San Francisco's Presidio to open new marsh trail near Crissy Field

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Presidio is planning to open a new opportunity to the public next week. It's a trail running through a native marsh being restored near Crissy Field.

The newly flooded Quartermaster Reach in the Presidio will eventually look like a natural marsh -- connecting a historic creek and watershed to Crissy Field and San Francisco Bay. And now, you'll be able to see it up close for yourself.

"There will be an amazing walk that will enable people to come and look at this newly restored salt marsh from a bridge and a trail that will extend all the way up through the watershed to the top of where the springs form that come down into the bay," says project manager Lew Stringer of the Presidio Trust.

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Engineers in the Presidio created an oysterbed habitat for a new marsh on the San Francisco Bay.

The restoration is decades in the making. Stringer says the contours follow the rough dimensions of an original salt marsh, as it existed before western contact, not far away from the site of a Native American village.

"A Yelamu village called Petlenuc, and they were here, there's a shell midden in the vicinity. And we've actually named the creek that runs through this watershed after that village. We call it Petlanuc creek," says Stringer.

The Presidio team recently opened a newly constructed spillway to allow bay waters to flow in. A few weeks before that, they seeded the area with special oyster pods, designed to let oysters anchor and thrive in the marsh. When newly placed reeds and other plants begin to flourish, designers say the area will give visitors a sense of walking back into history.

The Presidio's target date to open the trail is next Friday, Dec. 18.

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Every morning, thousands of drivers pour through the tunnels of San Francisco's Doyle Drive, without realizing they're flying over what will soon be one of the Bay Area's most spectacular landscapes.

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