|Romberg Tiburon Center to lead bay research reserve|
October 8, 2003
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, President Corrigan and other officials will gather at SF State’s Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies on Friday to dedicate California's third National Estuarine Research Reserve. The new San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, to be headquartered at the University’s Romberg Tiburon Center (RTC), is the 26th in the national federal-state partnership and the largest of the three NERR sites in California.
Established to restore tidal marshes and protect estuarine habitat through research, monitoring and educational programs, the SF Bay Reserve includes coastal habitats in two sites: China Camp State Park in San Rafael (1,640 acres in Marin County) and the Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve (2,070 acres in Solano County). The Reserve is a partnership among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Department of Parks and Recreation, Solano Land Trust, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and SFSU, with RTC as managing partner.
"The University is honored to serve as Reserve headquarters and to take the lead in this cooperative effort," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "It will help substantially to further understand and protect San Francisco Bay, which is such an important environmental, economic and recreational asset."
-- the areas where fresh water rivers, streams and creeks meet salt
water seas—are rich with plants and animals that
are essential to both land- and marine-based ecosystems. Tidal wetlands
play an important role in flood prevention and sediment management, and
are home to small mammals, migratory birds and fish species--many of
which are threatened or endangered.
Operating funds for the NERR will come from a $357,750 grant from NOAA, matched by $153,321 from the University. An additional $2,993,000 construction grant from NOAA will be used for renovations at Rush Ranch and to renovate RTC space for a classroom and labs.
Collectively, the Reserve sites represent approximately 7 percent of the historic tidal marsh left in the San Francisco estuary. Understanding how these tidal marshes function will aid wetland restoration projects throughout the Bay.
The Romberg Tiburon Center, SFSU's Tiburon-based environmental field station established in 1978, is an active community of scientists, students and staff who conduct scientific studies of the Bay, wetlands and ocean environments.
"The Reserve designation is the result of many years of cooperative effort, and comes at an auspicious time for the Romberg center," says its director Alissa Arp, who notes that RTC celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding this fall. "This latest in a long series of RTC scientific distinctions and contributions is a tribute to all of the staff and faculty who have worked here through the years."
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