Steve Davies

Steve Davies is editor and publisher of Endangered Species & Wetlands Report, which he started in 1995. Davies began his professional journalism career as a copy editor for the weekly Gazette Newspapers in Gaithersburg, Md., before becoming a reporter there. He then moved to Carlisle, Pa., covering Cumberland County government for the daily Sentinel. He returned to the Washington area to cover Congress and federal regulatory agencies for a series of trade newsletters before starting his own publication, which is an independent venture. Click LinkedIn for more detail.

Nov 122014
 

Conservation groups and a retired FWS wolf biologist have sued the service over the lack of a proper recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, which numbers fewer than 100 individuals.

“Earthjustice is representing Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, retired Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center,” EJ said in a news release

“A new analysis of the service’s failed efforts to develop a recovery plan released today by the Center for Biological Diversity reveals an agency that over three decades convened three different teams of expert scientists to prepare the much-needed plan only, in each case, to pull the plug once the plans neared completion.”

Gunnison sage grouse listed as threatened

 Posted by on November 12, 2014
Nov 122014
 

New: Transcript of teleconference (added Wed., Nov. 13, 12:30 pm)

See tweets at https://twitter.com/ESWR_Update

Press release announcing listing of GSG as threatened.

It’s official: The Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the Gunnison sage grouse as threatened. The service is about to make the announcement on a teleconference, but FWS Director Dan Ashe decided to spill the beans early in a meeting at The Denver Post, whose editorial board does not believe the species should be listed.

Environmental groups were quick to criticize the decision. See below.

Ashe remarks (from teleconference):

“what has been called the Sagebrush Sea…has been in decline.”

“we did that [proposed it as endangered] primarily due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.”

conservation efforts have reduced threats to the bird (leading to threatened, not endangered, listing)

If anything happens to core population, satellite populations would be essential to help species rebound.

Have been in contact with governor’s office to determine what protections are in place now (in preparation for 4(d) rule)

Will be working with NRCS and Farm Services Administration to develop Biological Opinion.

Re: Gunnison sage grouse decision as “predicate” for greater sage-grouse decision:

“These are separate species and a much different fact pattern. The F&WS makes decisions on the facts and the science as we see it in each case. We respond to information that’s presented to us.”

Greater sage-grouse has a wider range, larger population, he says

Conference opinion: A process has been underway for a month. That conference opinion is with NRCS, in a process of review. We expect to have that completed by time is rule is effective.

Thabault: Basic things that will be covered with NRCS: Implementtion of pro-active measures; Farm Bill programs: Water developments, range management plans.

Earlier version of this story:

The Fish and Wildlife Service will announce its decision whether to list the Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act at 11 a.m. Mountain Time — 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

That’s when the service will hold a teleconference to announce its final judgment, which the state of Colorado tried to delay at the last minute.

Gunnison sage-grouse displaying (Credit: Nop Paothong)

That effort was unsuccessful, however. The court-mandated deadline for a final listing decision is today, and FWS will meet it, spokesmen told ESWR.

The service proposed listing the bird as endangered in January 2013. At the time, FWS said it had determined that

the principal threat to Gunnison sage-grouse is habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation due to residential, exurban, and commercial development and associated infrastructure such as roads and power lines. The human population is increasing throughout much of the range of Gunnison sage-grouse, and data indicate this trend will continue. With this growth, we expect an increase in human development, further contributing to loss and fragmentation of Gunnison sage-grouse habitats. Other threats to the species include improper grazing management; predation (often facilitated by human development or disturbance); genetic risks in the declining, smaller populations; and inadequate local, State, and Federal regulatory mechanisms (e.g., laws, regulations, zoning) to conserve the species. Other factors that may not individually threaten the continued existence of Gunnison sage- grouse but, collectively, have the potential to threaten the species, include invasive plants, fire, and climate change, and the interaction of these three factors; fences; renewable and non-renewable energy development; piñon-juniper encroachment; water development; disease;, drought; and recreation.

Erik Molvar, director of WildEarth Guardians’ Sagebrush Sea Campaign, said he would be surprised if the species were not listed.

Federal agencies have been slow to include Gunnison sage grouse habitat protections in their management plans in the bird’s range in Southwest Colorado and Eastern Utah, he said this morning. “There’s not much protection from federally permitted activities.”

Locally, some counties with sage grouse “have been fairly active,” he said. Others have not done anything. But “no county has decisively acted to protect Gunnison sage grouse on private land,” he said.

Even Gunnison County, which supports some 80 percent of the remaining sage-grouse (which number about 5,000 in total), “has never denied a permit to build or subdivide” in sage grouse habitat, Molvar said.

——————

PRESS RELEASE 11/12/2014

Contacts:

Clait Braun, Sage Grouse Scientist, (520) 529-4614
Erik Molvar, WildEarth Guardians, (307) 399-7910
Todd Tucci, Advocates for the West, (208) 724-2142
Shelley Silbert, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, (970) 385-9577

Sage Grouse Scientist, Conservationists Challenge Feds’
Failure to Adequately Protect the Gunnison Sage Grouse

Critically imperiled bird needs stronger safeguards to survive and recover

DENVER, CO – A coalition including leading sage grouse expert Dr. Clait Braun and several western conservation organizations announced today a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to adequately protect the imperiled Gunnison sage grouse. Fewer than 5,000 Gunnison sage grouse remain, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refused to protect the imperiled bird as an “endangered” species, choosing instead a less protective status as “threatened.”

“I have been researching and monitoring Gunnison sage grouse populations and habitat for almost 40 years,” said Dr. Clait Braun, a retired sage grouse expert with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. “Today, Gunnison sage grouse stand at the precipice of extinction due to the impacts of grazing, oil and gas development, residential subdivisions, and other factors; and existing conservation plans and strategies are inadequate to stop this decline. Only science-based approaches to conservation will save Gunnison sage grouse, and it past time to let science dictate appropriate conservation measures.”

“The Endangered Species Act provides the safety net for saving our most endangered wildlife from extinction when other efforts are failing,” added Todd Tucci of Advocates for the West. “But it only works if the most imperiled species, like the Gunnison sage grouse, get real protections on the ground, including adequate critical habitat.”

In January 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the bird as ‘endangered’ citing ongoing threats and the inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms to prevent the disappearance of the birds in each of the seven remaining populations. Gunnison sage grouse are absent from 90 percent of their historic range. As of January 2013, fewer than 5,000 Gunnison sage grouse remain in just seven isolated populations, six of which are below minimum viable population numbers, meaning those populations are facing serious, short term risk of extinction.

