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The San Francisco Bay and Delta Ecosystem Program is one of several study areas within the USGS Ecosystem Program. The USGS Ecosystem Program was established to enable the USGS to enhance its scientific assistance to resource managers who require an improved scientific information base to resolve or prevent complex resource conflicts or environmental problems in specific ecosystem sites. Through multiyear efforts in each study area, USGS intensifies its provision of scientific information tailored to the specific management. The information is designed to have a direct, significant, and immediate impact on management and policy decisions. It addresses regional or subregional issues that involve environmental resources such as water, minerals, and land. The sites may have as their focus such issues as water quality or water supply, environmental effects of mineral or energy use or extraction, or effects of alterations in land use or land cover. The diversity of issues, and the inherent complexity of environmental problems, lead to the formation of multidisciplinary teams of scientists from appropriate disciplines. Disciplines in the present suite of ecosystems include land characterization, surface modeling, geospatial database management, ground- and surface-water hydrology, geophysics, ecology, geochemistry, paleontology, cartography, hydrologic modeling, and contaminant, sediment, and nutrient dynamics.

The activities of the Ecosystem Program are focused in sites and on issues that are of high priority to the Department of the Interior and to the Nation. In 1995, the Ecosystem Program began with two ecosystems: San Francisco Bay and Delta and south Florida. Chesapeake Bay was added in 1996. In 1997, Ecosystem Program activities started in the Greater Yellowstone, the Platte River, and the Mojave Desert, bringing the total number to six.

General fact sheets on San Francisco Bay and delta

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