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Report
Shimabuku, I.; Trowbridge, P.; Sun, J. 2018. Bay 2017 Bay RMP Field Sampling Report. SFEI Contribution No. 849. San Francisco Estuary Institute : Richmond, CA.
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Gilbreath, A.; Pearce, S.; Shimabuku, I.; McKee, L. 2018. Bay Area Green Infrastructure Water Quality Synthesis. SFEI Contribution No. 922. San Francisco Estuary Institute : Richmond, CA.
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Collins, J. N. 1998. Bay Area Wetlands Ecosystem Goals Project: Key Baylands Habitats. SFEI Contribution No. 122. San Francisco Estuary Institute.
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Collins, J. N. 1998. Bay Area Wetlands Ecosystem Goals Project: Key Baylands Species. SFEI Contribution No. 121. San Francisco Estuary Institute.
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Monroe, M.; Olofson, P. R.; Collins, J. N.; Grossinger, R. M.; Haltiner, J.; Wilcox, C. 1999. Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals. SFEI Contribution No. 330. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco, Calif./S.F. Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, Oakland, Calif. p 328.
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Collins, J. N.; Stralberg, D. 2004. Baylands Vegetation Mapping Protocol (Version 1.0). SFEI Contribution No. 304. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Oakland, CA.
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David, N. 2009. Best Management Practices in Stone Fruit Project. San Francisco Estuary Institite: Oakland, Ca.
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Gunther, A. J. 1988. The Bioavailability of Toxic Contaminants in the San Francisco Bay-Delta: Proceedings of a Two-Day Seminar Series. SFEI Contribution No. 142. San Francisco Bay - Delta Aquatic Habitat Institute, Richmond, CA: Berkeley, CA.
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Cohen, A. N. 1998. Biological invasions in the San Francisco Estuary. Olin, P. G., Cassell, J. L., Eds.. California Sea Grant College System, University of California, La Jolla CA. pp 7-8.
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Cohen, A. N. 1999. Breifing Paper on a Monitoring Plan for Nonindigenous Organisms in the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary. A report for CALFED and the California Urban Water Agencies. San Francisco Estuary Institute. p Richmond CA.
Cohen, A. N. 1999. Briefing Paper on a Monitoring Plan for Nonindigenous Organisms in the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary. SFEI Contribution No. 325. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond CA.
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Sutton, R.; Kucklick, J. 2015. A Broad Scan of Bay Contaminants. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
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San Francisco Estuary Institute. 2007. CALFED's Fish Mercury Project. SFEI Contribution No. 531. San Francisco Estuary Institute and CALFED.
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Collins, J. N. 2003. California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) - Part 2. SFEI Contribution No. 285. San Francisco Estuary Institute.
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Collins, J. N.; Sutula, M.; Stein, E.; Jones, P. 2002. California Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands v. 1.0. SFEI Contribution No. 246. San Francisco Estuary Institute. p 18.
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Cohen, A. N. 2001. Case Study 2.5: Petition for U.S. federal action on the green seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia. Wittenberg, R., Cock, M. J. W., Eds.. United Nations Global Invasive Species Program. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, UK. p 31.
Cohen, A. N. 2001. Case Study 3.16: Transfer of pathogens and other species via oyster culture. Wittenberg, R., Cock, M. J. W., Eds.. United Nations Global Invasive Species Program. CAB International: Wallingford, Oxon, UK. p p 92.
Yee, D.; Franz, A. 2005. Castro Valley Atmospheric Deposition Study. SFEI Contribution No. 430. Brake Pad Partnership.
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Dusterhoff, S.; Pearce, S.; McKee, L. J. .; Doehring, C.; Beagle, J.; McKnight, K.; Grossinger, R.; Askevold, R. A. 2017. Changing Channels: Regional Information for Developing Multi-benefit Flood Control Channels at the Bay Interface. Flood Control 2.0. SFEI Contribution No. 801. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Over the past 200 years, many of the channels that drain to San Francisco Bay have been modified for land reclamation and flood management. The local agencies that oversee these channels are seeking new management approaches that provide multiple benefits and promote landscape resilience. This includes channel redesign to improve natural sediment transport to downstream bayland habitats and beneficial re-use of dredged sediment for building and sustaining baylands as sea level continues to rise under a changing climate. Flood Control 2.0 is a regional project that was created to help develop innovative approaches for integrating habitat improvement and resilience into flood risk management at the Bay interface. Through a series of technical, economic, and regulatory analyses, the project addresses some of the major elements associated with multi-benefit channel design and management at the Bay interface and provides critical information that can be used by the management and restoration communities to develop long-term solutions that benefit people and wildlife.

