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Decision Support Tools

Coastal Resilience Assessment of the San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Watersheds
Lead Agency: NFWF and NatureServe
Release Date: May 2019

This San Francisco Bay Watershed resilience assessment focuses on identifying areas on the landscape where the implementation of fish and wildlife habitat restoration or conservation actions could build human community resilience in the face of increasing storms and climate-related flooding impacts. The products of this assessment are intended to inform plans and projects to increase community resilience through conservation actions in response to these increased levels of threat. This assessment combines human community assets, threats, stressors, and fish and wildlife habitat spatial data in a unique decision support tool to identify “resilience hubs,” large areas of contiguous open space that could help protect human communities from storm impacts while also providing critical habitat to fish and wildlife if appropriate conservation or restoration actions are taken to preserve or improve them. The hubs were scored based on a community vulnerability index that represents the location of human assets and their exposure to flooding events combined with a fish and wildlife richness index that represents the number of fish and wildlife habitats in a given area. Local stakeholders and experts were critical to the assessment process by working with the project team to identify and provide data sets, watershed priority fish and wildlife species, and resilience project ideas that have potential to build human community resilience and fish and wildlife habitat within the watershed.

Vegetation corrected lidar for SFB marshes
Lead Agency: USGS
Release Date: March 2019

This resource provides a downloadable digital elevation model (DEM) for tidal marsh areas around San Francisco Bay (west of the Carquinez Bridge) that can be used with geospatial software to map elevation.

Resource Document: WERC PubBrief 20190208 Thorne - SFBay Elevation Model.pdf

SFBJV Baseline Transition Zone GIS Dataset
Lead Agency: San Francisco Bay Joint Venture
Release Date: October 2018

In November 2018, the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture's (SFBJV) Science Program released the SFBJV baseline Transition Zone GIS dataset. The dataset will serve as a baseline for tracking changes to the distribution and acreage of transition zone in SF, San Pablo, and Suisun Bays, and as a means for evaluating progress towards meeting habitat goals.

The SFBJV transition zone GIS dataset (see links below) represents the baseline distribution and acreage of estuarine-upland transition zone elevations that are both (a) exposed to tides; and (b) adjacent to a saline marsh. The baseline data will be used to track changes to transition zone distribution and acreage over time and to evaluate the impact of restoration efforts. The GIS dataset not only represents the current distribution of transition zone, but also distinguishes between transition zone that is either in the backshore (adjacent to both a tidal wetland and an upland) or in the mid marsh (only adjacent to a tidal wetland).

The SFBJV hired Brian Fulfrost to derive maps of baseline transition zone from the existing Bay Margin GIS datasets (Fulfrost and Thomson, 2015). The distribution and acreages of transition zone within the Bay Margin Decision Support System (DSS) are much larger because the Bay margin GIS data not only includes transition zone elevations that were exposed to tidal action (actual) but also transitional elevations not currently exposed to tidal action (potential). In addition, the DSS includes rankings of restoration potential (e.g. habitat adjacency) based on indicators of habitat function. We used the metrics of habitat function from the Bay Margin DSS to identify a subset of transition zone that could be used as a baseline for the SFBJV Science Program. With the assistance of the SFBJV's Science Steering Committee and other project partners, we identified two key metrics (tidal exposure and adjacency to a saline wetland), as well as additional data cleanup in San Pablo and Suisun bays, to produce a GIS layer that could justifiably serve as baseline for the distribution and extent of estuarine-upland transition zone within greater SF bay.

More information can be found in the attached pdf. Baseline transition zone distributions in SF, San Pablo, and Suisun Bays can be downloaded and access at the following links:

1. GIS data (ESRI shapefile) w/ metadata (.xml) - https://bfa.egnyte.com/dl/ZtsKXQ67GA/SFBJV_transitionzone_baseline_July2018.zip

2. Interactive Map (viewing, querying, and exporting) Data Basin - https://databasin.org/datasets/09ef1c151c174c0cbf8f3f17c04de0dc

Questions about the datasets or report can be directed to Brian Fulfrost.

Resource Document: SFBJV_baseline_Tzone_whitepaper_final_100518.pdf

Mapping Intertidal Mudflats in South SF Bay
Lead Agency: Brian Fulfrost and Associates
Release Date: May 2017

The GIS dataset(s) produced and methods developed from our this 2 year pilot study provide a strong baseline for tracking changes to the extent,distribution and quality of mudflats in the future. Methods used and results can be found in the report. ESRI Geodatabase link to zip file that contains MudFlats_southbay.gdb may be found at: https://bfa.egnyte.com/dl/zvWxmyq9fo; Erdas Imagine with link to zip file that contains Apr1316_mudflats_final.img can be found at: https://bfa.egnyte.com/dl/j7wpzMmihG; and a presentation on the distribution and extent of mudflats within SBSPRP study area is available here: https://bfa.egnyte.com/dl/92Z8emSNjf

SP Bay NWR Climate Adaptation Plan
Lead Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Release Date: January 2017

Future climate change is expected to cause dramatic changes in the physical and biological environment of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). To effectively plan for an uncertain future, managers and decision makers must consider a range of future scenarios using tools and decision support frameworks that can incorporate uncertainty. The purpose of this climate adaptation project is to use the best available information to (1) identify a suite of actions with the highest likelihood of achieving Refuge goals that are feasible and contribute to larger landscape conservation (e.g., USFWS Tidal marsh Recovery Plan 2013); (2) gain a better understanding of the projected impacts of climate change on refuge conservation targets; and (3) identify the suite of measures needed to assess conservation progress and support an adaptive decision-making framework.

San Francisco Bay Estuarine-Terrestrial Transitional Zone Decision Support System
Lead Agency: Brian Fulfrost & Associates /San Francsco Bay Bird Observatory
Release Date: July 2016

This GIS-based decision support system (DSS) identifies and maps the distribution of potential tidal marsh-upland transitional habitats (aka ecotones) and ranks their value to tidal marsh ecosystem conservation. The DSS is designed to assist land managers in prioritizing transitional geography (i.e. land surfaces with the proper elevation) based on their potential value to the protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. The DSS also includes maps of transition zone distributions under Sea Level Rise (SLR) and a document providing a functional definition for transition zones.

Climate Adaptation Decision Support (CADS)
Lead Agency: SFBJV, California Landscape Conservation Cooperative and USFWS Refuge Inventory and Monitoring Program
Release Date: July 2015

CADS tools and models were developed through a participatory decision process to address complex decisions and help resource managers prioritize how to allocate limited resources across multiple habitats and species needs in the context of of climate change and other environmental stressors. The models used for the original report were developed as tools to inform near and long term resource management allocations in various habitats (sub tidal, intertidal mudflat, tidal marsh, upland transition, and migration space) under different climate and resource scenarios with the intent to maintain biotic integrity. The models and full report can be found here, http://climate.calcommons.org/cads. Using the Science Update to the Baylands Goals (2015) as the basis for securing concurrence on conservation targets, action categories, and evaluated trade-offs as well as prioritize resource allocations and categories of actions on the greater landscape scale.

Human Disturbance Impacts Report
Lead Agency: Kathi Borgmann
Release Date: September 2010

This report compiles and summarizes the impacts of human disturbance on waterbirds from over 50 studies and is meant to assist in making management decisions with regard to public access and buffer/set-back zone distances, routing of trails, and other considerations.

Resource Document: Human disturbance impacts Report FINAL.pdf