Napa Plant Site

Project Description

The Napa Plant Site Restoration Project is 1,460 acres of former salt ponds roughly 1 mile northwest of American Canyon in Napa County. In 2003, the State of California purchased this land as part of the Cargill Salt Ponds acquisition, which included 15,100 acres of ponds in South San Francisco Bay. The Napa Plant Site and South Bay Salt Ponds projects shared an initial mission – prepare a scientifically sound and publicly supported restoration and public access plan that can begin to be implemented within five years. As of 2006, the Napa Plant Site achieved this initial objective with the publication and certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report.

Due to the geographic distance and unique characteristics of the Napa Plant Site, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFG) manages this restoration project separately from the South Bay ponds. The goal of the Napa Plant Site Restoration Project is the restoration and enhancement of wetlands and transitional habitats on the Napa River while providing wildlife-oriented public access. These former industrial salt ponds will be restored to tidal marsh habitat benefiting species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, the California clapper rail, and Chinook salmon while providing the public with recreational opportunities including trails, a picnic area, wildlife viewing, and a hand-launch area for non-motorized watercraft.

DFG has been working cooperatively with Cargill to phase out salt making operations and prepare the property for restoration. Planning, environmental review, detailed design, and permitting in the North and Central Units are complete and construction will begin in the summer of 2008. The South Unit, which is approximately two-thirds of the total site, is entering the design phase of the restoration process with construction starting in 2010. The planning, permitting, and design effort at the Napa Plant Site has been supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Construction funding for the North and Central Units is being provided by the State of California Resources Agency Wildlife Conservation Board.

Project Documents

Start-Up Reports

Final Environmental Impact Report (November 2006)

Draft Environmental Impact Report (February 2006)

Environmental Impact Report Preparation (September 2005)

  • Notice of Preparation (PDF, 4MB)
  • Environmental Document Transmittal (PDF, 0.2MB)
  • Alternative 1 (PDF, 4MB)
  • Alternative 2 (PDF, 4MB)
  • Alternative 3 (PDF, 0.2MB)

Project Management

  • Guiding Principles and Goals (PDF, 70k, May 2003)

Preliminary Project alternatives (December 2004)

  • These files require Abobe Reader 6.0 or greater
  • Alternative 1 (8.5 x 11 in.) (PDF, 4MB)
  • Alternative 2 (8.5 x 11 in.) (PDF, 4MB)
  • Alternative 3 (8.5 x 11 in.) (PDF, 4MB)
  • Alternative 1 (36 x 45 in.) (PDF, 34MB)
  • Alternative 2 (36 x 45 in.) (PDF, 34MB)
  • Alternative 3 (36 x 45 in.) (PDF, 34MB)

Letter of Review

  • Letter of Review from the Design Review Group of the San Francisco Bay Area Wetlands Restoration Program—November 6, 2004

Request for Services


  • Napa Salt Marsh Restoration website


For the most recent information on the Napa Plant Site Restoration Project, please contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Wildlife Biologist, Karen Taylor at