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Yosemite Watershed Restoration Project

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Innovative Curricula and Outreach

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1322.1 - 8.1322.7

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Paper Authors

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Vivian Chang

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Sonya Havens

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Kathryn Clifton

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John Lendvay

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Eliot Metzger

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2651

Yosemite Watershed Restoration Project

Eliot S. Metzger, Sonya M. Havens, Vivian Chang, Kathryn M. Clifton, and John M. Lendvay

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA


The Bay View-Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco has a history of significant environmental degradation and a population comprised mainly of underrepresented minorities. This highly industrialized area lies adjacent to Yosemite Slough, on the western shore of South San Francisco Bay. Under normal conditions local runoff is diverted into the city’s combined sewer system. However, during heavy precipitation events the runoff is discharged with untreated sewage directly to the slough through the combined sewer overflow system. Moreover, Yosemite Slough is bordered by the San Francisco 49er’s stadium parking lot, heavy industry, and the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, each of which provide a source of diffuse urban and industrial pollution through direct runoff and groundwater – surface water interactions.

The Yosemite Watershed Restoration Project is a community-based assessment of water quality at Yosemite Slough and is organized and led by undergraduate research assistants at the University of San Francisco. Teams of local high school students are trained on environmental concerns impacting the community and on sampling protocols necessary to conduct a detailed water quality assessment of the slough. The students examine the impact of sewage treatment plant outflow, good urban water quality practices, and sources of impervious surface runoff. Additionally, the students take part in enrichment programs and a local wildlife census. Data from this water quality assessment and wildlife census will be incorporated into a community- wide effort to influence redevelopment decisions to minimize environmental impacts. Through the community-involved environmental assessment, this project will lay a foundation for community empowerment so that decisions regarding future redevelopment projects will be scientifically sound and informed.


Yosemite Slough (Yosemite Watershed) in the Bay View-Hunters Point (BVHP) community is located in the southeast corner of the City and County of San Francisco, California. Bay View- Hunters Point is a low-income community largely comprised of people of color. Cumulative air, land, and water pollution disproportionately affect the community; it has some of the highest rates of breast and cervical cancer, asthma, and respiratory illnesses in California. Over 100 brown-field sites, two large power plants, a heavily contaminated naval base, and the city’s sewage treatment facility are contained within this five square mile community.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Chang, V., & Havens, S., & Clifton, K., & Lendvay, J., & Metzger, E. (2003, June), Yosemite Watershed Restoration Project Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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