FREMONT, CA-Catellus Development Group has handed 440 acres of wetlands habitat to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The donation and restoration of the land is part of the agreement that allowed the company to develop Pacific Commons, a nearby 840-acre mixed-use development here that it previously completed.

The donated land, once home to a racing track, currently consists of two preserve areas believed to have previously supported an extensive vernal pool and wetland complex. Catellus is now restoring and rebuilding the habitat. The enhanced property, the largest vernal pool complex in the South Bay, will be incorporated into the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge, the first urban federal wildlife refuge established in the US.

Under its agreement, Catellus will manage and track ecological data at the site for 10 years to ensure successful establishment, after which it will set up an endowment to fund future maintenance by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The company has also supplemented the donation with additional vernal pools to further ensure the long-term success of the habitat.

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