Our library features many hundreds of entries.

To search among them, click "Search" below to pull down options, including filtering by document type, author, year, and keyword.
Find these options under "Show only items where." Or you can also sort by author, title, type, and year clicking the headings below.

Export 1873 results:
Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)
 (49.15 KB)
Arnold, W. A.; Carigan, C. C.; Cortopassi, G.; Datta, S.; DeWitt, J.; Doherty, A. - C.; Halden, R. U.; Harari, H.; Hartmann, E. M.; Hrubec, T. C.; et al. 2023. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds: A Chemical Class of Emerging Concern. Environmental Science & Technology 57 (20).

Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), a large class of chemicals that includes high production volume substances, have been used for decades as antimicrobials, preservatives, and antistatic agents and for other functions in cleaning, disinfecting, personal care products, and durable consumer goods. QAC use has accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the banning of 19 antimicrobials from several personal care products by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016. Studies conducted before and after the onset of the pandemic indicate increased human exposure to QACs. Environmental releases of these chemicals have also increased. Emerging information on adverse environmental and human health impacts of QACs is motivating a reconsideration of the risks and benefits across the life cycle of their production, use, and disposal. This work presents a critical review of the literature and scientific perspective developed by a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional team of authors from academia, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. The review evaluates currently available information on the ecological and human health profile of QACs and identifies multiple areas of potential concern. Adverse ecological effects include acute and chronic toxicity to susceptible aquatic organisms, with concentrations of some QACs approaching levels of concern. Suspected or known adverse health outcomes include dermal and respiratory effects, developmental and reproductive toxicity, disruption of metabolic function such as lipid homeostasis, and impairment of mitochondrial function. QACs’ role in antimicrobial resistance has also been demonstrated. In the US regulatory system, how a QAC is managed depends on how it is used, for example in pesticides or personal care products. This can result in the same QACs receiving different degrees of scrutiny depending on the use and the agency regulating it. Further, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s current method of grouping QACs based on structure, first proposed in 1988, is insufficient to address the wide range of QAC chemistries, potential toxicities, and exposure scenarios. Consequently, exposures to common mixtures of QACs and from multiple sources remain largely unassessed. Some restrictions on the use of QACs have been implemented in the US and elsewhere, primarily focused on personal care products. Assessing the risks posed by QACs is hampered by their vast structural diversity and a lack of quantitative data on exposure and toxicity for the majority of these compounds. This review identifies important data gaps and provides research and policy recommendations for preserving the utility of QAC chemistries while also seeking to limit adverse environmental and human health effects.

 (3.53 MB)
 (228.57 KB)
Miller, E.; Sedlak, M.; Lin, D.; Box, C.; Holleman, C.; Rochman, C. M.; Sutton, R. 2020. Recommended Best Practices for Collecting, Analyzing, and Reporting Microplastics in Environmental Media: Lessons Learned from Comprehensive Monitoring of San Francisco Bay. Journal of Hazardous Materials . SFEI Contribution No. 1023.

Microplastics are ubiquitous and persistent contaminants 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 microplastic problem and determining the highest priorities for mitigation require accurate measures of microplastic occurrence in the environment and identification of likely sources. The field of microplastic pollution is in its infancy, and there are not yet widely accepted standards for sample collection, laboratory analyses, quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), or reporting of microplastics in environmental samples. Based on a comprehensive assessment of microplastics in San Francisco Bay water, sediment, fish, bivalves, stormwater, and wastewater effluent, we developed recommended best practices for collecting, analyzing, and reporting microplastics in environmental media. We recommend factors to consider in microplastic study design, particularly in regard to site selection and sampling methods. We also highlight the need for standard QA/QC practices such as collection of field and laboratory blanks, use of methods beyond microscopy to identify particle composition, and standardized reporting practices, including suggested vocabulary for particle classification.

