Alicia Gilbreath's picture

Alicia Gilbreath

Environmental Scientist
Clean Water Program
Green Infrastructure
510-746-7308

Alicia Gilbreath is an environmental scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where she splits her time between field-based monitoring and investigations and office-based data analysis, research and writing. Alicia earned a BA in Philosophy and BS in Psychology from UC Davis, and an MLA with an emphasis in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley. She joined SFEI's Watersheds Program in 2006. Primarily Alicia's work for the Institute has focused on monitoring and modeling pollutant concentrations and loads in stormwater. Whether it's for SFEI field work or taking her boys on special wet and muddy adventures in the Oakland hills, Alicia loves getting outside for big storms.

Related Projects, News, and Events

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 Program issues a report each year, the Pulse of the Bay in odd years and the RMP Update in even years.

Photo courtesy of Shelly Moore, SCCWRP

California Trash Monitoring Methods Project (Project)

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), in close partnership with the State Water Board, has recognized the importance of standard methods for trash monitoring and has funded this project. The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) and San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute (SFEI) have partnered up to test multiple trash monitoring methods with a goal of developing a library of methods with known levels of precision, accuracy, and cross-comparability of results, and linking these methods to specific management questions.

Regional Watershed Spreadsheet Model (Project)

The Regional Watershed Spreadsheet Model (RWSM) was developed to estimate average annual regional and sub-regional scale loads for the San Francisco Bay Area. It is part of a class of deterministic empirical models based on the volume-concentration method.

Load Monitoring in Representative Watersheds (Project)

Overview

There is an urgent need for estimates of stormwater loads by watershed and by region. The recently adopted Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) specifically requires generations of additional information on the loads of sediment and contaminants. In addition, the Mercury and PCB TMDLs require reductions in watershed loads by 50 and 90 percent, respectively. Understanding the loads from representative watersheds is critical for addressing these information needs and achieving these load reductions.

Graphic by Lester McKee, Ph.D.

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.

Hacienda Avenue Bio-Infiltration Basins (Project)

The Hacienda Avenue Green Street Project in Campbell, California, reconstructed 1.4 km of public right of way along W. Hacienda Avenue from Winchester Boulevard to Burrows Road. In collaboration with the City of Campbell and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, scientists from SFEI installed monitoring equipment in two adjacent basins to measure how the basins infiltrated water over the course of a rainy season. This award-winning project infiltrated 100% of the stormwater flowing into it during the rainy season of 2015-2016.

Alameda Creek Watershed Sediment Forum (Project)

Alameda Creek is the largest watershed in the Bay area draining approximately 650 square miles of the East Bay interior hills and valleys, including the Livermore-Amador and Sunol valleys. The creek then cuts through the East Bay Hills via Niles Canyon before flowing across its large alluvial fan and floodplain complex, ultimately discharging into the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay. Average annual rainfall in the watershed varies from 24 inches on Mt Hamilton at an elevation of 4,400 ft above sea level to 15 inches near the Bay margin in Fremont.

Regional Stormwater Monitoring and Urban BMP Evaluation (Prop 13) (Project)

Nonpoint source pollution has been identified nationally, in the State of California, and in the Bay Area as the leading source of degradation of natural waters. The magnitude of nonpoint source pollution is accentuated in coastal areas where human population is high and where pressures from urban development, industrial and commercial activities, and recreational use are the greatest. San Francisco Bay is listed as an impaired water body for PCBs and mercury under Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act . The RWQCB has recently developed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports for the Bay for mercury and PCBs.

Small Tributaries Loading Strategy (Project)

The Small Tributaries Loading Strategy (STLS) is overseen by the Sources, Pathways, and Loadings Workgroup. It focuses on loadings from small tributaries (the rivers, creeks, and storm drains that enter the Bay downstream of Chipps Island), in coordination with the Municipal Regional Permit for Stormwater (MRP).

Storm Flows Key to Managing Pollution in Highly Urban Watersheds (News)

Urban runoff is a large and potentially controllable source of pollutants for San Francisco Bay and urban centers around the world. SFEI scientists conducted intensive measurements for suspended sediments and a range of trace organic pollutants in dry weather and storm flow runoff from a fully urban watershed. More than 91% of the loads for every pollutant measured were transported during storm events, along with 87% of the total water discharge.

RMP Publication: Storm Flows Key to Managing Pollution in Highly Urban Watersheds (News)

Urban runoff is a large and potentially controllable source of pollutants to San Francisco Bay and many other urban aquatic ecosystems around the world. In a RMP study conducted in water years 2007-2010, SFEI scientists made intensive measurements for suspended sediments and a range of trace organic pollutants (PCBs, dioxins, PAHs, PBDEs, pyrethroids and OC pesticides) in dry weather and storm flow runoff from a fully urban watershed in Hayward.