Upper Truckee Marsh Restoration

For the last three years, the California Tahoe Conservancy partnered with NHC to restore the complex and unique ecology of the Upper Truckee Marsh. The Marsh once covered 1,600 acres, but 20th century development destroyed much of the wetland complex and channelized the Upper Truckee River, which led to channel incision and reduced floodplain connectivity in the Marsh.

The project enhanced over 250 acres of floodplain by creating new channels that redirect high flows from the Upper Truckee River into relic channels in the center of the Marsh. The increased flows help to revitalize native fish and bird habitat, expand the natural pollution filtering functions of the Marsh to improve water quality before reaching Lake Tahoe, and increase the resilience of the Marsh to droughts, flooding, and other climate change impacts.

The project also converted the former “Sailing Lagoon” and surrounding fill to 13 acres of restored wetlands using a sequence of ridges and depressions that mimic the dune/interdune morphology of the Marsh that existed along the shores of Lake Tahoe prior to 20th century development disturbances. To jumpstart revegetation, over 60,000 native wetland and upland plants were installed. The once stagnant Sailing Lagoon, which functioned as a nursery for aquatic invasive species to spread into Lake Tahoe, is now a connected component of the larger Marsh with the building blocks in place to increase habitat for species native to the Tahoe Basin and to promote ecological diversity.



For more information about this project, contact Brent Wolfe.