Wrap-up: 2024 San Francisco Estuary Conference

Speakers at the "How to Protect Your Community: Case Studies in Community Resilience" session of the 2024 State of the Estuary Conference.

The 16th biennial State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference, hosted by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, returned 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 are sponsors of this year’s event.

The State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference showcases 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.

Held on May 28 and May 29 at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 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.

“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,” said Caitlin Sweeney, Director of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. “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.”

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.