Getting to the Bottom of the Bay

photo:Rich Mooi on boat
Rich Mooi aboard the "Lucile," acquired from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to allow deep-water collections.

You can't know what you've lost, unless you know what you started with. This catch-phrase is quickly becoming a worldwide mantra, as surveys of the Earth's biodiversity are becoming top priority to preserve our wildlife and natural resources. Thus was born SF Bay: 2K, an Academy initiative to inventory all the creatures, from sponges to fishes, in San Francisco Bay, one of the largest estuaries in the nation.

The ongoing inventory, when compared to the Academy's historical records, will identify not only what species have been lost but what have been introduced, creating an accurate picture of the Bay's health. It will also track seasonal fluctuations in species diversity. Initial sampling in September indicated a rich variety of animals though many exotics.

From shore and by boat, Academy invertebrate zoologist Richard Mooi, who is leading a multi-department Academy team, plans to gather area educators and students to assist in collecting, teaching them field research in the process. From these collections, the Academy will publish comprehensive printed and web-based field guides which other institutions, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and United States Geological Survey, can then use to study the Bay further. Updated exhibits of the Bay's creatures will be on display at the Steinhart Aquarium.

map of San francisco Bay
Researchers will be sampling the entire Bay, from the shores of Vallejo to Alviso Marina.

Additional sampling points include: Presidio Marina; Pier 39 Marina; Misson Rock Resort Docks; Penninsula Marina, Redwood Creek; USGS Dock, Redwood Creek; Fruitvale Bridge; Taney Marina, Coast Guard Island; Ballena Bay Marina, Alameda; Crown Beach; Emeryville Marina; Berkeley Aquatic Park; Richmond Marina Boat Launch; Point Molate; Point San Pablo; Vallejo Boat Launch; Martinez Marina; ANtioch Marina; Suisan City; Petaluma Marina; Loch Lomand Marina; JFK Boat Launch, Napa River; Main St. Dock, Napa River; Kiel Cove, Tiburon; Romberg-Tiburon Center; Angel Island Ferry Dock; Treasure Island Marina.