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Report
Davis, J. A.; Gunther, A. J.; Abu-Saba, K. E. 2001. Technical Report of the Sources, Pathways, and Loadings Workgroup. SFEI Contribution No. 266. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
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Cohen, A. N.; Woo, M.; Jabari, E. 2001. Testing Ballast Water Treatment at a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant. California Sea Grant/National Sea Grant College Program, La Jolla CA.
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Greenfield, B. K.; Davis, J. A.; Collins, J. N.; Grenier, J. Letitia. 2002. The tidal marsh food web. SFEI Contribution No. 472. University of California: Berkeley, CA. p 12 pp.
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Safran, S. M.; Baumgarten, S. A.; Beller, E. E.; Crooks, J. A.; Grossinger, R. M.; Lorda, J.; Longcore, T. R.; Bram, D. L.; Dark, S. J.; Stein, E. D.; et al. 2017. Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation. Prepared for the State Coastal Conservancy. A Report of SFEI-ASC’s Resilient Landscapes Program. SFEI Contribution No. 760. San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center : Richmond, CA. p 230.

The Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation addresses a regional data gap by reconstructing the landscape and ecosystem characteristics of the river valley prior to the major modifications of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The research presented here, funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy, supplies foundational information at the regional and system scale about how the Tijuana Estuary, River, and valley looked and functioned in the recent past, as well as how they have changed over time. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide a new tool and framework that, in combination with contemporary research and future projections, can support and guide ongoing restoration design, planning, and management efforts in the valley.

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Moran, K.; Sutton, R. 2023. Tire Wear: Emissions Estimates and Market Insights to Inform Monitoring Design. Gilbreath, A., Méndez, M., Lin, D., Eds.. SFEI Contribution No. 1109. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Every vehicle on the road sheds tiny particles from its rubber tires into the environment. Tire wear is one of the top sources of microplastic releases to the environment. Tire wear also disperses tire-related chemicals into the environment. SFEI studies supported by the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) and others have found tire wear particles and tire-related chemicals in San Francisco Bay and its small tributaries, which drain the Bay watershed’s local urban areas. The RMP has developed a short-term multi-year plan of potential special studies (“Tires Strategy”) that responds to recent data revealing the magnitude of tire particle and chemical emissions and their potential toxicity to aquatic organisms.

This article is available upon request. Please message [email protected] for the materials.

Pearce, S.; Mckee, L.; Whipple, A.; Church, T. 2021. Towards a Coarse Sediment Strategy for the Bay Area. SFEI Contribution No. 1032. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Historic and current regional management of watersheds and channels for water supply and flood control across the San Francisco Bay Area has cut off much of the coarse sediment that was historically delivered to the Bay. Here we define coarse sediment as having grain sizes larger than 0.0625 mm, which includes sand, gravel and even cobble, as opposed to fine sediment that includes clay, mud and silt. Future projections indicate that sediment supply will not meet the demand from extant and restored tidal marshes to keep up with sea level rise.


The US EPA Water Quality Improvement Fund Preparing for the Storm grant has funded the Zone 7 Water Agency, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture to support the future development of a successful regional coarse sediment reuse strategy. Development of such a strategy requires an understanding of logistical and regulatory hurdles and identification of key strategies for breaking down barriers. One potential solution for meeting the sediment demand along the Bay margin is to utilize coarse sediment that is removed from flood control channels by public agencies. To-date, very little of this sediment that is removed is beneficially reused for restoration along the Bay shoreline. The current economic and regulatory framework around sediment removal presents many challenges, barriers and lack of incentives for agencies to reuse their sediment.

This document represents a step forward towards beneficially reusing coarse flood control channel sediment by outlining reuse challenges, and identifying incentives for participation and potential solutions.

