Download the Pulse of the Bay! This report from the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay features articles on the four major pathways by which pollutants enter the Bay: municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, stormwater, and dredging and dredged sediment disposal. Each article provides a basic introduction to the pathway and discusses the regulatory framework, recent findings, and future challenges. The report also includes some of the latest highlights from monitoring of important parameters such as nutrients, emerging contaminants, mercury, PCBs, and selenium.
Contaminant Data Display and Download Tool or CD3 is an innovative visualization tool for accessing water quality data for the San Francisco Bay-Delta and northern montane regions. It is the primary tool for accessing and downloading the San Francisco Bay Regional Monitoring Program’s (RMP) long-term dataset and other project data stored in SFEI's Regional Data Center (RDC).
The 2019 RMP Annual Meeting was held on October 10 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. The theme of the meeting was “Pollutant Pathways to the Bay.” The meeting featured sessions on the four main pathways: municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, stormwater, and dredging and disposal of dredged sediment.
Please see below for the day's agenda, presentation slides, and video recordings of each session.
SFEI partnered with the Napa County Resource Conservation District and the Napa County Farm Bureau to develop a watershed-based framework for addressing agricultural management challenges related to improving the health of the Napa River ecosystem. In particular, the project sought to identify possible adaptive management measures that could allow the State Water Board to declare the Napa River unimpaired under section 303(d) of the US Clean Water Act.
San Francisco Bay was placed on the State of California’s 303(d) list of impaired waters in 1998 as a result of elevated concentrations of dioxins and furans (commonly referred to as ‘dioxin’) in fish. RMP studies of contaminants in Bay sport fish conducted every three years since 1994 have found that dioxin concentrations have remained unchanged over this time period and in some species, continue to greatly exceed screening values for human consumption. Our understanding of dioxin in the Bay is extremely limited, however, and improving this is a necessary first step in reducing concentrations in Bay fish and resultant health risks to fish-eating humans and wildlife.
The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay is an innovative collaboration of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, the regulated discharger community, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute. It provides water quality regulators with the information they need to manage the Bay effectively. The Program issues a report each year, the Pulse of the Bay in odd years and the RMP Update in even years.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a broad class of fluorine-rich specialty chemicals. More than 4,700 PFAS are used in consumer, commercial and industrial applications, including food packaging materials, waterproof textiles, stain-resistant carpets and furniture, fire-suppression foams, processing aids for the production of fluoropolymers like Teflon, mist suppressants in metal-plating, and hydraulic aviation fluids. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been shown to be highly toxic and have been phased out of production in the US.
More than 100,000 chemicals have been registered or approved for commercial use in the US. For many of these chemicals, major information gaps limit evaluations of their potential risks, and environmental monitoring of these chemicals has not been required by regulatory agencies. Nevertheless, researchers and government agencies have begun to collect occurrence, fate, and toxicity data for a number of these chemicals.
Fish from San Francisco Bay contain concentrations of mercury, PCBs, and other chemical contaminants that are above thresholds of concern for human health. This problem was first documented in 1994 when the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFBRWQCB) performed a pilot study to measure contaminant concentrations in Bay sport fish (Fairey et al. 1997).
This page presents sediment chemistry thresholds for seven different contaminant classes, used by the Dredged Material Management Office (DMMO) for determining when bioaccumulation testing will typically be required for dredged material proposed to be discharged at unconfined open water disposal sites in San Francisco Bay. These same thresholds are also used by DMMO to determine when additional analysis of the post-dredge sediment surface (“residual” or “z-layer” sediments) may be warranted.
Publications related to the Bay Regional Monitoring Program
The Institute has collectively produced more than 1300 reports, articles, and other publications over the course of its 24-year existence. The following list represents those publications associated with this individual program and its focus areas.