Letitia Grenier's picture

J. Letitia Grenier, PhD

Program Director
Senior Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program
510-746-7342

Letitia Grenier co-directs SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program. She is the science lead for the 2015 State of the Estuary Report (a SF Estuary Partnership project) and the 2015 update to the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals (a California Coastal Conservancy project), heading a team of over 200 environmental scientists, managers, and regulators to develop science­ based recommendations for restoring and maintaining the health the Bay's tidal wetlands in the face of rising sea levels and other stressors. Letitia holds a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of California at Berkeley and has previously worked on investigating bioaccumulation of contaminants in estuarine food webs, the condition of California’s wetlands, and other ecological questions about the Bay and Delta. Her focus now is to work with partners to conserve California's living resources by developing landscape-­scale, collaborative, science ­based visions and solutions.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Project (Project)

SFEI's Letitia Grenier served as lead scientist of the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Project, which yielded a report called The Baylands and Climate Change: What We Can Do. The report is an update to the 1999 Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals, which for the first time set comprehensive restoration goals for the San Francisco Bay estuary. Produced by a collaborative of 21 management agencies working with a multi-disciplinary team of over 100 scientists, it synthesizes the latest science—particularly advances in the understanding of climate change and sediment supply—and incorporates projected changes through 2100 to generate new recommendations for achieving and sustaining healthy baylands ecosystems.

Flood Control 2.0 Completed! (News)

SFEI and several agency partners recently completed a multi-year, EPA funded project called Flood Control 2.0. The goal of the project was to develop information that is useful for integrating habitat restoration into flood management at the Bay edge. Project outputs are now available at floodcontrol.sfei.org.

A multi-partner project to create placed-based sea-level rise adaptation strategies (News)

As sea level rise accelerates in the San Francisco Bay, scientists, planners, and decision makers will need to re-envision and adapt our complex shoreline to provide ecological and social resilience. Although there are many efforts currently underway in the region to assess climate change vulnerabilities, the region lacks a coherent science-based framework for guiding and evaluating climate adaptation strategies appropriate to our diverse shoreline settings.

Lower Walnut Creek Vision Just Released! (News)

SFEI recently released a resilient landscape vision for lower Walnut Creek that incorporates habitat restoration actions into flood risk management. The vision, developed in coordination with a team of regional science experts, highlights opportunities for restoring and sustaining vital tidal wetland habitats around lower Walnut Creek while supporting a high level of flood protection under rising San Francisco Bay water levels.

SFEI work on Landscape Resilience and Urban Biodiversity featured in Google Blog and Fast Company Story (News)

Our partnership with Google to enhance the ecological resilience of urban landscapes is featured in a story by Fast Company, a Google Blog post, and an accompanying video.

"A Delta Renewed" report released at the 2016 Bay-Delta Science Conference (News)

The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) released A Delta Renewed – A Guide to Science-Based Ecological Restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

South Baylands Mercury Project (SBMP) (Project)

We have developed biosentinel species indicators for wetlands to help the SBMP management team make decisions relative to mercury risk about where and how to restore salt ponds to wetlands. 2008 was the third and last year of a project to characterize and monitor bio-available mercury and its uptake into local food webs of the South Bay managed ponds and intertidal habitats, focusing initially on Pond A8 and Alviso Slough. Results indicated that this approach can be used to guide management decisions about wetlands restoration locations.

The Delta as Changing Landscapes - Presentation by Letitia Grenier (News)

The Delta Science Program, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, and the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program will jointly host a Delta Science Brown Bag seminar on October 25th

Institute's Historical Ecology featured in the New York Times (News)

New York (January 25, 2016) – In today's New York Times, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and its scientists from the Resilient Landscapes program inspired the newspaper's broad readership to look back in time to see a clearer future.

City Visions on KALW: How the Bay Area is Tackling the Threat of Sea Level Rise (Event)

Join the conversation as host Ethan Elkind and guests discuss new reports indicating that sea levels may be rising at a faster pace than predicted.  Are popular destinations like the Ferry Building and essential infrastructure like the airport in danger of flooding?  What parts of the Bay Area are at the greatest risk, and what is being done to protect against the dangers posed by accelerated sea level rise?

