Magazine Features

A Century of First Responders

When the August 16 lightning strikes started forking from the sky to the ground in the Bay Area, Sarah Lenz was driving back from the scene of a vehicle accident and fire. It was pitch dark in the 23,000-acre Crystal Springs watershed in San Mateo County where she is a watershed keeper and supervisor, or what you might think of as a water ranger—something like a park ranger but who...

Catching Up with Mycelium Youth Network

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Mycelium Youth Network rolled with the punch. The pandemic came as a surprise to them as much as anyone, but Mycelium pivoted quickly to online programming. Nevertheless, the transition was a bitter pill to swallow. Leading into Covid, Mycelium was poised to drastically expand the reach of its programming by teaching courses through Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD),...

Tallying Bird Populations Then and Now

How many ducks and geese used the Estuary before the Gold Rush? The numbers are beyond conjecture, but they must have been mind-boggling. Observers writing about a hundred years ago noted major decreases during the era of market hunting, when waterfowl were shot to supply the restaurants and stores of California’s emerging cities, but offered no hard numbers. However, they recorded their observations of the abundance and seasonal presence of...

Virtual RMP Annual Meeting Real-Life Success

Instead of a fancy room with plush seats, a catered lunch, and speakers at a podium sharing their presentations on a big screen, attendees at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) experienced the report-out entirely virtually on their own computer screens, thanks to the Covid pandemic. Nevertheless, and despite Zoom burnout, the October event was a success, with many...

Science-in-Short ~ Podcast

Putting Nature, Not People, in the Path of Sea Level Rise, an Interview with Julie Beagle. In this podcast, Estuary News reporter John Hart draws out Julie Beagle, a lead scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, on ways of defending Bay shores in the era of sea level rise. Beagle describes several kinds of “nature-based” treatments that can delay and soften the onslaught; her special interest is in the...

Whatever Happened To…?

Reporters check up on past stories. Click to jump or scroll and read. Mercury in Trout Diet Derelict Ships Continued Hazard Sticking to it with Spartina COVID Complicates Encampment Cleanups Nesting Caspian Tern Turnover Cormorants Thrive on Shuttered Alcatraz Buckler Brouhaha Boils On Corte Madera Makes a Start Closure on Klamath Dams Sampling insects in stream. Photo: David Rundio, NOAA Mercury in Trout Diet The steelhead of Big Sur seemingly...
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Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss

As organizations and agencies scramble to preserve the Central Valley’s dwindling Chinook salmon runs, a group of scientists believes they may be overlooking a key factor in the decades-long decline of the fish: disease.

In a paper published in September’s issue of San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, a research team proposes that diseases—caused by viruses, bacteria and other microbes—could be suppressing juvenile salmon survival in a river system that once hosted millions of adult spawners each year. According to tracking studies, nearly all juvenile Chinook born from natural...

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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.

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