San Francisco Bay Joint Venture

This section of our website is a home for everything relating to climate change and wetland restoration in the bay area. It serves as a place to post relevant findings, to acknowledge our partners regional efforts to model these predicted changes, and share new findings as we plan ahead. The partners of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture are addressing climate change. A white paper entitled WETLAND RESTORATION AND PROJECTED IMPACTS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE - RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AND BY PARTNERS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY JOINT VENTURE [276 KB PDF], adopted by the Joint Venture Management Board in October, 2008, provides recommended actions by and for our partner to address climate change.

Climate scientists and the broader community finally agree the Earth’s climate is changing and that this is a mounting concern for all of us. For those in the Bay Area wetland restoration community, projected impacts of climate change including an estimated sea level rise of 26-55 inches by 2100, shifts in salinity content and fresh water flows, notable rises in temperature and an increase in the severity of storms will influence the planning and management of projects.

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we are faced with more questions than answers, questions that can only be answered with scientific research and time. They include:

  • What do these projected impacts mean for wetland habitats and our efforts to restore and protect them?
  • How will the distribution of habitats and species shift as they migrate in response to sea level rise and temperature increases?
  • How will climate change projections influence the way we design and prioritize projects?
  • What research is needed to address existing data gaps and how will it get funded?
  • What is being done to address climate change projections within the JV partnership?



Now or Never: Why We Must Act Now to End Climate Change and Create a Sustainable Future by Tim Flannery, PhD. with foreward by David Suzuki


Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning, a guide to assist in the selection of coastal climate planning tools is available from the Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network (2013).

Climate Change Assessment Tool for projecting the impacts of climate change on wetlands. CEH scientists have developed a new web-based tool to help wetland managers in England and Wales project the impacts of climate change in the next 50 years. The tool was formally launched on World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2012.




The economics of adaptation along developed coastlines - Neumann, J.E., DE. Hudgens, J. Herter, J. Martinich (2010). The economics of adaptation along developed coastlines. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change, 2(1), 89-98.


Bird Species and Climate Change - The Global Status Report: A synthesis of current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts on global bird species now, and projected future effects [3.2 MB PDF]


Waterbird Population Estimates

Waterbird Population Estimates – Fourth Edition: The NGOWetlands International has released the 4th edition of Waterbird Population Estimates, a publication based on annual monitoring of millions of waterbirds. This edition presents estimates of the numbers and trends of waterbird populations throughout the world, provides a comprehensive update on information last provided in 2002 and summarizes population data on 878 waterbird species. At a global level 44% of populations for which trend data is available are decreasing or have become extinct, 34% are stable, and 17% are increasing. Asia is the continent where concern is greatest. Waterbirds depend on a whole range of healthy wetlands along their migration routes. This makes them good indicators for assessing the status of wetlands globally. Regular tracking of the status of waterbirds helps to identifypriorities for research and conservation of both waterbird species and wetlandsof international importance. More information on content and purchasing is available on the website.

Carbon Sequestration

Climate Change Found To Have Paradoxical Effects In Coastal Wetlands (March 26, 2009) -- Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is largely responsible for recent global warming and the rise in sea levels. However scientists have found that this same increase in carbon dioxide may ironically counterbalance some of its negative effects on one of the planet's most valuable ecosystems -- wetlands.

Carbon Sequestration and Tidal Salt Marsh Restoration Compiled by Lynne Trulio, Ph.D (May 20, 2007)

White Paper on Carbon Sequestration and Tidal Salt Marsh Restoration [36 KB PDF]


Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change by Camille Parmesan

Draft CEC PIER-EA Discussion Paper Ecology and Adaptation Prepared by: Dr. Rebecca Shaw – Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy [600 KB PDF]

The Bay Area/California

(May 2013) Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECC) Strategic Plan (PDF) describes desired outcomes, objectives and strategies to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on ecosystems and wildlife; secure nature’s ecological, recreational, and economic benefits for our community; and enhance the role of natural ecosystem processes to sequester carbon, reduce flood impacts, moderate climate extremes, and address other impacts of climate change on human communities in the Bay Area.

