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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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Moore, S.; Hale, T.; Weisberg, S. B.; Flores, L.; Kauhanen, P. 2021. California Trash Monitoring Methods and Assessments Playbook. SFEI Contribution No. 1025. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, Calif.

As municipalities and water-quality regulatory agencies have implemented programs and policies to improve management of the trash loading to storm drain conveyances, there has been increased interest in using a common set of methods to quantify the effectiveness of management actions. To create a foundation for developing a consistent, standardized approach to trash monitoring statewide, the project team performed a method comparison analysis, based on two seasons of fieldwork. This analysis facilitated the assessment of the accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency of some already developed trash monitoring methodologies already in use, as well as help to investigate a new, innovative method (cf. Fielding Testing Report on trashmonitoring.org). Methods developed by the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) for use in the San Francisco Bay Area were compared to methods developed by the Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition (SMC) for use in coastal southern California. One of the chief goals of these comparisons was to understand the similarities and differences between the already existing methods for detecting, quantifying, and characterizing trash in selected environments. Readers will find that the data bear out remarkable levels of accuracy and precision with quantitative metrics that help to align methods and management concerns. Furthermore, the degree of correlation among tested methods were especially high, offering greater opportunities for inter-method comparisons.

The findings of this project are intended for use by public agencies, non-profit organizations, private consultants, and all of their various partners in informing a statewide effort to adopt rigorous, standardized monitoring methods to support the State Water Board’s Trash Amendments. Over the next couple of decades, such public mandates will require all water bodies in California to achieve water quality objectives for trash.

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Cohen, A. N. 2000. "Case studies" on exotic species transported with oyster and marine baitworm shipments. In Toolkit on Best Practices for Prevention and Management. Toolkit on Best Practices for Prevention and Management. UN Global Invasive Species Programme.
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.
Cohen, A. N. 2001. Case study: hitchhikers in or on marine baitworms and their packing material. In Toolkit for Managing Invasive Species. Toolkit for Managing Invasive Species. United Nations Global Invasive Species Program.
Cohen, A. N. 2001. Case study: transfer of pathogens and other species via oyster culture. In Toolkit for Managing Invasive Species. Toolkit for Managing Invasive Species. United Nations Global Invasive Species Program.
Yee, D.; Franz, A. 2005. Castro Valley Atmospheric Deposition Study. SFEI Contribution No. 430. Brake Pad Partnership.
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Sutton, R.; Lin, D. 2022. CECs in California’s Ambient Aquatic Ecosystems: Occurrence and Risk Screening of Key Classes. Miller, E., Wong, A., Mendez, M., Eds.. ASC Contribution. SFEI Contribution No. 1066. Aquatic Science Center: Richmond, CA.
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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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Sutton, R.; Chen, D.; Sun, J.; Greig, D. J.; Wu, Y. 2019. Characterization of brominated, chlorinated, and phosphate flame retardants in San Francisco Bay, an urban estuary. Science of the Total Environment 652, 212-223 . SFEI Contribution No. 859.

Flame retardant chemical additives are incorporated into consumer goods to meet flammability standards, and many have been detected in environmental matrices. A uniquely wide-ranging characterization of flame retardants was conducted, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and 52 additional brominated, chlorinated, or phosphate analytes, in water, sediment, bivalves, and harbor seal blubber of San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized estuary once considered a hot spot for PBDE contamination. Among brominated flame retardants, PBDEs remained the dominant contaminants in all matrices, though declines have been observed over the last decade following their phase-out. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and other hydrophobic, brominated flame retardants were commonly detected at lower levels than PBDEs in sediment and tissue matrices. Dechlorane Plus (DP) and related chlorinated compounds were also detected at lower levels or not at all across all matrices. In contrast, phosphate flame retardants were widely detected in Bay water samples, with highest median concentrations in the order TCPP > TPhP > TBEP > TDCPP > TCEP. Concentrations in Bay water were often higher than in other estuarine and marine environments. Phosphate flame retardants were also widely detected in sediment, in the order TEHP > TCrP > TPhP > TDCPP > TBEP. Several were present in bivalves, with levels of TDCPP comparable to PBDEs. Only four phosphate flame retardants were detected in harbor seal blubber: TCPP, TDCPP, TCEP, and TPhP. Periodic, multi-matrix screening is recommended to track contaminant trends impacted by changes to flammability standards and manufacturing practices, with a particular focus on contaminants like TDCPP and TPhP that were found at levels comparable to thresholds for aquatic toxicity.

