Magazine Features

Habitat Tramplers Run Amuck – Cows Versus Creeks

The water of a small stream in western Sonoma County flows slowly under a highway bridge, coursing its way through private ranchland to the ocean about seven miles away. Ducks paddle among floating vegetation, and an egret tiptoes slowly through the shallows. At the edge of the waterway, called Americano Creek, a cluster of cattle huddles under the willows. They frequent this spot and have trampled the banks to mud....

Tracking Natural Nitrogen Removal

Nitrogen inputs to the San Francisco Bay are among the highest of estuaries worldwide, yet so far have not caused harmful impacts like extreme algal blooms, oxygen depletion, and fish kills. But resistance to this nutrient may not last. Ever since the Gold Rush, excess sediment from pulverized rock has been pouring into the Bay, clouding the water and keeping algae in check by blocking sunlight. Recently, however, that protective...

Breaching Season for Hill & Dutch Sloughs, Pacheco Marsh

In the life of a tidal wetland restoration project, the first levee breach is a major milestone, a kind of graduation. After years of securing funding, navigating the permit process, completing baseline biological surveys, filing endless reports, grading and sculpting the marsh plain, setting out plants—after all that comes the day when the earthen barrier crumbles, the water makes its move, and another marsh can start to regenerate. This fall,...

Estuary Summit Pivots from Science to People

“Make the unseen more visible in your work,” urged Amanda Bohl, opening speaker for the largely cameras-off audience of 600 virtually assembled for the 2021 State of the San Francisco Estuary Summit this October. The Delta Stewardship Council staffer’s remarks at the 15th biennial conference, usually a two-day, science-and -policy-heavy networking event but this year an eight-hour Zoom summit, referred to how many things we all work on or people...

DFW 150 Years on Patrol, and Work Still Dangerous

Lieutenant James Ober worked as a fish biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for a year before joining its Law Enforcement Division in 2009. “I enjoy interacting with hunters and fishers. Most of them have a great appreciation for the resources and want to protect them,” says Ober about being on patrol. Ober belongs to the tradition of wildlife officers, both personally and professionally. His fifth great...

Fog Cool for Oysters

On bright hot days, standing in the shade can feel a lot better than standing in the sun. The same goes for oysters living in the inter-tidal shallows of San Francisco Bay. When the tide is low, the oysters bake in the sun. During extreme heat events they can even die. But in this coastal region there is one factor that could help mediate the heat: fog. Indeed, over the...
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Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss

Scientists are finding it increasingly difficult to predict how ecosystems will respond to sudden and rapid changes such as extreme droughts, wildfires, and flooding.

Writing in the June 2021 issue of San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, a group led by environmental economist Richard Norgaard note that due to the increasing pace of ecological change associated with a warming world, models derived using past data are less able to provide reliable predictions, particularly as extreme events create conditions outside historic...

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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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