(October 2012) sea level rise Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Report from The Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) project.

(August, 2012) The State of California released a long-awaited set of 30+ new PIER studies on California adaptation issues. This is the third major assessment on climate change in California. A 16 page brochure (1.8 mb PDF) summarizes the findings of the project. All of the detailed reports are now available at the California Climate Change portal.

PRBO Conservation Science. 2011. Projected Effects of Climate Change in California: Ecoregional Summaries Emphasizing Consequences for Wildlife. Version 1.0 [748 KB PDF]
PRBO would appreciate feedback on this report:

Indicators of Climate Change in California, April 2009 [6.3 MB PDF]

A Sea Level Rise Strategy for the San Francisco Bay Region [204 KB PDF]

Climate change research needs for the San Francisco Bay coastal sector [268 KB PDF]

Preparing California for a Changing Climate, Louise Bedsworth and Ellen Hanak, Public Policy Institute of California

Sierra Climate Change Toolkit [3.6 MB PDF]


Climate Change & Tidal Marsh Management - Oct 2011 Structured Decision Making Workshop Climate change and tidal marsh restoration in San Francisco Bay: should we restore more marshes to full tidal action and how should they be prioritized? A Case Study from the Structured Decision Making Workshop

Many Coastal Wetlands Likely to Disappear This Century, Scientists Say. Science Daily News, Dec 3, 2010.


Global Carbon Sequestration in Tidal, Saline Wetland Soils by Gail L. Chmura, et al (2003)

The Value of Coastal Wetlands for Hurricane Protection by Robert Costanza, Octavio Perez-Maqueo, M. Luisa Martinez, Paul Sutton, Sharolyn J. Anderson and Kenneth Mulder [3MB PDF]


Marshes on the Move: A Manager’s Guide to Understanding and Using Model Results Depicting Potential Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Wetlands. This document is intended for people who need to use model outputs for decision-making but who do not build models themselves. It provides a basic understanding of the parameters and uncertainties involved in modeling the future impacts of sea level rise on coastal wetlands.


Risks of sea level rise to disadvantaged communities in the United States Climate change and sea level rise (SLR) pose risks to coastal communities around the world, but societal understanding of the distributional and equity implications of SLR impacts and adaptation actions remains limited. This applies a new analytic tool to identify geographic areas in the contiguous United States that may be more likely to experience disproportionate impacts of SLR, and to determine if and where socially vulnerable populations would bear disproportionate costs of adaptation.

Sea Level Could Rise from 0.75 to 1.9 Meters This Century ScienceDaily (Dec. 8, 2009) — A new scientific study warns that sea level could rise much faster than previously expected. By the year 2100, global sea level could rise between 75 and 190 centimetres, according to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Why Climate Change Makes River Restoration More Important than Ever. PRBO Press Release. August 31, 2009

DRAFT: Rising to the Challenge - Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change [1 MB PDF]

Appendix: 5-Year Action Plan for Implementing the Climate Change Strategic Plan [572 KB PDF]

U.S Climate Change Science Program: Synthesis and Assessment Report 3.4: Abrupt Climate Change Summary and FIndings [816 KB PDF]

California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network: TEACHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE [520 KB PDF]

Conservation and Climate Change: the Challenges Ahead [168 KB PDF]

Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources | National Estuaries [692 KB PDF]


Government/Legislative Policy

The US Global Climate Change Research Program has just released their report entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the US". News release Full report and associated materials:

AB32 California's major initiatives for reducing climate change or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are outlined in Assembly Bill 32 (signed into law 2006)
Executive Order 13423
Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management An executive order dated January 24, 2007. With regard to strengthening Federal environmental, energy and transportation management PDF: Executive Order 13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management


Past Events

Check our current Events page for current climate change related events.

