Greg Scharff, Commissioner: All right, well Thank you everyone and good afternoon and welcome to our virtual BCDC sand mining studies workshop, my name is Greg Scharff, and I will be chairing this workshop. Our first order of business is to call the role of Commissioners, please unmute yourselves to respond and then mute yourselves again after responding, Peggy, you want to call the role?

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Sure. Thank you.
Commissioner Eisen.
Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Commissioner Gunther.
Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Commissioner Gilmore.
Commissioner Gilmore: Here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Commissioner McGrath.
Commissioner McGrath: Here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Okay, Commissioner Scharff.
Greg Scharff, Commissioner: here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Commissioner Pemberton.
Sheri Pemberton, Commissioner: here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: and Commissioner Hillmer.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: here.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Did I miss any Commissioners. Nope. Okay go-ahead Greg, Thank you.

Greg Scharff, Commissioner: All right, thank you, so today we are fortunate to have five distinguished scientists who will present studies to help us better understand the potential impacts of sand mining on the sand resources of the Bay and near shore coast. I would like to welcome them to this workshop and appreciate them being here. They have been working with Commission staff, mining industry representatives, and representatives from the region’s regulatory and resource agencies, as well as stakeholders interested in this issue to address our concerns. And we look very much forward to hearing from them. Now, as you may recall, back in 2015 we were asked to approve three sand mining permits to mine a combined total of 1.426 million cubic yards of sand annually. At that time, we had a lot of questions which we didn’t have good answers to. To answer the questions, we required the miners to provide funding to complete these studies.

Now our questions were simple, but complex at the same time. We wanted to know first of all, how much sand there was in the Bay and if it was being resupplied to help us understand whether the 1.426 million cubic yards of mining was a sustainable activity for this region, which is obviously a very important question. We also wanted to understand how much sand there was in the sand budget (that is sand coming in and going out). And if the removal of the sand was going to affect the local beaches, the sand shoals and habitat. And lastly, you’ll remember Commissioner McGrath, who is here today, fortunately, asking whether it was relic sand or new sand, because that told us something about sustainability and the source of the sand.

Now, during the workshop today, we will first hear briefly from Erika Guerra, Environmental Director from Lehigh Hansen, who will then provide the context of the mining activities. Then Commission staff will briefly remind us of the process that’s been underway since the permits were issued in 2015, and the timing of the studies. Then we will hear from Dr. John Largier from UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory where he is a professor of coastal oceanography, who will discuss the Bay’s subtidal environment and the forces that act on sand within the system. We will then hear from Bob Battalio, a coastal engineer from ESA, who will briefly discuss the formation of the sand beds and the stratigraphy study, and how it will help us understand the extent of the sand resource. Next up we will hear from Dr. Dave Schoellhamer from the US Geological Survey Emeritus, where he spent over 30 years studying sediment transport. Next up, will be Dr. Craig Jones of Integral Consulting, an ocean environmental engineer, and lastly, Dr. Paul Work from the US Geological Survey, where he serves as the Program Chief for Estuarine Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport at the USGS California Water Science Center in Sacramento. We very much appreciate their time with us here today.

Now the workshop will work this way. After each scientist makes his presentation, there will be 10 minutes to discuss the information presented. Then the next speaker will present, and discussion will similarly follow. There will also be a short public comment period at the end and additional time for discussion, but because we have a full Commission meeting this afternoon, we need to stick to the allotted time. Now I want to quickly share some instructions on how we can best participate in this workshop so that it runs as smoothly as possible. First, and this applies to everyone, please make sure you have your microphones or phones muted to avoid background noise.

For Commissioners, if you have a webcam, please make sure that it’s on so everyone can see you. For members of the public, if you would like to speak, we will have a public comment period at the end of the workshop. At that time, if you’re attending on the zoom platform, please raise your hand in zoom. If you’re new to zoom and you’ve joined our meeting using the zoom application, click the participants icon at the bottom of your screen. Look in the box. Your name is listed under attendees. Find the small hand to the left. If you click on that hand, it will raise your hand. If you’re joining our meeting via phone, you must press star six on your keypad to unmute your phone to make a comment. We will call on individuals who have raised their hands in the order that they are raised. After you are called on you will be unmuted so you can share your comments. Due to time constraints, you will be limited to two minutes. Please keep your comments respectful and focused. We’re here to listen to everyone who wishes to address us, but everyone has a responsibility to act in a civil manner. We will mute anyone who fails to follow these guidelines or exceeds the established time that’s without permission.

Every now and then you’ll hear me referring to the meeting host. Our BCDC staff are acting as host for the meeting behind the scenes to ensure that technology moves the meeting forward smoothly and consistently. With that, I would like to welcome Erika Guerra from Hansen Aggregates, to provide the first presentation. Go ahead Erika and welcome.

Erika Guerra, Lehigh Hanson: Thank you good morning everyone, I am here today on behalf of Hanson Marine Operations and Lind Marine. Next slide please. I will be remiss if I don’t start by explaining why mining sand in the Bay area makes sense for everyone. Most people associate marine sand with the construction of buildings, houses, or roads. This is true, but also important, local aggregate production is a key construction ingredient to building a climate neutral environment, in an economic manner, where new modes of transportation, energy production, and resilient infrastructure will be built. For example, we know that construction demand will continue in the Bay Area. But we also know that we’re on our way to carbon neutrality, where material sourced locally will generate fewer impacts. Next slide please.

Here are some of the projects where locally sourced marine sand has been used. They are all local to this great Bay Area. They all are key to our local communities and they all are building a sustainable environment. A couple of examples that I would like to highlight, for you today – the Napa Sonoma County Wildfire rebuild. There was significant sand utilized in that and it was, again, local. Some of the other projects where sand has been going to is the Crown Beach Restoration, the Alameda beach restoration, and the sea level rise defense. For example, on the Crown Beach Restoration Project, 80,000 cubic yards were used, and it eliminated over 3,000 truck trips, as the sand was directly placed on the beach. Next slide please.

Hanson harvests sand from specified areas of the Central Bay as shown here in the purple color, that are leased from the California State Lands Commission. Lind Marine mines the Middle Ground parcel, it is shown here in peach color, under a separate lease with the Grossi family, who owns the rights to the Middle Ground area. The two companies, Hanson, and Lind, they operate it as a joint venture – an entity called Suisun Associates on the Suisun Bay Channel area, that’s the area shown in green here. Next slide please.

There are more than 10 agencies overseeing this activity. In general terms, there are six agencies with oversight authority, exercising it through its permitting procedures. Additionally, other agencies like the Air Resources Board or NOAA, they provide input through environmental groups. This is a highly regulated activity, which is another reason that being local has reassurances that mining standards will be conducted with the highest operational standards. Apart from that oversight, both companies, Lind, and Hanson, are committed to operating with the gold standard, this is reflected in the capital investments made over the years. Next slide please.

Over the past 18 years there has been more than 25 scientific studies, most of them independent, to analyze the activity and support the permitting process. The CEQA process for the permitting of this activity has created a foundation of knowledge in many resource areas. It is important to note that the State has successfully defended the analyses and conclusions of the EIR. As to the resource areas within BCDC’s jurisdiction, the studies today for the benthic habitat and the water quality support the conclusion reached in the EIR process, and of course, the final document. Our focus now is to add to the body of knowledge in the sediment transport and sustainability area, building on the foundation of studies that have been conducted in the past. These past studies have been independently conducted as a part of the environmental review process as well. Next slide please.

Finally, we’re here today to provide an update of the work left to do and we are encouraged that it will be able to inform the questions posed by this Commission in the previous permitting process in a timely manner. These three questions that you see here on your screen, are the result of years-long collaboration of various resource agencies, through the sediment technical advisory committee. We look forward to continuing the collaboration and share any information that may be needed from the operators’ point of view. Thank you and I look forward to hearing all the scientists’ presentations. Thank you.

Greg Scharff, Commissioner: Thank you for that Erika, I appreciate it. Next, we’ll hear from Dr. John Largier from the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Sorry, really quickly, you’ll hear from staff before John goes. So, I just wanted to quickly run through a couple of slides to remind us where we are in the permitting process. I’m Brenda Goeden, I’m the Sediment Program Manager, for the Commission. Margie next slide please.

So just as a brief reminder, and I know Commissioners probably don’t need to be reminded of this, but in the permitting process, BCDC along with the other regulatory and resource agencies, look at projects and examine them for impacts to the system, both positive and negative. When we identify negative impacts, we first seek to avoid them, if possible, and if they can’t be avoided, we work to minimize the impacts through conditions. For example, the sand mining barges, as a result of the permitting process, have installed fish screens, to reduce the entrainment of fish into the system.

In cases where we can’t avoid or minimize impacts, we require mitigation and so, for example with this, impacts to essential fish habitat on the bay bottom were identified from sand mining, mitigation was required and the sand miners mitigated by removing solid fill, in this case sunken vessels, and piles and other debris, from the Crockett Marina area.

And in cases where we really have challenges in understanding the knowledge, we often require studies, and so this is the case where we’re at now with these permits – is we’ve done the avoidance, the minimization, and the mitigation through the permit process and, thankfully, have the opportunity to try to understand some of the unknowns about the system. Next slide please Margie.

So just briefly where we’ve been. In 2015, the Commission issued permits and required the sand mining resource studies. From 2015-2018, the sand mining community provided $1.2. million dollars to these studies and they did that through four quarterly installments that were placed in the Coastal Conservancy’s Coastal Trust Fund. Between 2018 and 2019, we worked with the miners to determine who the Sand TAC members would be (Sand Technical Advisory Committee members). This group worked together to take the Commission’s questions and further refine them into the management questions that were provided in the Read Ahead. In addition, we hired a study coordinator to help with the first-year work with the Independent Science Panel. Next slide please Margie.

