2012 – 2017 Issues of Estuary News magazine
2017 Issues
2016 Issues
2015 Issues
2014 Issues
2013 Issues
2012 Issues
June 2017

This issue covers multi-benefit project metrics, blue carbon, pricepoints for ecosystem services, toxic algae, outdoor schools, avian refugees from the northwest, and more. We also explore a cutting edge Los Angeles project that taps local stormwater for habitat creation, and compare the tiny Tijuana Estuary with our own Bay-Delta bruiser.


Featured stories:
Caspian Push and Pull By Aleta George
Flood Plan Boosts Floodplain By Cariad Hayes Thronson
LA Drainage Goes Native By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

March 2017

This March issue of ESTUARY News magazine debuts a new guide to how to repair and renew the Delta and examines stresses on Delta species, especially pesticides. Two stories explore innovations in flood control and restoration, ranging from online tools to custom equipment. Others cover what scientists do to collect data during a big storm and what they think will happen to Central Valley waterbirds based on climate change models. A final story describes key steps in the creation of the Bay’s new restoration authority.

Featured stories:
Back to the Bones of the Delta By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Corte Madera’s Flood Fight Goes On and On By Jacoba Charles
Going Local Buys Future for Bayshore By Cariad Hayes Thronson

December 2016

estuarynewsdec2016-v9b-final-webThe December issue describes how stormwater regs are being used to shift the homeless away from creeks and towards services, as well as options for relocating the Estuary’s orphan species. It also highlights projects designed to grow more fish food in the Delta, why plastic can smell like bird food out in the ocean, and how spot-on flea treatments aren’t staying on our pets but migrating onto home surfaces, down the drain, and out to the Bay.

Featured stories:
Urban Jungle Inspires Unique Regulatory Tack By Robin Meadows
The Dirt on Flea Control By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Options for Estuary Orphans By Kathleen M. Wong

September 2016

estuarynewssept2016-v11-finalweb-thumbnailThe 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.

Featured stories:
Wetland Protections in Transition By Cariad Hayes Thronson
Nutrient Nuances Modeled By Lisa Owens Viani
College Class Tracks Invasive Clams By Marilyn Vogel Browning, Diablo Valley College

June 2016

ENEWS June Cover

The June issue covers the latest on climate change adaptation with the watershed — from managing forests to increase snowpack above the San Joaquin Valley to reimagining a derelict urban shipyard and prioritizing shoreline investments based on new decision making tools. Other stories preview the 2016 CCMP and delve into its history, and touch on topics like offshore responses to global warming and innovations in pipe replacement for utilities struggling with aging infrastructure.

Featured stories:
EBMUD Experiments With Pipe Replacement By Nate Seltenrich
Deliquescent Summit on Ocean Climate By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Buckler Brouhaha By Joe Eaton
Two Hearts Beating Not Quite as One By John Hart

March 2016

March 2016 ENEWS coverThe March issue covers the Estuary north, south, east and west. It details lessons being learned from a rock barrier on the False River designed to prevent salt water intrusion into the Delta, and says farewell to the grande dame of Bay research, a yacht called the Polaris now being replaced with a catamaran. The issue also explores the buzz on “resilience” in climate change planning and then gives the low down on two recent restorations at opposite ends of the Bay: one on Sonoma Creek and the other at Bair Island. An opinion piece urges support for Measure AA and science news tracks El Niño effects on the movement of mercury and sediment.

Featured stories:
Keeping the Salt Feild at Bay II By Robin Meadows
Mainstreaming Resilience By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Bay Belle By Joe Eaton
Do the Pieces Fit? By John Hart

December 2015

Cover 100x130This issue explores why the Water Board calls a South Bay cement quarry “the most under-regulated facility” in the region, and how more microplastics have been found in San Francisco Bay than in the Great Lakes. You’ll read about steps taked to protect fish in the Bay Bridge blow up and the extra dose of sediment coming to the Estuary’s southern shallows courtesy of the drought. This issue also highlights some startling findings from the 2015 State of the Estuary Report.