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Smith, R.; Thompson, B. 1994. Towards an Optimal Sampling Design for the RMP. SFEI Contribution No. 6. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
Phillips, D. J. H. 1987. Toxic Contaminants in the San Francisco Bay-Delta and their Possible Biological Effects. SFEI Contribution No. 145. Aquatic Habitat Institute: Richmond, CA. p 472.
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Jarman, W. M.; Bacon, C.; Owen, B. 1999. Trace Organic Sampler Intercalibration Results. SFEI Contribution No. 34. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
Pearce, S. A.; Stark, K. 2023. Translating Sediment Science Into Action: Documenting Beneficial Sediment Reuse. SFEI Contribution No. 1124. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

The Preparing for the Storm project, led by Zone 7 Water Agency (Zone 7) and funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Quality Improvement Fund, aims to develop science-based plans, strengthen existing and new partnerships, and pilot new methodologies for tackling these issues surrounding coarse sediment. As a task within this larger project, this report describes four projects in the East Bay that serve as case studies for beneficial reuse of sediment. Each example highlights a project with sediment that could be reused (in lieu of landfilling) or a project that needs additional sediment and could benefit from deliveries of sediment that normally would not have been beneficially reused.

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Zi, T.; Whipple, A.; Kauhanen, P.; Spotswood, E.; Grenier, L.; Grossinger, R.; Askevold, R. 2021. Trees and Hydrology in Urban Landscapes. SFEI Contribution No. 1034. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Effective implementation of urban greening strategies is needed to address legacies of landscape change and environmental degradation, ongoing development pressures, and the urgency of the climate crisis. With limited space and resources, these challenges will not be met through single-issue or individual-sector management and planning. Increasingly, local governments, regulatory agencies, and other urban planning organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area are expanding upon the holistic, portfolio-based, and multi-benefit approaches.

This effort, presented in the Trees and Hydrology in Urban Landscapes report, seeks to build links between stormwater management and urban ecological improvements by evaluating how complementary urban greening activities, including green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and urban tree canopy, can be integrated and improved to reduce runoff and contaminant loads in stormwater systems. This work expands the capacity for evaluating engineered GSI and non-engineered urban greening within a modeling and analysis framework, with a primary focus on evaluating the hydrologic benefit of urban trees. Insights can inform stormwater management policy and planning. 

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Tian, Z.; Zhao, H.; Peter, K. T.; Gonzalez, M.; Wetzel, J.; Wu, C.; Hu, X.; Prat, J.; Mudrock, E.; Hettinger, R.; et al. 2020. A ubiquitous tire rubber–derived chemical induces acute mortality in coho salmon. Science.

In U.S. Pacific Northwest coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), stormwater exposure annually causes unexplained acute mortality when adult salmon migrate to urban creeks to reproduce. By investigating this phenomenon, we identified a highly toxic quinone transformation product of N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N′-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine (6PPD), a globally ubiquitous tire rubber antioxidant. Retrospective analysis of representative roadway runoff and stormwater-affected creeks of the U.S. West Coast indicated widespread occurrence of 6PPD-quinone (<0.3 to 19 micrograms per liter) at toxic concentrations (median lethal concentration of 0.8 ± 0.16 micrograms per liter). These results reveal unanticipated risks of 6PPD antioxidants to an aquatic species and imply toxicological relevance for dissipated tire rubber residues.

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Sutton, R.; Lin, D.; Sedlak, M.; Box, C.; Gilbreath, A.; Holleman, R.; Miller, L.; Wong, A.; Munno, K.; Zhu, X.; et al. 2019. Understanding Microplastic Levels, Pathways, and Transport in the San Francisco Bay Region. SFEI Contribution No. 950. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Microplastics (particles less than 5 mm) are ubiquitous and persistent pollutants in the ocean and a pervasive and preventable threat to the health of marine ecosystems. Microplastics come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and plastic types, each with unique physical and chemical properties and toxicological impacts. Understanding the magnitude of the microplastics problem and determining the highest priorities for mitigation require accurate measures of microplastic occurrence in the environment and identification of likely sources.

