Salt Ponds

  • Caption
    Bird's-Eye View of Pond
North and Central America->United States->California (CA)->San Francisco Bay
Formerly a 25,000-acre, productive estuary system of sloughs and wetlands, The southern San Francisco Bay edges are now comprised of a highly managed, complex land reclamation system organized by levees, channels, ponds, and pumps for commodity production, navigation, flood control, energy and water infrastructure, and public access.
Students in the landscape planning and design studio are exploring futures for 16,000 acres of salt evaporator ponds that form the edges of the southern San Francisco Bay. In 2003, the State of California purchased the salt evaporator ponds from the Cargill Corporation with the long-term goal of restoring the ponds to tidal wetlands that have been lost due to urbanization. In this studio, students will explore how a landscape of closure, certainty, and control will unfold into a mosaic of open, self-organizing, adaptive systems that form an interface between the urban edges and open waters of the bay. --Sarah Cowles, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture Section, OSU
Landscape and Architecture students are shown touring the South Bay salt evaporation ponds with Chris Benton of UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design and microbiologist Dr. Wayne Lanier. Chris Benton demonstrated how he uses kite aerial photography to document the multicolored landscape of the salt ponds. The color of the ponds is determined by salinity levels: green and blue represent lower salinity levels, while orange and red denote higher salinity levels and host halophilic (salt-tolerant) species of microorganisms. Students also canoed through a tidal marsh restoration site in Bair Island, toured Crissy Field, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and visited the DeYoung Museum.
2000s (2000 - 2009)