo Slough watershed. Water is being pumped from the Castroville Ditch, which drains approximately 600 acres of land farmed predominantly in artichokes and Brussels sprouts. The water is then gravity-fed through a channel that provides a habitat for wetland plants. These plants will remove nitrates, naturally filtering and cleaning the water. Coastal Conservation and Research grew and has planted 30,000 native wetland plants.

Bridget Hoover, water quality protection program director for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, said, "Wetlands are a natural filter that help to improve the quality of water that flows through watersheds by removing contaminants, such as nutrients, fecal bacteria, pesticides, and metals that pollute our ocean. This wetland will be a tremendous resource for the Monterey Bay."

The California State Water Resources Control Board provided Proposition 84 grant funding to construct the project. The land was provided by PG&E. In 1996, Moss Landing Marine Labs and PG&E partnered to restore an 11-acre wetland adjacent to this site. Earlier this year, PG&E Corporation contributed $250,000 to the successful Measure AA for a Clean and Healthy Bay campaign that will fund the restoration of 15,000 acres of San Francisco Bay Area wetlands.

"PG&E is committed to continuing to protect California's unique ecosystems, an important part of our strong and enduring commitment to the environment. This wetland will directly benefit our customers by providing this community with clean surface water and a restored ecosystem," said PG&E Vice President of Safety, Health and Environment Andy Williams.

After water flow is restored, additional native plants and seeds will be planted over the next two years. Scientists will monitor the downstream water to evaluate the success of the project, and later the site will be made available to train students and agricultural professionals.

About Moss Landing Marine Labs

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) administers the Master of Science in marine science program for California State Universities in northern and central California, and is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in both education and research.

About Central Coast Wetland Groups

CCWG is a wetland research group at Moss Landing Marine Labs serving the Central Coast of California. CCWG works closely with regional and state partners to expand wetland science and develop collaborative wetland enhancement opportunities among resource managers, policy makers and the agriculture industry.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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