Wetland restoration reduces sea level rise impacts over next 100 years in the SF Bay

sun setting on bay marshA new study led by Diana Stralberg at PRBO Conservation Science and including work done by our own Lisa Schile, projects a bleak future for San Francisco Bay’s tidal marshes under high-end sea-level rise scenarios that are increasingly likely. PRBO and colleagues found that in the worst case scenario 93% of San Francisco Bay's tidal marsh could be lost in the next 50-100 years (with 5.4 feet or 1.65 meters of sea-level rise, low sediment availability and no significant restoration). Not all marshes will be lost and restoration currently underway can keep more marshes intact as sea levels rise.

"Tidal marshes are incredibly resilient to changes in sea level, depending on how fast seas rise and how much sediment is available.  Unfortunately, marshes cannot keep up with the high-end sea-level rise predictions on their own.  They will need our help.” said Diana Stralberg, the study lead author of PRBO and the University of Alberta.

Our study was published this week in the high-impact journal PLoS ONE. To view maps of where the marshes will be under various scenarios over the next 100 years, visit www.prbo.org/sfbayslr. News coverage from SF Chronicle here. CNR coverage here.