Magazine Features

Retreat or Fight for Coastal Communities?

In the coastal getaway town of Stinson Beach, king tides and storm surges regularly put roads and parking lots underwater: wintertime events that give locals an unnerving idea of what rising sea level will look like for the small community. “We know sea-level rise is coming, but here, we say we’ve already got it,” says Stinson Beach homeowner Jeff Loomans, also the president of the Greater Farallones Association, which has been active in sea-level rise planning. Rising sea level is no longer a distant matter of if or when. Firm science and unyielding line graphs into the future make it clear: the swelling ocean is a reality that is shaping state development policy and challenging coastal communities. Pushed forward by the unstoppable momentum of global warming, repeating waves gnaw at the shore, causing beaches to vanish and sea cliffs to...

Big Projects, Wet Feet: Mega Developments Hedge on Sea-Level Rise

On September 3, 2019, Golden State Warriors CEO Rick Welts stood proudly in front of the newly inaugurated $1.4 billion Chase Center basketball arena. “A brand new journey starts today,” he promised the assembled luminaries and fans. Having built on Mission Bay’s watery footprint, the Warriors defended their new arena against sea-level rise, saying in an official statement it will stay dry in 2100 “even with the anticipated 36 inches of sea-level rise.” Just three weeks later, a massive $1 billion dollar housing and commercial development less than a mile upshore from the Chase Center received permission to break ground. Dubbed “Mission Rock,” the project is also designed for sea-level rise: 66 inches by 2100. In other words, almost twice as much as its waterfront neighbor. Over the past decade a wave of these shoreline “mega-developments” have hit the Bay...

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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