San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Our Ecology

All the physical and biological components of an environment make up an ecosystem. Despite intense urban development, San Francisco still has significant areas of extraordinary natural ecosystems, including grasslands, wetlands, coastal scrub, dunes, woodlands, and, of course, the Bay and the Ocean.

Coined in 1930, the word ecosystem means all the physical and biological components of an environment. It includes all the organisms living in an area, along with all the non-living physical components that interact with organisms, such as air, soil, water and sunlight.

Among our impressive diversity of native animal species, many are interesting stories about nature in the city.

Among the kingdoms of life – animal, plant, fungi, protist and bacteria – the city’s Plant Kingdom is stunningly diverse for a city that is so comprehensively and densely developed.

San Francisco has spectacular natural areas and beautiful parks that harbor our rich natural heritage and its biodiversity.

Our home. Our city. Our planet.