 (1.32 MB)
Yee, D.; McKee, L. J. .; Oram, J. J. 2010. A Regional Mass Balance of Methylmercury in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry . SFEI Contribution No. 619.
 (306.73 KB) (275.24 KB)
Trowbridge, P. R.; Davis, J. A.; Mumley, T.; Taberski, K.; Feger, N.; Valiela, L.; Ervin, J.; Arsem, N.; Olivieri, A.; Carroll, P.; et al. 2016. The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay, California, USA: Science in support of managing water quality. Regional Studies in Marine Science 4.

The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) is a novel partnership between regulatory agencies and the regulated community to provide the scientific foundation to manage water quality in the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. The RMP monitors water quality, sediment quality and bioaccumulation of priority pollutants in fish, bivalves and birds. To improve monitoring measurements or the interpretation of data, the RMP also regularly funds special studies. The success of the RMP stems from collaborative governance, clear objectives, and long-term institutional and monetary commitments. Over the past 22 years, high quality data and special studies from the RMP have guided dozens of important decisions about Bay water quality management. Moreover, the governing structure and the collaborative nature of the RMP have created an environment that allowed it to stay relevant as new issues emerged. With diverse participation, a foundation in scientific principles and a continual commitment to adaptation, the RMP is a model water quality monitoring program. This paper describes the characteristics of the RMP that have allowed it to grow and adapt over two decades and some of the ways in which it has influenced water quality management decisions for this important ecosystem.

Schiff, K.; Trowbridge, P. R.; Sherwood, E. T.; Tango, P.; Batiuk, R. A. 2016. Regional monitoring programs in the United States: Synthesis of four case studies from Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts. Regional Studies in Marine Science 4.

Water quality monitoring is a cornerstone of environmental protection and ambient monitoring provides managers with the critical data they need to take informed action. Unlike site-specific monitoring that is at the heart of regulatory permit compliance, regional monitoring can provide an integrated, holistic view of the environment, allowing managers to obtain a more complete picture of natural variability and cumulative impacts, and more effectively prioritize management actions. By reviewing four long-standing regional monitoring programs that cover portions of all three coasts in the United States–Chesapeake Bay, Tampa Bay, Southern California Bight, and San Francisco Bay–important insights can be gleaned about the benefits that regional monitoring provides to managers. These insights include the underlying reasons that make regional monitoring programs successful, the challenges to maintain relevance and viability in the face of ever-changing technology, competing demands and shifting management priorities. The lessons learned can help other managers achieve similar successes as they seek to establish and reinvigorate their own monitoring programs.

 (395.66 KB)
 (117.55 KB)
Hampton, L. M. Thornto; Bouwmeester, H.; Brander, S. M.; Coffin, S.; Cole, M.; Hermabessiere, L.; Mehinto, A. C.; Miller, E.; Rochman, C. M.; Weisberg, S. B. 2022. Research recommendations to better understand the potential health impacts of microplastics to humans and aquatic ecosystems. Microplastics and Nanoplastics 2 (18).

To assess the potential risk of microplastic exposure to humans and aquatic ecosystems, reliable toxicity data is needed. This includes a more complete foundational understanding of microplastic toxicity and better characterization of the hazards they may present. To expand this understanding, an international group of experts was convened in 2020–2021 to identify critical thresholds at which microplastics found in drinking and ambient waters present a health risk to humans and aquatic organisms. However, their findings were limited by notable data gaps in the literature. Here, we identify those shortcomings and describe four categories of research recommendations needed to address them: 1) adequate particle characterization and selection for toxicity testing; 2) appropriate experimental study designs that allow for the derivation of dose-response curves; 3) establishment of adverse outcome pathways for microplastics; and 4) a clearer understanding of microplastic exposure, particularly for human health. By addressing these four data gaps, researchers will gain a better understanding of the key drivers of microplastic toxicity and the concentrations at which adverse effects may occur, allowing a better understanding of the potential risk that microplastics exposure might pose to human and aquatic ecosystems.

