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Partner Reports

Towards a Coarse Sediment Strategy for the Bay Area
Lead Agency: San Francisco Estuary Institute with EPA funding,
Release Date: March 2021

“Towards a Coarse Sediment Strategy for the Bay Area” represents a step forward towards beneficially reusing coarse flood control channel sediment by outlining reuse challenges, and identifying incentives for participation and potential solutions. The document represents collective understanding from a Coarse Sediment Reuse Workshop, held on November 12th, 2020, hosted by SFEI, in partnership with Zone 7 Water Agency, the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture and funded by a US EPA WQIF Preparing for the Storm grant.

Wetlands Regional Monitoring Plan (WRMP)
Lead Agency: San Francisco Estuary Patnership
Release Date: April 2020

The WRMP will improve wetland restoration project success by putting in place regional-scale monitoring increasing the impact, utility and application of permit-driven monitoring to inform science-based decision-making. The Plan is the result of two years of work from a committed group of regulators, scientists and restoration practitioners.

Strategic Plan to protect California's Coast and Ocean for 2020-25
Lead Agency: Ocean Protection Council
Release Date: March 2020

The plan establishes an ambitious collective vision for protecting the intrinsic, cultural, ecological and economic benefits provided by California’s coast and ocean and identifies objectives, targets and actions in four key areas: climate, equity, biodiversity and the blue economy. Actions address issues ranging from sea-level rise and ocean acidification to universal coastal access, offshore wind energy, aquaculture, whale entanglement, plastic pollution, wetlands, beaches and fisheries.

State of the Estuary Report
Lead Agency: San Francisco Estuary Partnership
Release Date: October 2019

The 2019 State of the Estuary Report was released in October 2019 and represents an update to the 2011 report which compiles findings from 30 Bay and Delta scientists and presents a summary of the current status and trends for 28 indicators of health for the San Francisco Bay Delta estuary.

San Francisco Estuary Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2013-2018 1
Lead Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Wildlife Refuge System
Release Date: April 2019

Aerial and ground surveys of waterfowl and coots were conducted generally in the first half of January 2013 to 2018, in San Francisco Bay, Suisun Bay and selected coastal sites in Marin and Sonoma counties (hereafter ‘SF Estuary’) as part of the annual nationwide Midwinter Waterfowl Survey (hereafter ‘MWS’) organized by state and federal agencies. The purpose of the MWS is to assess the distribution of wintering waterfowl and to provide a long-term dataset for assessing population trends. In the SF Estuary survey area, the MWS assesses waterfowl use of wetlands including open bays, salt production ponds, managed ponds, sloughs, marshes, inlets, coastal lagoons and other near-coastal waters. Survey methods included a GPS-enabled aerial survey methodology (including a time stamp on each observation) as well as ground counts at selected ponds in the far South Bay. Of the twelve MWS zones in the SF Estuary, the North Bay and South Bay salt production ponds and managed ponds (hereafter ‘North Bay Ponds’ and ‘South Bay Ponds’, respectively) consistently had the highest percentages of the waterfowl and coots counted in 2013-2016; except in 2018 when the North Bay Open Bay and South Bay Ponds had the highest percentages. Survey coverage varied by year from nearly complete coverage in 2018 to only select coastal sites in Marin and Sonoma counties, and in a few units in South Bay Ponds in 2017.

Resource Document: SFBayMidwinterWaterfowlSurveyReport_2013-2018_FINAL.pdf

Watershed Collaborative Report
Lead Agency: Sonoma Ag and Open Space
Release Date: February 2018

This report identifies short-term actions for watershed recovery and long-term strategies for watershed resiliency in the wake of the October 2017 fires in Sonoma County.

Case Studies of Natural Shoreline Infrastructure in Coastal California
Lead Agency: Pt Blue Consservation Science, The Nature Conservancy and NOAA
Release Date: November 2017

This report summarizes natural infrastructure projects for a range of settings in coastal California in an attempt to address the gap in familiarity with natural infrastructure and the lack of technical guidance to aid decision-makers and engineers in the appropriate application of different strategies for different situations.