Featured stories:

The Most Under-Regulated Facility By Lisa Owens Viani
No Drought of Dirt By Joe Eaton
Unhealthy Fiber in Bay Diet By Jacoba Charles

September 2015

Estuary-Sep2015-v6-web-final-pdf-image-116x150As the drought drags on, the state has revealed its new, scaled-down plans—deconstructed by writer Joe Eaton—for rehabilitating the broken Delta. The Delta and its complicated plumbing and flows are also tackled by nine Estuary experts in our “Pivot” story. We asked them to share their views about old ways of doing things that no longer work, especially with sea level rise and climate change upon us, and their ideas for change. Other stories cover new ideas and technology for monitoring Delta levees, and new methods of tracking even the smallest pollutants—both natural and not so natural—that can affect the health of the Bay and people.

Featured stories:
Scaled-Down Plans to “Fix and Restore” By Joe Eaton
Pivot or Pirouette? By Ariel Rubissow and Lisa Owens Viani
CCMP Revision Preview By Caitlin Sweeney

June 2015

June CoverAs the drought tightens the screws on human use of California’s evaporating water supply, conservation, restoration and collaboration grow ever more important. This issue explores some current opportunities for constructive action, from using empty aquifers as reservoirs to restoring marshes so they “retreat-ready” for sea level rise and giving river floodplains more than another layer of rip rap. Other stories cover the darkening future of California’s Chinook salmon, the lack of evidence that delta smelt can be blamed for stealing anyone’s water, and a kitchen-sink test for emerging contaminants.

Featured stories:
Filling Up on Empty By John Hart
No Scapefish in Drought Wars By Joe Eaton
Beyond the Blubber By Ariel Rubissow

March 2015

March 2016 CoverThe issue also drills down into the subtler science of contaminants, from mercury in fog to copper effects on salmon senses and the nature of the mystery goo that slimed Bay birds in January. Hopeful events are also covered: the North Bay’s Cullinan Ranch felt the touch of the tides for the first time since the 1880s and SFEP is working hard to update the grandest plan to save the health of the Estuary ever: the CCMP.

Featured stories:

Copper Effects on Salmon Influenced by Salinity By Joe Eaton
Cullinan Finally in the Fold By Joe Eaton
Rethinking our Grandest Plan for the Estuary By Ariel Rubissow

December 2014

COVERSMALLEstNewsDec2014-v5The December issue explores progress on stormwater management in four counties, planning for sea level rise impacts on sewage plants, and why there may be a lack of willing sellers of properties targeted for the restoration of fish habitat in the Delta, among other topics.


Featured stories:
Offers They Can Refuse By Joe Eaton
Beyond the Bag Ban By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Two-Way Threat to Intakes and Outfalls By Nate Seltenrich

September 2014

The September issue delves into new science on how to identify plankton species by color, new surveys on the spread of invasive sea lavender, and surprising findings concerning PCB levels in small fish. It covers the disappointing end to a bid for Wild and Scenic River status for the Mokelumne, and the slow pace of restoration along Alameda Creek. Other stories discuss the impacts of drought on valley wildlife refuges, protocols to make Delta restoration projects more efficient, and a new film about Pelicans.

Featured stories:
Alameda Work Trickles On By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Wild River Lands in Suspense File By Joe Eaton
Defter Delta Restoration By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

June 2014

ENews - June 2014 - Front Cover - 150x194The June issue tackles new science on steelhead and mercury in restored salt ponds and screening irrigation intakes to protect endangered sturgeon. It explores options for getting more sediment to North Bay restoration sites, controlling invasive chamomile, and adapting to climate change on the ground. It also drills down into the details of balancing demand on groundwater with recycling and conservation in light of drought. Other stories cover Bruener Marsh, Ora Loma Sanitary District, and UC’s new Vernal Pool reserve.