 (466.11 KB)
 (672.76 KB)
 (976.86 KB)
Mehinto, A. C.; Wagner, M.; Hampton, L. M. Thornto; Burton, Jr, A. G.; Miller, E.; Gouin, T.; Weisberg, S. B.; Rochman, C. M. 2022. Risk-based management framework for microplastics in aquatic ecosystems. Microplastics and Nanoplastics 2 (17).

Microplastic particles (MPs) are ubiquitous across a wide range of aquatic habitats but determining an appropriate level of risk management is hindered by a poor understanding of environmental risk. Here, we introduce a risk management framework for aquatic ecosystems that identifies four critical management thresholds, ranging from low regulatory concern to the highest level of concern where pollution control measures could be introduced to mitigate environmental emissions. The four thresholds were derived using a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach and the best available data from the peer-reviewed literature. This included a total of 290 data points extracted from 21 peer-reviewed microplastic toxicity studies meeting a minimal set of pre-defined quality criteria. The meta-analysis resulted in the development of critical thresholds for two effects mechanisms: food dilution with thresholds ranging from ~ 0.5 to 35 particles/L, and tissue translocation with thresholds ranging from ~ 60 to 4100 particles/L. This project was completed within an expert working group, which assigned high confidence to the management framework and associated analytical approach for developing thresholds, and very low to high confidence in the numerical thresholds. Consequently, several research recommendations are presented, which would strengthen confidence in quantifying threshold values for use in risk assessment and management. These recommendations include a need for high quality toxicity tests, and for an improved understanding of the mechanisms of action to better establish links to ecologically relevant adverse effects.

 (1.3 MB)
Brander, S. M.; Renick, V. C.; Foley, M. M.; Steele, C.; Woo, M.; Lusher, A.; Carr, S.; Helm, P.; Box, C.; Cherniak, S.; et al. 2020. Sampling and Quality Assurance and Quality Control: A Guide for Scientists Investigating the Occurrence of Microplastics Across Matrices. Applied Spectroscopy 74 (9) . SFEI Contribution No. 1012.

Plastic pollution is a defining environmental contaminant and is considered to be one of the greatest environmental threats of the Anthropocene, with its presence documented across aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The majority of this plastic debris falls into the micro (1 lm–5 mm) or nano (1–1000 nm) size range and comes from primary and secondary sources. Its small size makes it cumbersome to isolate and analyze reproducibly, and its ubiquitous distribution creates numerous challenges when controlling for background contamination across matrices (e.g., sediment, tissue, water, air). Although research on microplastics represents a relatively nascent subfield, burgeoning interest in questions surrounding the fate and effects of these debris items creates a pressing need for harmonized sampling protocols and quality control approaches. For results across laboratories to be reproducible and comparable, it is imperative that guidelines based on vetted protocols be readily available to research groups, many of which are either new to plastics research or, as with any new subfield, have arrived at current approaches through a process of trial-and-error rather than in consultation with the greater scientific community. The goals of this manuscript are to (i) outline the steps necessary to conduct general as
well as matrix-specific quality assurance and quality control based on sample type and associated constraints, (ii) briefly review current findings across matrices, and (iii) provide guidance for the design of sampling regimes. Specific attention is paid to the source of microplastic pollution as well as the pathway by which contamination occurs, with details provided regarding each step in the process from generating appropriate questions to sampling design and collection.

 (563.91 KB)
 (389.04 KB)
Barnard, P. L.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Jaffe, B. E.; McKee, L. J. . 2013. Sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System: An overview. Marine Geology Special Issue: A multi-discipline approach for understanding sediment transport and geomorphic evolution in an estuarine-coastal system.
Warner, J. C.; Burau, J. R.; Schoellhamer, D. H. 1997. A sediment transport pathway in the back of a nearly semienclosed subembayment of San Francisco Bay, California. Environmental and Coastal Hydraulics: Protecting the Aquatic Habitat(Proceedings of Theme B., F.M. Holly, A. Alsaffar, S.S.Y. Wang, T. Carstens eds.) 2, 1096-1101 . SFEI Contribution No. 29.
Grossinger, R. M. 1999. Seeing Time: A Historical Approach to Restoration. Ecological Restoration 17, 251-2. . SFEI Contribution No. 328.
Flegal, A. R.; Conaway, C. H.; Kerin, E. 2002. Sequential Extraction of Mercury from Sediments in San Francisco Bay Estuary. Environmental Science and Technology . SFEI Contribution No. 126.
 (423.12 KB)
Whipple, A.; Grossinger, R. M.; Davis, F. W. 2010. Shifting Baselines in a California Oak Savanna: Nineteenth Century Data to Inform Restoration Scenarios. Restoration Ecology 19 (101), 88-101 . SFEI Contribution No. 593.

