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Using a Riparian Corridor Index to Prioritize Climate Migration Routes in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) region is characterized by wet, mild winters and warm, dry summers. It lies within a climate gradient in which the southern end of the region experiences the greatest seasonal variation (i.e. coldest/wettest winters and hottest/driest summers). It is divided by the Cascade Mountain Range that runs north-south from Washington to Oregon. The landscape west of the Cascades is dominated by moist coniferous forests and the lower elevations east of the Cascades are dominated arid shrublands and grasslands.  

A Guide to Assessing Green Infrastructure Costs and Benefits for Flood Reduction

To plan successfully, communities need to understand the options for addressing flood-related issues and their associated costs. This guide lays out a six-step watershed-based approach for documenting the costs of flooding, projecting increased flooding and associated costs under future land use and climate conditions, and calculating the long-term benefits and costs of a green infrastructure approach.

Using Climate Forecasts to Save Money and Protect Human Health

When we leave the house in the morning, we often check the local weather forecast and make some quick decisions: Should I bring an umbrella? How about a sweater? By assessing the risks and taking action, we are effectively mitigating our vulnerability to weather-related impacts. While most people do not think twice about weighing uncertain weather information and taking action based on their best estimate of risk, it has proved much more difficult for community members, policymakers, and natural-resource managers to integrate climate forecasts into their decision-making processes.

Humboldt Bay Eelgrass Comprehensive Management Plan

Humboldt Bay is California’s second largest estuary, encompassing roughly 62.4 square kilometers (about 15,400 acres) and supporting more extensive eelgrass resources than any other system in the state. Eelgrass is a highly productive seagrass that contributes to ecosystem functions at multiple levels as a primary and secondary producer, as a habitat structuring element, as a substrate for epiphytes and epifauna, and as a sediment stabilizer and nutrient cycling facilitator.

The San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines: Nearshore Linkages Project

Restoration efforts in San Francisco Bay will advance in Summer 2012 as the San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines: Nearshore Linkages Project is implemented. The overarching project goal is to analyze subtidal restoration techniques and restore critical eelgrass and oyster habitat, while learning more about the potential physical benefits of biological reefs along the shoreline.

Suffolk County Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plan

Suffolk County’s surface waters are a huge economic and lifestyle driver for Long Island and contribute immensely to tourism, commerce, fishing, recreation, and other activities. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) pose an increasing threat to the healthy ecological functioning of County surface waters and can reduce the type and level of ecological services County residents and communities derive from these systems. Moreover, some HABs pose a direct threat to public health and safety; they produce toxins that are harmful to humans and pets.

Conserving California’s Coastal Habitats: A Legacy and a Future with Sea Level Rise

To inform current and future adaptation decisions and conservation actions we conducted the first statewide, comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of California’s coastal habitats, imperiled species, and conservation lands to sea level rise. Coastal habitats exist in narrow bands at the land-sea interface and are therefore extremely susceptible to inundation by sea level rise. However, some habitats may be able to adapt vertically and possibly move inland, assuming local topography and the built environment do not constrain this movement.

Santa Monica Bay Restoration Plan Check-Up: Implementation Progress Update

Santa Monica Bay teems with life, serving as home to over 5000 species of birds, fish, mammals, plants and other wildlife and providing the two million-plus humans who live in its watershed with a mild climate, aesthetic beauty, recreation, food, fresh oxygen, and commercial opportunities. In December 1988, the State of California and the U.S.

Restoring Rocky Intertidal Habitats in Santa Monica Bay

The decline of flora and fauna of rocky intertidal habitats along wave-exposed coasts has been observed globally. Over the past ten years, researchers have showed links between organism population change and human visitation disturbance. The rocky intertidal zone in Los Angeles County, CA, is especially vulnerable to visitation disturbance due to its large human population coupled with the importance of the ocean as a recreation center.

Investigating Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal

The rocky intertidal zone, or the band of rocky coastline that is flooded by high tides and exposed during low tides, is home to a wealth of colorful seaweeds and uniquely adapted invertebrates. In Southern California, Cabrillo National Monument and Channel Islands National Park both protect rocky intertidal habitat to the delight of curious visitors young and old.