Featured stories:
Freeing Fish While Locking Up Mercury By Joe Eaton
Hamilton Done But More To Do By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Shifts in Selenium Spikes By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

March 2014

EstNews-Mar2014-cov100It was so dry this winter Bay marshes browned, Sierra reservoirs dropped, and Delta waters cleared. California’s climate may still be Mediterranean but this year’s extremes are stressing fish, farmers and wildlife, leaving water and ecosystem managers planning for the worst. In this issue, ESTUARY explores the decline of longfin smelt, the innovative acquisition of a North Bay ranch for public wetlands, changing nutrient conditions in the Bay that could spur harmful algal blooms, and efforts to stave off drought impacts on salinity intrusion in the Delta. Other articles cover a new book on Suisun Marsh, a new community-supported fishery, and the retirement of the first woman hired to guard San Francisco’s water supply. You’ll also find a special section describing California efforts to help park, forest and wildlife managers cope with climate change.

Featured stories:
The Island that Came in from the Cold By Joe Eaton
Keeping the Salt Field at Bay By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Bay Primed for Pea Soup?
 By Robin Meadows

January 2014
State of the Estuary Conference Summary

January ENews Archive CoverThis special online issue of ESTUARY News magazine sums up two days of presentations and discussions on the health of the San Francisco Bay estuary. The October 28-30, 2013 State of the Estuary Conference drew more than 900 people to hear dozens of speakers describe everything from wetland restoration to contaminants of emerging concern, not to mention the latest politics of water development and conservation. Due to reduced federal funding in 2013, there was no paper version of this issue. Officially, this is the final 2013 issue. In 2014, the magazine went quarterly starting with March.

Featured Stories:
Choosing a Future for the Bay By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Investing in Flood-Resistant Shorelines By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto & Joe Eaton
One Estuary, Many Plans By Chris Austin
Tracking Next Generation Pollutants By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Porpoises Are In, Hybrid Spartina Out By Joe Eaton
Engineering the Delta Marshes of Tomorrow By Victoria Schlesinger
Baylands Remodels Make Progress By Joe Eaton
Mice and Sculpins Scope out New Habitat By Joe Eaton
Intercepting Toxic Plastic Trash By Victoria Schlesinger
Restoring Water Quality with TMDLs By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Managing CECs: An Ounce of Prevention By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Building Resilient Baylands By Joe Eaton & Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Delta Economics and Ecosystem Management By Chris Austin
One Delta, One Science By Paula Trigueros & Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Sharing Our Stories of the Estuary By April Kilcrease
Scaling up from Reach to Region By Joe Eaton

October 2013

Image of Estuary News Cover for October 2013This special issue of ESTUARY News magazine celebrates the CCMP’s 20th anniversary. Like the black skimmer (Rynchops niger) that frequents San Francisco Bay, it barely breaks the surface of the myriad activities that have either grown out of the CCMP, or contributed to its implementation. Even just a snapshot review suggests that almost 600 projects, undertaken by diverse partners, have implemented the CCMP in some way or another in the last 20 years.

Featured stories:
The CCMP: Long Story Short By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Fish Down Invasions Up, Flooding Soon By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
A Giant Step from Species to Landscapes By Joe Eaton
Keep It Out or Clean It Up By Robin Meadows
From Bay Mud to Building Material, From Lockdown to Smooth Sailing By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Thinking Like a Region, No Walk in the Park By Joe Eaton
More Efficiencies, But Not More Water By Aleta George
Getting People On the Bandwagon By Joe Eaton

June 2013

June Cover - 100x130

Paddling the Bay’s water trail, restoring Florida’s Kissimmee River, currents versus catamarans in San Francisco Bay, and Back to the Future for the Habitat Goals.