Rising Seas in California: An Update on Sea-Level Rise Science
Lead Agency: Ocean Protection Council and Ocean Science Trust
Release Date: April 2017

A seven-member working group of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team provided the State with this report on the best available sea-level rise science -- including recent scientific advances on the role of polar ice loss. The report includes key findings, an analysis of the contributors that affect how much sea levels will rise along California's coast, as well as new information on the likelihood of sea level changes based on different greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Baylands & Climate Change: What We Can Do
Lead Agency: Collaborative effort lead by the State Coastal Conservancy and San Francisco Estuary Partnership
Release Date: October 2016

This is an update to the 1999 Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals, which for the first time set comprehensive restoration goals for the San Francisco Bay estuary. Produced by a collaborative of 21 management agencies working with a multi-disciplinary team of over 100 scientists, it synthesizes the latest science-particularly advances in the understanding of climate change and sediment supply-and incorporates projected changes through 2100 to generate new recommendations for achieving healthy baylands ecosystems.

2016 Waterfowl Status Report
Lead Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Release Date: August 2016

The results of the survey will be used to set framework waterfowl seasons for 2017-18.

State of North America's Birds 2016
Lead Agency: NABCI
Release Date: May 2016

This report is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. The assessment was compiled by a team of experts from all three countries. Of these 1,154 species, 432 qualified for the Watch List, indicating species of highest conservation concern based on high vulnerability scores across multiple factors.

Coastal Blue Carbon in Practice: A Manual for using the VCS Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration
Lead Agency: Restore America's Estuaries
Release Date: December 2015

Restore America's Estuaries and Silvestrum have developed this manual to help coastal restoration project developers access carbon finance. It covers the main phases of carbon project implementation: feasibility and site selection, documentation, registration, implementation, and carbon asset management. The practice manual also includes how to address issues such as sea-level rise and other risks, and considerations for applying a grouped project approach.

The Pulse of the Bay
Lead Agency: Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay
Release Date: September 2015

The Pulse of the Bay summarizes the present state of Bay water quality and looks into the crystal ball at what the condition of Bay water might be 50 years from now. The Pulse is a companion to the State of the Estuary Report and examines whether Estuary waters are clean enough to be safe for fishing, for swimming, and to provide healthy habitat for aquatic life.

San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Monitoring Report
Lead Agency: State Coastal Conservancy
Release Date: July 2015

This guide builds upon an earlier document completed in 2014, which focused on central California and work in San Francisco Bay and Elkhorn Slough. The new guide covers the entire geographic range of the Olympia oyster, and identifies key environmental conditions that affect Olympia oysters.

Expanded West Coast Guide to Olympia Oyster Restoration and Conservation
Lead Agency: State Coastal Conservancy
Release Date: July 2015

This guide builds upon an earlier document completed in 2014, which focused on central California and work in San Francisco Bay and Elkhorn Slough. The new guide covers the entire geographic range of the Olympia oyster, and identifies key environmental conditions that affect Olympia oysters.

40 years of North Pacific Seabird Survey Data
Lead Agency: The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD)
Release Date: July 2015

This is a massive online resource compiling the results of 40 years of US Geological surveys by biologists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia released and including more than 350,000 survey transects that were designed and conducted primarily to census seabirds at sea. The database documents the abundance and distribution of over 17 million birds comprising 160 species in a region of the North Pacific exceeding 10 million square miles.

Predicting Shorebirds' Vulnerability to Climate Change
Lead Agency: Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
Release Date: November 2014

Scientists and conservationists have long been concerned about how climate change may exacerbate population declines already occurring for individual species, and for shorebirds in general. A team of shorebird and climate-change experts in the United States collaborated recently to find answers to this question through the use of a predictive model. Their study, entitled "Predicting Vulnerabilities of North American Shorebirds to Climate Change," is a peer-reviewed, web-based, science publication. In it, the team also explores whether relatively secure species might become "at-risk species."

A Guide to Olympia Oyster Restoration and Conservation: Environmental Conditions and Sites That Support Sustainable Populations in Central California
Lead Agency: State Coastal Conservancy, SF Bay and Elkhorn SLough NERR, SF State University, UC Davis and Bodega
Release Date: October 2014

An interdisciplinary team began this project in late 2011 to characterize stressor levels (temp, salinity, dissolved oxygen, sedimentation, invasive species, others) at multiple sites in two California estuaries (San Francisco Bay, Elkhorn Slough), assess native oyster populations at these sites and connectivity between them, and examine impacts of individual and combined stressors in laboratory experiments. The goal is to improve sustainability of Olympia oyster populations in the face of climate change by providing restoration and conservation planning tools.

Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning To Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation
Lead Agency: USFWS
Release Date: July 2014

In this guide a broad synthesis of scenario planning concepts and approaches, focused on applications in natural resource management and conservation, are presented. The guide includes numerous examples of how natural resource professionals are using scenario planning to consider the direct and interacting effects of climate change on conservation goals and actions.

Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice
Lead Agency: National Wildlife Federation
Release Date: May 2014

The fate of our wildlife and wild places depends on steps we take now to prepare for and cope with the growing impacts of a changing climate. While managers traditionally have looked to the past for inspiration, increasingly we will be faced with future conditions that may have no historical analog. This resource looks at how climate change already is affecting the nation's wildlife and habitats, and addresses how natural resource managers will need to prepare for and adapt to these unprecedented changes. Developed by a broad collaboration of experts from federal, state, and non-governmental institutions, the guide offers practical steps for crafting conservation actions to enhance the resilience of the natural ecosystems on which wildlife and people depend.

San Francisco Estuary Midwinter Waterfowl Survey Report
Lead Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Release Date: May 2014

The report documents the methodology of the SF Estuary midwinter survey in detail, provides distribution maps based on the 2012 survey results, provides analyses of trends in waterfowl counts from 1981-2012, and describes the GPS-enabled system now used to record the spatial locations of individual flocks. The SF Estuary midwinter count contributes to the Pacific Flyway midwinter count, which includes major waterfowl concentration areas in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Planning for Climate Change on the National Wildlife Refuge System - A Primer for Planners, Managers, and Biologists
Lead Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Release Date: May 2014

In response to Conserving the Future Recommendation 2, authors from the Refuge System, other Service programs, and numerous partners completed Planning for Climate Change on the National Wildlife Refuge System, which evolved from the "Climate Change Primer" familiar to Refuge System planners. Planning for Climate Change will be the go-to document for most planners, managers, and biologists tasked with incorporating climate change considerations into Refuge System planning documents. Following the background information in Part I, Parts II-IV address climate change planning concepts, the ecological effects of climate change, the social, economic, and cultural issues related to climate change, and incorporates these climate change considerations into Refuge System plans. Designed especially for Refuge System personnel and issues, Planning for Climate Change includes over 500 literature citations and underwent extensive review within FWS and among partners prior to production.

Tidal and seasonal effects on survival of the endangered California clapper rail: does invasive Spartina facilitate greater survival in a dynamic environment?
Lead Agency: USGS
Release Date: March 2014

This manuscript investigates the effect of habitat dynamics of hybrid Spartina (Spartina foliosa x alterniflora) and the eradication efforts on clapper rails survival, specifically in relation to levels of flooding and contains pertinent data and recommendations for restoration actions.

An Interdisciplinary Strategy for Advancing Science-based Conservation
Lead Agency: Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative, authors Lisa Micheli and David Ackerly
Release Date: December 2013

The Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative (TBC3) used the question: How do you evaluate a landscape's resilience to climate change - as a starting point to launch a two-year initiative focused on creating a scientific knowledge-base applicable to management of the San Francisco Bay Area's Conservation Lands Network. They recognized that the Bay Area's complex landscape, well known for its diversity of microclimates, required a high-resolution bio-physical knowledge-base in order to understand how ecosystems may respond to climate change at spatial scales relevant to conservation. As a result, they have piloted an approach that has produced the most comprehensive set of integrated fine-scale climate and hydrology map layers (for both historic conditions and future projections) available anywhere on the planet.

Ocean Climate Indicators: A Monitoring Inventory and Plan for Tracking Climate Change in the North-Central California Coast and Ocean Region
Lead Agency: Dr. Benet Duncan, and co-sponsored by NOAA GFNMS and US Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center
Release Date: December 2013

This report is the culmination of a newly-developed set of 12 ocean climate indicators for the North-central California coast and ocean. Indicators encompass both biological (e.g., seabirds and mussel beds) and physical (e.g., sea-surface temperature and sea level) aspects of the ecosystem. Changes in these indicators could signal that climate change is having an impact on our region and represent the consensus from more than 50 regional research scientists as well as managers from state and federal agencies, academic institutions, and non-profit science organizations. This is the first set of ocean climate indicators specifically developed for the region, which extends from Ano Nuevo to Point Arena, including the Pacific coastline of the San Francisco Bay Area. This is also the first set of ocean climate indicators developed for use by a national marine sanctuary. For more information, please contact Benet Duncan, Kelley Higgason, or Tom Suchanek.

