Bay Nature often publishes special topic-focused sections that appear both in our magazine and as stand-alone publications on topics ranging from local climate change research to native plant gardening to making the outdoors accessible to people with disabilities.
Half a century after activists stopped the filling of San Francisco Bay, the region is in the midst of an ambitious effort to restore some 100,000 acres of former Bay wetlands, the largest such undertaking on the West Coast. What have we learned so far about the art and science of restoration? And what challenges lie ahead, given the dual threats of rising seas and shrinking budgets?
We mark Point Reyes National Seashore’s 50th anniversary by looking at the peninsula’s signature habitats through the eyes of five noted authors: Introduction and estero by Jules Evens, outer coast by Claire Peaslee, bishop pine forest by David Rains Wallace, shrublands by Judith Lowry, and grasslands by Greg Sarris.
Some 70 state parks were scheduled to be closed on July 1, 2012. But determined action by park-loving citizens around the state has succeeded in getting some parks removed from that list and has opened a discussion of the relationship between public parks and the people they serve. We visit four parks around the state to see what the future might hold for our beloved, but beleaguered, state parks.
In this section, we survey the farms and ranches that still make up some 40 percent of the Bay Area’s land mass and grow enough food to feed millions of people.
When it comes to the challenge of preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, population growth, and other pressures, you have to think big. A new regional plan does just that with a proposal for a comprehensive Conservation Lands Network whose implementation would help ensure the preservation of diverse habitats essential for the survival of healthy populations of native species.
About the only thing people agree on about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta–the subject of countless white papers, editorials, and political debates–is that it’s in a heap of trouble. But this 1,000-square-mile patchwork of islands, sloughs, wetlands, and farmlands is also a rich and complex–if highly altered–ecosystem at the core of the San Francisco Estuary. Here we take a look behind today’s news to understand what the Delta once was, how it has been changed, and what it might become . . . with a lot of help from its friends.
Make getting there part of the adventure with our updated map of the region’s transit-accessible trails. From backpacking on Mount Diablo to strolling the Bay shore in Mountain View, there are many ways to get outdoors without adding to your carbon footprint.
Though we may not be able to detect it on a day-to-day basis, climate change has come to the Bay Area and is already leaving its mark on local ecosystems: rising tides in the Bay, increasingly severe wildfires, acidification of ocean waters. While it may be too late to avoid global warming’s early stages, there is a lot we can do to both understand and mitigate its impacts on our landscapes and watersheds. With the support of world-class research institutions and an active environmental movement, Bay Area scientists are taking the lead in this crucial effort.
Where in the Bay Area might you find both the smallest and the largest animals on the planet? In the ocean waters off our shore, where the upwelling of cold nutrient-rich water feeds a most spectacular gathering of wildlife, from tiny one-celled phytoplankton to 100-foot-long kelp strands to 85-foot-long blue whales. But despite the ocean’s vastness and diversity, it has not escaped the impact of a growing human population along its edge. Fortunately, a tidal wave of action by ocean advocates is now leading to stronger protections for our state’s marine ecosystems.
Though they get a lot less attention than their South Bay counterparts, the ongoing restoration efforts in the North Bay, particularly along the Highway 37 corridor near San Pablo Bay, are guided by the same bold vision of bringing back large swaths of the wildlife-rich wetlands that once characterized much of the San Francisco Bay shoreline.