Featured stories:
Everglades Ease into Restoration By Susan Zakin
Cap and Trade Roadshow, Six Months Later By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Interview with Letitia Grenier: Back to the Future for Habitat Goals
 By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

April 2013

EstuaryCoverFeb2013-100pxSustaining a living estuary like San Francisco Bay is no cakewalk. You’ve got to sidestep through unpredictable things like invasive clams, seasonal flows, climate change, and restoration budgets. And you’ve got to power through the twists and turns of politics and land use debates. The prize might not be as obvious as a lupine in the spring sunlight. But it sure beats sitting out the last dance…

Featured stories:
Clams Muddle Delta Restoration by Robin Meadows
Way-Cool Observatory by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
The Laid Back Levee by Joe Eaton
Wet Feet for Silicon Valley? by Susan K. Moffat
Slow it, Save it, Sink it by Daniel McGlynn
How Wild Should Drakes Estero Be? By Jacoba Charles

February 2013

EstuaryCoverFeb2013-100pxOn the Left Coast, extreme tides are wetting our feet and teasing our brains with glimpses of a flooded future. Climate change is on a roll, and with it the prospect of accelerating sea level rise, and estuary scientists and managers are hustling to adapt.
Special Insert: California Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Featured stories:
Interview with Jeremy Lowe: A Head Start on Rising Seas 
Act & Adapt – A Tall Order for a Region by Nate Seltenrich 
Acid Waters Soften Shells by Joe Eaton
Saving Homes from Swollen Creek by Susan K. Moffat
Managed Retreat by Joe Eaton
Creating science-based tools for on-the-ground climate planning and adaptation…



Investigating the Delta’s historical ecology; preventing PCBs in caulk from entering runoff after building demolition; restoring Cullinan Ranch on the San Pablo Bay Wildlife Refuge; and managing drainage from seasonal wetlands in Suisun Marsh, which contain too much mercury and too little oxygen. Also, Japanese tsunami debris arrives on West Coast; two top scientists review key lessons from four decades of Bay ecosystem research; the Mokelumne River Crest to Coast Trail; and a Bay-Delta science conference town hall on how scientists and policymakers can better communicate.
Special Insert: Flame Retardants in San Francisco Bay, Regional Monitoring Program Fall 2012 Update



Debating shipboard V shoreside ballast water treatment regulations for California to prevent aquatic invasions; dredging around eelgrass beds, a new federal policy; cataloging creek mouths for resilience; and boating with elected officials to learn about the Bay, a teenager’s view. Also sustainable growth in the Central Valley; research on the water temperature range tolerated by hardhead minnows; a national blueprint for water trails; HOA management of private wetlands; a bioblitz of citizen science; and new state dredge and fill protocols for California wetlands.


JUNE 2012

Measuring fresh water flow in the Delta through the flow station network; restoring wetlands with school kids at Hamilton airbase; accommodating both veterans and terns on Alameda naval base; and testing racks, screens, and lights as deterrents for sturgeon around irrigation intakes. Also, levee vegetation policy; legacy mercury mobilization from salt pond restoration; the downturn in restoration funding; abandoned vessel policy; wetland activist Florence La Riviere; and new greywater-friendly plumbing codes for California.


APRIL 2012

Cleaning up derelict vessels on San Francisco Bay; burning the fuel of the future (FOG-fat, oil and grease) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; designing micro-islands for shorebirds; and studying how fast restored wetlands reach reference conditions. Also, a regional monitoring plan for restored wetlands; an ecological history of the Napa Valley; and the views of three scientists (Swanson, Rosenfield, Winternitz) on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan’s effects analysis.



Mapping two species of native pondweed in Suisun Bay; blaming stripers for salmon loss in the Sacramento River; and choosing projects to receive the settlement dollars from the Cosco Busan oil spill. Also, asphalt plant on the much- restored Petaluma River; Steve Crooks on blue carbon; climate change impacts on the Delta; and oil spill impacts on herring.