San Francisco Bay Area Could Lose Marshes to Sea-Level Rise
Featured by USGS, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program
According to a new U.S. Geological Survey report, San Francisco Bay - which has already lost the majority of its marsh habitat since the 19th Century - could lose even more marshes by the year 2100, due to sea level rise.
Researchers from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and the USGS California Water Science Center surveyed the elevation, water levels, sediment and vegetation at 12 marshes near Petaluma River, San Pablo Bay, Napa River and South San Francisco Bay.
Using a new computer model, the scientists found that 95 percent (4,798 acres) of these 12 marshes will be inundated by 2100 under a four-foot sea-level rise scenario — losing their vegetation and being converted into tidal mudflat habitats.