To develop critical baseline data and inform solutions, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the 5 Gyres Institute have completed the first comprehensive regional study of microplastic pollution in a major estuary. This project supported multiple scientific components to develop improved knowledge about and characterization of microparticles and microplastics in San Francisco Bay and adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries, with the following objectives:

  1. Contribute to the development and standardization of sample collection and analysis methodology for microplastic transportation research.
  2. Determine a baseline for future monitoring of microplastics in San Francisco Bay surface water, sediment, and fish, and in ocean waters outside the Golden Gate.
  3. Characterize pathways by which microplastics enter the Bay, including urban stormwater and treated wastewater effluent.
  4. Investigate the contribution of Bay microplastics to the adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries through computer simulations.
  5. Communicate findings to regional stakeholders and the general public through meetings and educational materials.
  6. Facilitate evaluation of policy options for San Francisco Bay, with recommendations on source reduction.

This document presents the findings of this three-year project. A companion document, “San Francisco Bay Microplastics Project: Science-Supported Solutions and Policy Recommendations,” has been developed by 5 Gyres using the findings of this study (Box and Cummins, 2019).

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Lowe, S.; Salomon, M.; Pearce, S.; Josh Collins; Titus, D. 2016. Upper Pajaro River Watershed Condition Assessment 2015. Technical memorandum prepared for the Santa Clara Valley Water District - Priority D5 Project. SFEI Contribution No. 810. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA. p 60.

In 2015 The Santa Clara Valley Water District and it's consultants conducted a watershed wide survey to characterize the distribution and abundance of the aquatic resources within the upper Pajaro River watershed wtihin Santa Clara County, CA based on available GIS datasets, and to assess the overall ecological condition of streams within the watershed based on a statistically based random sample design and the California Rapid Assessment Method for streams (CRAM).

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Hagerty, S.; Spotswood, E.; McKnight, K.; Grossinger, R. M. 2019. Urban Ecological Planning Guide for Santa Clara Valley. SFEI Contribution No. 941. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

This document provides some of the scientific foundation needed to guide planning for urban biodiversity in the Santa Clara Valley region, grounded in an understanding of landscape history, urban ecology and local setting. It can be used to envision the ecological potential for individual urban greening projects, and to guide their siting, design and implementation. It also can be used to guide coordination of projects across the landscape, with the cooperation of a group of stakeholders (such as multiple agencies, cities and counties). Users of this report may include a wide range of entities, such as local nonprofits, public agencies, city planners, and applicants to the Open Space Authority’s Urban Open Space Grant Program.
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Wheeler, M.; Stoneburner, L.; Spotswood, E.; Grossinger, R.; Barar, D.; Randisi, C. 2022. An Urban Forest Master Plan for East Palo Alto. SFEI Contribution No. 1071. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
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Cohen, A. N.; Gottleib, R. 1991. Water and GrowthL Restructuring the Relationship. Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform: Sacramento, CA.
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Lowe, S.; Pearce, S.; Collins, J. 2017. A Watershed Approach to Restoration and Mitigation Planning, Monitoring, and Assessment Based on the Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP): Addendum to the Upper Pajaro River Watershed Assessment 2015. SFEI Contribution No. 818. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond. CA. p 30.

This report demonstrates a possible watershed-based approach to evaluating mitigation sites using the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). The Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) is leading the Llagas Creek Flood Control Project in the upper Pajaro River watershed, Santa Clara County, CA. Mitigation for the Project involves enhancing riverine wetlands on-site (within the flood control channel) and restoring riverine wetlands and enhancing depressional wetlands at Lake Silveira, in the Llagas Creek watershed. Valley Water is incorporating CRAM into its planning and assessment of mitigation efforts and Valley Water's Priority D.5 Project's Pajaro River Watershed ambient stream condition survey (2015) provided the watershed context for evaluating project conditions against the general ecological conditions of streams within the watershed - employing CRAM. This WRAMP demonstration compared pre-project ecological condition assessments (employing CRAM) from the project's impact and mitigation sites to ambient watershed conditions and estimated the amount of ecological lift expected in the future as a result of the planned mitigation and restoration efforts.