For centuries humans have reduced and transformed Mediterranean-climate oak woodland and savanna ecosystems, making it difficult to establish credible baselines for ecosystem structure and composition that can guide ecological restoration efforts. We combined historical data sources, with particular attention to mid-1800s General Land Office witness tree records and maps and twentieth century air photos, to reconstruct 150 years of decline in extent and stand density of Valley oak (Quercus lobata Neé) woodlands and savannas in the Santa Clara Valley of central coastal California. Nineteenth century Valley oak woodlands here were far more extensive and densely stocked than early twentieth century air photos would suggest, although reconstructed basal areas (7.5 m2/ha) and densities (48.9 trees/ha) were not outside the modern range reported for this ecosystem type. Tree densities and size distribution varied across the landscape in relation to soil and topography, and trees in open savannas were systematically larger than those in denser woodlands. For the largest woodland stand, we estimated a 99% decline in population from the mid-1800s to the 1930s. Although most of the study area is now intensely developed, Valley oaks could be reintroduced in urban and residential areas as well as in surrounding rangelands at densities comparable to the native oak woodlands and savannas, thereby restoring aspects of ecologically and culturally significant ecosystems, including wildlife habitat and genetic connectivity within the landscape.

Flegal, A. R.; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, S. A.; Rivera-Duarte, I. 1996. Silver contamination in aquatic environments. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 148, 139-162 . SFEI Contribution No. 192.
Flegal, A. R.; Smith, G. J. 1993. Silver in San Francisco Bay estuarine waters. Estuaries 16, 547-558 . SFEI Contribution No. 175.
 (969.52 KB)
Davis, J. A.; Connor, M. S.; Flegal, A. R.; Conaway, C. H. 2007. Sources, transport, fate and toxicity of pollutants in the San Francisco Bay estuary. Environmental Research : A Multidisciplinary Journal of Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Public Health 105, 1-4.
 (40.59 MB)
 (1014.85 KB)
 (924.37 KB)
Grossinger, R. M.; Wheeler, M.; Spotswood, E.; Ndayishimiye, E.; Carbone, G.; Galt, R. 2020. Sports and urban biodiversity. . SFEI Contribution No. 1028.

SFEI collaborated with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create a guide to incorporating nature into urban sports, from the development of Olympic cities to the design and management of the many sport fields throughout the urban landscape. We applied the Urban Biodiversity Framework developed in Making Nature’s City to the world of sports, with case studies drawn from international sport federations, Olympic cities, and individual sport teams and venues around the world. The guide is part of IUCN’s ongoing collaboration with IOC to develop best practices around biodiversity for the sporting industry.

Download the report

Cohen, A. N. 1996. Stopping ballast water invaders. Native Species Network 1, 1.
Cohen, A. N. 1994. Storming the Bay. Terrain 24, 4,7.
Wang, M.; Kinyua, J.; Jiang, T.; Sedlak, M.; McKee, L. J. .; Fadness, R.; Sutton, R.; Park, J. - S. 2022. Suspect Screening and Chemical Profile Analysis of Storm-Water Runoff Following 2017 Wildfires in Northern California. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry . SFEI Contribution No. 1089.