Then, after the coordinator was hired, we continued to work with the STAC to identify the science panel members and they’re all at present here today, so thank you all of you for the work you’ve done so far and continue to do with us. And the panel members, of course, agreed to join our process. From 2019 through 2020, we had a series of meetings where the independent science panel members were educated on the mining process by the miners themselves. They have reviewed and assessed the management questions that were identified with the STAC and worked together to develop scopes of work, which became the sand mining proposals. In 2020, the conservancy solicited for proposals for the studies. We went through a bit of a more lengthy process than we’d anticipated, because the first round of studies came during the wildfires and the early days of the pandemic and many of the proposers were really stressed by the time frame that we had in coordination with those world and local events happening, and so we extended the proposal period, not once but twice, first to get more proposals submitted and then secondly to refine the proposals that were submitted and once the proposals were complete the independent science panel worked together to review the proposals with the STAC and actually provided feedback to the selected proposals to redefine how the studies were developed and how the different teams would be working together. Once that was done the studies were approved, both by the ISP and the STAC. Next slide please Margie.

In 2021 early this year, the Conservancy has been working with contracting for three teams, the three teams include the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the USGS and Deltera together in one team, University of Texas at Austin for another team and then Oh, and also with USGS in that regard, and then the third team is Anchor QEA for a modeling study. And so, last week we had our kickoff meeting for the studies, so we had the first two teams participate. The third team has not yet started, so they did not participate yet, but we anticipate the research getting underway literally this week and being completed by the end of 2022. Once the studies are complete the independent science panel will review the studies and their outcomes and develop a document with a new study coordinator to provide findings and recommendations to the Commission. And with that the applications for BCDC,
we would anticipate them coming in around early 2024 with the permits expiring in 2025. So, with that I’ll go ahead and finish my proposal and turn it over to John Largier.

John Largier, UC Davis: Thank you Brenda. So, yeah, I’m John Largier and I’m based at UC Davis and a member of independent science panel and I’ll provide just an overview of sand in San Francisco Bay or even more generally sand in estuaries, bays, rivers, etc., how does it move. I know you all know all of this, but if there are other people that don’t know it, this is establishing a common foundation, almost a primer of how it works and then up next will be the three studies in more detail. So, you’ve identified a knowledge gap in the sand budget and transport systems in the Bay, and that’s essentially what we’re all addressing and what I mean to provide this foundation for, and next slide.

As it’s already been outlined, sand is valuable in many ways. Not only industrially, but also for beach nourishment, and also for sand in place. At the bottom right is a picture from Tomales Bay but you’ll see how sand acts as a breakwater in order to protect a marsh, and so it has many roles and is used in environmental management, not just industrially, even when you are mining it. Next slide.

The real question is, can we continue to mine sand in San Francisco Bay, and if yes, you know, more or less? And basically, it’s benefits versus costs. We’re not really looking at the benefits we’re looking at physical processes. We’re not even looking at ecological and biological in this science panel, it’s all about the sand budget, the sand transport, the physical system. And so, we’re really trying to figure out the impacts or physical effects of taking sand out of the bed, and the Commission can do the weighing and the valuing of the sand and whatever, however, you will come to that decision. So, next slide.

The High-Level management questions, I think you have in your briefing paper, that have been on the screen already. These are unofficial because I abbreviated them a little bit but basically is there a measurable, a demonstrable impact on the Bay on sediment transport and supply? What are the physical effects and are there other approaches to mining? So those are kind of driving questions here, which led to the focal studies. What are knowledge gaps, the specific scientific knowledge gaps that we need to try and address, these high-level management questions.

So next slide. And the next probably ten slides are going to be a little bit of a primer. Some things are really important, and uh, sometimes they’re missed. So, first for sand as sediment, what does sediment mean, it’s particles that fall out of the water, if you put it in a bucket of water it will fall to the bottom that’s all it means but uh, not all sediment is sand so there’s a whole spectrum of sediment from very, very fine to very, very fine, so so fine that they are kind of stuck in the water, they don’t fall out of the water they aren’t heavy enough, they are not big enough, they are almost like dissolved in the water, to very very course like maybe a fist sized rock that is going to plummet out of the water. Sand is somewhere in the middle. In addition to composition, it is very valuable because of its size and how it quickly falls out of the water. So, the next slide. It’s typically it’s a good tenth of a millimeter to a millimeter, gosh I should have written this in inches I suppose. But there are 25 millimeters in an inch, so, you can just see a sand grain, and it will fall about 1 to 10 centimeters per second. You know a few inches a second. Through the water you can see it falling. And finer sediment does not fall that quickly and very fine sediment almost doesn’t fall at all, so it remains in suspension and instead moves with the water. The coarser sediment like sand or very coarse will fall to the bottom so quickly that it normally doesn’t go anywhere, but the sand is going to be moved by the fastest velocities and it’s going to fall to the bottom and get picked up and moved around.

And so, it can move in two different ways. Next slide. We talk about suspended load and bed load, and again it’s a bit of a, it’s not a false dichotomy but it is an overused dichotomy. So, there are all sorts of in between motions, but suspended load is the sediments that are floating around in the water, essentially there is enough turbulence that they continue in the water. So, this picture of San Francisco Bay here you can see the turbid waters in Suisun Bay coming out at San Pablo and Central and even a tidal jet that is circular out of that zone, out the Golden Gate, that’s all suspended sediment, it’s in the water it’s changing the water color, meanwhile, there is a bedload of sand grains bumping along the bottom that you cannot see in this picture and the physics, of how they move is a little different. Suspended load will continue. There’s a high association with low salinity water and suspended load because that’s where it’s coming from. The bedload sort of moves when you have the fastest currents, so next slide.

If you look at this picture coming out of the Russian River and this is 2019 when we had the really big atmospheric rivers and you can start thinking about all the sediment coming out of that river and different fractions suspended and bedload etc., but a lot of it correlates to what are the strongest flow velocities. So, in a river, the river flow events, like during this February 2019 event, blasted the sand out of the river. But if you are in a tidal Bay like Bodega Harbor and down out at San Francisco Bay, the fastest currents are due to the tides coming in and going out. And in actual fact, the incoming tide is a faster velocity than outgoing tide. And thirdly, along the shoreline, the sand coming out of Russian River is being moved along by the high velocity due to the waves. So, many, many modes of sand transport all relevant to San Francisco Bay. So, the next slide.

So sand is valuable because it accumulates in beaches and shoals. It also is in channels at depth whereas the fines, you know, they might accumulate into very low-grade muddy places but, sand forms many important morphological features. So, the next slide.

What is important to recognize is that sand deposits can be temporary or permanent, but what do we mean by temporary or permanent is the time scale. They can be put down, they can be moved during the flood or ebb tide and put down during the slack tide for a few hours and picked back up again, or they can be moved during winter time by a fast river flow and then put down to wait all summer till next winter, or they can be put down for years at a time, or even centuries, so you can consider any sand deposit to be temporary or permanent, so timescale becomes critical in all of these discussions. Next slide.

And the concept of accretion and erosion, I think everybody knows erosion is picking the sediment out of a deposit and taking it away and accretion is putting more into it. So, a sandy bottom can experience one or the other. So, the picture you see here is showing kind of the tradeoff, accretion can occur in one place, and erosion in another, so this is Central Bay, on the left you can see Golden Gate left bottom, top you can see Angel Island, and the red and blue patches, the study Patrick Barnard and others published between 1997 and 2008 over a 10-year period, there are red zones where the sand accumulated it was accreted and blue zones where it has eroded and there’s sort of a balance going on, at least in concept, maybe not exactly quantitatively, and then the next slide the last. The last point is that sand can form piles and we call them bedforms. These ripple things, it’s not just a smooth bottom, uh if you walk on the beach the wind forms piles as well, sand dunes, so picture those, so on the next slide I had pictures of on the left is uh is an eTrac survey of bathymetry in Central Bay. The blue is at Golden Gate, deeply scoured, the white is Angel Island and next to Angel Island you’ll see a turquoise bed erosion as the tide rips around the left of that you’ll see this sort of yellow orange banding, which is big sand dunes really uh, bedforms which are very important, because they move, and as part of how the sand moves. It’s, if your like part of the bedload, its sort of slightly different process. So, that’s the, bare all those principles in mind when you listen to this and the next uh, presentations. So, the next slide.

And hopefully somebody will be able to know when it gets too close to 15 minutes, I don’t want to run over, Brenda’s saying something but didn’t hear her, ok um, so what we are really trying to figure out with this science panel is, how does the system work, and well. not figure it out, we are starting off with synthesizing what other people have figured out into an overview. We are aware of the beaches, so here’s Chrissy Field looking towards the Golden Gate and a few other sandy beaches in San Francisco Bay. But this is not really where the action is, it’s the tip of the iceberg, but most of the sand’s down in the deeper waters and we’re trying to understand that. Next slide.

And there’s lots of sand, but what does the budget look like? I think the Commission is completely on top of this, as a question you’re asking. And the budget really is that where does the sand come from and where does it go. And if it weren’t removed, where would it go to? Maybe that’s the question. How long has it been? is a really good question, and how, how long will it stay and how have humans altered the balance. And essentially, next slide, you come to the conceptual model of renewable and nonrenewable resource. In many ways is not appropriate use of these phrases because sand doesn’t reproduce, of course. But the one idea is that the nonrenewable resources, if there’s a limited amount of input and there’s a finite amount of sand, maybe it’s the inputs are relic. But what I said, so small trickle inputs that basically zero, so you have a nonrenewable finite resource, the question is how much is there and how much can we take away before we’re taking too much away. On the other side, the renewable resource, the idea is that there is a continuous input, and you can take it away at the same speed, as it is coming in, the question is how fast it is coming in? Here, you start hitting spatial scales straight away because arguably in Central Bay it’s renewable, if you take sand out, it is replaced. But if you’re zoomed out to a scale of you know, Gulf of Farallones or Central Bay or San Francisco Bay, then maybe it’s nonrenewable that the inputs from the Sierras and from the ocean and not enough to resupply it, so maybe just trading off different places, so it’s a very nuanced idea these, but I think they’re very valuable in how the questions you answer next slide.

The, there is a basic I mean, first of all to recognize San Francisco Bay as an estuary, first of all there’s uh, it’s not a river and uh, it’s not a beach. It’s not dominated by waves and it’s not dominated by this sort of channel of water flowing down from the Sierras. Both of them are important, the next slide.

I like the idea of the butterfly. So, the, the body of the butterfly is the bay, the right wing is the watershed that you see on the right side of the slide and the left wing is the ocean watershed. So, there’s always this tendency to think about estuaries driven by the river and that’s it. It’s actually a tango between the two, and so the sand particularly so Suisun Bay tends to be more on the right wing right, it’s dominated by the watershed but in Central Bay it’s much more in the middle of the body and equally influenced by oceanic tidal processes, wave driven transport around the mouth, etc., as it is from the Sierras question is, does sand come from both sides, or is just coming one way outwards? And the Center comes down from the Sierras and from mouth to mouth, is it re-circulating, or is it new sand being brought from North of Point Reyes? So, these are the questions that we don’t actually have the answers to but we’re trying to, we’re trying to figure out.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: A minute warning John.

John Largier, UC Davis: A minute warning okay, it’s not a one-way system is a key point of this, it is not a river, Sierras to ocean, next slide.

I said that already, water and material also come in and out with the tide, so I’m going to the next, um. This uh, I just noticed wasn’t in your briefing materials and in one of the proposals and I’m not going to go through it, but there are many aspects to, uh not going to go through it all in detail, ah, to the sand processes and estuary and my colleagues will talk more about them, I think so. Briefly, the sea levels are changing, the changes in river flows, changing in historical hydraulic mining, the tidal currents are really strong near the mouth. And the places where there are scar zones, fast currents Golden Gate, you saw how deep it was there, because the currents are so fast the deposition zone in Central Bay has a lot of sand because it’s slower currents, in between fast currents there are muddy shoals, which are not like up in San Pablo Bay, not that useful for sand mining.

Waves are important. This is showing the mining lease blocks, but if you go to the next slide this was in your briefing material. It’s sort of current understanding it’s, and with every schematic, it’s a little over simplified, and so you have to think about is a better, again we see the mining sites in Central Bay and Suisun Bay and Suisun Bay channel in a kind of purple color. But you see lots of arrows, there is one big arrow going from the River to the ocean, which is a good starting point but it’s not that, one way, simple. Again, arguably, in the Sacramento River, even in Suisun Bay, maybe that is a reasonable way to think of a kind of fluvial river driven towards the mouth. It’s much more of a two-way tidal transport and then sand going out in the Gulf of Farallones to see lots of little lines around there, this idea of a Golden Gate or Gulf of Farallones littoral cell that between Point Reyes and Half Moon Bay the sand is sort of going around and around in circles. The other is all of these arrows have timescales on them so that big black arrow down the middle, it might be active during strong river flow event. But a lot of the, the arrows that are out on the ocean will be strong during the big wave events. And tides of backwards and forwards, they are around all the time, but they energetic during spring and then for week the sand might sit around and wait for the next event.

So next slide I’m rushing a little bit here, but I think I’m getting that essence of what I wanted to say. And so, the last key thing of the scale, the system, I talked a bit about this before, what do we care about. So, as in any financial, budgetary budgeting for the city or the county or the household or the country same with sand, the picture here is Salmon Creek Beach north of Point, is this part of that Central Bay, San Francisco Bay off of the Farallones sand budget? We don’t think so, but we have to figure out what scale we’re talking about, because we can talk about the mining lease area, which would be like your household budget, or we can talk about the Central Bay, the whole Bay, probably we’re talking about the Delta Bay Gulf system and seeing that as a whole. We can do it by the whole California coast, but then we go to longer time scales. Next slide.

So not only spatial scale, but what time scale we, as with water resources, will save in a reservoir for winter and summer or aquifers save water from wet years to dry years, so the sand budget maybe doesn’t have to balance every single day, of course, not all month or even season and maybe not even year, but on a decadal time scale for sure we wanted to budget. So, lots of nuances and ideas to think about and I’ve used up my time. Next slide.

Now the next three things coming up, but I think it’s been pointed out, already we’re going to talk about stratigraphy and the sand resource. What is there? And, next slide. We’re going to talk about the literature review and the budget, so trying to figure out your bank account idea, and then the next slide. We’re going to talk about the numerical modeling or computer modeling simulating the transport modeling, so we can deal with it and try out different ideas. I’ve said enough, thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Great Thank you John, really appreciate it, so we have just a couple of minutes here and we can take a few questions for John. Understanding that we do have a few more presentations coming where there will be more opportunities for questions, but I thought I’d open it up for a few minutes for questions. And Jim.

Peggy: Commissioner McGrath, Go ahead.

Jim McGrath, Commissioner: Thanks. It’s a great background, that the one thing that you didn’t mention is the importance of grain size and, of course, you know there’s some question as to how open this littoral cell is. But the deposition and the nature of the beaches, both to the north and the south of the gate are very bimodal, they have some very large grain size material which will stay on the beaches in the winter and some smaller stuff. So, could you just comment a little about how that’s being taken into account and what we’re doing from here on.

John Largier, UC Davis: Right, that’s a critical point and I think, you will get more on that in the future presentations, but I want to emphasize what you just said, the grain size is critical. And when we talk about sand budgets or where it’s coming from, where it’s going to, the fine silts and fine sand, the coarse sand, they all have different budgets and it’s arguable whether we’re getting much sand from the Sierras at any significant rate to replenish things. So, if that is the case, then, as you take sand out, it’s sand could be in the beach, in Ocean Beach I think that’s the issue I believe that in the stratigraphy, but also perhaps in all three of these, that issue will come up a few more times Jim, so let’s return to later on, if we’re not doing a good job of telling you what we do.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Are there other questions from other Commissioners, so that we can move on to the next presentation?

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: No hands up.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Okay, well, we will move on to the next presentation, thank you John. And Bob Battalio you’re up.

Bob Battalio, ESA: Can you hear me, how do I sound?

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: You sound great.

Bob Battalio, ESA: Okay, great thanks John that was that was a really good presentation, I appreciated Jim’s question as well, so I’m Bob Battalio I’m one of the ISP members I’m a civil engineer and first of all, before I get into the stratigraphy study I’d like to say it’s an honor to contribute to this important investigation and it’s actually been quite stimulating working with the ISP in the STAC and I’ve really enjoyed working with BCDC and Coastal Conservancy staff so and I think we’ve mobilized a really super group of researchers in these studies and it’s going to be very interesting and I think rewarding to look at what they come up with and try to synthesize it all.

So, getting into my part of the presentation, I will be talking about the stratigraphy study.
The stratigraphy study will address these management questions. I’m not going to read all this, but the main one is labeled 1B, which is kind of the first indentation. What is the source of mined sand in the lease areas, is it relic or relict sand or new sand transported into the system so, is it old or new? Is it being replaced or not? You know, in the questions we can come, we can come back to these, the stratigraphy study also contributes to some of the other technical questions and larger management questions, next slide please.

So, the title of the work is fingerprinting sand and its transport history through San Francisco Bay, implications for sand mining and its environmental effects, also known as the stratigraphy study. It’s going to be performed by researchers from Stanford, University of Texas at Austin, and also the US Geological Survey, next slide please.

So just a little bit of background. Stratigraphy refers to layers of sediment. Most sand probably was deposited thousands of years ago when sea levels were lower. Upper layers of the sand deposits are actively moving, being reshaped and probably have old and new sand. The lower layers are sequestered, conceptually at least, old sand, is what we call the relic or relict sand, depending on which word, you want to use. Next slide please.

So, a little bit of, kind of, historical geological historical background, sea levels were about 400 feet lower plus or minus about 15,000 plus years ago. So, if we look at the, there’s three images here, if we look at the one labeled today, we can see that today’s shore is delineated between the blue and white and the black line and the Sacramento, San Joaquin rivers delta is located up at the head of the bay so it’s an inland river delta, which is a little unusual, very unique, and then the Golden Gate, the bay mouth, is tidal, primarily with sand shoals, obviously.

Now, if we jump to the history, historically 15,000 years ago, image, we see that the blue white boundary is way out by the Farallones Islands because the sea levels are so much lower. Then, if we go to the lower left 10,000 years ago, we see that sea level has risen quite a bit, and actually rose very quickly during that time frame, and the mouth of the river, is essentially, is somewhere near the Golden Gate so at that time San Francisco Bay was probably more of a river valley than a bay, and then going back to today, now it’s drowned. Next slide please.

So, details on this stratigraphy study. The researchers will review available sediment samples, there’s about 300 of them. And these have been subjected to prior research, then they’ve been stored, the actual sediment cores have been stored. They’re going to reanalyze selected samples and focusing on the source or providence, which means you know which river valley, which mountain formation did the sediment come from and their age and they’re going to interpret all this to develop some conclusions about the both the historical and more recent sediment transport patterns. It’s a one-and-a-half-year study, $116,000, there’s no new field work. We wanted to get cores in the Central Bay mining areas or shoals, but it just was too expensive, next slide.

So, the study area is shown here, this is actually a USGS figure, if I remember correctly, but it was repeated in the scope of work proposal for the project. So, the map, shows the different grain sizes, John had this, but he didn’t have a chance to get into it, because the time limitations. So, the orange, brown, the darker colors, represent coarser sand, so you know, half a millimeter and larger let’s say. This coarse sand is located around the Golden Gate and Central Bay mining lease areas and also collocated with the Suisun Bay mining areas, in the mining areas are located here, with a green and black polygons, a little hard to see. The Brown, Light Brown, I guess, if you will, is the medium fine sand and the tan, kind of light tan color is fine or sand, and so the medium fine sand, is what we see on the beaches. You know point .2, .3 plus millimeters and the finer sands are the ones that typically are just carried offshore as John’s indicating they have a very slow settling velocity and stay in suspension. Mud is in the Gray color. Next slide please.

So, this stratigraphy study identified two kind of alternative conceptual models which I’m calling bookends. What I mean by bookends, is that you know the reality, historically, and now is probably somewhere in between these two, but it’s helpful to have conceptual models, as you go into this research. Hypothesis 1, the conceptual model on the left, shows the red line which is sand coming down from the rivers through the bay and out to the Ocean and the implication being that sand is being supplied and backfilling the mined areas. Hypothesis 2, on the right is an alternative, where the Bay is deep and sediment yield, the sand yield, not the other sediment but the sand yield, especially coarser sand yield from the tributaries does not make it through the bay, it may make it into Suisun Bay where there’s sand mining, but it may not make it all the way to Central Bay with sand mining and so the implication is that the mined sand may not be being replaced or backfilled.

I think I think that’s my presentation, hopefully, I didn’t go over. It isn’t, Okay, just like this picture, this was taken this year and I just want to point out those are waves, and that sand, and my research has indicated that sand has come in from Ocean Beach driven by flood tide currents and waves, so just something to remember. I think that I’m not going to go through this slide unless you want to, it’s a little complicated, but this is from the stratigraphy proposal and it just shows sea level rise over the last 10,000 years and this this relates to the other kind of conceptual model and historical images I showed. So, I think that’s it for me Brenda.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Yes, thank you, Bob and you did really great on time, we have plenty of time, so we have what at least one hand up and Commissioner Eisen would you like to go ahead and then after that Commissioner Gunther.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Thank you Brenda. Well, first I want to thank both presenters so far for making this so understandable to a lay person I love metaphors and the butterfly metaphor helped me a lot. I don’t know if this is the right time to ask this question or if there’s another presenter that would know better, and maybe Brenda knows the answer but I’m wondering how long the sand mining in the Bay has been going on I’m very new to the Commission, so I don’t know the history here. Has it always been at the sites that we’re talking about and we’re those sites chosen because of the nature of the sand or because of other factors? Transport, or whatever it might be. Does anybody know, though sort of fundamental I’m doing a little backfilling of my own knowledge so.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Yeah, I can help answer those and others can join in if they’d like. So as regarding how long has sand mining been got been going on it’s probably been going on for the better part of the last century and on into this century, obviously where BCDC has records of sand mining starting about 1973 and, of course, you know we started as a Commission in ‘65 so we do have records back to 1973, have recorded sand mining from numerous smaller companies that over time, consolidated into what is now Hanson. Lind Marine has been mining basically the same areas, but under different names, Morris Tug and Barge and Jerico now Lind Marine which is, I believe, the family company throughout time.

So, as far as where it’s been mined historically, there have been other areas, so, for example, there were two mining sites in Carquinez Straight specifically, which stopped in about the early 2000s, and there were probably a few other smaller spots, one off of Martinez and but primarily Central Bay and Suisun, by and large, have been the main sites and this kind of goes a little to Jim’s grain size question, but mining generally happens where there is the right grain size. So, the miners are looking for specific grain sizes, because the grain size determines what it can be used for. The very fine grain sands are used primarily for backfill, for trenching PG&E conduit etc. that’s in the ground, asphalt production, I believe, as well, and the miners can of course correct me. But then the coarse-grained sediment which is primarily the Central Bay ’s sediments, although there is a bit of finer grain finer sands around the edges. And that coarser sentiment is primarily used for concrete production and so it’s a much heavier larger sand and if we were in the office, or, I bring my little sand boxes so I can show them, they’re interesting and a little different. I think that covered your questions and, if not I’d be happy to try to answer more.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: That helps a lot Brenda and I had one other question, I’m understanding that this stratigraphy, I’m not sure I’m using the right term there, study, is going to be looking at historical core samples to evaluate what change has occurred over the time period that those samples have been collected, is that accurate so far?

Bob Battalio, ESA: Yes, well actually they’ll look at samples of sediment and look at some kind of active constituents, kind of radioactive constituents that allow them to date and also reference the geological source, so by this kind of, they call it fingerprinting, but by this analysis they will be able to deduce where the sands came from and how long ago, and this will help them understand whether or not certain sand deposits are active or very old like you know, thousands of years old years old, which is kind of a foundational question to whether or not the mined sand at the surface is being replaced now.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: And is that that those core samples sufficient to be able to make extrapolations into the future, as to what might happen with that sand and other words you know we’re, of course, all focused on sea level rise, these days, we don’t know how much and over what period of time that’s going to happen, but are we trying to not only understand what’s happening now, but what might be happening in the future because of sea level rise.

Bob Battalio, ESA: We’re mostly focused on what’s happening now, and with based on what’s happened over the last you know 1500 years this study, strategic study takes a longer-term perspective to address some, kind of, foundational questions, if you will, and helps us understand and distinguish the existing conditions from the geological, you know recent geology, more than 100 years ago, conditions. We have not really tackled to sea level rise and climate change question in our discussions so far. I think that is an important topic, actually, and thank you for bringing it up. I mean the system has a lot of inertia, if you will, it’s very big. And that question, as to how is it changing on its own right now, and how has man affected it and in a number of ways, and what will happen if sea levels rise and maybe our precipitation changes, those are important questions that we haven’t, we haven’t addressed.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Alright. Thank you, thank all of you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Okay Commissioner Gunther.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: thanks Brenda, This is great stuff. It’s really fun for a sand nerd like me. The question I’ve got, or I guess two questions. The supply of sand, so the idea that we had the sustainable conceptual model, or the unsustainable conceptual model seem to treat the whole system as one, and is it also possible Bob, that we have a situation where we are, we have the supply, that mining in both the Angel Island region and in the Suisun Bay area are sustainable, because the supplies are different. So, so that you’re actually mining sand from coastal supply and I could see if we keep digging a hole at Angel Island and pulling sand out, that sand’s going to keep piling in there now that may have been going somewhere else, and I obviously it’s not but so that’s also contain in your possibilities.

Bob Battalio, ESA: Yes, actually and the second conceptual model, I think it was, resulted in different conclusions for the Suisun Bay and the Central Bay mining areas for example yeah and, yes, that that’s an important distinction.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Okay, um, and then the idea if we’ve then got records of mining going back into the 70s, can we also use the bathymetry in these areas as an indicator of sustainability.

Bob Battalio, ESA: Yes, and that’s the next study that is going to be discussed by Dr. Schoellhamer, the sediment budget analysis, okay.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: And then, then the last question, I think, will be addressed in the future here, but I just wanted to make sure. If I remember my physics correctly, the erosive power of water goes up as a cube of its velocity, and so we have these enormous corrosive events, and I mean I did a lot of work and rivers, where the saying is 95% of the sediment moves in 5% of the flow. And so, we have this episodic system, then and we’re going to be challenged aren’t we to understand, based on the snapshots we have.

Bob Battalio, ESA: it’s quite complicated yeah, I’m sorry go ahead, please.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Well, I just what I’m wondering about is the inevitability here, given our constraints, economic constraints, you know and whatever, that are we going to be missing some of these major episodic events that influence the sand budget where we can have huge both erosion events, are huge deposition events, because of major water flows.

Bob Battalio, ESA: Well, I think, and this may come into the third discussion, the modeling study, you know we recognize that the river supply to, for example, Central Bay, may be really limited to these really big rainfall pulses or fresh it’s you know, wet winters, if you will, and because of the nonlinearities that you’ve mentioned and identify, and so I think we are mindful of that, we will be looking at that, what’s I think the modelers and analysts that we have also looked at the effect of really large ocean type events to bring sand into the bay, which is another event.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: yeah.

Bob Battalio, ESA: And then we have somebody looking at the minor tributaries, SFEI is looking at those.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Okay, I just want to make sure we were going to include this idea of the episodic nature of the sand movement as we think about not only what we will learn from these studies, but what we can learn. As there’s going to be, my gut tells me there’s going to be some constraints, based on our lack of ability to sample all the time to pick up these rare events, that that’s going to influence what will know as Commissioners, even at the end of these studies.

Bob Battalio, ESA: yeah, we’ve been using the analogy of a washing machine which occasionally changes into a discharge. So yes, it is quite complicated and we’re mindful of that. But there are significant unknowns and data gaps, partly because it’s very difficult to collect data, for example in the Central Bay taking a core sample of sediment in the Central Bay, we were looking at half a million dollars, just for, you know, one core I mean it’s a very interesting but challenging environment.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: As somebody who managed the study of sediment, did sediment sampling all over San Francisco Bay, I’m completely aware of that, and that’s really the challenge I’m getting at for the Commission is that there are limitations on the kind of things that we will be able to learn and it’ll be very helpful for me to have the technical advisory committee keep reminding me of that. That is that that there are some great things we’re going to learn and understand but we can’t characterize fully the system that is out there.

Bob Battalio, ESA: I agree, thank you, yes, thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Right, so if there aren’t any other questions, and I don’t see other hands up at this time. I will move the presentations on to Dave Schoellhamer because he’ll talk to you about the sand budget and, but I also just want to note that the last presentation with Paul Work and Craig Jones, will talk a bit about that issue that you’re speaking to Commissioner Gunther and in fact there’s a little bit of data that Paul will share with us about our latest big water year and so Dave take it away.