This Flood Control 2.0 report provides a regional analysis of morphologic change and sediment dynamics in flood control channels at the Bay interface, and multi-benefit management concepts aimed at bringing habitat restoration into flood risk management. The findings presented here are built on a synthesis of historical and contemporary data that included input from Flood Control 2.0 project scientists, project partners, and science advisors. The results and recommendations, summarized below, will help operationalize many of the recommendations put forth in the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Science Update (Goals Project 2015) and support better alignment of management and restoration communities on multi-benefit bayland management approaches.

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Yee, D.; Wong, A.; Shimabuku, I.; Trowbridge, P. 2017. Characterization of Sediment Contamination in Central Bay Margin Areas. SFEI Contribution No. 829. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
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Yee, D.; Wong, A.; Buzby, N. 2019. Characterization of Sediment Contamination in South Bay Margin Areas. SFEI Contribution No. 962. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

The Bay margins (i.e., mudflats and adjacent shallow areas of the Bay) are important habitats where there is high potential for wildlife to be exposed to contaminants. However, until recently, these areas had not been routinely sampled by the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) due to logistical considerations. In 2015, the RMP conducted a spatially-distributed characterization of surface sediment contamination and ancillary characteristics within the RMP-defined Central San Francisco Bay margin areas. This was repeated in 2017 within South Bay, which for this report refers to the area collectively encompassing Upper South Bay (usually just called the “South Bay” segment in the Bay RMP, “Upper” added here to distinguish from the combined area), Lower South Bay, and “Extreme” Lower South Bay (previously named “Southern Sloughs”) margin areas.

Ambient margins data in South Bay provide a context against which the severity of contamination at specific sites can be compared. The baseline data could also be useful in setting targets and tracking improvements in watershed loads and their nearfield receiving waters, or for appropriate assessment of re-use or disposal of dredged sediment. These spatially distributed data also provide improved estimates of mean concentrations and contaminant inventories in margins. Based on data from this study, contamination in the margin areas accounts for 35% of PCB mass in the upper 15 cm of surface sediments in South Bay, which is approximately proportional to the relative area of the margin (34% of the region). In contrast, margins only contain 30% of the mercury mass in South Bay, somewhat less than their proportional area.

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Trowbridge, P. 2017. Charter: Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay. SFEI Contribution No. 844. San Francisco Estuary Institute : Richmond, CA.
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Trowbridge, P.; Davis, J. A.; Wilson, R. 2015. Charter: Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay. SFEI Contribution No. 750. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, Calif.

The overarching goal of the RMP is to collect data and communicate information about water quality in San Francisco Bay in support of management decisions. The RMP was created in 1993 through Regional Board Resolution No. 92-043 that directed the Executive Officer to implement a Regional Monitoring Plan in collaboration with permitted dischargers pursuant to California Water Code, Sections 13267, 13383, 13268, and 13385. The goal was to replace individual receiving water monitoring requirements for dischargers with a comprehensive Regional Monitoring Program.

The Program is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Regional Board and SFEI, first approved in 1996 and amended at various times since (see Appendix C of this Charter). Section VIII of the MOU states the roles and responsibilities of the Regional Board and SFEI in the implementation of the Program. Participating dischargers pay fees to the Program to comply with discharge permit requirements. The cost allocation schedule for Participants is described in Appendix B. The RMP provides an open forum for a wide range of Participant Groups and other Interested Parties to discuss contaminant issues, prioritize science needs, and monitor potential impacts of discharges on the Bay.

In support of the overarching goal described above, the following guiding principles define the intentions and expectations of RMP Participants. Implementation of the RMP will:

  • Develop sound scientific information on water quality in the Bay;
  • Prioritize funding decisions through collaborative discussions;
  • Conduct decision-making in a transparent manner that consistently represents the diversity of RMP Participant interests;
  • Utilize external science advisors for guidance and peer review;
  • Maintain and make publicly available the data collected by the Program;
  • Enhance public awareness and support by regularly communicating the status and trends of water quality in the Bay; and
  • Coordinate with other monitoring and scientific studies in the Bay-Delta region to ensure efficiency.
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Lowe, S.; Ross, J. R. M.; Thompson, B. 2003. CISNet San Pablo Bay Network of Environmental Stress Indicators; Benthic Microfauna. SFEI Contribution No. 299. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Oakland, CA.
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Davis, J. A.; Lowe, S.; Anderson, B.; Hunt, J.; Thompson, B. 2004. Conceptual Framework and Rationale for the Exposure and Effects Pilot Study. SFEI Contribution No. 317. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Oakland.
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Collins, J. N.; Brewster, E.; Grossinger, R. M. 1999. Conceptual models of freshwater influences on tidal marsh form and function, with an historical perspective. SFEI Contribution No. 327. Department of Environmental Services: City of San Jose, CA. p 237 pp.
Yee, D.; Gilbreath, A. N.; McKee, L. J. .; Davis, J. A. 2019. Conceptual Model to Support PCB Management and Monitoring in the San Leandro Bay Priority Margin Unit - Final Report. SFEI Contribution No. 928. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