The combustion of structures and household materials as well as firefighting during wildfires lead to releases of potentially hazardous chemicals directly into the landscape. Subsequent storm-water runoff events can transport wildfire-related contaminants to downstream receiving waters, where they may pose water quality concerns. To evaluate the environmental hazards of northern California fires on the types of contaminants in storm water discharging to San Francisco Bay and the coastal marine environment, we analyzed storm water collected after the northern California wildfires (October 2017) using a nontargeted analytical (NTA) approach. Liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometric analysis was completed on storm-water samples (n = 20) collected from Napa County (impacted by the Atlas and Nuns fires), the city of Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County (Nuns and Tubbs fires) during storm events that occurred in November 2017 and January 2018. The NTA approach enabled us to establish profiles of contaminants based on peak intensities and chemical categories found in the storm-water samples and to prioritize significant chemicals within these profiles possibly attributed to the wildfire. The results demonstrated the presence of a wide range of contaminants in the storm water, including surfactants, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and chemicals from consumer and personal care products. Homologs of polyethylene glycol were found to be the major contributor to the contaminants, followed by other widely used surfactants. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, typically used as surfactants, were detected and were much higher in samples collected after Storm Event 1 relative to Storm Event 2. The present study provides a comprehensive approach for examining wildfire-impacted storm-water contamination of related contaminants, of which we found many with potential ecological risk. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;00:1–14. © 2022 SETAC

 (486.64 KB)
Livsey, D. N.; Downing-Kunz, M. A.; Schoellhamer, D. H.; Manning, A. J. 2020. Suspended Sediment Flux in the San Francisco Estuary: Part I—Changes in the Vertical Distribution of Suspended Sediment and Bias in Estuarine Sediment Flux Measurements. Estuaries and Coasts . SFEI Contribution No. 990.

In this study, we investigate how changes in the vertical distribution of suspended sediment affect continuous suspended sediment flux measurements at a location in the San Francisco Estuary. Current methods for measuring continuous suspended sediment flux estimates relate continuous estimates of suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) measured at-a-point (SSCpt) to discrete cross-section measurements of depth-averaged, velocity-weighted SSC (SSCxs). Regressions that compute SSCxs from continuous estimates of SSCpt require that the slope between SSCpt and SSCxs, controlled by the vertical distribution of SSC, is fixed. However, in tidal systems with suspended cohesive sediment, factors that control the vertical SSC profile—vertical turbulent mixing and downward settling of suspended sediment mediated by flocculation of cohesive sediment—constantly vary through each tide and may exhibit systematic differences between flood and ebb tides (tidal asymmetries in water velocity or particle size). We account for changes in the vertical SSC profile on estimates of SSCxs using time series of the Rouse number of the Rouse-Vanoni-Ippen equation combined with optical turbidity measurements, a surrogate for SSCpt, to predict SSCxs from 2009 to 2011 and 2013. Time series of the Rouse number were estimated by fitting the Rouse-Vanoni-Ippen equation to SSC estimated from optical-turbidity measurements taken at two elevations in the water column. When accounting for changes in the vertical SSC profile, changes in not only the magnitude but also the direction of cumulative sediment-flux measurements were observed. For example, at a mid-depth sensor, sediment flux estimates changed from − 319 kt (± 65 kt, negative indicating net seaward transport) to 482 kt (± 140 kt, positive indicating net landward transport) for 2009–2011 and from − 388 kt (± 140 kt) to 1869 kt (± 406 kt) for 2013–2016. At the study location, estimation of SSCxs solely from SSCpt resulted in sediment flux values that were underestimates on flood tides and overestimates on ebb tides. This asymmetry is driven by covariance between water velocity and particle settling velocity (Ws) with larger Ws on flood compared to ebb tides. Results of this study indicate that suspended-sediment-flux measurements estimated from point estimates of SSC may be biased if systematic changes in the vertical distribution of SSC are unaccounted for.

