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Black Hole (BH) Habitat History

In 1992, Dino Cortopassi began converting 350 acres of family-owned agland into a “Balanced” (multi-flora / multi-species) marsh reminiscent of the natural Delta (BH-I).  In 2002, Dino began conversion of an additional 400 acres of family-owned agland (BH-II).  In 2014, the entire 750 acres were deeded to the Cortopassi Family Foundation (CFF); which subsequently formed/funded Wetlands Preservation Foundation (WPF) to provide 100% of the annual maintenance required to SUSTAINABLY maximize BH wildlife productivity. In 2020, CFF gifted the BH Habitat to WPF.

Located 12 miles west of Lodi, California, the Black Hole has become a major wintering ground for a wide range of migratory waterfowl including ducks, geese, swans, ibis, and Sandhill Cranes – one of the oldest species of living birds.  In addition to migratory species, the Black Hole provides four-season habitat to resident species such as curlews, egrets, herons, and a wide variety of ground-nesting species.


The Black Hole (and adjacent Cortopassi Family farmlands) have become a leading example of how agriculture and conservation can coexist.  Through wildlife-friendly agricultural practices and a true

re-creation of the original Delta’s beauty, Wetlands Preservation Foundation and the Cortopassi Family have created a working model of long-term Delta sustainability.

The creation of the BH Habitat was entirely accomplished from private funds provided by Joan/Dino Cortopassi.  The present and future maintenance of the BH Habitat is provided from private funds entirely provided by Joan/Dino Cortopassi.


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