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: Okay, thank you Brenda, I am David Schoellhamer I’m a member of the ISP and today I’ll be describing one of the studies that is being funded for this work, basically, the study on the sand budget, which includes a literature review. The study is being conducted by a group of scientists from the San Francisco Estuary Institute, US Geological Survey and the Anchor QEA, a consulting firm. So, they’re actually doing the work, I’m just presenting some of what they will be doing in this short talk, so on the next slide.

This is the sand budget studies, so I want to just go over the very basics about budget. So we have our piggy bank, and this could be a piggy bank for a person, a household, a company, a huge agency, as John mentioned earlier, there are different spatial scales, as he put it, for what this could be, this is sort of how big of an organization the piggy bank encompasses. That piggy bank has certain income coming into it, and perhaps somebody’s job or selling a product or a tax stream perhaps, many sources of income coming into the piggy bank, and it also will have many expenditures that take place. You know, perhaps for clothing, food, housing and so on and so forth. So, we have the piggy bank of income and expenditures.

The next slide, so sort of a key equation here in that we can track this, and this is the power of budgeting in that the change in the balance in the piggy bank, the bank account goes up or down, is basically the difference between the income and expenditure, we have more income than expenditures and the balance goes up, if we have more expenditures than income, the balance goes down. In scientific terms, we say that the money must be conserved and that we can’t just, money doesn’t evaporate, in this case there is some sort of expenditure, even if it is an expenditure you don’t want, say you have a company employee stealing money, well that’s an expenditure in terms of budgeting as loss. So, with this equation, we can look at the change of balance, income and expenditures and then learn about the relative maintenance of each one of those in their many sources of income and expenditures. So, on the next slide.

John mentioned the butterfly so let’s start with sort of the right wing of the butterfly, which is the Central Valley. Central Valley is one of our sources of income or of sediments supply to the San Francisco Bay. So, I could have a couple of one more slide please, there you go.

So how we know this, is that Mallard Island, which is sort of the jurisdictional boundary between the Delta and the Bay. For I think almost 30 years now, the United States Geological Survey has been measuring suspended sediment concentrations at Mallard Island, so we know how much sediment is in suspension there. And we can also then estimate, how much suspended sand is there because most suspended sediment at Mallard Island is the fine sediment, the clays and the silts, particles that are smaller than sand. But we do have measurements how much sand is there, typically about 5% to 10% of the suspended sediment there is sand, so then we can estimate how much sand is coming in from the Central Valley in suspension up in the water column moving with water at Mallard Island with this approach, and that’s one of the things at SFEI that I will be doing.

A second way that sand gets into the Bay from the Central Valley is from the bedload. In the rivers as John mentioned, some of the sand moves along the bottom of the rivers as bedload. Basically the particles are too heavy to be picked up in a suspension, but they roll along or jump along the bottom of the riverbeds. Knowing the flow rates as we do in the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River and various theoretical equations to bedload in the rivers can be estimated. Bedload is not measured directly. The bedload is very important because that’s where perhaps a lot of the sand is coming into the system. So, with this, the researchers have the bedload in the rivers, but then they want to transfer that down to Mallard Island and so, then they will have to make some assumptions, do some other calculations to transfer the bedload estimate down to Mallard Island. So, these calculations, then the study, will determine how much sand is coming into San Francisco Bay from this very large Central Valley watershed.

Okay, and the next slide please. Another source of income, if you will, are the local tributaries that flow into the Bay. There are over 200 of these local tributaries so you can think of this as having 200 sources of income that have to be tracked to determine how much sand is coming into the Bay. Most of these tributaries there are no measurements on. There’s a handful tributaries where measurements of water flow and suspended sediment are made from. Which knowing other similar watershed properties and a numerical model that was recently developed by the San Francisco Estuaries Institute, the watershed model. Then the quantity of sand coming in as bedload out of each one of these tributaries would be estimated and also, it would make an estimate of the suspended sand coming in. This is what are the changes that the modelers will have to make to their model, right now, I believe it is primarily estimating total sediment coming in.

But in this case, we’re interested in the sand budget. Historically a lot of the sediment work done in San Francisco Bay has been done for the fine sediment, the silts and the clays, and not the sand particles. The primary reason I would say, for that as well, first, most of the sand and most of the sediment in suspension are the fine sediments, and secondly, a lot of the studies have focused on pollutant transport, how the pollutants move around the Bay for water quality reasons and the pollutants preferentially attached to the fine sediment because of their mineralogical and chemical structure. Also, a pound of fine sediment has a lot more surface area than a pound of sand. And so, the pollutants preferentially attached again to those fine sediments. So, historically a lot of the studies that myself and others have done is focused on the fine sediments because of this concern with pollutant transport.

So, with this then again, these conversions, this is one of the new things and studying will be doing is sort of dialing in the sand transport, using the new tools that have been developed recently. Finally, once they have the amount of sand coming out of, say, a particular tributary, many of these tributaries before they get into the Bay flow into flood control channels that have been constructed. And these flood control channels tended to act as what we call a sediment sink, it’s an expenditure, essentially sediment deposits in these flood control channels. So, what we calculate coming out of a tributary may get trapped in those flood control channels which are dredged every few years to clear them out to maintain their capacity for preventing flooding upstream and San Francisco Estuary Institute has done a lot of work in recent years on determining how much sediment is deposited in the flood control channels. They would extend that work to look at the quantity of sand deposit in the flood control channels and they also look at how much of that material that deposits there, is removed from dredging, again to prevent flooding upstream.

And so, part of this budgeting work will look at this flood control channel estimate – those at a point that act as a sink for sediment that’s trapped before it gets to San Francisco Bay. So, this is the second major income arrow into our budget, you have the next slide please.

Now we move from the sort of the right wing of the butterfly to the body of the butterfly. And we’re going to look at bathymetric change, basically, how is the amount in our piggy bank changing? How much sand it’s going up, or how much sand are we gaining or losing total by looking at bathymetric change and a group led by Bruce Jaffe and Theresa Fregoso at USGS do this work. What they do is shown in the upper right of the diagram here. They look at different bathymetric surveys that have been done. Here are two surveys 1947 and 1979, they compare these two surveys, they do a lot of correction for seismic changes and such on the ground level and they come up with what’s known as a bathymetric change map shown the bottom here from 1947 to 1979 this case. That shows where there has been deposition and where there has been erosion in San Francisco Bay. With this, one can sum this deposition and erosion up and determine the change in balance of sand in the Bay. So, that’s the process that’s done, they’ll be doing this for the time period 1979 to 2014 when there were several surveys done, where there was an additional new survey done in central San Francisco Bay. So, you’re comparing the 1979 and 2014 surveys to see again how much deposition, erosion is taking place in the Bay. That gives the total change and bottom sediment, and then they’re going to have to combine that with bottom grain size data that John and Bob have shown earlier to determine how much of that change is actually sand. Again we’re trying to get to the sand budget, not a sediment budget. So, with the bottom grain size data and the bathymetric change, then they can calculate the quantity of sand erosion and deposition that’s taken place in the Bay during this 35-year timeframe. So, one can do a budget as John mentioned, maybe daily or quarterly or annually. In this case, the budget would be for this 35-year period. Okay, so for the next slide.

We’ve done the inputs, the change in the bathymetry, and then on the next slide we’ll discuss sort of the primary expenditure that’s taking place in our budget, which is flow out the Golden Gate, what we assume as an expenditure. The Golden Gate is a really difficult place to take measurements. The currents, the tidal currents are huge, the wind is huge, the waves are huge, a cross section is huge, up to 300 feet deep. So, this is a real challenge, I think, Paul Work will be describing in the next talk. So, we don’t have direct measurements of how much sand it’s going in or out at the Golden Gate, so for the budgeting purposes we’re going to use the equation I introduced at the beginning, so idea of change in the balance of sediments equal income minus expenditures. We take that equation, we rearrange it to calculate how much sand is going through the Golden Gate as a function of the Central Valley’s supply, local tributary supply, the deposition from the bathymetric change, also the known quantities of dredging disposal outside of the Bay and the sand mining. So, with this, we can get this estimate of the Golden Gate sand flux.

As the next topic will be describing there will also be a numerical modeling component of this that will be used to estimate wet and dry year sand transport to the Golden Gate that we will compare to have multiple lines of evidence on how good these estimates are, and the principal investigators will compare that with the recent literature on Golden Gate sediment transport to see if these estimates really make sense, so on the last slide please.

So, for the magic questions, what this really gets that is this question of, does the sand mining influence sediment transport through the Bay? We then can use this equation, which has all these terms, quantities in the sediment budget and, specifically, look at the magnitude of the sand mining term, compare those to the other terms that are calculate using this, sort of latest, and best information to address this question about how much the sand mining actually affects the overall sand budget of the Bay; and with that I’d be glad to take any questions.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you Dave. Are there questions? Commissioner Gunther.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: For the erosion deposition analysis, the 1979 to 2014, we’re going to treat the Bay as a single reservoir with these flows in and out as you’ve laid out here on the slide in front of us? We’re not going to think about, you know, the flows in and out of say, Suisun Bay, San Pablo Bay, and Central Bay?

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: It is harder to do the budget for several embayments, as I recall, SFEI is going to try to get to that level to look at specific budgets for Central Bay. The difficulty then becomes estimating how much material is coming in and out, and you start winding up with sort of two unknowns. How much sand is coming from say, San Pablo Bay into Central Bay becomes an unknown, and then you also have the unknown what’s going out the Golden Gate, then you have sort of one equation, and two unknown problems.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Right, I understand that. I guess, where I was going was just with this idea if the bathymetry sums everything, then will we be able to say, look, based on the bathymetry there’s a net loss of sand in Suisun Bay but there’s a net gain of sand in San Pablo Bay. That is, we’ll have that spatial information to make those assessments, right?

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Thanks.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Great. Commissioner Hillmer.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: Thank you very much, great presentations, I really appreciate it I’ve learned an incredible amount. Do events such as wildfires that are happening with more frequency and with more intensity affect the elements that you’re trying to measure, including the types of things flowing into the Bay that are changing? I’m just trying to get my head wrapped around the boundless complexity you’re trying to organize here.

