Display Project

Fate of Endangered Species in San Francisco Bay Tidal Marshes with Sea Level Rise

Project Information

Principal Investigator(s):
John Y Takekawa (USGS Western Ecological Research Center)
Nicole D Athearn (U.S. Geological Survey)
Michael L Casazza (USGS Western Ecological Research Center)
Judith Drexler (U.S. Geological Survey)
Cory Overton (USGS Western Ecological Research Center)
David H Schoellhamer (U.S. Geological Survey)
Kyle Spragens (U.S. Geological Survey)
Karen Thorne (U.S. Geological Survey)

Start Date: 2008

End Date: 2011

Project Status: Completed

Tags: "San Francisco Bay", tidal marsh restoration, sea level rise, CSC, NCCWSC, 2008, Science Project

Affiliation: NCCWSC

Fiscal Year: FY 2008 Projects


The San Francisco Bay estuary, though severely fragmented and modified, represents the largest extent of tidal marsh in the western United States. Projected sea-level rise of 0.3-1.5m poses further threat to several endemic tidal marsh species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, California clapper rail, and California black rail that are listed as federally endangered or state threatened species. Resource and land managers charged with the protection of endangered species and their habitats are in need of site-specific predictions of anticipated climate change impacts through the synthesis of downscaled regional climate change models and available data on species’ ecological constraints. Changing sediment loads, extreme tide and storm events, salinities, and sea level rise will affect tidal marshes by altering the plant community composition and structure that provide the critical habitat for these endemic species. Our interdisciplinary study objectives are to: (1) Develop high resolution elevation models of San Francisco Bay tidal salt marshes and predict effects of sea level rise; (2) determine and quantify the likely effect of sea level rise on vertebrate endemic species and their salt marsh habitats at local and regional landscape levels; (3) evaluate whether remnant marshes accrete at rates that will be sustainable through time or whether some will be “drowned”; and (4) downscale tidal cycles to assess site-specific inundation patterns in estuary tidal marshes.

Related Links
Products & Data
  • Chapter 11: Avian communities in tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay: a review of functional groups by foraging guild and habitat association

    A Profile of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (External URL)
  • Chapter 12: Bird communities: effects of fragmentation, disturbance, and sea level rise on population viability

    Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes: The San Francisco Estuary (External URL)
  • Ecological Effects of Climate Change on Salt Marsh Wildlife: A Case Study from a Highly Urbanized Estuary

    Ecological Effects 2012.pdf (Download)
  • Extended Project Summary

    Summary_for_NCCWSC-Takekawa.pdf (Download)
  • Final Report for Sea-level Rise Response Modeling for San Francisco Bay Estuary Tidal Marshes

    Final Report 2013 (External URL)
  • Importance of Biogeomorphic and Spatial Properties in Assessing a Tidal Salt Marsh Vulnerability to Sea-level Rise

    Thorne et al., 2013 (External URL)
  • Program Summary Fall 2011

    Takekawa_2011_Program Summary Fall 2011.pdf (Download)
  • Project Overview Poster

    Takekawa Poster.pdf (Download)
  • San Francisco Bay Could Lose Marshes to Sea-Level Rise by 2100

    USGS Science Feature Top Story (External URL)
  • Takekawa Webinar Slides - Sept 27,2012

    NCCWSCwebinar27Sep2012F.pptx (Download)
Map Files

Download all map files

  • all_study_site_mask.shp [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.dbf [application/octet-stream] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.shx [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.prj [text/plain] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.shp.xml [application/fgdc+xml] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.sbn [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • all_study_site_mask.sbx [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
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