INSIDE

►    Choice Parcels in the Mountains — San Leandro creek’s headwaters represent a great prize for the John Muir Land Trust. The protection of these undeveloped parcels sends a variety of benefits cascading downhill towards the bay.

►     The Delta from Within — It’s easy to see the Delta as an ecological disaster, but there’s so much more to it. The 33 miles between Rio Vista and Sacramento on highway 160 feel like another world.

►    Toxic Summer for Sea Lions — The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito is wrapping up a busy summer. A potent neurotoxin called domoic acid, propagated by toxic algal blooms, poses a threat to California sea lions.

►    Drought Contingency — “This is exciting because we have all the agencies working together.” Motivated by the recent drought, local water agencies have formed an unprecedented partnership.

►    Teacher Nurtures Young Scientists — For Emily Koller’s fifth grade students, the most impactful lessons in science take place in the student’s own backyard. “The best place for our students to learn about the environment is in their own community.”

►    Sturgeon Surgeons — “White sturgeon are a popular species, so we want to keep a close eye on them.” Recent RMP studies have unearthed a few interesting things about sturgeon – first that selenium keeps turning up in specimens and second that testing may not have to be deadly.

►    Indecision Point –The Delta Stewardship Council endorses a new way forward to settle the Delta restoration problem. What’s the fuss about? Fasten your seat belts, this is a technical ride.

▼    Don’t miss our extended online magazine features below. 

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Magazine Features

Prepping for Sea Level Rise—Who’s on First?

On an uncommonly sultry Thursday evening at the end of August several dozen people gathered in a grove at San Mateo’s Coyote Point, sipping beer and listening to a presentation on sea level rise by staff from San Mateo County’s Office of Sustainability. Then, accompanied by the sound of gunshots from a nearby firing range, everyone trooped down to the Bay’s edge, where temporary markers indicated how high the water would rise under three different scenarios. In the most dire projection, water would cover the heads of the people standing on the beach. The event, “Shrinking Shores,” was presented by Sea Change San Mateo County, one of a handful of county-level projects around the Bay that aim to assess local vulnerability to sea level rise and develop long-term adaptation strategies. The goal of these kinds of projects, says the Bay Conservation and Development...

Beacon not Burden

What some might call a regulatory burden on industry, commerce, and American greatness, others might call the road to success. Jay Davis, a serious guy, doesn’t crack a smile when he describes the Bay Area’s Regional Monitoring Program as “a beacon of environmental protection.” It may sound a little over the top, for a PhD who ran the program for more than a decade, but all you have to do is fact check. Ask some of the oil refineries, power plants, cities, engineers, ports, scientists, and regulators who’ve participated in this 25-year old collaborative monitoring program to confirm this result and they all say the same thing. It takes time but saves money. It helps those being regulated deal with water quality challenges — whether it’s a spill, toxic algae blooms, or a new perfume or pesticide — and helps...

High Road for the Wettest Highway?

As Bay Area cities and counties grapple with the formidable challenge of preparing for a higher San Francisco Bay, there is perhaps no better example of the obstacles and opportunities than the effort underway to adapt Highway 37. The 21-mile North Bay corridor running from Vallejo to Novato has long been a source of tranquility and frustration. The highway offers sweeping views of tidal baylands dotted with roosting waterfowl and shorebirds plumbing mudflats for food, along with mile-upon-mile of open space. And commuters often have ample time to enjoy the scenery: Highway 37 is one of the most congested in the region. Congestion isn’t the only problem facing the highway. This past winter a combination of storms and high tides shut the highway down for 28 days. “Obviously there was a growing sense of urgency due to the traffic, but...
Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss

A wedge of gravel, mud, and grasses irrigated by treated wastewater outperforms all expectations as a prototype for climate change adaptation.

Experts monitoring 16 months of plant growth on a humpbacked levee experiment on the San Leandro shore, a project led by the Oro Loma Sanitary District, found early weed colonization followed by rapid dominance of target native perennial vegetation. “Native vegetation outcompeted weeds,” says Peter Baye, who designed the planting palette for this multi-benefit infrastructure project....

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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