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: Yes, fires. The large fires can increase, basically what we call, the yield of sediment coming from a watershed. If a large enough part of the watershed burns, that part that’s burned is more erodible, more sediment can move into the stream and therefore out to San Francisco Bay. So, yes, that’s a potential factor. Maybe from the other folks on the call? I haven’t looked at the data recently from the fires to know if it’s been an actual signal that’s been seen from some of our watersheds. And that is a confounding factor for the budgeting purposes, looking at the data that’s been collected over the past years, that effect would be captured for looking at its budget from 1979 to 2014, for instance, because that would be again captured in the tributary inflow data that is available. But then, extending that out to the future, one has to make assumptions about the yield of these watersheds, how much sediment they produce is going to stay the same or is it going to change with time.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: But, just a quick follow up, does that run the risk of changing the composition of the things you’re looking at that are included in the budget, for example, more of the different types of sediment resulting from things like wildfires versus the other sand like elements so as you’re removing sand, is there a risk that you could be changing the composition more mud, for example.

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: That would be possible, that would be a pretty large effect, and if one had a fire in one watershed where there’s 200 of your tributaries that flow into the base, with the fire is limited to one of those tributaries may be a relatively small effect, but that is possible that composition of the sentiment could slightly change with time. In the San Francisco estuary we’ve had the historical 150 years ago, or so, the hydraulic mining that was taking place that made huge changes in the composition of the sediment coming in, much finer sediment coming in. And to explain a lot of the bathymetric change that has taken place in the estuary, one has to go back to that hydraulic mining period, so it is possible for humans to make watershed alterations that drastically changed the incoming supply of sediment to the Bay.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: Thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you and Commissioner Eisen.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Thank you again a wonderful presentation and very helpful metaphors. I had to formulate some kind of a question to ask you, so I could show you this, I just happened to have on my desk here at home. So, again sort of similar to my last question, it sounds like you’re going to be studying data that it already exists because of these studies that have been done in the past and that data goes back it sounds like to at least 1979 so 40 years of information. Are you going to be able, or do you see any benefit in trying to figure out if that data not only tells you what is existing now, but what is likely to exist, given what we know? The 400 feet of sea level rise, it has taken 15,000 years to occur, I think again Andy will know this, but I my guess is that that is accelerating. And I know you’re not going back to studying 15,000 years worth of data, but are you going to be able to make any predictions or judgments about how the Bay is going to change in the next 50 years, 100 years, etc.

David Schoellhamer, Retd. USGS Emeritus: One of the good things about doing a budget like this is that it establishes a baseline, like when it’s done we’ll have our best possible science understanding what’s happening with sand now and then a logical next step or analysis would be to see, now that we have this solid baseline established, what happens if we tweak certain components of this, what happens if we have more or less rainfall or more variability in the rainfall or fires change the yield of the watershed and we start tweaking those terms. So, the sand budgets are providing a baseline for answering those questions that right now would be very difficult to answer because we don’t have that solid baseline. I think it’s a first step, and a big step toward getting to being able to sort of quantitatively address those questions.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Great Thank you Commissioner Eisen, excuse me and Dave so we’re going to move on to the next presentation, which is on the sand transport modeling with Craig Jones and then Paul Work, but I also do just want to note, regarding your last question that the Sediment for Survival report that came out from SFEI, a bit of a lengthy document, but has some really important information, looks at the total sediment in San Francisco Bay and the needs for Baylands, but what it does do is it looks into the future, for wet year scenarios and dry year scenarios for Bay sediment altogether, not specifically to sand, but it will start to give you an idea of what those futures might look like based on their research and with that I want to go ahead and welcome Craig Jones and Paul Work.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: Thank you very much Brenda and I’m going to be starting off here and then handing over to Paul to talk about some additional work by the USGS. I definitely want to echo the thanks for the opportunity to present to the Commission as my other colleagues have and also what a privilege it’s been, to be able to work on this. What we’re looking at here is a multi-beam image of central San Francisco Bay and a lot of the bathymetry my colleagues have been talking about has come from this multi-beam data. To explain multi-beam, because I think that helps us understand where we’re going with it. Multi beam system has over 1000 beams of acoustic energy that essentially hit the bottom and sweep over the bottom to get individual soundings on those beams, if you imagine acoustic broom sweeping over the bottom. So, what we get from that is beautiful three-dimensional imagery like this. Beyond just pretty pictures, this is all quantitative data to so each one of the points that you see that make up this image are georeferenced. Approximately every, less than a meter, we can have many data points within every meter sediment band that tell us an elevation of that. So, here the red areas are higher areas, and the green and blue areas would be lower areas.

One of the things you see here are those sand waves in this bedform, so John and Bob both talked a lot about the bedforms that we see in San Francisco Bay. And these bedforms are formed by sandy sediment, so this is, these are in areas that we know are predominantly sand beds and that’s it sands that’s moving near the bottom that John described initially. So, by the formation of these bedforms, we can tell a lot, so it can tell us a direction of transport, and we can see here that some of the sand waves are moving different directions, where you have different shapes, different sizes and so that gives us a lot of clues as to what the directions or transport are but also what types of sediment are moving, how big the grains are, we had some questions earlier about grain size. And what forces are moving, we can also see in the middle of this image, some of the scars, if you will, from the sand mining activities, so as we’ve been talking about, we can tell a lot, by looking at how this changes over time. And the sand mining companies are very good about collecting this data regularly, and we have surveys up through 2019 to give us a high-resolution picture of what’s happening here.

So next slide please. So, sand transport in the Bay and again, my colleagues have done a tremendous job describing this, so this is just a recap, of what John talked about, with our key source of sediment coming in from the Delta, we have additional sources from those tributaries, and Dave did a great job of talking about our budget around that. And that the predominant direction is out towards the Bay but it’s the details of that that matter within areas like the Central Bay. I’m going to be focusing a bit on the Central Bay, because of course up in Suisun Bay, those transport directions are better understood, however, you can imagine, from that first image I showed that there’s a lot of complexity to what’s happening in the Central Bay. So, most of the previous research that we’ve seen in the Bay, for the reasons that Dave and other colleagues mentioned, has been focused on finding sediment. So, we really need to understand and move towards that sand transport component. And also, as my colleagues mentioned time and spatial scales of sand transport are not well understood.

Next slide please. So, here’s some snapshots from some recent work done by the USGS, I say recent it’s been about eight years now. But these are snapshots of multi-beam images from throughout Central San Francisco Bay that show the differences in all of those bedforms and so there’s geomorphic terms for these bedforms and geologists can have a great time. We have a fantastic time looking at these bedforms and figuring out what they mean. But one of the reasons we’re interested is that the sand transport influences the landforms, being beaches. These bedforms, and all this influences local ecology. So, our benthos in these different areas is adapted into what’s happening with these different benthic
environments and by benthos, I mean the critters and worms that are living in the sediment, the ghost shrimp, everything else, and, as we know, those perform an important ecological function for fish and larger marine animals in the Bay.

So, sand mining does change bathymetry and alters these bedforms and that may have an alteration on hydrodynamics, overall sand supply, grain size, and sand transport as we’ve been talking about. But as we’ve also been talking there hasn’t been a lot of work done on the sand transport so that’s one of the reasons we’re here and looking at this. So, our key goals in the transport study are to describe the transport in and near to sand mining lease area so we’re coming into a micro scale on that macro scale, if you will. And we want to be able to describe the effects of sand mining on that sand transport. Next slide please.

So, a lot of the basis for this has been work that was conducted by the USGS. So, John pulled this slide up earlier and it shows some of the erosion and deposition, so depositional areas between 1997 and 2008, so it is one snapshot in time of about a 10-year period. The red areas have gained in bed height in that time period the blue areas are areas of loss. But again, that’s one 10-year period and we’ve talked about the challenges of looking at one time period and making broad conclusions about what’s happening. An additional component to this, is all the arrows you see. So, the USGS went through and looked at all of these bedform fields and looked at the rough direction of transport and what happens in bedforms is, you have a slope side. It comes out in the direction of transport and it falls off to a steep side. So, it’s just like the dunes, we see in air from aeolian transport, air driven transport, but this is transport driven by water, so the size and shape of those can tell us the transport direction and rough magnitudes of transport.

So, the USGS did a good job of cataloging this. Further they looked at some of the hydro dynamic modeling because we know the hydrodynamics ultimately influences what this looks like and looked at where these bedforms were coincident with the transport directions. The hydrodynamic transport directions and areas where they weren’t and catalog those as well. Black is where we have good agreement between current sand transport. Red is where we see areas where the transport direction of the bed appears not to agree well with your venue so there’s some secondary processes going on here that we need to understand. Now, in the recent term, there have been four additional multi-beam surveys collected in these regions since this was conducted. So, that provides us an outstanding opportunity to look at a smaller scale of what’s happening with this transport and better inform this one study, so this study, USGS did a tremendous job and was able to pave the way, if you will, for some of the techniques. And with that I want to pass it to my colleague Paul so he can talk about some additional work that USGS has been doing.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Paul? Craig you might need to take it away.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: Yeah, we may have lost Paul. I see the message. Paul just dropped off so unfortunately is having difficulties. But the USGS has been doing a recent work well, 2016/2017, to look at the sentiment flux at the Golden Gate and Dave and my colleagues mentioned the importance of what’s happening at the Golden Gate is that its effectively a gate that sediment is moving in and out on a daily basis and understanding the net flow of that sediment and sand is critically important, so the USGS has done a tremendous job of doing high fidelity measurements over about one day period, so a full tidal cycle. From high to low tide or diurnal tidal cycle, two highs, two lows a day and looking at that sediment flux in the Golden Gate, next slide please.