“Imperiled by irresponsible grazing, oil and gas drilling, residential development, roads, powerlines and the cumulative impacts of these threats, the fewer than 5,000 remaining Gunnison sage grouse need the strongest possible protections to ensure they survive and recover,” said Erik Molvar, wildlife biologist with WildEarth Guardians. “The science is clear, this spectacular dancing bird is endangered and should be afforded the highest level of protection.”

A recent analysis by WildEarth Guardians and Rocky Mountain Wild found that state, federal, and local protections currently in place cannot successfully address the multiple threats to the Gunnison sage grouse and its habitat. Livestock grazing, rural subdivision development, habitat fragmentation by infrastructure such as roads and powerlines, and oil and gas development continue to threaten the survival of the bird. Voluntary conservation efforts are not enforceable and have not led to recovery for the Gunnison sage grouse.

“We can’t gamble on the survival of this bird with the voluntary or scientifically inadequate protections that could be allowed under a ‘threatened species’ designation,” said Molvar. “This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Our generation cannot make the same mistakes of doing too little, too late to prevent the extinction of this iconic bird.”

“As a society, we love wide open landscapes, water, and wildlife. The decline of the Gunnison sage grouse is a symptom of our failure as a society to maintain the health of the Four Corners region,” said Shelley Silbert, Executive Director of Great Old Broads for Wilderness. “By protecting the sage grouse, we can restore the sagebrush ecosystem, benefitting many other species of wildlife and respecting the importance the connection to the land holds for our families and communities.”

Advocates for the West will represent Dr. Braun, WildEarth Guardians, Wild Utah Project, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness in the expected legal action.

Nov 112014
 

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso, who represents environmental groups in the litigation that resulted in the Fish and Wildlife Service reclaiming authority (unwillingly) over the gray wolf in Wyoming, wrote in the Casper Star-Tribune Sunday that the service and the state should “comprehensively address the weaknesses of Wyoming’s wolf management program that make it vulnerable to court reversal. Doing so would give the Wyoming Game and Fish Department the tools it needs to responsibly manage wolves. It would also ensure a secure future for a great American conservation success story.”

Preso was taking aim at what he called a “troubling” comment by Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe. From the op-ed:

Arguing that Judge Jackson shouldn’t have returned the wolf to federal protection, Ashe recently said, “The judge took a small defect to make a large decision of vacating the rule.”

The fundamental issue of Wyoming’s failure to guarantee an adequate minimum population of wolves is hardly a “small defect.” But, even more important, the court didn’t subject many other aspects of Wyoming’s program to any scrutiny after it found that major fault.

It would be wrong to mistake that silence for assent. If the Fish and Wildlife Service believes that Wyoming can fix its program merely by writing a slightly more binding promise to maintain a minimum population, it is effectively betting that it can win on every other outstanding issue concerning Wyoming’s wolf management — even though the Service has never yet won a wolf delisting case.

Preso also said some have mischaracterized the judge’s ruling as reflecting approval of the service’s conclusion that the wolf has recovered in the Northern Rockies.

“[S]ome have claimed that the judge also admitted in her ruling that the wolf had recovered as a species even though she put it back under federal protection. That is not so,” Preso wrote. “When Jackson’s ruling discussed the wolf’s recovery, it addressed only a specific scientific finding about wolf immigration and the amount of ‘genetic exchange’ among different populations the Fish and Wildlife Service had documented prior to the wolf’s delisting in 2012. Importantly, the judge did not address whether Wyoming’s management plan could sustain adequate wolf immigration in the future, which is also essential for any finding of recovery.”

The full op-ed is here

Nov 072014
 

Opinion by U.S District Judge Dee Benson

In a significant ruling, a federal judge found that prohibiting take of Utah prairie dogs on private land is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause (People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. USFWS, 13-278-DBD, D. Utah).

If the U.S. decides to appeal (a likely possibility), the Tenth Circuit would be forced to decide an ESA Commerce Clause challenge for the first time. Every other appeals court that has addressed the matter has ruled for the government.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was pleased with the ruling.

Here’s a telling excerpt, in which the judge distinguishes the case from the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Raich545 U.S. 1 (2005) which found that the federal government’s regulation of marijuana was constitutional.

The present case … differs significantly from Raich in one important way that makes any appeal to the Necessary and Proper Clause futile: takes of Utah prairie dogs on non-federal land–even to the point of extinction–would not substantially affect the national market for any commodity regulated by the ESA. The only evidence that suggests that the prairie dog’s extinction would substantially affect such a national market is Defendants’ assertion that golden eagles, hawks, and bobcats are “known to prey on prairie dogs.” (FWS’ Mot. for Summ. J. at 29.) However, Defendants do not claim that the Utah prairie dog is a major food source for those animals, and those animals are known to prey on many other rodents, birds, and fish. In other words, there is no evidence that the diminution of the Utah prairie dog on private lands in Utah would significantly alter the supply or quality of animals for which a national market exists. Therefore, congressional protection of the Utah prairie dog is not necessary to the ESA’s economic scheme.

. . .

The fact that scientific research has been conducted and books have been published about the Utah prairie dog is similarly too attenuated to establish a substantial relation between the take of the Utah prairie dog and interstate commerce. After all, scientific research has also been conducted and books have also been published about both guns and women. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court ruled that federal regulation of gun possession and violence against women is beyond Congress’ Commerce Clause power. See Morrison, 529 U.S. at 601-02, 613-17; Lopez, 514 U.S. at 560-66.

. . .

Defendants assert that every United States circuit court of appeals that has heard a similar case has upheld Congress’ authority to regulate the take of purely intrastate species. See San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Salazar, 638 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2011); Alabama-Tombigbee Rivers Coalition v. Kempthorne, 477 F.3d 1250 (11th Cir. 2007); GDF Realty Investments, Ltd. v. Norton, 326 F.3d 622 (5th Cir. 2003); Gibbs v. Babbitt, 214 F.3d 483 (4th Cir. 2000); Nat’l Ass’n of Home Builders v. Babbitt, 130 F.3d 1041 (D.C. Cir. 1997).

 

 

Nov 072014
 

In a short opinion, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Alaska’s challenge to the Forest Service’s Roadless Rule can proceed. The court reversed the judgment of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon and sent the matter back to him for adjudication (State of Alaska v. USDA, 13-5147).

The only issue was whether Alaska had filed its lawsuit within the six-year statute of limitations. Related to that, however, was the question of exactly when the rule became effective. Said the court:

The Forest Service argues that Alaska’s suit is out of time because, according to the Forest Service, Alaska’s right of action accrued in 2001 when the Roadless Rule was issued. The fundamental problem with the Forest Service’s argument is that the Forest Service repealed the Roadless Rule in 2005. The Forest Service’s 2005 repeal of the Roadless Rule extinguished the right of action that had accrued in 2001.

