The ghost town of Jewell located in West Marin was once a tourist destination, but is now abandoned and in disarray. The houses are old and dilapidated, and impacting the nearby creek ecosystem that is home to the last remaining run of endangered Central California Coastal coho salmon. SPAWN is working to restore the 1-mile area back to its natural state.

SPAWN has begun a project to developed a restoration and enhancement plan for a mile-long stretch of stream and floodplain forest just west of Samuel P. Taylor State Park, formerly known as Jewel and Tocaloma.  This wildlife-rich area is home to at least five species on the U.S. Endangered Species List including endangered coho salmon, threatened steelhead trout, endangered California freshwater shrimp, threatened northern spotted owls, and threatened California red-legged frogs.

The large-scale restoration project will work to restore degraded creek-side floodplain habitat along Sir Francis Drake Blvd. with focusing on creating in-stream fish habitat improvements including high water floodplain refuges, evolving side-channel features, and creating slow backwaters for juvenile fish rearing. This restoration will also include improvements to benefits the other threatened and endangered species that live in the area.

SPAWN hosted a Bioblitz and enlisted volunteers and Cal Academy to help access the biodiversity of area, and create a record of wildlife living in the ghost town right now. Later when the restoration is complete, SPAWN will conduct another Bioblitz to access the changes pre-and post restoration.

Listen to Biologist Preston Brown speak with KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi about the project by clicking here: