Monday, June 21, 2010

Virtual Saltworks -- See the Cargill salt ponds' past, present and possible future

By Amy Ricard, Communications Associate

A couple of months ago, Save The Bay was approached by Karin Tuxen Bettman, a wetland scientist and Redwood City resident concerned about Cargill's plan to pave over and develop over 1,400 acres of former salt ponds – an area that once belonged to the Bay and a huge swath of Bay shoreline that can and should be restored to wetlands. Knowing the immeasurable benefits of wetlands and tidal marsh in maintaining a healthy Bay ecosystem, as well as in protecting communities from the threat of sea level rise, Bettman decided it was time to get involved.

Bettman currently works at Google helping non-profit organizations use Google Earth to achieve specific goals and convey messages, so her involvement with this project was a perfect fit. Over the course of several weeks, she worked with Save The Bay to develop a website that would take users on a virtual tour of the site, underscoring its history as tidal marsh in addition to the importance of the habitat it currently provides for wildlife and the myriad ways restoring the site would benefit both the Bay and the region.

Bettman's project – Virtual Saltworks – launched a couple of weeks ago and has since been featured in an article published in Bay Nature and the Bay Citizen.

Check out Virtual Saltworks and learn more about the history of the Cargill site and how you can get involved in the fight to save this critical piece of the Bay.

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