It is true that the Roadless Rule, after being repealed by the Forest Service in 2005, was reinstated in 2006 as a result of an order by the District Court for the Northern District of California. For purposes of Section 2401(a), however, a new right of action necessarily accrued upon the rule’s reinstatement in 2006.

The court reversed the judgment of the District Court dismissing Alaska’s complaint as untimely, and remanded the case for consideration of Alaska’s challenges to the rule. The judges on the decision were Brett Kavanaugh, Stephen Williams and Judith Rogers.

 

Nov 062014
 

From FR notice, Nov. 6, 2014 

View from Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim) NPS photo by Jessica Pope

“On October 6, 2014, a suspected gray wolf was seen wandering in the area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Deer hunting season is beginning in this area of Arizona, and it is believed that the wolf may be in danger of possible harm and could accidentally be shot either as a result of misunderstanding of status or misidentification. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have, under an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit, authorized qualified researchers to capture, draw blood, and possibly affix a brightly colored GPS radio collar on the suspect wolf and release it back into the general area where it was captured. It is essential for its safety to conduct these actions.”

. . .

“Without being able to trap and identify the animal, it is unknown as to whether it is a gray wolf or some type of wolf-dog hybrid.”

Federal Register | Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit To Capture a Suspected Gray Wolf in the Area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. (same as link above)

Nov 042014
 

estuaries-logo

PDF file of what’s below

As of October 30, 2014

Community Engagement and Education (CE) Posters

CE1. Reaching New Audiences and Fostering Stewardship for the Morro Bay Estuary

Lexie Bell, Morro Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) Coauthors: Kathryn Winfrey and Adrienne Harris, MBNEP Triennially, the Estuary Program hosts a State of the Bay symposium, sharing information about bay health indicators. Previously, these conferences followed a scientific format. To expand our reach, we developed a month of audience-specific events. We identified important audiences and engaged with them where they already go.

CE2. Learning Through Research and Restoration: New York City Working in Hudson and Bronx River Habitats (While Building Boats, Careers, and Life Skills)

Peter Malinowski, New York Harbor School

Coauthors: Elisa Bone; Kate Boicourt; David Reid; Robert Newton Four New York City programs that engage young citizen scientists in real research and restoration projects are presented.

CE3. Green Harbors Project: Biomimicry LivingLabs for Teaching and Learning by Doing Restoration in Urban Estuaries

Anamarija Frankic, Green Harbors Project, UMass Boston

Biomimicry (b)LivingLabs provide the practical educational niche in linking green education, green jobs, and green economy by learning from nature how to restore our estuaries. Our (b)LivingLabs have been initiated at diverse sites as a response to local community needs: Nantucket Island, Savin Hill Cove, Lower Mystic Estuary, Wellfleet and Gloucester Harbors, and Zadar Harbor, Croatia.

CE5. Stewardship Training in the Coastal Zone for Petrochemical Industrial Workers

Karla Klay, Artist Boat

The Stewardship Training in the Coastal Zone for Petrochemical Industrial Workers will provide a mechanism for oil and gas companies throughout the Galveston Bay, TX region to participate in stewardship-based learning modules designed to develop a common lexicon of environmental vocabulary and concepts, and broadened participation in activities that address priority environmental issues.

CE6. Development of a Systematic Stakeholder Identification System for 3VS Modeling in the Snohomish Basin, WA

Kate Mulvaney, EPA

Coauthors: Marilyn Buchholtz ten Brink; Karen Chu; Brad Warren We developed a mixed-methods approach to identify critical stakeholders for the EPA’s 3VS models in the Snohomish Basin. Although many stakeholders were identified in each of the three methods, no single method was sufficient for identifying the comprehensive list thereby indicating a need for mixed methods approaches to stakeholder identification.

CE7. Citizen Science and the National Sea Grant Network

Tamara Newcomer Johnson, NOAA Coauthor: Kathryn MacDonald, NOAA This poster provides a synopsis of citizen science projects promoted by NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program throughout their network of 33 programs in U.S. coastal states and territories. Citizen science can be broadly defined as projects in which volunteers partner with scientists to collect data to answer real-world questions.

CE8. Reconnecting Urban Communities to the Environment

Stephanie Peters, MD Environmental Service

The MD Port Administration’s collaborative approach to planning the Masonville Dredged Material Containment Facility included citizens, environmental groups, regulatory and resource agencies, and elected officials. Meaningful educational opportunities at the site allow the community to make connections to their environment in ways not previously possible in this urban setting.

CE9. Incorporating Outreach into a State Wetland Assessment Program

Margaret Pletta, DNREC Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program

Coauthor: Alison B. Rogerson After wetland assessment data is gathered in the field it needs to be disseminated for public and professional use. Employing multiple forms of outreach ensures the information is available for all audiences. Forms include social media, educational events, a website, and publications for the general public and fellow wetland professionals.

CE10. Water Quality, Master Gardeners, and the Coastal Certificate Program

Judy Preston, Long Island Sound Study

Two non-traditional partners – the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) and UConn’s Master Gardeners – have joined forces to provide alternative landscaping information to coastal and watershed residents. This initiative provides advanced certification, and leverages limited LISS resources for outreach about threats to the Long Island Sound estuary from nutrient and chemical intensive landscaping.

CE11. The Sound Behavior Index: A Management Tool for the Social Side of Ecosystem Restoration

Emily Sanford, Puget Sound Partnership

Coauthors: Lynda Ransley; Debbie Ruggles; Dave Ward The “Sound Behavior Index” tracks 28 residential-scale practices that can affect the health of Puget Sound in WA. The index is based on a survey conducted with a sample of the region’s 4.5 million residents. Progress in measuring long-term shifts in environmental behaviors will be discussed.

CE12. Leveraging the Geek in All of Us – New Tools for Coastal Engagement

Wesley Shaw, Blue Urchin Digital

Coauthors: Dan Burger; Sarah Latshaw So many smartphones, but so rarely used for coastal engagement. MyCoast.org came into being when we set out to try to build a better tool to make it easy and fun for people to help save their coasts. Here’s what we did!

CE14. The Terrapin Tally: A Pilot Project to Engage Volunteers in Citizen Science to Inspire Action, Increase Understanding, and Protect Estuaries

Hope Sutton, NC NERR

Coauthors: Sarah Finn; Jeff Brown; Marie Davis The “Terrapin Tally” citizen science project utilizes trained volunteers to collect diamondback terrapin population data at the Masonboro Island Reserve in NC. The project objectives are to collect high quality population data and educate the public about the importance of estuary areas by drawing attention to the diamondback terrapin.

