Letitia Grenier's picture

J. Letitia Grenier, PhD

Program Director
Senior Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program

Letitia Grenier co-directs SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program. She is the science lead for the 2015 State of the Estuary Report (a SF Estuary Partnership project) and the 2015 update to the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals (a California Coastal Conservancy project), heading a team of over 200 environmental scientists, managers, and regulators to develop science­ based recommendations for restoring and maintaining the health the Bay's tidal wetlands in the face of rising sea levels and other stressors. Letitia holds a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of California at Berkeley and has previously worked on investigating bioaccumulation of contaminants in estuarine food webs, the condition of California’s wetlands, and other ecological questions about the Bay and Delta. Her focus now is to work with partners to conserve California's living resources by developing landscape-­scale, collaborative, science ­based visions and solutions.

Related Projects, News, and Events

The Delta as Changing Landscapes - Presentation by Letitia Grenier (News)

The Delta Science Program, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, and the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program will jointly host a Delta Science Brown Bag seminar on October 25th

Institute's Historical Ecology featured in the New York Times (News)

New York (January 25, 2016) – In today's New York Times, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and its scientists from the Resilient Landscapes program inspired the newspaper's broad readership to look back in time to see a clearer future.

City Visions on KALW: How the Bay Area is Tackling the Threat of Sea Level Rise (Event)

Join the conversation as host Ethan Elkind and guests discuss new reports indicating that sea levels may be rising at a faster pace than predicted.  Are popular destinations like the Ferry Building and essential infrastructure like the airport in danger of flooding?  What parts of the Bay Area are at the greatest risk, and what is being done to protect against the dangers posed by accelerated sea level rise?

Getting the Word Out about the Baylands Goals (News)

Letitia Grenier continues to work with partners around the region to get the word out about the new ideas in the Baylands Goals Science Update 2015. Getting the public and the sea level rise adaptation community on board with the many benefits of restoring and maintaining the Baylands is a priority in the wake of the release of the Baylands Goals Science Update in late 2015. With the Restoration Authority ballot initiative to be presented to voters this summer, there is great demand to hear about the value of tidal wetlands and importance of a healthy shore.

Editorial in SF Chronicle: Work to save San Francisco Bay only just begun (News)

The San Francisco Chronicle features SFEI and Senior Scientist Letitia Grenier in their latest editorial advocating for renewed attention on SF Bay restoration. The editorial staff argues that the Baylands Goals provides a solid roadmap to guide restoration of the Bay's habitats and critical processes.

The Baylands and Climate Change (Event)

Matt Gerhart of the California Coastal Conservancy and Letitia Grenier of SFEI will be speaking at the SPUR Urban Center about the Baylands Goals and the implications for restoration in the face of climate change. How do we use natural features and natural processes to offer greater protection against rapid climatic changes and sea-level rise? This new report sheds some light on this critical subject:

KQED Forum: Bay Area Infrastructure, Communities at Risk Without Wetlands Restoration (News)

On KQED Forum, Michael Krasny interviewed SFEI's Letitia Grenier and the State Coastal Conservancy's Sam Schuchat about the release of the new Science Update Report and its findings regarding the urgency to restore wetlands in advance of accelerating sea-level rise. As offered on KQED's website, "the new report reveals that 42,000 acres of wetlands in the Bay Area must be restored over the next 15 years to mitigate the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, swelling tides and strong storms threaten billions of dollars worth of businesses, homes and infrastructure."

Lower Novato Creek Vision Just Released! (News)

SFEI recently released a resilient landscape vision for lower Novato Creek that incorporates habitat restoration actions into flood risk management. The vision, developed in coordination with a team of regional science experts, highlights opportunities for restoring and sustaining vital tidal wetland habitats around lower Novato Creek while supporting a high level of flood protection under rising San Francisco Bay water levels.

SFEI's new Landscape Resilience Framework outlines attributes of ecological resilience (News)

SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program has developed a Landscape Resilience Framework, with the goal of facilitating the integration of resilience science into environmental management, urban design, conservation planning, and ecological restoration. The framework proposes seven key landscape attributes that contribute to ecological resilience, providing details and examples on each.