Getting the Word Out about the Baylands Goals (News)

Letitia Grenier continues to work with partners around the region to get the word out about the new ideas in the Baylands Goals Science Update 2015. Getting the public and the sea level rise adaptation community on board with the many benefits of restoring and maintaining the Baylands is a priority in the wake of the release of the Baylands Goals Science Update in late 2015. With the Restoration Authority ballot initiative to be presented to voters this summer, there is great demand to hear about the value of tidal wetlands and importance of a healthy shore.

Editorial in SF Chronicle: Work to save San Francisco Bay only just begun (News)

The San Francisco Chronicle features SFEI and Senior Scientist Letitia Grenier in their latest editorial advocating for renewed attention on SF Bay restoration. The editorial staff argues that the Baylands Goals provides a solid roadmap to guide restoration of the Bay's habitats and critical processes.

The Baylands and Climate Change (Event)

Matt Gerhart of the California Coastal Conservancy and Letitia Grenier of SFEI will be speaking at the SPUR Urban Center about the Baylands Goals and the implications for restoration in the face of climate change. How do we use natural features and natural processes to offer greater protection against rapid climatic changes and sea-level rise? This new report sheds some light on this critical subject:

KQED Forum: Bay Area Infrastructure, Communities at Risk Without Wetlands Restoration (News)

On KQED Forum, Michael Krasny interviewed SFEI's Letitia Grenier and the State Coastal Conservancy's Sam Schuchat about the release of the new Science Update Report and its findings regarding the urgency to restore wetlands in advance of accelerating sea-level rise. As offered on KQED's website, "the new report reveals that 42,000 acres of wetlands in the Bay Area must be restored over the next 15 years to mitigate the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, swelling tides and strong storms threaten billions of dollars worth of businesses, homes and infrastructure."

Lower Novato Creek Vision Just Released! (News)

SFEI recently released a resilient landscape vision for lower Novato Creek that incorporates habitat restoration actions into flood risk management. The vision, developed in coordination with a team of regional science experts, highlights opportunities for restoring and sustaining vital tidal wetland habitats around lower Novato Creek while supporting a high level of flood protection under rising San Francisco Bay water levels.

SFEI's new Landscape Resilience Framework outlines attributes of ecological resilience (News)

SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program has developed a Landscape Resilience Framework, with the goal of facilitating the integration of resilience science into environmental management, urban design, conservation planning, and ecological restoration. The framework proposes seven key landscape attributes that contribute to ecological resilience, providing details and examples on each.

Baylands Goals and Climate Change: What Can We Do? (Event)

On November 17th, the Exploratorium will co-host with the San Francisco Estuary Institute an event to address what can be done to adapt to climate change in the San Francisco Bay Area. The recently released report, Baylands Goals and Climate Change: What Can We Do?, offers innovative and sustainable ways to work with, rather than against, the imminent challenges such as sea level rise and extreme weather events.

From 6pm to 8:30pm at the Exploratorium (Pier 15, Embarcadero and Green St, San Francisco), the following panelists will discuss the report's findings:

Baylands Goals Report Released to a Flurry of Media Attention (News)

An update to the 1999 Bayland Ecosystem Habitat Goals, the new report called The Baylands and Climate Change: What We Can Do urges swift action to restore our wetlands as a buffer against rising seas and associated flooding. Sea-level rise will increase in a few decades. If we do not act swiftly to restore our Bay Area wetlands, our cities will be in greater peril for increased flooding and infrastructure impairment. Our highways, airports, utility services, pipelines, water treatment plants are all threatened by rising tides.

The report synthesizes the recommendations of 200 scientists and government experts on climate change, sea level rise, watershed systems and urban engineering.

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.

Following the State of the Estuary Conference, a newspaper article describes the future of Marin with help from SFEI's Josh Collins and Letitia Grenier (News)

Journalist Mark Prado's article in the Marin Independent Journal reports the mixed picture of health in the San Francisco Estuary. He writes:

“In many regards the bay is as healthy as it has been in a long time,” said San Anselmo native Josh Collins, chief scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute. “But some aspects of the bay are slower to heal,” he added. “There are sill longer-lasting pollutants in the bay, but they are not being put in the system anymore.”