CE15. Resources for Creating Lifelong Ocean Science Literacy

Kristin Uiterwyk, COSEE OCEAN

Coauthors: Bob Chen; Catherine Cramer Communicating ocean science is an important part of creating a public that understands how their daily lives are connected to the ocean. This poster highlights education and communication resources including a report on the state of ocean science education, a source for excellent hands-on activities, and a guide for making ocean science videos.

CE16. The Great Lakes Have Rip Currents Too: MI’s Strategy to Improve Swimmer Safety From Dangerous Nearshore Currents

Matthew Warner, MI CZM Program

Awareness about swimmer safety at MI’s Great Lakes beaches will improve through advancing scientific knowledge and risk communication for dangerous nearshore currents. This poster presents preliminary findings from perishable rip current data collection, remotely-sensed rip current “hot spots,” and new approaches toward communicating the risks to the public.

CE17. Community-Based Wetland Management: Collaborative Learning and Assessment in Douglas County,

WI

Sarah Wilkins, NOAA

The Lake Superior Wetland Assessment, a NERR Science Collaborative project, aims to connect local decision-makers and managers with experts in the field of wetland science through a collaborative process. Best practices and lessons learned from a collaborative learning social science assessment will be shared.

CE18. The Municipal Blue Star Program: Inspiring Resiliency in NJ Municipalities Through Sustainable Actions

Cassandra Ornell, Clean Ocean Action Coauthors: Cara Muscio, and Catie Tobin, Clean Ocean Action Clean Ocean Action recently launched the Municipal Blue Star Program in collaboration with Sustainable Jersey. The goal is to inspire coastal municipalities to leverage specific sustainability actions that also enhance water quality. It is an innovative model program that encourages municipalities to use sustainability as a means to resiliency.

CE19. Holding on to Historic Managers: Providing a Forum for River Herring Wardens in MA

Abigail Archer, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Anadromous river herring (Alosa pseudoharengus and Alosa aestivalis) migrate through Atlantic Coast estuaries and provide forage for many species. Fisheries exist for them and in 2011 a group called the “River Herring Network” formed to provide a forum for town based herring wardens to share their intensely local knowledge.

CE20. Engaging Fishermen in Ocean Planning: Lessons From the New England’s Commercial Fisheries Spatial Characterization and Potential Future Steps

Nick Battista, Island Institute

This poster lays out the key themes related to fishermen engagement in ocean planning that came out of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s Commercial Fisheries Spatial Characterization project and provide insight into potential ways to better engage fishermen in the ocean planning process.

CE21. Building Community Through Public Participation in Research

Anne Armstrong, Chincoteague Bay Field Station Coauthors: Grace Cormons, SPARK; Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University This poster will highlight efforts in coordinating public participation in habitat restoration for the Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s Living Shore Project. She will discuss developing sampling protocols for SPARK families, methods for recruiting and maintaining relationships with volunteers, and working with local stakeholders to facilitate community buy-in.

CE22. Living Shorelines and the National Sea Grant Network

Elizabeth Bevan, NOAA Coauthors: Joshua Brown and Michael Liffman, NOAA Sea Grant programs foster integrating living shorelines into coastal management plans in the U.S. Living shorelines are “softer” erosion control techniques that can increase community resiliency to climate change. In sharing information on living shorelines, Sea Grant is helping decision-makers and stakeholders to better prepare their community for a changing future.

CE23. Tidal Freshwater Wetland Restoration: Volunteer-Based Wetland Restoration in the Anacostia River

Jorge Bogantes, Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS)

Coauthors: Mary Abe; Jim Foster Since 2004, AWS has contributed to the restoration of more than 12 acres of tidal emergent wetlands through revegetation with native plant species, invasive plant control, and the installation of goose exclosures.

CE24. Salt Marsh Trends Analysis for New York City

Rebecca Boger, Brooklyn College-CUNY

Coauthors: Ellen Kracauer; Hartig Minona Heaviland; Marit Larson Brooklyn College and New York City Parks jointly conducted an historical analysis of fringing salt marshes that revealed approximately 20% marsh loss in the City between 1974 and 2012. Students, citizen scientists, and researchers are working together to monitor and make recommendations for restoration using GIS, kite and quadcopter photography, and fieldwork.

CE26. Community-Based Restoration in an Urban Setting: Using “Eco-Volunteers” to Help Restore Oysters in New York City

Allison Fitzgerald, NY/NJ Baykeeper

In the south Bronx, NY/NJ Baykeeper has established an “eco-volunteerism” program at our one-acre restored reef, which allows for adult volunteers to get into the water and observe the reef as never before. Volunteers built and monitor the reef, and are connected with all areas of the restoration activities.

CE27. Teaching about Human Health and the Constructed Environment through the Design of a Restored Wetland Park

Phoebe Crisman, University of VA

This case study examines a 40-acre, restored wetland park, learning lab, and rainwater filtration pavilion designed to explicitly link estuarine restoration, sustainable design, and human health and well-being. University researchers, professionals, and community partners collaborated to raise public awareness, while fostering a commitment to sustainability and stewardship through design.

CE28. Inspiring River Restoration and Environmental Education through Design: Five Seasons of the Learning Barge

Phoebe Crisman, University of VA

The Learning Barge, a traveling, off-the-grid, environmental field station, exemplifies the power of design to educate, engage and symbolize community estuarine restoration efforts. Designed and built by University of Virginia students for the Elizabeth River Project, this innovative Barge has educated 43,200 visitors in the Chesapeake Bay watershed since 2009.

 

Policy and Planning (PP) Posters

PP1. Blueprints: Comprehensive Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning for Northeastern U.S. Waters

Anna Campbell, Smith College

Advocates and critics of the Marine Spatial Planning approach contest several issues, including whether precedents exist, the benefits of stakeholder participation, government coordination, data availability and application, the means to balance future ocean uses with current ones, and the power to both publicize and enforce the strategic recommendations that emerge.

PP2. Texas Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Initiative

Diana Del Angel, Harte Research Institute at TX A&M University – Corpus Christi

Coauthors: James Gibeaut; Brach Lupher In TX, an initiative of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning is being implemented with the purposes of improving decision-making and serving as a key resource in the coastal planning and management process. The presentation reviews project objectives, current achievements, and products, and discusses the direction of future work.

PP3. Sharing Our Seas: Understanding Ocean Use in the Northeast to Support Sound Decision-Making

Andy Lipsky, SeaPlan

As we develop resilience strategies for our coasts, it is critical for coastal planners to better account for existing human uses of the ocean. This presentation will cover studies undertaken by SeaPlan and partners to collect data on two key human uses in the Northeast: recreational boating and recreational fishing.

PP4. Operationalizing Climate-Informed Coastal and Marine Planning

Rachel Gregg, EcoAdapt

Coauthors: Alex Score; Jessi Kershner; Jessica Hitt This poster will focus on: 1) discussions of how to integrate climate change into coastal and marine planning efforts, 2) review and testing of a new climate-informed coastal and marine spatial planning guide using real-world examples from attendees; and 3) highlighting best practices to advance these efforts on the ground.

PP5. The State of Adaptation: Assessing Climate Adaptation Activities Through a Sustained Research Initiative

Rachel M. Gregg, EcoAdapt

Coauthors: Whitney Reynier; Jessica Hitt EcoAdapt’s State of Adaptation Program is designed to facilitate climate adaptation action by surveying practitioners, assessing adaptation activities, writing in-depth case studies to catalyze creative thinking, and synthesizing information collected to further develop the field of study and action. This poster presents information on major projects from this program.

PP6. Building Resilience into Protected Coastal Landscapes: NERRS Disaster Response Planning

Matthew Chasse, NOAA

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill showed the need for more coordinated disaster planning with the estuarine research reserves. Piloted in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA partnered with reserves to develop response plans to improve coordination, training, response, and assessment activities and serve as a model for protected coastal landscapes.

PP7. Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on the Sustainability of Proposed Restoration Activities in the Chesapeake Bay

Emily Egginton, VA Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Coauthors: Carlton Hershner; Mark J. Brush; Donna M. Bilkovic This study examines how climate change might affect ecological restoration. An ecosystem model is applied to the Lynnhaven River watershed to evaluate the sustainability of ecosystem services provided by tidal wetland, eelgass, and oyster reef habitat, under existing and predicted climate warming, and SLR scenarios.

PP8. Incorporating Ecosystem Services and Socioeconomic Analysis into Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes Governance and Decision Making

Thomas Fish, US DOI / CESU Network Coauthors: Tracy Rouleau, NOAA; Marilyn Buchholtz ten Brink, EPA This poster invites feedback from individuals with experience and/or interest in: 1) the application of ecosystem service valuation to inform policy, planning, and management; and 2) maintaining a robust community of practice for ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes social science.

PP9. Identifying Cultural Resources Sites Affected by SLR at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Michael Flynn, East Carolina University

Coauthors: Tom Allen; Tom Crawford; Burrell Montz The most recent NC floodplain mapping data, study data from local coastal geologists, NOAA, USGS, NPS, and other relevant scientific data were used by East Carolina University researchers to identify the risk level of each structure as well estimate timelines for potential impacts and alternative relocation of structures within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

PP10. North Carolina Coastal Atlas: Transforming Information to Empower Decisions

Michael Flynn, East Carolina University

Coauthors: Tom Allen; Robert Howard; Michelle Covi East Carolina University is collaborating with the NC Division of Coastal Management and partners to develop the NC Coastal Atlas (www.nccoastalatlas.org), an online mapping system that provides interactive maps and related data for exploration and analysis. The Atlas combines physical, ecological and human use data to support education, management, and decision-making.

PP11. Biological Resources and Habitats Vulnerable to SLR and Storm Activity in the Northeast U.S.

Christopher Guy, USFWS Coauthor: Tomma Barnes, USACE Climate change and SLR are affecting coastlines throughout the world. This poster looks at the effect on coastal resources from ME to NC and provides an inventory of wildlife and its vulnerability to these climatic changes.

PP12. Protecting Beaches and Sea Turtles: An Analysis of Beach Nourishment, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, and SLR in NC

Kimberly Hernandez, Duke University

North Carolina employs beach nourishment for shoreline protection. Using historical data in the context of current law and policy, my analysis revealed four specific recommendations for ways the state can continue beach protection efforts while taking into account both federally threatened loggerhead sea turtles and future SLR.

PP13. Protecting the Benefits People Get From NH’s Great Bay Estuary: An Ecosystem Services Approach

Kirsten Howard, NH Coastal Program Coauthors: Ray Konisky, TNC; Philip Trowbridge, The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership; Chris Williams, NH Coastal Program New Hampshire’s Great Bay Estuary provides many benefits, but water quality is declining, threatening ecosystem services. The NH Estuary Spatial Planning Project is using InVEST models to quantify benefits from estuarine habitats and explore changes under future pollutant-loading and restoration scenarios. I will present our assessment process and preliminary results.

PP14. Biodiversity on the Brink: the Role of Assisted Migration in Managing South FL Species Threatened With Rising Seas

Catherine Kilduff, Center for Biological Diversity

Climate change will push some of FL’s most imperiled species closer to the brink of extinction. “Assisted Migration” refers to one policy prescription to address this problem. The federal government has the authority to use active and passive assisted migration under the Endangered Species Act for species threatened with habitat loss due to SLR.

PP15. Large-Scale Search for Tidal Mitigation Sites on the Elizabeth River, VA

Travis Comer, ARCADIS Coauthor: Mark McElroy, ARCADIS ARCADIS provided environmental studies and permitting associated with the Craney Island Eastward Expansion project in Portsmouth, VA. This presentation describes the methods used to search for property to conduct 56 acres of tidal wetland mitigation and the first mitigation project, which was completed in 2012.

PP16. The City of Seattle’s Aquatic Habitat Matching Grant Program: A Model for Restoration on Private and Public Lands in Partnership With Community

Kathy Minsch, Seattle Public Utilities

The City of Seattle funded an innovative community grant program to restore aquatic habitat on public and private property from 2005-2012, which proved to be a model for how to engage people in restoring and protecting riparian areas and shorelines in partnership with the public sector.

PP18. Evaluating the Impact of the NOAA Coastal Storms Program in the Gulf of Mexico Project Area

Lou Nadeau, ERG Coauthors: Audra Luscher-Aissaoui, NOAA; Lauren Jankovic, Eastern Research Group, Inc. This poster summarizes ERG’s work to evaluate the impact of the NOAA Coastal Storms Program in the Gulf of Mexico project area. The poster provides insights into how well the program worked and what aspects are transferable to other areas.

PP19. Identifying and Tracking Healthy Watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay Region

Tuana Phillips, Chesapeake Research Consortium Coauthors: Renee Thompson and John Wolf, USGS The Chesapeake Bay Program “Maintain Healthy Watersheds” Team is devoted to protecting healthy lands within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed which are vital to the overall health and resilience of the Chesapeake Bay. This poster highlights how the Team worked collaboratively to identify healthy watersheds that will be protected in perpetuity.

PP20. Interactions Between Climate Change, Contaminants, Nutrients, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Alfred Pinkney, USFWS Coauthors: Charles T. Driscoll, Syracuse University; David C. Evers, Biodiversity Research Institute; Harold G. Marshall, Old Dominion University The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region (from VA to the Canadian Maritimes) has experienced global climate change including changes in temperature and precipitation, and rising sea level. We discuss interactions between climate change and nutrients, biogeochemical processes, and contaminants focusing on eutrophication, inland acidification, and mercury.

PP21. Review of Social Indicator Efforts: Identifying Best Practices for Coastal Governance and Decision Making

Victoria Ramenzoni, NOAA Coauthors: Tom Fish, Dept. of Interior; Tracy Rouleau, NOAA PPI The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science reviewed initiatives across government agencies, academia, and NGOs to provide a systematization and inventory of best practices and limitations related to social indicator efforts. This poster presents a summary of this work and suggests direct implications for informing coastal decision-making.

PP22. Prioritization of Management Objectives in Korean Estuaries Using AHP-SWOT Model

Jongseong Ryu, Anyang University Coauthors: Chang-Hee Lee, Myongji University; Jungho Nam and Won Keun Chang, Korea Maritime Institute Prioritization of multiple estuary management objectives are compared in three major estuaries in Korea using the SWOT-AHP hybrid model. Experts prefer strengths more importantly than weaknesses, opportunities, and threat. Opening dams, the most important factor to restore estuarine function, should be considered seriously by decision makers.

PP23. Woe is the Working Waterfront: The Challenge and Potential Solutions to the Prevalence of Industrial Uses and Brownfields in Coastal Floodplains

Judd Schechtman, Rutgers University

Coauthors: Katie Himmelfarb; Yasser Altayyar This study examines the threat to urban waterways posed by industrial uses due to coastal flooding and future climate change. The problem is examined using GIS to map risks, case studies of communities that are approaching this challenge are presented, and the significance for state and federal law is addressed.

PP24. Applying Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) to Classify OR Estuary Habitats, Lessons Learned From a Resource Inventory Classification of OR Estuaries and Shorelands

Patty Snow, OR Coastal Management Program

Coauthors: Andy Lanier; Tanya Haddad; Laura Mattison This poster presents a project to compile a comprehensive database of resource information for OR’s estuarine habitats into an online atlas. The existing information was translated into the CMECS (4.0), with layers for each classification standard components and settings.

PP25. Emergent Wetlands Status and Trends in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: 1950-2010

Kate Spear, USGS

Coauthors: Larry Handley; Cindy Thatcher; Scott Wilson Status and trends of Gulf of Mexico coastal emergent wetlands from 1950-2010 are examined, including Barataria and Terrebonne Bays and the Mississippi Delta in LA; Corpus Christi/Nueces/Aransas Bays and Galveston Bay in TX; Mississippi Sound in MS; Mobile Bay in AL; and the Florida Panhandle and Tampa Bay in FL.

PP26. A Climate Change Adaptation Plan in Response to SLR for the Chitimacha Tribe of LA

Kate Spear, USGS

Coauthors: Kim Walden; Kristen Kordecki; Scott Wilson This project uses existing climate change scenarios and SLR projections to inform a Climate Change Adaptation Plan developed in collaboration with the Chitimacha Tribe of LA and the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative and can be used as a model for climate change adaptation in other small communities.

PP27. Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability in a Small Estuary: Lessons Learned From a Pilot Project in Coquille, OR

Chris Swenson, USFWS Coauthors: Eric Mielbrecht, EcoAdapt; Jeff Weber, OR Dept. of Land Conservation and Development; Steve Denney, TNC This pilot project assessed the climate change vulnerability of habitats and species in Oregon’s Coquille Estuary. It also created a template for conducting future, relatively low-cost assessments for other small estuaries. Valuable lessons were learned for planning future vulnerability assessments at the sub-watershed scale.

PP28. Implementing a Hazard Resilience Tool in the Gulf of Mexico: The Community Resilience Index

Jody Thompson, AUMERC/MASGC Coauthors: Tracie Sempier and LaDon Swann, MS-AL Sea Grant Consortium The Community Resilience Index seeks to increase awareness of susceptibility to natural hazards, assisting communities in assessing their hazard preparedness and planning. The end outcome is communities that take actions to address weaknesses, and decision-makers that are more informed on their community’s level of risk, ultimately increasing capability of responding to disasters.

PP29. Wetland Mitigation Banking as Significant Contributors to Coastal Landscape-Scale Restoration and the State of Restoration Science

Pamela Fetterman, ecoGENESIS LLC

Wetland mitigation and conservation banks are privately funded land-scape scale restoration efforts contributing significant dollars and acres to environmental restoration efforts. The number of acres of restoration contributed through banking is examined nationally. Also presented are case-studies of banking projects helping to achieve larger programmatic public agency environmental restoration goals.

PP30. Legal and Policy Framework as it Pertains to PR Coastal Vegetative Wetlands

Luis Villanueva-Cubero, University of PR Rio Piedras Campus Coauthor: Mei Yu, University of PR This poster will showcase the influence of laws, regulations, and programs as they pertain to changes in land cover and land use in coastal vegetative wetlands in PR.

PP31. Development of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Habitat Tool

Michelle Canick, TNC Coauthors: Mary Andrews, NOAA; Paula Jasinski, Chesapeake Environmental Communications; Mark Bryer, TNC

This presentation describes a collaborative effort to build a bay-wide framework to guide NOAA’s protection and restoration activities in Chesapeake Bay. Targeted habitats include benthic, tidal wetlands, oysters, submerged aquatic vegetation, and fish passage. Compiled data and calculated prioritization metrics are included in an interactive mapping tool.

PP32. Prioritization of Parcels Using Climate Change GIS Modeling Tools to Facilitate Habitat Resiliency to SLR

Leslie Gerlich, USFWS

Coauthor: Dan R. Murphy This poster will depict how the USFWS Chesapeake Bay Field Office’s Coastal Program in Annapolis, MD uses climate change GIS modeling products and tools produced by the MD DNR to target land parcels for protection to insure resilient Chesapeake Bay fish and wildlife habitats for the future.

PP33. Climate and Collaboration in CZM: Resources From the American Planning Association

Elizabeth Felter, American Planning Association and Coastal States Organization Coauthors: Lindsey Kraatz, NOAA; Jim Schwab, American Planning Association This poster will outline the best practices and innovations in CZM identified in a publication of the American Planning Association. An assortment of diverse ocean and Great Lakes coastal communities demonstrate these practices, with a focus on intergovernmental collaboration, as well as the use of spatial technology in planning for climate impacts, resilience, and restoration.

PP34. Rethinking Subsistence Fishing: Combining Biological and Socio-Economic Factors

Liz Brown-Pickren, East Carolina University

An open-ended intercept survey of anglers in NC showed reliance on self-caught fish to supplement grocery budgets, limited knowledge of the presence of contaminants, unwarranted faith in government warnings, and mistaken beliefs in the ability to eliminate contaminants by cleaning or preparation methods, suggesting a need for revised management.

PP35. Chesapeake Bay Fisheries Management: A Multi-Jurisdictional Effort Applying Science to Management

Emilie Franke, Chesapeake Research Consortium, and Andrew Turner, Versar This poster provides a summary of the multi-jurisdictional efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team and their efforts to advance ecosystem-based fisheries management by using science to inform management. It will highlight the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee workgroup that provides scientific analyses and management recommendations for the blue crab fishery.

PP36. Implementing a Community-Based Watershed Planning Approach to Identify FL RESTORE Priorities

Darryl Boudreau, TNC

Coauthors: Anne Birch; Janet Bowman TNC has been using a community-based watershed planning approach to bring all stakeholders to the table to identify priority projects based on priority needs of the watersheds in the Panhandle and the Springs Coast. This presentation provides an overview of the process, lessons learned, and the path forward.

PP37. Current Floodplain Management Trends in the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Programs

Hank Hodde, NOAA

Coauthors: Marian Hanisko; Heidi Stiller This presentation with explore current floodplain management issues facing Gulf Coast communities and identify existing tools, resources, and programs being utilized to help to mitigate hazards and enhance programmatic activities. Information presented comes from existing knowledge and a facilitated workshop with the Gulf States’ CZM and NERRS Programs.

PP38. Lessons Learned from the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project: Trade-offs and Opportunities in Shoreline Decision Making

Benjamin Ganon, SCA/NYSDEC Coauthors: Emilie Hauser, Hudson River NERR; Lisa Graichen, Hudson River NERR/UNH Using a collaborative approach to shoreline management, the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project works to provide science-based information to key decision-makers in the shore zone, in order to design shorelines for the future based on what we have learned from the past. Can we balance ecology, engineering, and human use?

PP39. Applying the Findings of the Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project: Crossing Boundaries and Bringing it all Together

Lisa Graichen, Hudson River NERR and University of NH Coauthors: Emilie Hauser and Ben Ganon, Hudson River NERR; Ona Ferguson, Consensus Building Institute The Hudson River Sustainable Shoreline Project recently presented findings and new tools to engineers, landscape architects, regulators, and ecologists in an interactive workshop. A site-based design exercise increased decision-makers’ capacity to support sustainable shorelines and facilitated connections across professional boundaries. This workshop can serve as a model for others.

PP40. Context-Dependent Value of Wetlands for Protection Against Coastal Storms

  1. Luke Boutwell, LA State University, LSU AgCenter Coauthor: John V. Westra, LA State University Coastal communities in the U.S. are highly vulnerable to coastal storms. Changes in population, land-use, and climate have the potential to increase economic damages resulting from these storms. This analysis presents an estimation of the value of wetlands at reducing damages from coastal storms under various contexts, which is useful for project prioritization.

PP41. Development of the CPRA Oyster Lease Acquisition and Compensation Program (OLACP) – From Litigation to Legislation

Jason Shackelford, SWCA Environmental Consultants

The OLACP was developed in response to numerous judgments totaling over $2.5B against the state of LA. This program allowed the state to move forward with critical coastal restoration efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.

PP42. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement: An Integrated and Adaptive Ecosystem Approach to Protecting and Restoring a National Treasure

Gregory Barranco, EPA

On June 16, 2014, the Chesapeake Executive Council signed the landmark Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. This poster illustrates the plan to restore this complex multi-state watershed through an integrated set of goals and outcomes and the development of “management strategies” that will articulate the overarching and specific actions necessary to restore this national treasure.

PP43. Chesapeake Bay Water Quality: Policy Alternatives to Negate the Impact of Nonpoint Pollutant Sources Caused by Agricultural Runoff

Kaitlyn Cox, Roger Williams University School of Law/University of RI

The poster will highlight research surrounding Chesapeake Bay watershed water quality issues caused by nonpoint pollutant sources and will focus primarily on VA and pollution caused by agricultural runoff. Policy alternatives include state and federal legislation and an incentive based policy that focuses on the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.

PP44. Creating a Low Impact Development Manual for Coastal SC

April Turner, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Coauthors: Samantha Bruce, SC Sea Grant Extension; Blaik Keppler and Kathryn Ellis, ACE Basin Coastal Training Program

The overall goal of the project was to create an interdisciplinary, user-defined LID manual through a series of collaborative meetings with researchers, engineers, planners, and other stormwater practitioners. This Manual will serve as a source of coastal-specific LID information, tools, and resources for coastal SC.

PP45. San Francisco Bay Transition Zone Conservation and Management Decision Support System

Brian Fulfrost, Brian Fulfrost and Associates Coauthor: David Thomson, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory A GIS based decision support system to identify and prioritize marsh-upland ecotonal habitats (transitions) was developed to assist land managers in restoring and protecting San Francisco Bay’s (estuary) tidal marsh ecosystem.

PP46. Sea Level Rise Vulnerability of San Juan County, WA – An Approach for Assessing Erosion and Inundation Vulnerability at the County Scale

Alexis Blue, Coastal Geologic Services

Coauthors: Andrea MacLennan, Jonathan Wagoner, and Jim Johannessen, Coastal Geologic Services; Tina Whitman, Friends of the San Juans The objective of this study was to attain greater understanding of the areas within San Juan County, WA that are vulnerable to implications of sea level rise. The resulting countywide mapping tool highlights areas at risk to inundation and bluff erosion, for which management strategies can be developed.

PP47. Connecting Property Owners with Shorelines – A Comprehensive Database of Shoreline Data at the Parcel Scale

Alexis Blue, Coastal Geologic Services Coauthors: Jonathan Waggoner and Andrea MacLennan, Coastal Geologic Services A residential, shoreline parcel database was developed that linked ownership data with geomorphic shoretype, habitats, armor, and regional restoration and conservation priorities. Parcels were segmented based on the presence of a home, armor, and erosion potential, which was then used to identify target behaviors for shoreline management, outreach, and social marketing efforts.

PP48. Estuary Restoration Act Minimum Monitoring Standards

Chris Eng, USFWS Coauthor: Julia Royster, NOAA The Estuary Restoration Act of 2000, amended in 2007, mandated the development of monitoring data standards, which the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council (Council) published in 2003. The Council revised the existing standards to provide additional information and clarify certain requirements in an effort to ensure that future monitoring plans would more effectively meet the standards.

PP49. CAKE Dashboards: The Next Generation Adaptation Support Tools

Jessica Hitt, EcoAdapt

Coauthor: Rachel M. Gregg CAKE Dashboards, tailored adaptation databases, leverage CAKE’s existing infrastructure and content to showcase information for a particular topic (e.g.sector, impact, geography). Two pilots Dashboards, the Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) and the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability(CRAV) Dashboards, will be released in early 2015. CRAV is created in partnership with USGS.