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Hoenicke, R.; Hayworth, J. 2005. A Watershed Monitoring Strategy for Napa County. SFEI Contribution No. 428. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Napa,. p 34.
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Kleckner, A.; Sutton, R.; Yee, D.; Gilbreath, A.; Trinh, M. 2023. Water Year 2023 RMP Near-Field Water Sampling and Analysis Plan. SFEI Contribution No. 1142. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

This report details plans associated with the pilot near-field water sampling for the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP). The RMP recently reviewed the Status & Trends (S&T) Program and added a pilot effort to quantify contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in Bay water in areas near (“near-field” of) expected loading pathways during or shortly after storm events and during the dry season. For the first year of the pilot (Water Year 2022), the near-field design included three targeted, near-field stations and four ambient Bay stations. Subsequent years added a fourth near-field station. Samples will be collected at these stations during or shortly after two storm events, and once in the dry season. The analytes that are being measured include bisphenols, organophosphate esters (OPEs), PFAS, and a suite of stormwater CECs.

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Dougherty, J.; Kleckner, A.; Sutton, R.; Yee, D.; Gilbreath, A.; Trinh, M. 2024. Water Year 2024 RMP Near-Field Water Sampling and Analysis Plan. SFEI Contribution No. 1154.

This report details sampling and analysis plans associated with the pilot near-field water sampling for the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP). The RMP added a pilot effort to the  Status & Trends (S&T) Program to quantify contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in Bay water in areas near (“near-field” of) expected loading pathways during or shortly after storm events and during the dry season. For the first year of the pilot (Water Year 2022), the near-field design included three targeted, near-field stations and four ambient Bay stations. A fourth near-field station was added in subsequent years. Samples are collected at these stations during or shortly after two storm events, and once in the dry season. The analytes being measured include bisphenols, organophosphate esters (OPEs), PFAS-target, PFAS-TOP, and a suite of stormwater CECs.

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Lowe, S. 2019. West Valley Watershed Assessment 2018: Baseline Ecological Condition Assessment of Southwest San Francisco Bay Creeks in Santa Clara County; Calabazas, San Tomas Aquino, Saratoga, Sunnyvale East and West. Salomon, M., Pearce, S., Josh Collins, Titus, D., Eds.. SFEI Contribution No. 944. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond.

This report describes baseline information about the amount and distribution of aquatic resources, and evaluates the overall ecological conditions of streams using the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM), for the West Valley watershed in Santa Clara County; consisting of Sunnyvale East and West Channels, Calabazas Creek, San Tomas Aquino and Saratoga creeks, and many smaller tributaries.

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Stein, E. D.; Cayce, K.; Salomon, M. N.; Bram, D. L.; De Mello, D.; Grossinger, R. M.; Dark, S. 2014. Wetlands of the Southern California Coast: Historical Extent and Change Over Time. SFEI Contribution No. 720. Southern California Coastal watershed Research Project (SCCWRP), San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), CSU Northridge Center for Geographical Studies: Costa Mesa, Richmond, Northridge.
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Mayer, P.; Moran, K.; Miller, E.; Brander, S.; Harper, S.; Garcia-Jaramillo, M.; Carrasco-Navarro, V.; Ho, K. T.; Burgess, R. M.; Hampton, L. M. Thornto; et al. 2024. Where the rubber meets the road: Emerging environmental impacts of tire wear particles and their chemical cocktails. Science of the Total Environement.

About 3 billion new tires are produced each year and about 800 million tires become waste annually. Global dependence upon tires produced from natural rubber and petroleum-based compounds represents a persistent and complex environmental problem with only partial and often-times, ineffective solutions. Tire emissions may be in the form of whole tires, tire particles, and chemical compounds, each of which is transported through various atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic routes in the natural and built environments. Production and use of tires generates multiple heavy metals, plastics, PAH's, and other compounds that can be toxic alone or as chemical cocktails. Used tires require storage space, are energy intensive to recycle, and generally have few post-wear uses that are not also potential sources of pollutants (e.g., crumb rubber, pavements, burning). Tire particles emitted during use are a major component of microplastics in urban runoff and a source of unique and highly potent toxic substances. Thus, tires represent a ubiquitous and complex pollutant that requires a comprehensive examination to develop effective management and remediation. We approach the issue of tire pollution holistically by examining the life cycle of tires across production, emissions, recycling, and disposal. In this paper, we synthesize recent research and data about the environmental and human health risks associated with the production, use, and disposal of tires and discuss gaps in our knowledge about fate and transport, as well as the toxicology of tire particles and chemical leachates. We examine potential management and remediation approaches for addressing exposure risks across the life cycle of tires. We consider tires as pollutants across three levels: tires in their whole state, as particulates, and as a mixture of chemical cocktails. Finally, we discuss information gaps in our understanding of tires as a pollutant and outline key questions to improve our knowledge and ability to manage and remediate tire pollution.

