Flyway Center gains key permits, eyes groundwork in coming months

FAIRFIELD — Organizers behind the proposed Pacific Flyway Center reported Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a provisional permit for the initial phase of the $75 million ecological and educational preserve in the Suisun Marsh.

The Pacific Flyway Fund has filed for grading and building permits from the city, and has applied for its Regional Water Quality Control Board permit. Project representatives were scheduled to meet this week with state officials.

There are still other permits in the works, including with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

A black-necked stilt stands near the Goodyear Slough in Benicia, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Once the water board permit is in hand, the Army Corps of Engineers permit is finalized and work at the site can begin, Claude Grillo, vice president of the Pacific Flyway Fund, the nonprofit heading the project, said in a phone interview that included Veronica Cornett, who described herself as a volunteer naturalist.

Grillo said the organization has the $5 million needed for the first phase, which is divided into two parts. Part of that funding is a $1.47 million grant from the Delta Conservancy, which will go toward the boardwalk and other aspects of the 24-acre “Walk in the Marsh” element of the Flyway Center property.

The “Walk in the Marsh” is described in city documents as a “network of looping trails, paths and boardwalks.”

“Visitors will be able to walk . . . into the wetlands on paths on which there are plans to develop interpretive displays and ‘viewing hides,’ ” the project website states. “A kayak launch area will offer opportunities for visitors who want to experience nature from the water.”

Read More of this Article in the Daily Republic »