Unsustainable diversion of fresh water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta has led to the decline of endangered species, fisheries, and water quality as well as the emergence of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Toxins in HABs can kill aquatic organisms, and they also threaten human health, both in the water and as airborne aerosols. Last year, Baykeeper initiated a project to research the blooms spatial extent, magnitude, and temporal occurrence. Baykeeper will use this grant to continue documenting the emergence and spread of algal blooms in the southern Delta by using remote-sensing technology that will capture how the blooms develop and spread during the year with greater spatial resolution. This year’s work will include synthesizing research that illustrates the biological response of Longfin Smelt and Chinook Salmon to river flows and algal blooms. Baykeeper will work closely with Restore the Delta and Little Manila Rising to mobilize and train a cohort of youth interns who will collect water quality samples in areas throughout the southern Delta to document the impact of HABs. Baykeeper will also coordinate with researchers from North Carolina State and update staff of the Central Valley Regional Water Board on their findings. When the research is completed, Baykeeper will use the results to advocate for the necessary flow releases and timing of those releases before the Central Valley Regional and State Water Resources Control Boards.
San Francisco Baykeeper
Protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta from Harmful Algal Blooms
California Watershed Protection Fund, 2022
Water Resources / Watershed Protection ; Environmental Health & Justice ; Environmental Education
San Francisco Bay Area
Contra Costa County ; San Joaquin County