April 2013, National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy Webinar Recording. This is a one-hour webinar developed by a partnership of U.S. Federal, State and Tribal Fish and Wildlife agencies, with support from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

Jan 29-30, 2009: USGS and FWS – Coastal Climate Change Workshop – jan 29&30 | Resources Document [144 KB PDF]

Association of State Wetlands Managers - Wetlands and Global Climate Change, September 16-18, 2008.

Effects of Climate Change on Natural Resources in California - A Series of Seminars

Climate Adaptation From Vulnerabilities to Action - A Workshop for the California Climate Adaptation Strategy. PRE-WORKSHOP MATERIALS September 11, 2008 [836 KB PDF]

Carbon Sequestration & Wetlands Meeting Notes July 21, 2008 [93 KB PDF]

The Fish and Wildlife Service with USGS and partners hosted a Climate Change workshop in the Pacific Region Jan 29-30 2008 in San Francisco. USGS plans on putting a video of the plenary sessions, Bays and Estuaries, and Species/Population Management sessions. It is up and running, please visit the links below for directions and information. mms:// and For directions for opening the video files from the climate change workshop:


Partner Online Resources


May 2013, COAST in Action: 2012 Projects from Maine and New Hampshire. In summer 2011 the US EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries program awarded funds to the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP) in Portland, Maine, and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) in coastal New Hampshire, to further develop and use COAST (Coastal Adaptation to Sea level rise Tool) in their sea level rise adaptation planning processes.

April 2013, National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy Webinar Recording. This is a one-hour webinar developed by a partnership of U.S. Federal, State and Tribal Fish and Wildlife agencies, with support from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

North Bay Climate Change Adaptation Initiative -
Preparing our watersheds for climate change requires decreasing uncertainty to acceptable levels by effectively estimating potential changes to climate, hydrology, and ecosystems based on the best science available at the watershed scale.

Carbon Sequestration

Ducks Unlimited -

USGS Carbon Capture Farming - Carbon-capture farming works as CO2 is taken out of the air by plants such as tules and cattails. As the plants die and decompose, they create new peat soil, building the land surface over time.


Climate Change Wildlife and Wildlands - A Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators:

CREEC Network -

Modeling for Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

BCDC - Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Climate Progress November 14, 2010 - Coastal studies experts: “For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure” Front-page NY Times piece on sea level rise gets it mostly right

Sea Level Rise Modeling -

USGS - U.S. Geological Survey
A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the sandy shorelines of the California coast:
The National assessment of shoreline change: Part 4, Historical coastal cliff retreat along the California coast:
A GIS compilation of vector cliff edges and associated cliff erosion data for the California Coast:

Modeling for Wildlife Impacts of Climate Change

Localizing Climate Projections: Putting High Resolution Climate Projections to Work for Wildlife Conservation - | Video Recording of seminar (Windows Media video format) -

PRBO Climate Change Research Summary -


Climate Ready Estuaries -

Information About Climate Change

Army Corps of Engineers -

Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC) - The Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC) identifies and addresses climate change impacts on ecosystems by using science to inform adaptive management for long-term ecological and economic benefits.

Bay Nature Article: Taking the Heat - Bay Area Ecosystems in the Age of Climate Change

California Climate Change Portal -

Google Group - SF Sea Level Rise: A group for planners, policymakers, scientists, and others concerned with sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay area. Created in May 2008 by BCDC and the Pacific Institute to foster discussion and share information.

NOAA Climate Adaptation Website -
Use this site to access guidebooks, action plans, case studies, example climate strategies, tools, risk and vulnerability assessment processes, and basic climate science resources.

SF Bay Delta Google Group -

NRC - Reference List on Impacts & Adaptation, Projections, Coastal geomorphology/erosion/sedimentation, Inundation/flooding, Data & observations


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