San Francisco State UniversityWeb A-ZFind it Fast

SF State News
News Home
SFSU in the News
Events Calendar
Gator Sports News

Expert commentary
Iraq Experts

For Journalists
News Releases
Faculty Experts
Public Affairs Staff

For Faculty
Submit a News Item
Be an Expert Source
Working with the  Media

SFSU Publications
First Monday

Public Affairs


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."

Estuarine habitats -- 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.

The Reserve is a tremendous opportunity for both the resources and residents of San Francisco Bay, said Jaime Kooser, who was named SF Bay NERR manager in May. "It's an exciting time to be working on tidal marsh restoration science and promoting stewardship of the San Francisco estuary." Kooser noted that the partnership hopes to add more sites in the future.

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."

-- Ellen Griffin
Photo top right: Tom Parker


San Francisco State University Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132    (415) 338-1111
Last modified October 8, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs