The restoration projects along Cache Creek and within the Nature Preserve are the main focus of the the Cache Creek Conservancy.
Habitat Restoration Program Manager, Zachary Emerson, recently oversaw the completion of a major habitat improvement project which reshaped a number of islands within the Creek Nature Preserve's (CCNP) wetlands. The project was funded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and established more emergent wetland vegetation for supporting Tri-colored blackbird nesting opportunities, as well as adjacent habitat for foraging. Other outcomes include the creation of an additional 1.3 acres of flooded wetland forest habitat, and the enhancement of adjacent upland areas with native wildflower plantings for pollinator habitat . These improvements will benefit numerous wetland-associated listed species including tri-colored blackbirds, garter snakes, and western pond turtles.
Other environmental benefits of this project include increasing resilience against non-native, invasive plants by establishing native vegetation and physically removing niches that invasive, non-native species have occupied. Target wildlife species will have more habitat for foraging and nesting and the public will have better recreational and educational opportunities at the CCNP.
The history of aggregate mining along lower Cache Creek has had significant negative impacts to the biodiversity and ecology of the watershed, but successful wetland and riparian restoration projects, such as the ongoing restoration of the CCNP wetlands, offers us hope as well as pathways towards a future of enhanced ecological integrity, biodiversity, beauty, and recreational opportunities.