 (827.54 KB)
Flegal, A. R.; Abu-Saba, K. E. 1997. Temporally variable freshwater sources of dissolved chromium to the San Francisco Bay estuary. Environmental Science and Technology 31, 3455-3460 . SFEI Contribution No. 197.
 (450.95 KB)
Rochman, C. M.; Munno, K.; Box, C.; Cummins, A.; Zhu, X.; Sutton, R. 2020. Think Global, Act Local: Local Knowledge Is Critical to Inform Positive Change When It Comes to Microplastics. Environmental Science & Technology . SFEI Contribution No. 1024.

Microplastic contamination in the marine environment is a global issue. Across the world, policies at the national and international level are needed to facilitate the scale of change needed to tackle this significant problem. However, sources and patterns of plastic contamination vary around the world, and the most pressing actions differ from one location to another. Therefore, local policies are a critical part of the solution; recognizing local sources will enable mitigations with measurable impacts. Here, we highlight how investigating the contamination comprehensively in one location can inform relevant mitigation strategies that can be transferred globally. We examine the San Francisco Bay in California, USA—the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, and home to over 7 million people. The local contamination of microplastics in surface water, sediments, and fish from this urban bay is reportedly higher than many places studied to date.(1) This example demonstrates the value of local monitoring in identifying sources, informing local mitigation strategies and developing an array of solutions to stem the multifaceted tide of plastic pollution entering our global oceans.

Cohen, A. N. 1989. Threatened in the nest. Pacific Discovery (Calif. Acad. Sci.) 42, 6-13.
Greenfield, B. K. 2004. Three mechanical shredders evaluated for controlling water hyacinth (California). Ecological Restoration 22, 300-301 . SFEI Contribution No. 463.
Flegal, A. R.; Sanudo-Wilhelmy, S. A. 1996. Trace metal concentrations in the surf zone and in coastal waters off Baja California, Mexico. Environmental Science and Technology 30, 1575-1580 . SFEI Contribution No. 195.
 (1.39 MB)
Lin, D.; Hamilton, C.; Hobbs, J.; Miller, E.; Sutton, R. 2023. Triclosan and Methyl Triclosan in Prey Fish in a Wastewater-influenced Estuary. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry . SFEI Contribution No. 1112.

While the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan has been widely monitored in the environment, much less is known about the occurrence and toxicity of its major transformation product, methyl triclosan. An improved method was developed and validated to effectively extract and quantify both contaminants in fish tissue and was used to characterize concentrations in small prey fish in areas of San Francisco Bay where exposure to triclosan via municipal wastewater discharges was expected to be highest. Concentrations of triclosan (0.44–57 ng/g ww, median 1.9 ng/g ww) and methyl triclosan (1.1–200 ng/g ww, median 36 ng/g ww) in fish tissue decreased linearly with concentrations of nitrate in site water, used as indicators of wastewater influence. The total concentrations of triclosan and methyl triclosan measured in prey fish were below available toxicity thresholds for triclosan, but there are few ecotoxicological studies to evaluate impacts of methyl triclosan. Methyl triclosan represented up to 96% of the total concentrations observed. These results emphasize the importance of monitoring contaminant transformation products, which can be present at higher levels than the parent compound.

Bruland, K. W.; Phinney, J. T. 1994. Uptake of lipophilic organic Cu, Cd, and Pb complexes in the coastal diatom, Thalassiosira Weissflogii. Environmental Science and Technology 28, 1781-1790 . SFEI Contribution No. 179.
Werbowski, L. M.; Gilbreath, A.; Munno, K.; Zhu, X.; Grbic, J.; Wu, T.; Sutton, R.; Sedlak, M.; Deshpande, A. D.; Rochman, C. M. 2021. Urban Stormwater Runoff: A Major Pathway for Anthropogenic Particles, Black Rubbery Fragments, and Other Types of Microplastics to Urban Receiving Waters. Environmental Science and Technology Water . SFEI Contribution No. 1040.

