Global shipping traffic in and out of San Francisco Bay continues, which means a higher risk of introducing more invasive species.
In 1849, the Gold Rush brought over 700 ships carrying fortune-seeking gold miners to the San Francisco Bay Area looking to “strike it rich.” Little did they know that historical events like this, and a boom in the maritime industry, would bring an influx of vessels carrying tiny aquatic hitchhikers. Today, after a century and a half of maritime industry, San Francisco Bay is now home to more invasive species than any estuary in the world.
If you’ve visited the rocky California coast at low tide, you’ve probably seen, stepped on, and stuck fingers into carpets of aggregating sea anemones, or sea flowers. These elegant and colorful masses of tentacles, ever-present in the intertidal, close up during low tide to present as dark green blobs.
About 85% of the West Coast’s estuaries, which provide vital habitat for a diverse set of wildlife and various benefits for humans, have been lost in large part because of development.
Captain of the Ship – a woman at the helm
An interview with Estuary & Ocean Science Center's Amanda Dostie by staff members Aimee Good and Sarah Ferner
On a recent sunny day, we pounded large wooden branches into the sand and mud next to newly planted shrubs at a salt marsh in a northern part of San Francisco Bay. Our research lab, led by Dr. Katharyn Boyer at San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science (EOS) Center, was testing whether an endangered plant with a propensity to climb can help provide endangered animals with refuge from increasingly rising seas.
Dr. Wim Kimmerer’s publications featured in “Ten Essential Bay–Delta Articles”. His publication from 2009 “Is the Response of Estuarine Nekton to Freshwater flow in the San Francisco Estuary explained by variation in habitat volume?” was included as one of the ten essential papers.
The conservation work of our faculty, students and staff reaches far and wide, bridging generations, across the Bay Area, both at work and at home.
Our own Dr. Mike Vasey (Director of the SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve) helped save the land at Mori Point [San Mateo Co.] in 2000. Now his daughter Georgia Vasey works for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy stewarding that land nearly every day.
Interview anyone of any stripe about the Giant Marsh living shorelines project and the same two words will be in every other sentence: high tide.
Study shows that predicted future ocean conditions make tiny algae, vital to ocean food webs, less nutritious
A new experiment by San Francisco State University scientists shows that the oceans of the future may make some types of microscopic algae poor eating for the creatures that feed on them, a shift that would have a big impact on fish and other marine animals we eat.
San Francisco Bay enthusiasts are pleased that the waters of San Francisco Bay are becoming cleaner and clearer, but researchers are worried that this might invite a new problem – blooms of toxic phytoplankton. Although these microscopic, toxin-producing algae are already found in the Bay, with clearer waters permitting more light to reach these photosynthetic algae, it’s feared that the Bay could turn into a toxic soup of both freshwater and marine harmful algae, potentially impacting shellfish and even the marine mammals that are finally starting to re-populate the Bay.