Magazine Features

Tending the Urban Earth and Its People

While most activities ground to a halt in the COVID-19 crisis, nature didn’t skip a beat at urban farms across the Bay Area. Urban farms meet an array of local needs, whether it’s for organic food, living wage jobs, a community center, or a place to connect with nature. With the COVID crisis, and with many American communities touched by loss and fighting racism, these needs have become even more acute. Farms, gardens, and nurseries across the Bay Area are rising to the challenge. Times of extraordinary change reveal how future climate injustices may well play out: the “haves” marshal the means to protect themselves and the “have-nots” bear the burden of impacts. In particular, the nation is gaining painful insight into how pre-existing vulnerabilities and prejudices get lethally compounded in a crisis. The voices of Bay Area farmers, shared...

Highway 37: The Road to Restoration

San Francisco Bay has seven highway bridges with tolls, eight if you count the span linking Antioch to the Delta. In the future it just might have nine. The latest candidate is not the long-debated Southern Crossing, but rather a series of causeways carrying California’s single most vulnerable road in the era of sea-level rise: State Route 37 between Vallejo and Novato. A bridge on dry land? But the dryness of this region is a fading illusion. Over a century ago, dikes, pumps, and fill transformed a 50,000-acre wetland wilderness into a fabric of fields and managed ponds—for a geological blink of an eye. Now the tides are returning, in a process partly planned and partly inevitable. In the name of habitat, something like half of the old wetlands along this arc have been reopened to the Bay, with much...

PERSPECTIVES

Never before has it been more important to imagine and invest in a future that is decidedly different than the world we are facing today. The COVID-19 pandemic and the protests sparked by police brutality have laid out in stark terms the underlying systemic inequalities and racism in our society that make poor, elderly, black, and brown people socioeconomically vulnerable and expose them to trauma and risk.  These vulnerabilities will only be exacerbated by climate change, unless we work together now to achieve multiple objectives: address inequality and systemic racism; create equity in terms of health and access to opportunity for low-income communities of color; and invest in strategies to reduce the impacts of extreme storms, flooding, sea-level rise, wildfires, and other hazards for communities most at risk. COVID-19 also makes an indisputable case for a decidedly unsexy focus on...
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Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss

Sacramento pikeminnow and introduced striped bass in the middle Sacramento River eat a surprisingly similar diet, says a new study in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Both species have been implicated in the decline of vulnerable native species in the river, particularly juvenile Chinook salmon, says lead author Dylan Stompe, a PhD student and researcher at the University of California at Davis. For eight months in 2017, Stompe and fellow researchers with the California State University at Chico and the California...

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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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