Jay A. Davis, PhD
Clean Water Program
Bay Regional Monitoring Program
Follow Jay on Twitter@JayDavis_ASC
Dr. Davis grew up near the PCB-contaminated aquatic food web of Lake Michigan. He has worked on contaminant issues in San Francisco Bay since 1986. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California, Davis in 1997. Dr. Davis is Lead Scientist of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay, a comprehensive water quality monitoring program. He is also lead scientist for the Bioaccumulation element of the California State Water Resource Control Board's Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program, which conducts statewide surveys of contaminants in aquatic food webs. Dr. Davis is also the co-Director of SFEI's Clean Water Program. His primary research interests are monitoring the accumulation of persistent contaminants in aquatic food webs of the Bay, its watershed, and aquatic ecosystems in California; and the work of John Lillison, England's greatest one-armed poet.
Related Projects, News, and Events
The Pulse of the Bay (Project)
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.
Forum on PFAS elevates the perspectives of local fishing communities (News)
Known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a broad class of fluorine-rich specialty chemicals. Thousands of different PFAS are registered for use in consumer, commercial and industrial applications. Increased use has led to the widespread presence of PFAS in our natural environment, including San Francisco Bay. PFAS are a high priority for action at federal, state, and local levels due to the well-documented toxic properties of key members of this class of contaminants.
RMP Update (Project)
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 RMP produces two types of summary reports: The Pulse of the Bay and the RMP Update. The Pulse focuses on Bay water quality and summarizes information from all sources.
Microplastics and Harmful Algal Blooms in California's waters (News)
By May 1, 2017, in time for harmful algal bloom season, a new feature will appear on California's Harmful Algal Bloom portal (http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/) that displays satellite imagery designed to detect emerging and historical blooms. Using data and algorithms provided by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the San Francisco Estuary Institute developed a new tool under the guidance of California's Bio-accumulation Oversight Group.
Contaminant Data Download and Display (CD3) (Project)
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).
North Bay Mercury Biosentinel Monitoring (Project)
In 2011-2014 SFEI and UC Davis developed and implemented a multi-species biosentinel monitoring approach as an effective and efficient way of monitoring methylmercury exposure in wetland restoration projects across the North Bay. The monitoring design for this project was developed with input from a Science Advisory Group (SAG) of regional and national experts and input from local stakeholders, in order to build a design that would address questions of management concern.
RMP Annual Meeting 2016 (Event)
The RMP Annual Meeting is held every year in the early fall. The meeting is an opportunity for RMP stakeholders to discuss current RMP projects and highlight interesting new research.
Safe to Eat Portal (Project)
Fish and shellfish are nutritious and good for you to eat. But some fish and shellfish may take in toxic chemicals from the water they live in and the food they eat. Some of these chemicals build up in the fish and shellfish - and in the humans that eat fish and shellfish - over time. Although the chemical levels are usually low, it is a good idea to learn about advisories and monitoring in water bodies where you fish, and for fish or shellfish you eat.
SFEI Provides Science Leadership and Support for State of the Estuary Report and Conference (News)
The San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) brings together the estuarine community every two years at the State of the Estuary Conference and, periodically, SFEP also reports on the State of the Estuary, summarizing the latest scientific findings about ecosystem health. This State of the Estuary Report is the only place where a holistic view of ecosystem function is provided across both the Bay and the Delta. This year, SFEI provided scientific leadership and technical support for the report, which focuses on the ties between social and ecological resilience for our estuary.
The Bay Regional Monitoring Program’s 2018 Update Report and RMP Annual Meeting (News)
For over 26 years, the stewardship of San Francisco Bay’s water quality has been supported by a world class Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) managed by SFEI. Each year, SFEI issues a report to update scientists and the public on our progress. The 2018 edition of the RMP Update provides a concise overview of recent water quality activities and findings, and a look ahead to significant products anticipated in the next two years.
State of the Estuary Conference on Twitter (Event)
In an event convened by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, SFEI contributed its own intellectual labor to the State of the Estuary Conference. Letitia Grenier served as the lead scientist for the State of the Estuary Report, unveiled at the gathering, and SFEI's scientists and technologists were featured prominently in the program on subjects ranging from nutrients to landscape resilience to green infrastructure to data and tools. By all measures, it was a successful conference.
New Manuscript on Pollutants in the Guadalupe River Addresses Key Questions (News)
Guadalupe River is contaminated with mercury mining wastes from runoff associated with the historic New Almaden Mining District in the upper watershed that produced 40 million kilograms during its working life (1850-1975) and with PCB and other urban pollutants from a long history of urbanization and industrial land uses.
SFEI has been monitoring pollutant concentrations in the Guadalupe River during winter storms since October 2002. The result is one of the world’s most extensive data sets on mercury, PCBs, and other pollutant concentrations and loads in an urban river. In a recent manuscript, SFEI staff used the dataset to answer three major questions.
RMP Keys to Success Highlighted in Two Manuscripts (News)
RMP Keys to Success Highlighted in Two Manuscripts
PBDEs in San Francisco Bay: A Summary Report (Project)
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a group of flame retardant additives used in thermoplastics, polyurethane foam, and textiles. These diphenyl ethers possess one to ten bromine atoms; although 209 congeners are possible, only some of these are manufactured or result as degradation products. The three commercial mixtures of PBDEs, each named for the bromination level of its dominant components, are "PentaBDE," "OctaBDE," and "DecaBDE."
Statewide Survey Finds Fish-Eating Birds At Risk from Mercury in Many Lakes (News)
As part of the statewide bioaccumulation monitoring program led by Jay Davis of SFEI, SWAMP has released findings from the first statewide survey of contaminants in wildlife from California waters. The survey found that mercury concentrations in the blood of two closely related species of grebes were high enough to potentially translate to harmful impacts on their reproduction in over half of the 25 lakes sampled.
RMP Annual Meeting Summarized on Twitter (Event)
The RMP Annual Meeting was held in conjunction this year with the State of the Estuary Conference. Collectively, the events brought together over 800 people interested in the condition of our estuary.
Below is featured a collection of highlights of the conference as recorded in social media in the form of videos, images, quotations, and other observations. We hope you enjoy perusing this unique conversation of over 89 users, 500 tweets, and a world-wide audience of over 400,000 people.
The SF Chronicle features the release of the Pulse of the Bay (News)
On September 9, the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted some of the environmental strides and challenges revealed in the latest Pulse of the Bay, a comprehensive water quality summary that ranks San Francisco Bay’s water quality as “fair to good.”
SFEI featured in 5 major newspaper articles over two weeks (News)
Articles featuring the Pulse of the Bay, the State of the Estuary Report, and SFEI's work on microplastics saturate the news media since Sept 9, 2015.
Recent weeks have demonstrated the tremendous value that SFEI brings not only to the domain of environmental science but also to resource management and the public landscape. The deluge of articles covers a wide breadth of subjects, each with great urgency and relevance to issues of public importance.
New Trends Charts and Data on Safe To Eat Portal (News)
Fish and shellfish are nutritious and good for you to eat. But some fish and shellfish may absorb toxic chemicals from the food they eat and the water in which they live. Some of these chemicals accumulate over time in the fish and shellfish - and in the people who eat fish and shellfish. Although the chemical levels are usually low, it is a good idea to learn about advisories and monitoring in water bodies where you fish, and for fish or shellfish you eat.
CD3: New Download Feature (News)
This release of CD3 features an advanced download tool for accessing all data for a project and the ability to dynamically generate Sum of PCBs. Detailed instructions for using the tool's different features are provided in a pop-up box for easy reference. Visit cd3.sfei.org to try out this new functionality!
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