The Science of Sustainability

Tag: bay

Rough Waters for Sea Level Rise Planning

Rough Waters for Sea Level Rise Planning

What do Bay Area airports and some big Silicon Valley companies have in common? They sit right on the edge of San Francisco Bay, where sea level rise is expected to have a big impact by the end of the century.

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Gulls Threaten South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Work

Gulls Threaten South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Work

One of the most ambitious wetland restoration projects in the country is underway in San Francisco Bay. Thousands of acres of those ponds are being restored for shorebirds and wildlife.

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The Changing Bay

The Changing Bay

Peer into San Francisco Bay and you probably won't see much, thanks to the murky water the bay is known for. But over the past decade, scientists have made a surprising discovery — the bay's water is clearing. As Lauren Sommer reports, clearer water is not always good news.

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Combating Bay Invaders

Combating Bay Invaders

Hundreds of invasive species have been found in San Francisco Bay, one of the most invaded estuaries in the world. Hoping to restore native fish and wildlife, California has passed the strictest rules in the nation to prevent ocean freighters from introducing more foreign species to the bay. But as Lauren Sommer reports, the standards are so tough, officials may not be able to enforce them.

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Combating Bay Invaders

Combating Bay Invaders

California has passed the strictest rules in the country to prevent ocean freighters from introducing more foreign species to the bay. But the standards are so tough, officials may not be able to enforce them.

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Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Scientists say it's no secret San Francisco Bay is rising, along with all of the earth's oceans. The reason — global warming. This rise in sea level will affect everyone who lives, works, or plays near the bay. QUEST asks how high will the Bay rise and when? And what steps can communities take to plan for it?

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Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Web Extra: Exploring the Bay Lab

Join the Bay Lab field trip as fifth graders study the San Francisco Bay's mudflats and eelgrass beds with the help of seine nets, hip wader boots, microscopes, and mud core samplers.

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The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

Wetlands — they are possibly the most diverse ecosystems on the plant, according to environmental scientists.

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Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Less sediment in the bay means there's less for the wetlands, which could be an issue. But there's one thing that makes it worse: sea level rise.

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Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Mercury in San Francisco Bay

There's a hidden danger in San Francisco bay: mercury. A potent neurotoxin that can cause serious illness, mercury has been flowing into the bay since the mining days of the Gold Rush Era. It has settled in the bay's mud and made its way up the food chain, endangering wildlife and making many fish unsafe to eat. Now a multi-billion-dollar plan aims to clean it up. But will it work?

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QUEST Quiz: Sewage

QUEST Quiz: Sewage

If you live in Oakland, how long does it take for sewage to flow from your house, through the EBMUD plant and into the bay?

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Wastewater Woes: Sewage Spills in SF Bay

Wastewater Woes: Sewage Spills in SF Bay

What happens when you flush the toilet? For most of us, what's out of sight is out of mind. But large numbers of sewage spills into San Francisco Bay are forcing cities, water agencies and the public to take a closer look at wastewater and its impacts on the health of the bay.

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Sewage Spills Increasing

Sewage Spills Increasing

How much sewage makes its way into our water? Plenty. Statewide, it's likely that last year's record number, 20 million gallons of raw sewage dumped in California waterways, is going to be broken this year. Decrepit pipes, lack of money and the growing severity of storms could all add up to a disaster of septic proportions.

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Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

Web Extra: Citizen Science – Mud Snails

They spend hours in the mud in search of a tiny snail. Meet the volunteers working with the Bay Institute to eradicate an invasive Japanese mud snail on the shores of San Francisco Bay.

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Redesigning the Bay

Redesigning the Bay

The predictions for climate change all warn that San Francisco Bay waters will rise. The latest estimate is the bay will be about 5 feet higher by the end of this century, and 16 inches higher by 2050. If the water rises high enough, a lot of expensive Bay-front property could be inundated. What can we do about it? And how do we plan for that? That's the subject of an innovative design contest that launches this week.

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Reporter's Notes: Redesigning the Bay

Reporter's Notes: Redesigning the Bay

The most recent estimate looks pretty dire. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), a state planning agency, says it expects San Francisco Bay to rise about 16 inches by 2050, and 55 inches by the end of the century.

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6 MORE Simple Things You Can Do to Help the Bay: Conservation Edition

6 MORE Simple Things You Can Do to Help the Bay: Conservation Edition

I hadn't been working at The Bay Institute long when our then Executive Director dropped a packet of information on my desk and asked me to draft a letter. The topic? Urinals.

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Mercury Poisoning: Interview with Dr. Jane Hightower (web only)

Mercury Poisoning: Interview with Dr. Jane Hightower (web only)

Dr Jane Hightower was one of the first Bay Area doctors to start diagnosing mercury poisoning in her patients. In this audio clip, she explains how to know if you might be getting too much mercury from the fish you eat. And, she tells us what she feeds her 10-year old twin boys. (Hint: No tuna fish sandwiches in the Hightower home.)

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Mercury in the Bay – Part 2

Mercury in the Bay – Part 2

Last week, we took a look at how mercury enters the San Francisco Bay. This week: Now that it's here, how is it affecting us? Quest talks to local fisherman, a physician, and a Bay ecologist to find out how we're contending with the Bay's worst toxin.

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Sewage Happens

Sewage Happens

Last month, a Mill Valley wastewater treatment plant dumped five million gallons of sewage into the San Francisco Bay. The real shocker: Sewage spills happen all the time, even in the eco-conscious Bay Area.

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