Baylands Goals and Climate Change: What Can We Do? (Event)

On November 17th, the Exploratorium will co-host with the San Francisco Estuary Institute an event to address what can be done to adapt to climate change in the San Francisco Bay Area. The recently released report, Baylands Goals and Climate Change: What Can We Do?, offers innovative and sustainable ways to work with, rather than against, the imminent challenges such as sea level rise and extreme weather events.

From 6pm to 8:30pm at the Exploratorium (Pier 15, Embarcadero and Green St, San Francisco), the following panelists will discuss the report's findings:

Baylands Goals Report Released to a Flurry of Media Attention (News)

An update to the 1999 Bayland Ecosystem Habitat Goals, the new report called The Baylands and Climate Change: What We Can Do urges swift action to restore our wetlands as a buffer against rising seas and associated flooding. Sea-level rise will increase in a few decades. If we do not act swiftly to restore our Bay Area wetlands, our cities will be in greater peril for increased flooding and infrastructure impairment. Our highways, airports, utility services, pipelines, water treatment plants are all threatened by rising tides.

The report synthesizes the recommendations of 200 scientists and government experts on climate change, sea level rise, watershed systems and urban engineering.

SFEI featured in 5 major newspaper articles over two weeks (News)

Articles featuring the Pulse of the Bay, the State of the Estuary Report, and SFEI's work on microplastics saturate the news media since Sept 9, 2015.

Recent weeks have demonstrated the tremendous value that SFEI brings not only to the domain of environmental science but also to resource management and the public landscape. The deluge of articles covers a wide breadth of subjects, each with great urgency and relevance to issues of public importance.

State of the Estuary Conference on Twitter (Event)

In an event convened by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, SFEI contributed its own intellectual labor to the State of the Estuary Conference. Letitia Grenier served as the lead scientist for the State of the Estuary Report, unveiled at the gathering, and SFEI's scientists and technologists were featured prominently in the program on subjects ranging from nutrients to landscape resilience to green infrastructure to data and tools. By all measures, it was a successful conference.

Following the State of the Estuary Conference, a newspaper article describes the future of Marin with help from SFEI's Josh Collins and Letitia Grenier (News)

Journalist Mark Prado's article in the Marin Independent Journal reports the mixed picture of health in the San Francisco Estuary. He writes:

“In many regards the bay is as healthy as it has been in a long time,” said San Anselmo native Josh Collins, chief scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute. “But some aspects of the bay are slower to heal,” he added. “There are sill longer-lasting pollutants in the bay, but they are not being put in the system anymore.”

Rising seas threaten San Francisco Bay and Delta wetlands and land (News)

Dennis Cuff of the San Jose Mercury News wrote an article on the relationship between the region's wetlands and sea level rise. "Rising seas threaten San Francisco Bay and Delta wetlands and land" introduces Cuff's readers to the State of the Estuary Report, a 100-page document produced by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership with scientific leadership from SFEI. Cuff quotes SFEI's senior scientist Letitia Grenier:

National science experts gather to discuss Flood Control 2.0 (News)

A panel of nationally and internationally renowned scientists gathered in the Bay Area at the beginning of June 2015 to provide feedback on the EPA-funded Flood Control 2.0 project. SFEI hosted a two-day meeting with the panel that included a focused technical discussion with the project team and a broader discussion about future flood control and ecosystem management challenges at the Bay interface with invited guests from Bay Area flood control districts and natural resources agencies.

Three SFEI Scientists Present at Major Climate Change seminar (News)

Although climate change is one of many threats facing the San Francisco Bay-Delta region, it has the potential to dramatically alter ecosystem health and function on a vast scale. Among the challenges facing resource managers is to understand what the specific impacts will be and what the options are for managing the mitigation of those impacts. A range of strategies are under consideration for mitigating the impacts of sea level rise, changes in watershed inputs and changes in temperature, salinity and sediment loading.

Taming Methylmercury (News)

In this podcast produced by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, Estuary managers and scientists, including SFEI scientist Letitia Grenier, provide insight on the impact and control of methylmercury in the Estuary.

Other podcasts on the Estuary can be found at SFEP’s podcast page.