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Panlasigui, S.; Pearce, S.; Hegstad, R.; Quinn, M.; Whipple, A. 2020. Wildlife Habitat and Water Quality Enhancement Opportunities at Castlewood Country Club. SFEI Contribution No. 1003. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Meeting human and ecological needs within San Francisco Bay’s watersheds is increasingly challenged by flooding, water quality degradation, and habitat loss, exacerbated by intensified urbanization and climate change. Addressing these challenges requires implementing multi-benefit strategies through new partnerships and increased coordination across the region’s diverse landscapes. Actions to improve water quality and enhance habitat for biodiversity in our highly developed and managed landscapes can help the region as a whole to build resilience to withstand current pressures and future change. The EPA-funded project, “Preparing for the Storm,” aims to address these challenges at the site- and landscape-scale through studies and implementation projects in the Livermore-Amador Valley. As part of this larger project, this technical report presents a synthesis of water quality and habitat improvement opportunities for a golf course of Castlewood Country Club.

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King, A. 2019. Wind Over San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: Forcing for Hydrodynamic Models. SFEI Contribution No. 937. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
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Grosso, C.; Lowe, S.; Pearce, S.; O'Connor, K.; Teunis, L.; Stein, E. D.; Siu, J.; Scianni, M. 2023. WRAMP Training and Outreach Plan. SFEI Contribution No. 1136. p 39.

The goal of this Training and Outreach Plan is to increase the overall awareness and use  of the WRAMP datasets and tools in support of wetland resource planning,  management, and project performance tracking in California. Specifically, a near-term  goal is to develop modular training sessions that can be linked together in different  ways to customize how the datasets, monitoring methods, and online tools might be  used for different purposes. 

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Williams, M.; Cayce, K. 2009. WRMP Factsheet — Wetland and Riparian Base Map. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Oakland, Ca.
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Cohen, A. N.; Nordby, J. C. 2005. Year-end Report to the National Science Foundation. SFEI Contribution No. 456. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Oakland, CA.
Cohen, A. N.; Weinstein, A. 2001. Zebra Mussel's Calcium Threshold and Implications for its Potential Distribution in North America. SFEI Contribution No. 356. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond CA.
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Software
Hale, T.; Sim, L.; McKee, L. J. 2018. GreenPlan-IT Tracker.

This technical memo describes the purpose, functions, and structure associated with the newest addition to the GreenPlan-IT Toolset, the GreenPlan-IT Tracker. It also shares the opportunities for further enhancement and how the tool can operate in concert with existing resources. Furthermore, this memo describes a licensing plan that would permit municipalities to use the tool in an ongoing way that scales to their needs. The memo concludes with a provisional roadmap for the development of future features and technical details describing the tool’s platform and data structures.

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Website
Dusterhoff, S. D.; Doehring, C.; Shusterman, G. 2014. How Creeks Meet the Bay: Changing Interfaces (Interactive web map).

San Francisco Bay’s connections to local creeks are integral to its health. These fluvial-tidal (F-T) interfaces are the points of delivery for freshwater, sediment, contaminants, and nutrients. The ways in which the F-T interface has changed affect flooding dynamics, ecosystem functioning, and resilience to a changing climate. As the historical baylands have been altered, the majority of contemporary F-T interface types have changed leading to additional F-T interface types within the present-day landscape. Illustrations of each F-T interface type and methods for classification are available here

This project is part of Flood Control 2.0. For further information please visit this project page

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