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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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Cohen, A. N.; Minchin, D.; Gollasch, S.; Olenin, S. 2006. Characterizing vectors of marine invasions. In Marine Bioinvasions: Ecology, Conservation and Management Perspectives. Rilov, G., Crooks, J., Eds.. Marine Bioinvasions: Ecology, Conservation and Management Perspectives. Springer: Heidelberg, Germany.
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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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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Jabusch, T. W.; Tjeerdema, R. S. 2007. Chemistry and Fate of Triazolopyrimidine Sulfonamide Herbicides. Reviews of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology.
Cohen, A. N. 1991. China Camp: A salt marsh guide. Pacific Discovery (Calif. Acad. Sci.) 44, 24-29.
Cohen, A. N. 1995. Chinese mitten crabs in North America. Aquatic Nuisance Species Digest 1, 20-21.
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Whipple, A.; Grantham, T.; Desanker, G.; Hunt, L.; Merrill, A.; Hackenjos, B.; Askevold, R. A. 2019. Chinook Salmon Habitat Quantification Tool: User Guide (Version 1.0). Prepared for American Rivers. Funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant (#69-3A75-17-40), Water Foundation and Environmental Defense Fund. A report of SFEI-ASC’s Resilient Landscapes Program. SFEI Contribution No. 953. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

The Salmon Habitat Quantification Tool provides systematic, transparent, and consistent accounting of the spatial extent, temporal variability, and quality of salmon habitat on the landscape. It is part of the multi-species assessment of the Central Valley Habitat Exchange (CVHE, www.cvhe.org). The suitability criteria applied in the tool were established by Stillwater Sciences and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and the Chinook salmon HQT habitat evaluation and User Guide development was led by American Rivers and the San Francisco Estuary Institute. The approach uses commonly-applied concepts for evaluating suitable habitat based on modeling, with methods adapted from the hydrospatial analysis approach developed by Alison Whipple (2018).

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Davis, J. A. 2000. Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in the San Francisco Estuary and its Watershed. In Draft Chapter in Spies, R.B. (ed.). Contaminants and Toxicity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Its Cathchment, and the San Francisco Estuary - A CALFED White Paper. Applied Marine Sciences, Livermore, CA.. Draft Chapter in Spies, R.B. (ed.). Contaminants and Toxicity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Its Cathchment, and the San Francisco Estuary - A CALFED White Paper. Applied Marine Sciences, Livermore, CA.
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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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Oros, D. R.; Taberski, K. 2000. Closing in on unidentified contaminants. pp p. 18-19 . SFEI Contribution No. 274.
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McKee, L. J. .; Lewicki, M.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Ganju, N. K. 2013. Comparison of sediment supply to San Francisco Bay from watersheds draining the Bay Area and the Central Valley of California. Marine Geology Special Issue: A multi-discipline approach for understanding sediment transport and geomorphic evolution in an estuarine-coastal system.
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Gilbreath, A. N.; McKee, L. J. . 2015. Concentrations and loads of PCBs, dioxins, PAHs, PBDEs, OC pesticides and pyrethroids during storm and low flow conditions in a small urban semi-arid watershed. Science of the Total Environment 526, 251-261 . SFEI Contribution No. 650.

Urban runoff has been identified in water quality policy documents for San Francisco Bay as a large and potentially controllable source of pollutants. In response, concentrations of suspended sediments and a range of trace organic pollutants were intensively measured in dry weather and storm flow runoff from a 100% urban watershed. Flow in this highly urban watershed responded very quickly to rainfall and varied widely resulting in rapid changes of turbidity, suspended sediments and pollutant concentrations. Concentrations of each organic pollutant class were within similar ranges reported in other studies of urban runoff, however comparison was limited for several of the pollutants given information scarcity. Consistently among PCBs, PBDEs, and PAHs, the more hydrophobic congeners were transported in larger proportions during storm flows relative to low flows. Loads for Water Years 2007-2010 were estimated using regression with turbidity during the monitored months and a flow weighted mean concentration for unmonitored dry season months. More than 91% of the loads for every pollutant measured were transported during storm events, along with 87% of the total discharge. While this dataset fills an important local data gap for highly urban watersheds of San Francisco Bay, the methods, the uniqueness of the analyte list, and the resulting interpretations have applicability for managing pollutant loads in urban watersheds in other parts of the world.

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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.
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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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McKnight, K.; Braud, A.; Dusterhoff, S.; Grenier, L.; Shaw, S.; Lowe, J.; Foley, M.; McKee, L. 2023. Conceptual Understanding of Fine Sediment Transport in San Francisco Bay. SFEI Contribution No. 1114. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Sediment is a lifeblood of San Francisco Bay (Bay). It serves three key
functions: (1) create and maintain tidal marshes and mudflats, (2) transport
nutrients and contaminants, and (3) reduce impacts from excessive human-derived
nutrients in the Bay. Because of these important roles, we need a
detailed understanding of sediment processes in the Bay.

This report offers a conceptual understanding of how fine-grained sediment
(i.e. silt and finer, henceforth called fine sediment) moves around at different
scales within the Bay, now and into the future, to synthesize current knowledge
and identify critical knowledge gaps. This information can be used to support
Bay sediment management efforts and help prioritize funding for research
and monitoring. In particular, this conceptual understanding is designed to
inform future San Francisco Bay Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) work
under the guidance of the Sediment Workgroup of the RMP for Water Quality
in San Francisco Bay, which brings together experts who have worked on
many different components of the landscape, including watersheds and
tributaries, marshes and mudflats, beaches, and the open Bay. This report
describes sediment at two scales: a conceptual understanding of open-Bay
sediment processes at the Bay and subembayment scale (Chapter 2); and
a conceptual understanding of sediment processes at the baylands scale
(Chapter 3). Chapter 4 summarizes the key knowledge gaps and provides
recommendations for future studies.

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