While the goal of restoring native habitats and associated ecosystem function carries great benefits, restoration of tidal marsh habitat at the scale that is being pursued is not without its risks. These risks include effects both within the project domains and external effects of the projects on other, existing, habitats. Furthermore, the uncertainty that surrounds the prospects for restoration success is compounded by uncertainties in the driving natural and anthropogenic processes, particularly at the decadal timescales of interest. Climate change (and variability) is likely to alter oceanic conditions, both through sea level rise and changes in the temperature and biota associated with oceanic waters. Further, the hydrology of the watersheds surrounding the estuary is likely to adjust in response to climate change, including the amount and timing of freshwater flows and the associated sediment supply. In an urban setting like San Francisco Bay, sediment supply will also be altered due to shifts in land use over the decadal timescale of interest. Finally, policies that govern how humans interact with the restored habitats will be dynamic, and create additional uncertainty for the success of the projects.

To build on the work of the 2007 workshop and to further explore the issues outlined above a second workshop was held on December 16, 2011 in San Francisco focusing on identifying how state-of-the-art hydrodynamic and transport models can be used to identify changes to San Francisco Bay, including effects on the ecosystem, sediment transport, and infrastructure, as a result of climate change and also help formulate management responses to these changes. The workshop was organized by Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and The University of California at Berkeley and was sponsored by the California Coastal Conservancy and Ocean Protection Council.