Sep 19, 2015

Journalist Mark Prado's article in the Marin Independent Journal reports the mixed picture of health in the San Francisco Estuary. He writes:

The 96-page “State of the Estuary 2015,” a comprehensive health report for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, uses data contributed by more than 30 scientists to assess the status of various parts of the ecosystem.

The verdict?

“In many regards the bay is as healthy as it has been in a long time,” said San Anselmo native Josh Collins, chief scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, an environmental research and policy group.

He spoke from an estuary conference this week in Oakland where the report was released.

“But some aspects of the bay are slower to heal,” he added. “There are sill longer-lasting pollutants in the bay, but they are not being put in the system anymore.”

Collins said it is important for agencies that manage watersheds to do their part in terms of water quality and sediment release.

SFEI scientist Letitia Grenier is also quoted with a particular focus on wetlands and the urgency for action to adapt to sea-level rise:

To keep the wetlands from sinking under water, the scientists called for a major, sustained public campaign to build up and replenish those marshy areas with sediment.

“We face a lot of problems if we lose our wetlands, and rising sea levels are making this an increasing challenge,” said Letitia Grenier, scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Some progress has been made in restoring previously diked wetlands to tidal action.

Mark Prado
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Resilient Landscapes Program