The Health of the Estuary

The State of the Estuary Report evaluates the status and trends of a suite of indicators selected to represent ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (the Estuary). It is the most comprehensive health report ever completed for the full Estuary, with indicator metrics quantifying water quality, fish and bird populations, tidal marsh and open water habitats, resilience processes, and human dimensions. In 2024 the report is entering its third update cycle and is being transformed into a centralized, dynamic, accessible website for reporting on the health of the Estuary. The website design is aimed toward citizens of the Delta and Bay Area, while also remaining a tool for resource managers, scientists, policy makers, and legislators. 

A Collaborative Scientific Effort

The State of the Estuary Report uses the best available science and most recent data, contributed by dozens of scientists from multiple organizations, to assess ecosystem conditions and identify problems in the Estuary, so that conservation and restoration efforts can focus on solutions. SFEI—in assistance of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP; care of Association of Bay Area Governments) and in coordination with a Core Team, a Science Review Team, and a suite of Science Leads—is overseeing, coordinating, and developing science content. SFEI is also hosting, developing, and releasing the web-based report platform. The work builds on a long term effort of the SFEP to assess progress in the Estuary through research, a biennial State of the Estuary conference, and an eventual collaboration with the Bay Institute’s pioneering 10-indicator Scorecard. Today, the scorecard provides a means for checking results against management goals for efforts such as the Estuary Blueprint.


2023 to 2025
Letitia Grenier
Core Team: San Francisco Estuary Partnership (Caitlin Sweeney, Natasha Daniels, Alex Thomsen); US Environmental Protection Agency (Luisa Valiela); Delta Stewardship Council (Martina Koller; Lisamarie Windham-Myers)
Science Review Team: Lita Brydie (CA Dept. of Conservation); Jim Hobbs (CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife); Jay Sah (Florida International Univ., FL Coastal Everglades LTER); Karen Thorne (US Geological Survey); Joy Zedler (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)
Indicator Science Leads: Tina Swanson (Project Drawdown); Julian Wood (Point Blue Conservation Science); Levi Lewis (University of California, Davis); Ben Botkin (San Francisco Estuary Partnership)
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Clean Water Program
Environmental Informatics Program
Design and Communications
Information Technology Systems
Software Engineering
Resilient Landscapes Program
Shoreline Resilience
Delta Science & Management
Urban Nature Lab
Location Information
General Project Location(s): 
San Francisco Bay, Suisun Bay, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta