Sep 26, 2019

The 2019 edition of The Pulse of the Bay features articles on the four major pollutant pathways that are the primary focus of Bay water quality managers: municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, stormwater, and dredging and dredged material disposal. Management of these pathways will be the key to further improving and protecting Bay water quality. For each pathway, the articles provide an introduction summarizing origins of the pollutants, steps that are taken to remove pollutants, regulations that are the basis for management, findings from recent studies, and a discussion of future directions and challenges.

Billions of dollars are spent every year to remove pollutants from these pathways and protect Bay water quality. The estimated annual cost in 2015 of operation, maintenance, and capital investment for Bay Area sewage collection and treatment systems alone was $4.3 billion. These expenditures are likely to grow as Bay Area municipalities and industries update and enhance their aging infrastructure to further improve Bay water quality and meet the challenges of population growth, climate change, and sea level rise. As the Bay Area faces all of these changes and challenges, the need for robust regional monitoring remains in order to ensure that the effort and resources invested in managing pollutant pathways are effective in protecting and improving the health of San Francisco Bay.

The 2019 RMP Annual Meeting on October 10 will also focus on pollutant pathways. The regulators, dischargers, and scientists contributed to the Pulse articles and will share their perspectives at the Annual Meeting. The meeting will also include a summary of recent highlights of the RMP and a presentation on SFEI’s Adaptation Atlas, a science-based framework for developing adaptation strategies that are appropriate for the diverse shoreline of the Bay and that take advantage of natural processes.

Programs and Focus Areas: 
Clean Water Program
Resilient Landscapes Program