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San Francisco Salt Ponds
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San Francisco Salt Ponds

December 24, 2003
The red and green colors of the salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay are brilliant visual markers for astronauts. The STS-111 crew photographed the bay south of the San Mateo bridge in June, 2002. This photograph is timely because a large number of the salt ponds (more than 16,500 acres) that are owned by Cargill, Inc. will be sold in September for wetlands restoration—a restoration project second in size only to the Florida Everglades project. Rough boundaries of the areas to be restored are outlined on the image. Over the past century, more than 80% of San Francisco Bay’s wetlands have been filled and developed or diked off for salt mining.


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