Current Issue at a Glance

DOWNLOAD September 2016 ISSUE

en-sep2016cov164x213The September issue of ESTUARY News magazine explores transitions in wetland protections, describes new computer models designed to track how nutrients move around the Estuary, and takes readers into a college class engaged in sorting mucky bottom sediments for benthic creatures such as invasive overbite clams. The issue also reviews a new neighborhood creek restoration book, a new Delta report on vegetation on levees, and how birds have responded to salt pond restorations. Finally, responding to reader requests, the issue also delves into seven magazine stories from 2012 to 2016 to see what’s happened since.

F E A T U R E D   A R T I C L E S

Wetland Protections in Transition

By Cariad Hayes Thronson

wet-dscn7111-500Environmentalists are heading warily into the fall following two regulatory developments that they fear may cramp efforts to protect California’s wetlands. In June the State Water Resources Control Board released a draft document overhauling wetlands protection procedures and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that landowners may mount court challenges to U.S. EPA or Corps of Engineers jurisdictional determinations before a permit is issued. READ ON

Nutrient Nuances Modeled

By Lisa Owens Viani

nut-model_din-landsatgray-500San Francisco Bay is becoming
 less opaque as the sediments power-washed into the Estuary by miners 
so long ago gradually disperse. This lets sunlight penetrate deeper into 
the water, creating more favorable conditions for the kind of problematic algal blooms that can shut down crab fisheries and keep people and their pooches out of the water. Scientists have collaborated on some new computer models, however, that may help them predict where and when nutrients may exacerbate the situation. READ ON

College Class Tracks Invasive Clams

By Marilyn Vogel Browning, Diablo Valley College

students_iding500The Ocean 102 lab at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill is a proper marine biological laboratory. It smells faintly of seaweed and formaldehyde, while fearsome, plastic versions of marine predators (sharks that happen to squeak) hang from the ceiling. Nearly every semester, after sampling bay mud from Berkeley to Pittsburg, Ocean 102 students discover an astonishing surfeit of a tiny clam known as Potamocorbula Amurensis.



Ten Creeks in One Book

Review by Joe Eaton
100-rileycover-finalfrontIn her new book Restoring Neighborhood Streams: Planning, Design, and Construction (Island Press), Ann L. Riley draws on her extensive experience with the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Waterways Restoration Institute to explore the particulars of rehabilitating waterways in city settings. READ ON

Veggie Levees Reviewed

By Joe Eaton
p2-a2217_fig2_levee expand_v6Although California’s levees were built for flood protection, they can also provide badly needed habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. Improving Habitats Along Delta Levees, a new report from the Delta Stewardship Council, summarizes recent field studies and outlines some challenges and constraints of enhancing levee habitat. READ ON

Restoration Results for Waterbirds

By Joe Eaton
500-waterbirds8906-1In judging the success of a restoration project, wildlife response is a crucial metric. Biologists surveying waterbirds in former salt production ponds in the South Bay report good news for the massive tidal wetland restoration effort underway there. READ ON

Drought Round Up

500-beaverincacoverThere hasn’t been any shortage of drought-related stories and studies, what with California now in its fifth year, so ESTUARY offers this little round up exploring lessons from Australia in water conservation, how beaver dams help store river flows, and results from a new data base on western stream temperatures. READ ON

Following Up on Seven Prior Estuary Stories

By Estuary writers
100-lamprey-into-coolerThree times more groundwater left in California than reported in 2014; Pipeline to send recycled water to restore Napa-Sonoma salt ponds still not quite flowing three years after completion; Standards for treating ships’ ballast water still evolving, as are experiments with on-board treatment systems aboard the Golden Bear; California still on high-alert for invasive quagga and zebra mussels, with officials using mussel sniffing dogs and enforcing new vessel quarantines; Slow progress in efforts to improve fish passage and manage erosion and flooding along Alameda Creek, and to plan restoration for the North Bay’s Skagg’s Island; Regulators press on with orders for Point Buckler owner to cease altering his property or face stiff fines. 


Regional Partnership Announces
a New Estuary Blueprint

ccmpexecsummary-v2-thumbnailThis fall more than 70 organizations reached collaborative agreement on four long-term goals and
 32 actions to be taken over the next five years to protect, restore, and sustain the San Francisco Estuary. Their Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan or CCMP is the third in a series, updating1992 and 2007 plans undertaken by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.