For several years now, a new waterfront enhancement plan has been in the works for the downtown marsh area and adjacent First Street Green. After a lengthy process of many public meetings, environmental site analysis, the public hearing and final adoption of the plan in October of 2014, the project is now in its funding phase. According to Vic Randall, Management Analyst for the City of Benicia, “We are working on securing funding for detailed design and engineering. We expect to submit proposals for grant funding this summer and fall, when the State puts out calls for proposals for a couple of grant programs that recently released draft guidelines.” The project’s goals include improvement of recreation, public access and amenities for visitors, protecting the tidal wetlands and fish and wildlife species, and improving seawater management, among others. The open space will be preserved as part of a park that will provide a site for festivals and full-spectrum recreational access. The full plan and its history can be viewed online here. Benicia was also recently given an Award of Merit for the waterfront plan by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.