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Feb. 3, 2011: South Bay Science Symposium (Menlo Park, CA) (Feb 03, 2011)

UPDATE February 09, 2011:  Videos of the conference presentations are now online for public viewing at

South Bay Science Symposium 2011
Hosted by the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

Thursday, February 3, 2011
8:15 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. PST

Auditorium 3, U.S. Geological Survey campus
345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park

USGS scientists will be among the speakers at the 2011 South Bay Science Symposium, to be held on February 3 at the USGS Menlo Park campus in California.  The event is open to the public, and will feature speakers from agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California, San Jose State University, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and Coastal Conservancy.  

This series of talks is hosted by the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, a multiagency effort overseeing some 15,000 acres of land in southern San Francisco Bay formerly controlled by hunting clubs and salt producers -- and restoring much of them to their original tidal wetland ecosystems. As a whole, the project is the largest tidal wetland restoration project in the West Coast.

In 2003, much of this crucial acreage was secured with funding from federal and state agencies, private foundations and congressional appropriations championed by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Restored as estuarine marshes with natural tidal cycles, these vast expanses of wetlands will provide valuable ecosystem services to local communities, such as natural flood control, sediment trapping and habitat for waterfowl and endangered species.  

Researchers from USGS and other federal, state and local institutions will study these habitats to track the effect of habitat restoration on the local ecosystem. Laura Valoppi of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center serves as lead scientist for the overall project.

Presenters at the symposium will discuss their research progress in southern San Francisco Bay. From USGS, they include Josh Ackerman, whose team is studying mercury contamination as well as waterbird nesting, and John Takekawa, whose team is examining the local food web as well as the impact of sea level rise on endangered wetland species. Presentations will also be given by USGS scientists Greg Shellenberger, Bruce Jaffe, Jan Thompson, Isa Woo, Arriana Brand and Mark Herzog. USGS hydrologist David Schoellhamer will be among the moderators.

Attendee registration is available at

See time-lapse photos of the project’s latest levee breach on December 6, 2010:

Watch a video of the project's levee breach on Facebook:

Ben Young Landis,, 916-616-9468

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