►    Human-Centered Conservation – “We have seen lots of shoreline projects proceed without thinking about the people who live there,” says Heidi Nutters. The North Richmond Shoreline Vision project hopes to bring residents back into the restoration conversation.

►    Dying Sport or Character Builder? – Volunteers and nonprofit staff around the Bay are teaching young people how to sail, but they don’t necessarily expect to make sailors of the kids.

►    Urban Estuaries Soften Shorelines – The Puget Sound and San Francisco Estuary share a common Left Coast culture and vulnerability to rising sea levels, but the shape of their shores, and who owns their waterfronts, is different.

►    Moving West – The San Francisco Estuary Partnership is optimistic that a move to the Bay Area Metro Center will offer new opportunities for collaboration with other regional agencies sharing the same roof.

►    Atmospheric Rivers – Northern California has some new radar and equipment for tracking the rivers of moisture sweeping across the Pacific.

►    SF State Launches New Buoy – Tracking bay acidification.

►   Herring Run – Ryan Bartling is confident that data collected from Pacific herring spawns across San Francisco Bay during the 2017-2018 season will bode well for San Francisco’s last urban fishery.

►    Riverbank Restoration– In 2002, when the stretch of the Napa River running through Honig Winery reached a state of crisis, Michael Honig did something remarkable–rather than call the authorities to complain, his neighbors and he banded together to restore it.

►    Scrutinizing Margins – Bay margins are often mucky, out-of-the-way places. In the last decade, however, they’ve been identified as unexpected sources of pollution.

►    Restoration Art – Art and science can seem like distant worlds, but the arts can reach people in ways that facts and figures can’t.

►   Buckler Island Solano County Superior Court’s decision to void $3.6 million in fines and cleanup requirements for Point Buckler was appealed by regulators.

►    Overdue Levee Four miles of new levees and 2,900 acres of restored tidal wetlands near Alviso may soon get the greenlight, but the greenbacks aren’t in the bank yet.

Magazine Features

Photo Essay: Sailing, A Dying Sport or Character Builder?

Around the Bay, people who love to sail are sharing the sport with young people. Tucked into marinas and coves, and working out of portable classrooms and small offices, yacht club volunteers and nonprofit staff are working hard to get youth out on the bay in sailboats. They don’t expect to make sailors out of the kids but they do believe that getting a kid on the water, even for a few hours, has value. They know that being on a boat pushed through the water by wind teaches science and math; builds camaraderie, confidence, and teamwork; inspires environmental stewardship; and encourages the habit of saying “yes” to life. “I enjoy sailing because it’s a sport that challenges you mentally as much as physically,” says 14-year-old Declan Donovan, who participates in a program where students learn to race on the...

North Richmond Transitions

Today’s North Richmond shoreline looks much different from its historic blend of baylands, mudflats, and wet meadows. A lot of the land has been filled, or else fragmented by transit and industry. The region’s three creeks — the Rheem, the San Pablo, and the Wildcat  are mostly behind levees for flood control (the San Pablo and Wildcat Creek levees were raised in late 2017). The shoreline, and the 500 meters inland where the optimal marsh-upland transition zone could exist is bounded on one end by Chevron’s Richmond Refinery and by an Amazon distribution center and other new, massive warehouses at the other end. The middle of this zone is cut, not by long tidal plains or gentle sloping uplands, but by a high speed four-lane parkway that shortcuts between the 80 and the 580. Where the parkway jogs inland, the...

Two Urban Estuaries Soften Shorelines

For two cold clear days in February, scientists, engineers, and other specialists from all three North American coasts gathered at the Oakland Airport Hilton, in what a local speaker called “the least interesting part of Oakland,” for the second national Living Shorelines Technology Transfer Workshop. The event, co-sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries, the California Coastal Conservancy, and Save the Bay, featured talks and interactive sessions on this emerging approach to coastal protection that went well beyond technology. Referred to by some practitioners as “soft shorelines” or “green shorelines,” living shorelines projects deploy a range of environmentally friendly alternatives to armoring shores against rising seas and stronger storm surges, along a gray-to-green continuum. As speakers described challenges encountered and progress made from the San Juan Islands to North Carolina’s New River estuary, distinct regional flavors emerged. “We all live in unique...
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Back Issues

Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss

A wide-ranging Habitat Conservation Plan that could eventually protect up to 4800 acres of endangered species habitat in the Bay Area is the linchpin of a November agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Under the agreement, FWS issued the utility a 30-year incidental take permit for operations and maintenance activities in the nine Bay Area counties. The HCP includes strategies to avoid, minimize, and offset potential direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of PG&E’s O&M and minor new construction activities on 32 threatened or endangered species. The parties are...

ESTUARY News is the 25-year-old regional magazine of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership and its myriad partners around the Bay and Delta. Written by professional, independent journalists, it provides in-depth, silo-crossing coverage of the environmental, restoration, and climate adaptation issues of our time, and tells the stories behind the 2016 Estuary Blueprint.