So, some of their findings have been during different time periods, of course, peak water flow and in March of 2016 where we had 128,000 cubic meters per second we saw a strong seaward flow at the Golden Gate. Alternatively, during a very low flow situation into 2017, in February 2017, there is a landward flow of sediment so that gets to a lot of the complexities that we’ve been talking about, so we can take very good high-resolution snapshots and I think Commissioner Gunther had some good questions around that. But how do we put that together? So, we can look at the Central Valley, we can develop a good understanding about them, but the next step is really looking at how that that moves around on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Next slide please.

So back to the primary management questions and we’ve seen those a lot today, but the primary one here for the transport: is sand mining having a measurable effect on sediment transport patterns or magnitude within San Francisco Bay and that connection to the outer coast that we’ve been taught. And what are the anticipated physical effects of sand mining and permitted levels and sand transport, so again, or by disrupting any of those bedforms, are we disrupting those bedforms, and if we’re disrupting those bedforms, does that have, what affects those have etc.?

So, the scope of work for these two organizations that are going to be working on this, SFEI with assistance by the USGS as well. And some colleagues, Bruce Jaffe of USGS looked at those bathymetry questions that we were talking about earlier, from the exchange of long-term sediment between different segments of the Bay. And Anchor QEA, a local consultant who’s done a lot of work on sediment transport modeling in the Bay. So, with SFEI’s knowledge of Bay processes and looking at the USGS knowledge of looking at how sand moves around in the Bay from those bedforms, also informed with Anchor QEA’s good modeling, we’re really going to start to move forward and address these questions. So, Anchor’s QEA’s primary goal will be to use numerical modeling to look at the effects of sand mining on the transport throughout the Bay and through the Golden Gate and SFEI will be analyzing the recently collected bathymetric surveys and help evaluate directions of sand transport. So, overall, I think we can synthesize these findings and really get out a good analysis and assessment to address that management question.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: So, Craig Thank you, you did that beautifully. Paul is back and Paul, Craig just picked up where you dropped off without hardly skipping a beat, but I don’t know if you would like to add anything, I’m sorry about that.

Paul Work, USGS: Yeah, zoom crashed on me, he was getting ready to tee me up for my slides and right then zoom crashed on me.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: So sorry.

Paul Work, USGS: So, I’m not sure what he said, but if we have a moment or two I could at least say the things I was planning to say.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Sure, Margie do you want to backup too.

Paul Work, USGS: Just two slides.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Yeah, go ahead.

Paul Work, USGS: Thank you, so we thought this would be relevant to bring up here, it’s recent work and it’s related to the flux of sediment or flow of sediment at the Golden Gate. And you’ve heard a lot about the sediment budget idea, of course, to know what your budget is or is going to look like, you have to know inflows and outflows and Golden Gate is potentially large point for an outflow there, so we got some funding from the San Francisco Estuary Institute to do this work, they’re based in Richmond.

And we just published a paper on this so you’re going to see that, on the next slide and it’s freely available for anybody to go download if they’re interested. But the main focus here was to quantify how much sediment is going through the Golden Gate on a pretty short-term basis, but there’s not a whole lot of data on this, so this was a good way to start. You can see the boat track shown in yellow it’s not a straight line across the Gate but it’s curved and there are reasons for that, and I won’t bother to explain, but that works, just as well as a straight line really. And we went back and forth, for, in one case we did this on three different occasions. We went back and forth for up to 18 hours changing crews as need be, it took us about half an hour to go across each time. And we use an instrument called an acoustic doppler current profiler which is, it’s an acoustic instrument, a little bit like a fish finder but it’s more sophisticated than that and it tells us the velocity underneath the boat. We get a new answer every second and we have a new answer for every half meter below the boats, so the entire water column we’re seeing. That gives us the velocity of the water, we also use part of the signal that comes back to estimate how much sediment is in that water and between those two types of measurements, we can integrate to get what is close to an instantaneous flow of sediment and water through the Golden Gate. So, we did that on three occasions. We wanted to do a nominal case which we did in the summer of 2016 without any particular large inflow and then we also did it in the spring of 2016 after a storm event and then 2017 was after the large event that we had that led to the failure of the Oroville spillway, if you remember that. So, a lot of water, a lot of sediment coming in and we went there to try to catch it and measure it. So, if you could go to the next slide, please.

And I wanted to point out too, that the study that Craig has described is focused on sand transport and what we measured was sediment that was suspended in the water that’s moving, some of which will be sand, but a lot of it won’t be and we don’t know how that’s partitioned, we don’t know which fraction is sand or not, and we also didn’t measure the part that’s bouncing along the bottom. We did find some pretty interesting results. I think most people would expect we’d see a net flow of water out and we see a net flow of sediment. This picture shows the color you can take as a proxy for the sediment, and you can see sediment exiting the Golden Gate there, but of course, on the next flood tide some of that’s going to go back in. And so, we were a little bit surprised at some of the results we got, the largest water flow we measured was actually in the seaward direction, which we did kind of expect. A very large number, much larger than the typical storm inflow that we see from a rainfall event and that’s because the Bay is large, and the tides are forcing that water back and forth every day. The largest sediment flow that we measured was in the landward direction. Now that doesn’t mean that the whole day average to be landward but for this one tidal cycle, it was landward. And one point of all this, is we’re looking for the long term mean value of a very large quantity that changes sign going back and forth. This is always a difficult thing, but ultimately what we’d like to do is have a long-term estimate of the sediment flux because that’s what we need to construct the sediment budget.

And I mentioned this third bullet here, even when we have a large inflow from the Central Valley that discharge is still an order of magnitude less than the tidally force flow through the Golden Gate, so you know that water is going to make its way out, eventually, but it’s a small signal on top of the everyday large signal. The last point I wanted to make here was to tie this back to this project that’s getting started, which involves numerical modeling of the sediment transport. We generally, for that kind of effort, want measurements for at least three different reasons, one would be as a driver of the model, you know things like inflow are going to affect what happens inside the domain, inside the model. Another is for calibration of the model, which often has to be done, and a third is for validation of the model. So, this type of data, that we collected, even though it’s a short term result, it still can be used for validation of models of suspended sediments like this, so I think I better stop there.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you Paul and Craig. We have just a couple of minutes for any quick Commissioner questions and then we’ll turn to a brief public comment period and any further questions or discussions. Go ahead, Commissioner Gunther please.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Thank you Brenda. I wanted to ask about the scars that we saw in the picture. To me, and this is probably an incredible oversimplification that I will soon have corrected, if the sustainable model of sand mining applies, we dig up the sand and then transport replenishes it and there aren’t any scars from mining. And I’m wondering whether, and we have the work that Barnard did, looking at a 10-year period off of Angel Island as well, and I’m wondering whether the scientists can tell us, does the presence of scars suggest anything about which of our conceptual models is accurate, or maybe there’s a timescale issue here and the scars get filled in after a longer period of time.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: Commissioner Gunther, I would go with your latter that the scars fill in rapidly, we see that in the most recent surveys, where we have periods, where it’s only one year between surveys and even a lower water year, so they do fill in.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: So, Craig, the fact that you see scars just represents the fact that sometimes they fill in faster than other times.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: Correct.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: So great Thank you.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: So, the question is, is that filling from locally, where we do have those migrating bedforms? and we know there’s ample sand moving along the bottom to fill those in, is there a measurable impact on that overall transport field from the locations where that scarring isn’t the locations where the mining is most intense?

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Commissioner: Thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you, Commissioner Eisen and then Commissioner Scharff.

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: Thank you, so these studies seem to be focused in large part on the movement of sand in and out of the bank but I’m wondering in a sort of following up to Dr. Gunther’s comment about the scars. Are we looking at all on whether sand mining has some other impact some – we had a situation not long ago we were talking about boat anchorages and what that does to eelgrasses and other important things that occur at the bottom of the bay. Are we looking at other environmental or ecological impacts of sand mining in the Bay besides just whether too much is going out and not enough coming back in?

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: I’ll address that question as best as possible and then I might even look to Brenda for the overall ecological scope. This environment in the Central Bay and Suisun, these are very dynamic environments, so if we compare it to eelgrass, which is a much more static environment where we have a valuable habitat that if you damage that eelgrass, it takes a lot of time for that to recover. In these sandy environments that are overturning all the time, the benthos, the critters that live in the sediment in these areas, are used to that overturn. So, from that perspective on our local benthos we don’t generally expect there to be a negative effect. However, I think, if we look at things like local beaches and Bob Battalio’s done a lot of work around some of the transport along Crissy Field and into that area, that sand that sustains areas like that and perform an important ecological function to really support habitat in those regions. And so, we want to ensure that we’re not messing with any of those pathways, so that that goes from kind of the micro scale the larger scale, but does that address your question, do you have anything to add?

Rebecca Eisen, Commissioner: That helps.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: yeah and I can just add a little bit, so I think Erika pointed out this morning with the studies that have been done, so, as part of the CEQA process, there was one benthic environment study that was conducted and basically the investigator tried to identify whether or not the same amount of organisms were living in the sand in areas that were mined versus areas that we’re not mined, and the challenge there as you alluded to, people have alluded to multiple times today, it’s a super hard environment to study, so they were dropping sample cores 60 to 90 feet in moving water to try to hit the sand mining track lines, we were calling them track lines at the time and unfortunately, he couldn’t ensure that that the samples were taken in the track lines and but he looked at reference areas compared to the mining areas and found that they were similar to non-mined areas and that the physical processes were the main driver that caused the turnover of the critters. And then we tried again in 2016, this time with a slightly different sample plan, where the idea was to sample the area with no mining and then take samples, and sorry that’s repetitive, and then mine the areas and take samples and do a comparison between the two. We had hoped for 6 months 12 and 24 months in a row, but we only had enough funds to cover the 12-month interval. And the challenge there was, the mining didn’t hit the sample points as much as we had hoped, so there was about a 50% success rate on getting the mined areas and the sample points aligned and but, again, the finding was more that the physical processes were driving the Community and that there was not a discernible difference. These species tend to be what they call primary producers, are first generation invertebrate. We still don’t have a complete answer, but we’ve made two goes at it and that’s where we are today we don’t have more studies lined up on the BCDC side for the ecological effects.

