Wrap-up: 2024 State of the Estuary Conference

State of the Estuary conference 2024
Joey Kotfica

The San Francisco State of the Estuary Conference last week showcased the latest information about the Bay Area’s work to sustain and improve the estuary’s habitats, living resources, water quality, climate resilience and environmental stewardship.

The 16th biennial conference hosted by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership returned to in person this year for the first time since 2019. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Regional Collaborative and the San Francisco Bay Trail were sponsors of the event.

State of the Estuary conference
Joey Kotfica

“It is so wonderful to be able to gather together again in person to address the most pressing challenges faced by the Bay-Delta region,” Caitlin Sweeney, Director of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, said. “This year's conference strove to broaden the representation of the many people working in this space, by bringing in the youth perspective and putting a stronger focus on the work of community-based organizations. In these times of such change and uncertainty, it’s so important to learn from one another and have those impactful in-person conversations about climate resilience, environmental justice and watershed stewardship.”

State of the Estuary conference 2024
Joey Kotfica

Held on May 28-29 in and around the Oakland Scottish Rite Center across from Lake Merritt, the conference featured keynote speaker Yana Garcia, Secretary for Environmental Protection at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Additional program highlights included morning-long plenary sessions, special events, awards presentations, a poster exhibit and 16 sessions focused on resilience, living resources, water and environmental stewardship.

Nearly 650 attendees represented academia, environmental research, community-based organizations, all levels of government (local, regional, state, federal and tribal governments), nonprofits and private enterprise. Additionally, high school and college students were among those receiving awards at this year’s event.

State of the Estuary conference 2024
Joey Kotfica

The Estuary Conference was preceded by a day-long workshop held in March Environmental Justice 2.0 for the Bay-Delta Estuary: Lessons Learned from EJ Expert-Government Agency Partnerships and Models for the Future at the Oakland Community Hub, attended by nearly 100 people.

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership is a collaborative regional program of resource agencies, nonprofits, citizens and scientists working to protect, restore and enhance water quality and fish and wildlife habitat in and around the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary. Working cooperatively, the Estuary Partnership shares information and resources that result in studies, projects and programs that improve the Estuary and communicate its value and needs to the public.

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