Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

October 24, 2006 > Duck Island gets makeover

Duck Island gets makeover

by Charlotte Flowers-Weston

On October 28 volunteers from all over California will come together to participate in the long overdue and much needed restoration of Duck Island.

Duck Island, located in the middle of Lake Elizabeth in Fremont, is managed by the City of Fremont. The Island serves as one of the largest and most productive nesting grounds for at least four types of bird colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, due to erosion and flooding events in the 1990s, and the loss of nesting trees, the nesting population has decreased dramatically.

Some experts have indicated that with the rapid expansion of the erosion in one canalized area, the island could be reduced by a one-half acre. This would leave the Snowy Egret and the Blue Heron in danger of losing their habitat, if nothing is done soon.

"The restoration will prevent the erosion and provide tree habitat in the long run for the birds that are there," said Dr. Joyce Blueford, local geologist and president of the Math/Science Nucleus.

Blueford said she is excited about the project. "We're doing erosion control on Duck Island which means we're going to be planting trees, planting tules, and putting what are called coconut fiber logs to hold back the island so we can restore it."

It is expected that a few hundred volunteers will turn out for the restoration project.
According to Blueford, it is an ongoing project partially funded by the Alameda County Clean Water Program.

"It is a joint project with the City of Freemont, and they are doing a cleanup of Lake Elizabeth itself, and at Stivers Lagoon. So it's like a joint project with the city, the Tri-City Ecology Center, and us," said Blueford.

There will be other activities on the island during the restoration project, including a number of booths to provide the public with information about Duck Island and the importance of clean water to help preserve habitat as well as a display of egrets and herons.

Sue Nogare of Fremont Parks and Recreation Department will be there to explain the habitat and data she has been collecting over the last few years.

The restoration project will take place on October 28 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Volunteers are welcomed and urged to sign up for the project.

For those who would like to help with dissemination of information can contact Dr. Blueford for more information at Blueford@msnucleus, call (510) 790-6284 or visit

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