Posts

New Maps Show How Little Is Left Of West Coast Estuaries

The most detailed study ever done of coastal estuaries concludes that nearly 750,000 acres of historic tidal wetlands along the West Coast, including enormous swaths of Bay Area habitat, have disappeared largely as a result of development. The cutting-edge survey led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined that 85% of vegetated tidal lands that once existed in California, Oregon and Washington has been diked, drained or cut off from the sea. The study, published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One, documented dramatic decreases in wetland habitat around San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and nearly 450 other bays, lagoons, river deltas and coastal creek mouths throughout the West.