Projects Related to the Historical Ecology

Delta Landscapes Project

The Delta Landscapes Project, which began in 2012 and will run through 2016, has developed a body of work to inform landscape-scale restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.


California's EcoAtlas provides access to information for effective wetland management. EcoAtlas is a set of tools for generating, assembling, storing, visualizing, sharing, and reporting environmental data and information. The tools can be used individually or together, and they can be adjusted or tuned to meet the specific needs of environmental planners, regulators, managers, scientists, and educators. The maps and tools can be used to create a complete picture of aquatic resources in the landscape by integrating stream and wetland maps, restoration information, and monitoring results with land use, transportation, and other information important to the state’s wetlands.

Resilient Silicon Valley

Drawing on resilience science, regional data, and local expertise, we will develop the vision and tools that will allow stakeholders in the region ensure that local actions contribute toward the creation of a high-functioning and resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation

The Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation synthesized hundreds of historical maps, photographs, and texts to reconstruct the the ecological, hydrological, and geomorphic conditions of the valley prior to major European-American landscape modification.

Laguna de Santa Rosa Historical Ecology Initiative

The Laguna de Santa Rosa (Laguna) watershed spans 256 square miles and supports a unique complex of biologically diverse ecosystems. Containing the urban centers of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Rohnert Park, and Windsor, the Laguna watershed encompasses one of the largest floodplains in California. Historically the Laguna watershed supported a diverse ecosystem consisting of oak savanna/vernal pool complexes, riparian forest, emergent and off channel wetlands, and open water.

U.S. Coast Survey Maps of California (South Coast)

Until the advent of this new map viewer, a valuable resource was largely unavailable to coastal planners. Now, US Coastal Survey maps are free for broad use.

Flood Control 2.0

Flood Control 2.0 is an ambitious regional effort aimed at helping restore stream and wetland habitats, water quality, and shoreline resilience around San Francisco Bay. The project leverages local resources from several forward-looking flood control agencies to redesign major flood control channels so that they provide both future flood conveyance and ecological benefit under a changing climate. This timely project will develop a set of innovative approaches for bringing environmental benefits and cost-savings to flood protection efforts at the mouths of creeks that drain to San Francisco Bay.

Mapping Shoreline Change in San Pablo Bay

Using a systematic, empirical, and repeatable approach, we mapped the location of the shorelines in San Pablo Bay at three points in time: 1855, 1993, and 2010. We then measured rates of change over the long (1855-1993) and short-term (1993-2010) to identify zones of erosion, progradation, and areas that have remained stable.

North San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Study

The Northern San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Investigation draws on hundreds of historical documents to analyze and reconstruct historical landscape conditions for six northern San Diego County estuaries prior to the major modifications of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Publications related to the Historical Ecology

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.

Year of Publication: 2018

Baumgarten S, Clark E, Dusterhoff S, Grossinger RM, Askevold RA. Petaluma Valley Historical Hydrology and Ecology Study. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute; 2018 . Report No.: 861.  (121.7 MB) (43.68 MB)

Year of Publication: 2017

Baumgarten S, Grossinger RM, Beller EE, Trowbridge W, Askevold RA. Historical Ecology and Landscape Change in the Central Laguna de Santa Rosa. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center; 2017 . Report No.: 820.  (94.51 MB) (39.07 MB)
Spotswood E, Grossinger RM, Hagerty S, Beller EE, Grenier JLetitia, Askevold RA. Re-Oaking Silicon Valley: Building Vibrant Cities with Nature. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute; 2017 . Report No.: 825.  (65.64 MB) (31.88 MB)
Safran SM, Baumgarten SA, Beller EE, Crooks JA, Grossinger RM, Lorda J, et al.. Tijuana River Valley Historical Ecology Investigation. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center ; 2017 p. 230. Report No.: 760.  (232.2 MB) (73.63 MB)

Year of Publication: 2016

Salomon M, Dusterhoff SD, Askevold RA, Grossinger RM. San Francisquito Creek Baylands: Landscape Change Metrics Analysis. Flood Control 2.0. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center; 2016 p. 12. Report No.: 784.  (6.19 MB)

Year of Publication: 2015

Baumgarten S, Beller EE, Grossinger RM, Askevold RA. Mt. Wanda Historical Ecology Investigation. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center; 2015 p. 51. Report No.: 743.  (20.92 MB) (57.9 MB)
Salomon M, Baumgarten S, Dusterhoff SD, Beller EE, Askevold RA. Novato Creek Baylands Historical Ecology Study. Richmond, CA: San Francisco Estuary Institute - Aquatic Science Center; 2015 . Report No.: 740.  (27.13 MB)

Where Our Historical Ecology Works