Stormwater runoff has been suggested to be a significant pathway of microplastics to aquatic habitats; yet, few studies have quantified microplastics in stormwater. Here, we quantify and characterize urban stormwater runoff from 12 watersheds surrounding San Francisco Bay for anthropogenic debris, including microplastics. Depth-integrated samples were collected during wet weather events. All stormwater runoff contained anthropogenic microparticles, including microplastics, with concentrations ranging from 1.1 to 24.6 particles/L. These concentrations are much higher than those in wastewater treatment plant effluent, suggesting urban stormwater runoff is a major source of anthropogenic debris, including microplastics, to aquatic habitats. Fibers and black rubbery fragments (potentially tire and road wear particles) were the most frequently occurring morphologies, comprising ∼85% of all particles across all samples. This suggests that mitigation strategies for stormwater should be prioritized. As a case study, we sampled stormwater from the inlet and outlet of a rain garden during three storm events to measure how effectively rain gardens capture microplastics and prevent it from contaminating aquatic ecosystems. We found that the rain garden successfully removed 96% of anthropogenic debris on average and 100% of black rubbery fragments, suggesting rain gardens should be further explored as a mitigation strategy for microplastic pollution.

 (880.04 KB)
Cohen, A. N. 1992. Weeding the Garden. Atlantic Monthly 270, 76-86.
 (1.54 MB)
Iknayan, K.; Wheeler, M.; Safran, S. M.; Young, J. S.; Spotswood, E. 2021. What makes urban parks good for California quail? Evaluating park suitability, species persistence, and the potential for reintroduction into a large urban national park. Journal of Applied Ecology.

  1. Preserving and restoring wildlife in urban areas benefits both urban ecosystems and the well-being of urban residents. While urban wildlife conservation is a rapidly developing field, the majority of conservation research has been performed in wildland areas. Understanding the applicability of wildland science to urban populations and the relative importance of factors limiting species persistence are of critical importance to identifying prescriptive management strategies for restoring wildlife to urban parks.
  2. We evaluated how habitat fragmentation, habitat quality and mortality threats influence species occupancy and persistence in urban parks. We chose California quail Callipepla californica as a representative species with potential to respond to urban conservation. We used publicly available eBird data to construct occupancy models of quail in urban parks across their native range, and present an application using focal parks interested in exploring quail reintroduction.
  3. Urban parks had a 0.23 ± 0.02 probability of quail occupancy, with greater occupancy in larger parks that were less isolated from potential source populations, had higher shrub cover and had lower impervious cover. Less isolated parks had higher colonization rates, while larger parks had lower extinction rates. These results align with findings across urban ecology showing greater biodiversity in larger and more highly connected habitat patches.
  4. A case study highlighted that interventions to increase effective park size and improve connectivity would be most influential for two highly urban focal parks, while changes to internal land cover would have a relatively small impact. Low joint extinction probability in the parks (0.010 ± 0.013) indicated reintroduced populations could persist for some time.
  5. Synthesis and applications. We show how eBird data can be harnessed to evaluate the responsiveness of wildlife to urban parks of variable size, connectivity and habitat quality, highlighting what management actions are most needed. Using California quail as an example, we found park size, park isolation and presence of coyotes are all important drivers of whether quail can colonize and persist in parks. Our results suggest reintroducing quail to parks could be successful provided parks are large enough to support quail, and management actions are taken to enhance regional connectivity or periodic assisted colonization is used to supplement local populations.
 (2.33 MB)
Magazine Article
Oros, D. R.; Taberski, K. 2000. Closing in on unidentified contaminants. pp p. 18-19 . SFEI Contribution No. 274.
 (273.88 KB)
 (1.08 MB)
 (381.81 KB)
 (419.37 KB)
 (1.71 MB)
 (1.33 MB)
 (1.82 MB)
 (3.26 MB)
 (4.04 MB)
Werme, C. 2012. Estuary News RMP Insert 2012. Estuary News. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
 (1.51 MB)
Meadows, R. 2013. Estuary News RMP Insert 2013. Estuary News. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.
 (5.93 MB)
Cohen, A. N. 1997. Green crabs disrupting fisheries worldwide. p 7 . SFEI Contribution No. 199.