The goal of RMP PCB special studies over the next few years is to inform the review and possible revision of the PCB TMDL and the reissuance of the Municipal Regional Permit for Stormwater, both of which are tentatively scheduled to occur in 2020. Conceptual model development for a set of four representative priority margin units will provide a foundation for establishing an effective and efficient monitoring plan to track responses to load reductions, and will also help guide planning of management actions. The Emeryville Crescent was the first PMU to be studied in 2015-2016. The San Leandro Bay PMU is second (2016-2018), Steinberger Slough in San Carlos is third (2018), and Richmond Harbor will be fourth (2018-2019).

This document is Phase Three of a report on the conceptual model for San Leandro Bay. A Phase One report (Yee et al. 2017) presented analyses of watershed loading, initial retention, and long-term fate, including results of sediment sampling in 2016. A Phase Two data report (Davis et al. 2017) documented the methods, quality assurance, and all of the results of the 2016 field study. This Phase Three report is the final report that incorporates all of the results of the 2016 field study, and includes additional discussion of the potential influence of contaminated sites in the
watershed, the results of passive sampling by Stanford researchers and a comparative analysis of long-term fate in San Leandro Bay and the Emeryville Crescent, a section on bioaccumulation, and a concluding section with answers to the management questions that were the impetus for the work.

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Greenfield, B. K.; Davis, J. A.; Fairey, R.; Ichikawa, G.; Roberts, C.; Crane, D. B.; Petreas, M. 2003. Contaminant Concentrations in Fish from San Francisco Bay, 2000. San Francisco Estuary Institute, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Water Pollution Control Laboratories, California Department of Fish and Game, Hazardous Materials Laboratory, Cal/EPA: Oakland, CA.
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Davis, J. A.; McKinney, M.; Mok, M.; Stoelting, M.; Wainwright, S. E.; May, M. D.; Petreas, M.; Roberts, C.; Taberski, K.; Tjeerdema, R. S.; et al. 1999. Contaminants Concentrations in Fish from San Francisco Bay, 1997. SFEI Contribution No. 35. San Francisco Estuary Institute, Richmond, CA, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA, Hazardous Materials Laboratory, Cal/EPA, Berkeley, CA, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, San Francisco Bay Regional Wa: Richmond, CA.
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Sutton, R.; Sedlak, M. 2015. Contaminants of Emerging Concern in San Francisco Bay: A Strategy for Future Investigations. 2015 Update. Contaminants of Emerging Concern in San Francisco Bay: A Strategy for Future Investigations. SFEI Contribution No. 761. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

About this Update

The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) has been investigating contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) since 2001. CECs can be broadly defined as synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals that are not regulated or commonly monitored in the environment but have the potential to enter the environment and cause adverse ecological or human health impacts.

The RMP Emerging Contaminants Workgroup (ECWG), established in 2006, includes representatives from RMP stakeholder groups, regional scientists, and an advisory panel of expert researchers that work together to address the workgroup’s guiding management question – Which CECs have the potential to adversely impact beneficial uses in San Francisco Bay? The overarching goal of the ECWG is to develop cost-effective strategies to identify and monitor CECs to minimize impacts to the Bay.

To this end, the RMP published a CEC Strategy document in 2013 (Sutton et al. 2013). The strategy is a living document that guides RMP special studies on CECs, assuring continued focus on the issues of highest priority to the health of the Bay. A key focus of the strategy is a tiered risk and management action framework that guides future monitoring proposals. The strategy also features a multi-year plan indicating potential future research priorities.

This 2015 CEC strategy update features revised designations of CECs in the tiered risk and management action framework based on monitoring and research conducted since 2013. Brief summaries of relevant RMP findings are provided. In addition, a proposed multi-year plan for future RMP Special Studies on CECs is outlined. A full revision of the CEC strategy is anticipated in 2016. 

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Collins, J. N.; May, M. 1998. Contamination of Tidal Wetlands. SFEI Contribution No. 228. Richmond CA.
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Collins, J. N. 2007. CRAM Evaluation of Wetland Conditions. SFEI Contribution No. 544. Elk Grove, California. p 15.
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