The North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966-2011: Summary Analysis and Species Accounts
Lead Agency: North American Fauna
Release Date: December 2013

The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a roadside, count-based survey conducted by volunteer observers. What began in 1966, is now is a primary source of information on spatial and temporal patterns of population change for North American birds. The survey provides analysis of population change for states, provinces, Bird Conservation Regions, and the entire survey within the contiguous United States and southern Canada for 426 species using a hierarchical log-linear model that controls for observer effects in counting. The survey also maps relative abundance and population change for each species using a spatial smoothing of data at the scale of survey routes. Results are presented in accounts that describe major breeding habitats, migratory status, conservation status, and population trends for each species at several geographic scales as well as composite results for groups of species categorized by habitats and migratory status.

Resource Document: BBS-Review-1966-2011-Sauer-et-al-2013.pdf

Delta: McCormack-Williamson Tract
Lead Agency: San Francisco Estuary Institute
Release Date: August 2013

The McCormack-Williamson Tract (MWT) was purchased in 1999 by The Nature Conservancy with CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) funds. Though today it looks like many islands of the central Delta, it is situated in a unique position at the intersection between the historical north and central Delta, at the downstream end of the Mokelumne River delta. While it represents only a small portion (<0.2%) of the historical Delta, it lies in an area of hydrologic and ecological importance along the third largest river of the Delta, the Mokelumne River.

Historical Tidal-Terrestrial Transition Zone in South SF Bay
Lead Agency: San Francisco Estuary Institute
Release Date: August 2013

The tidal-terrestrial transition zone (T-zone) occupies the gradient between the intertidal zone and terrestrial (i.e., levee faces, valleys, hillsides, alluvial fans, and bluffs) and/or fluvial (i.e., rivers and streams) environments. The T-zone provides a number of valuable ecosystem functions and services, and also serves as accommodation space for estuarine transgression and flood water dispersal/storage as sea level rises in the future.

Horizontal Levee
Lead Agency: The Bay Institute
Release Date: June 2013

This report examines opportunities to protect San Francisco Bay's recovering tidal marsh ecosystems while helping bayshore communities manage the impacts of sea level rise. Specifically, it considers the flood risk management functions that tidal marshes perform naturally and evaluates the possibility of integrating those functions into a co-beneficial shoreline management strategy. The study's intended audience is planners, politicians, regulators, and other stakeholders with the authority to make or affect decisions that influence the configuration and use of the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The study examines the current functions of San Francisco Bay tidal marshes as well as existing flood risk management strategies. It considers how environmental conditions are likely to change in the era of climate change, and how we can adapt our marshes and our flood risk management practices to accommodate these changes.

LTMS 12 year review final report
Lead Agency: US Army Corps of Engineers
Release Date: April 2013

The San Francisco Bay (Bay) Long-Term Management Strategy for Placement of Dredged Material in the San Francisco Bay Region (LTMS) Management Plan called for periodic review and/or modification to ensure that the program remains achievable and relevant in light of changing conditions. In 2012, the LTMS agencies completed the transition to substantially reduce in-Bay dredged material disposal as well as a comprehensive 12-year review of the program. The review process involved collecting, analyzing, disseminating, and presenting data about the program's performance as well as a series of public meetings (each focused on a different key topic suggested by stakeholders) and preparation of a Final 12-Year Review Report summarizing the review findings. The overall outcome of the review process forms the basis for continuing discussion regarding potential changes to the implementation of the LTMS program.

California Climate Commons
Lead Agency: California Landscape Conservation Cooperative
Release Date: November -0001

The Climate Commons offers a starting point for discovery of climate change data and related resources, information about the science that produced it, and the opportunity to communicate with others about applying climate change science to conservation in California.

Human Dimension Success Stories
Lead Agency: North American Bird Conservation Initiative
Release Date: November -0001

The greater bird conservation community identified a need for human dimensions success stories to be shared to communicate the utility and importance of integrating social science in bird conservation. This website includes a story map of examples.