There was a fish entrainment analysis done as part of the CEQA document and the fish screens was a result of that likely entrainment issue, that’s placed on them, the mining equipment now. And with that I’ll turn it to Commissioner Scharff for a quick one, and then we need to see if there are public comments.

Greg Scharff, Commissioner: Thank you. I guess what I wanted to ask is how comfortable are we that at the end of this process we’re going to be able to determine which conceptual model is right, and if it is not sustainable, what tools do you think we’ll have to make those decisions about how much sand mining should be allowed in the Bay and what could be taken and what cannot be taken? And what level of certainty? I mean at the end of the day, we’re not doing this as much as an academic exercise, I mean we’re going to be called upon to make a determination on a permit about how much sand can come out of the Bay, and I think that’s really the question that I guess. I wanted to know as we’re going through this process, are we going to have the right information and then, if we’re not going to have the right amount of information and not have enough to do that, there is a CEQA process. I assume that starting that would, and the question is, is using that CEQA process, what other information are we going to need and studies to back that up during that CEQA process. So, I don’t know who can answer that, if there are resonating thoughts on that, but I thought I’d throw it out to the whole group.

Craig Jones, Integral Consulting Inc: I’ll jump in first. I know all the science panel have good thoughts on that, because that was a topic that has been at the forefront of our minds for the past two years, while we’ve been working this this issue. So, it’s an excellent question. The way we’re approaching this is really a weight of evidence approach, so even the recent one, and I’m talking about with the modeling, understanding the bathymetry and bedforms. Those are two lines of evidence help, each one of them has uncertainties associated with it, so they help bolster each other, where we can find common lines to really inform particular hypotheses. In addition, if you think about it, larger scale with their stratigraphy, that helps us not only understand a timescale, but link in what could be transporting from where. If we link it to the budget that helps inform what we know is coming into the system over the long term, and some of the short-term perturbations on that. So, as we, as we pull these studies together, they get a weight of evidence approach it helps inform all of our spatial and time scales that we’re interested in addressing these questions I’ll leave it at that, let others talk.

Bob Battalio, ESA: It’s a really good question and nobody wants to try to answer it really. I guess I’ll let John go first on.

John Largier, UC Davis: Well so that is exactly the challenge in front of us, and thanks for reminding us, because of course it’s fascinating all the processes inside. I mean, time will tell, right? We will be able to make a qualitative determination you know, this area is not perfect dichotomy, it’s what time and space scales, do you see this as more relict or more renewable. I think we should be able to make a qualitative determination of which system is operating in different areas, the real challenge is the quantitative, right. So, will we be able to say so many cubic yards of sand, you know, the average year is going to come into this use area, now we want. The uncertainties are too high to get that right, but I think if we can meet that challenge to come up with a qualitative model, then you can make a decision based on that concept. How you determine how many cubic yards per year can be mined, the devils in the details. I’m thinking aloud here, but that’s the way I see what we can provide to you.

Greg Scharff, Commissioner: Thank you, that was very helpful actually really appreciate that. If no one else has any comments on that is, I want to thank Brenda very much for organizing this and putting it together you’ve done a great job.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: One more question for Commissioner Hillmer and then we should see if there’s public comments desired.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: Thank you. I apologize if this was not answered earlier. These studies will be, I’m assuming, given what I’ve heard, does not have any consideration of the location, configuration or size of the lease areas. Is that correct?

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Yeah, so the lease areas are set by a whole different process so State Lands and maybe Commissioner Pemberton wants to speak to this, but State Lands generally has, when a new lease is issued, it’s through a nomination process, and they go through their own process to determine whether or not it’s appropriate to have a lease and but those sizes and shapes are not determined by our permits for sure, and I don’t know Commissioner Pemberton if you want to fill that sketch out.

Sheri Pemberton, Commissioner: Thank you Brenda. The State Lands Commission does issue leases, and as part of that process, does assessments based on the proposed application and the proposed use, and, in this instance, for sand mining. And then it would make a determination, based on the application about what’s in the best interest of the State and go through that analytical process and then determine whether to issue the lease or leases or not. So, I hope that answered your question, I think that the different shapes and sizes were determined in the past, based on the nomination process.

Dan Hillmer, Commissioner: Thank you, I was just clarifying that these studies have nothing to do with the location shape, or area of those lease areas.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Brenda or Commissioner Scharff, Erika Guerra, has her hand up, so I don’t know she might want to add to that.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: So why don’t you go ahead. And then we’ll go to public comment.

Erika Guerra, Lehigh Hanson: Thank you, um, well again, thank you to all for the presentations and I guess, I just wanted to address really quick, the last two questions and were made further by the Commissioners. I believe that you know extremely well that there is a process for the renewal of the leases that will contemplate a CEQA analyses and we will go through that environmental review, so there will be additional information and additional work provided through the during that process, and then I also wanted to touch on one of the questions about other studies that have been conducted, as I mentioned in my presentation that had been several studies conducted, you know, in terms of water and in benthics. Brenda pointed out I know there’s some information on the pre reading material, and I know it’s always a challenge that we have new Commissioners. And we sometimes assume, and I apologize for that that I assume in my presentation, that it was not necessary to revisit those, but I think it’s important to go back and look at what has been done to lead us there. I mentioned several studies, but we’ll be happy to provide any additional information that is necessary and expand on some of the conclusions that were that were made on those studies and those analyses. Thank you for the opportunity.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you Erika. Okay, shall we go to public comment.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: We have one hand raised, if our attendees would like to make a public comment at go ahead and raise your now, I’m going to call on Traci Hornbaker, I hope I pronounced your name right, and allow you to go ahead and speak. To go ahead, oh, maybe she doesn’t want to because her hand isn’t raised. Yes, she does want to. Tracy, go ahead and unmute yourself, and you’re good to go, yeah three minutes, thank you.

Traci Hornbaker: Yes, hello, thank you for taking my comment. I’m just curious if this research will take into consideration the volume on the leases, as I’m aware they were doubled in 2015 and as a Bay trail user and a citizen scientist, it’s been a visual notice of the lack of sand on the beaches down in the southern part of the Bay, so I’m just curious if the volume is going to be taken into consideration on the studies. As I know there have been several studies done showing that it’s about four times the amount that’s coming in, but I don’t know if any of that research is being considered, thank you.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: Thank you Tracy anybody who wants to answer that go ahead.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Well, I can briefly speak to that, so at this point in time, the permits from the BCDC, or a little bit less than the State Lands Commission lease volumes are in place through 2025. When the scientists are doing the analysis, they will be provided data from the sand mining companies that show how much sand is being mined and specific locations during their study period. So, in that way, the bottom line, will be the volume that’s actually mined, not just what was authorized will be incorporated into the studies if that’s helpful.

Peggy Atwell – BCDC Host: And there’s no other public comment.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Okay, well, if there is no other public comment, I just want to once again thank you so much to the independent science panel members Dave, Bob, John, Paul and Craig, you guys have been amazing. They’ve been working with us, as you heard for two years now on very little funding. We’ve given them small honorariums to kind of help with different aspects of the work, but they have been so generous with their time and their knowledge and expertise, and I can only highly emphasize how much the process will be improved by their input and I just want to thank them again and thank the Commissioners for attending today and the public, and Commissioner McGrath, thank you for joining us today and the floor is yours.

Jim McGrath, Commissioner: Brenda I wanted to thank you personally, as well as the Panel for putting this together. It’s truly excellent and it’s truly, I mean this, is an area I’ve dabbled in for close to 50 years. The content is absolutely marvelous. And let me also thank you for the work that you did on putting together conditions for the original permit which did distinguish areas that we thought were more significant, both in terms of the habitat value and other areas. And this effort, for trying to drive research forward and so we’d have a little better, but not a perfect amount of information for the next shot. Whether I’ll be here or not, is another question. But you know, there are, there are two large models, one is the old one that I remember from my very early days at the Coastal Commission – The river of sand model developed by Doug Inman and down at Scripps, which was that sand was coming on a steady basis and you know if you didn’t build too many dams, it would continue to come. The other one, and I think Bob Battalio alluded to it, perhaps most of this very large sand is actually a relic from a lower sand of sea level when the rivers had a lot more horsepower, were delivering a lot of bit bigger sediment and it was being sorted and we’ll probably never know the answer to which of those applies, but we’ll advance our understanding and will have as they said, a better weight of the evidence to evaluate. The other thing I wanted to point out is this work has huge benefits outside of this, as we begin to understand the Bay and I’ll just give you two, for example that I’ve been following. First of all, as we begin to look at the Bay and how we’re going to try to adapt to sea level rise, our understanding of the delivery of sediments and the processes of erosion and the work that’s been done, particularly by Bruce Jaffe, will be of extreme value. So, so all of this understanding that also has value and you know as chair of the Regional Board, one of my concerns is the erosion of bedded sediments that are buried far beneath the surface, now, but maybe exposed with erosion and are contaminated. I wanted to commend you and thank you and all the panel. It’s very impressive work it, I think hits all the buttons particular the stratigraphy concerns that will advance our understanding and I wanted to thank you.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you, Jim I very much appreciate that.

Greg Scharff, Commissioner: So, thank everyone for participating and thank you Brenda for putting together a fantastic panel on this and getting it all put together and everyone did a great job and I appreciate on Commissioner McGrath’s comments and I second them so thanks again everyone.

Brenda Goeden, BCDC: Thank you, have a good afternoon.