 

Science, Technology, and Practice (STP) Posters

STP1. Role of Landscape Architects in Coastal Planning

Peter Alexander, Coastal Revitalization, LLC

Landscape architects can provide their unique, wide range of training and skill sets to plan, design, and oversee coastal revitalization.

STP2. Coastal Observations in the NERR System: Filling the Information Gap Between Land and Ocean for Coastal Management

Marie H. Bundy, NOAA

There is a pressing need for more long-term nearshore observations that can link directly to terrestrial ecosystems and coastal communities. We describe how data from the NERR system-wide monitoring program are used by coastal decision makers, lessons learned, challenges related to sustaining and growing the program, and successes with partners.

STP3. The Michigan Dune Alliance – Restoring Eastern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecosystems Through Invasive Terrestrial Plant Species Control

Shaun Howard, TNC

Since 2007 the Michigan Dune Alliance has implemented landscape-scale terrestrial invasive plant species control throughout the dunes of Eastern Lake Michigan. Outcomes totaling 30,000 acres of survey and treatment have only been possible using a collaborative partnership structure and a multi-tiered management approach. See what has made this project successful and what is planned for the future.

STP4. Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve, Old Lyme, CT – Coastal Moist Forest Restoration and Invasive Plant Management

Maribeth Chassey, Sacred Heart University

Elizabeth B. Karter Watch Rock Preserve is a 25-acre preserve located in Old Lyme, CT. The coastal moist forest is the dominate cover type on the preserve and is being invaded by non-native plant species. A multi-year restoration project has been implemented to remove invasives and restore native vegetation.

STP5. Shoreline and Habitat Change at Zeke’s Island, NC

Paul Cole, UNCW

Coauthors: Kelsey Potluck; Devon Eulie North Carolina’s shorelines and wetlands are unique environments that provide habitat to a variety of species. This study examined shoreline and habitat change over multiple temporal scales (historical and modern). Results indicate distinct areas of change along the shoreline and shifts in habitat distribution across the island since 1964.

STP6. Critical Coastal Habitat Assessment Program to Detect Impacts to Habitats From Climate Change in Tampa Bay, FL

Lindsay Cross, Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Coauthors: Michael Wessel, Janicki Environmental, Inc.; Pamela Latham, Atkins North America, Inc.; Doug Robison, Environmental Science Associates The Critical Coastal Habitat Assessment examines the status, trends, ecological function, and impacts of natural and indirect anthropogenic (e.g., climate change) perturbations on the mosaic of critical coastal habitats in the Tampa Bay, FL watershed using a multi-tier approach (baywide, bay segment, and habitat ecotone scale).

STP7. Conservation Paleobiology: Using the Past to Inform Coastal and Estuarine Restoration

Stephen Durham, Cornell University

Coauthors: Gregory P. Dietl; Jansen A. Smith; Michelle M. Casey Conservation paleobiology, the application of geohistorical records to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services, is an underutilized source of novel baseline data and perspectives for coastal restoration. Recent case studies are discussed to demonstrate this utility in the context of five major environmental stressors of coastal systems.

STP8. ShoreZone in AK and in the Pacific Northwest

Cindy Hartmann Moore, NOAA

Coauthors: Darren Stewart; John Harper; Steve Lewis ShoreZone is a coastal marine habitat mapping system in which spatially referenced aerial imagery is collected specifically for classification. Approximately 108,095 km of ShoreZone imagery exists for the Pacific Northwest coastline including the entire shoreline of OR (1,795 km), WA (4,933 km), British Columbia (37,619 km), and 63,748 km of the Alaskan coastline (~80%).

STP9. The Proper Management of Broad Brook Mills Superfund Site

Daniel Kielbania, Sacred Heart University

Coauthor: Jennifer Matrei The purpose of this study is to examine the EPA Superfund Site in East Windsor, CT. In order to protect the tributaries that flow into Long Island Sound, proper management and monitoring of groundwater and soil at this site is needed to prevent contaminants from entering into the Connecticut River.

STP10. Assessment of Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Nursery Habitat Requirements in Long Island Sound

Jaclyn Lange, Sacred Heart University

Coauthors: Mark A. Beekey; Jennifer H. Mattei Horseshoe crabs in the New England and NY regions continue to decline. The identification and assessment of essential nursery habitat for juvenile horseshoe crabs are required to mitigate the losses. The objectives will be to identify juvenile horseshoe crab nursery habitat and determine abundance, growth rates, and survivorship.

STP11. Restoring Hurricane-Damaged Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Habitat on Delaware Bay, NJ

Larry Niles, American Littoral Society (ALS) Coauthors: Dianne F Daly; Joseph Smith; Amanda Dey, NJDFW; Tim Dillingham, ALS We will discuss the design and preliminary results of a robust monitoring program that was developed concurrently with the restoration plan, with the guidance of the Richard Stockton College of NJ’s Coastal Research Center.

STP12. Restoration of Horseshoe Crab and Migratory Shorebird Habitat on Delaware Bay Beaches Damaged by Superstorm Sandy

Joseph Smith, American Littoral Society

Coauthors: Joseph Smith; Larry Niles; Dianne Daly Superstorm Sandy destroyed more than 70% of the optimal beach spawning habitat for horseshoe crabs on NJ’s Delaware Bay coastline. A coalition of partners restored 1.2 miles of spawning beach and the project was intensively monitored following restoration to assess success and to guide strategy for future restoration projects.

STP13. Recent Expansion of Osprey Nesting in San Francisco Bay

Anthony Brake, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

Coauthor: Harvey A. Wilson We carried out a nesting census documenting the recent expansion of breeding ospreys in San Francisco Bay, an area previously considered outside their breeding range. Almost all of the nests were built on human-made structures. Providing artificial nest structures will be necessary to accommodate this increasing population.

STP14. Contaminant Threats and Osprey Productivity in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary From Historic and Contemporary Perspectives

Rebecca S. Lazarus, USGS Coauthors: Barnett A. Rattner, USGS; Peter C. McGowan, USFWS; Robert C. Hale, VA Institute of Marine Science

From 2011-2013, osprey productivity was monitored and egg samples were collected to examine spatial and temporal trends of a suite of legacy and emerging environmental contaminants. These data will increase our knowledge of contaminant threats to Bay wildlife and understanding of their resilience in the face of ongoing threats and environmental change.

STP15. A Deadly “Microbe” Brew: Avian Botulism and Microcystins at the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island

Peter McGowan, USFWS

Coauthors: Michelle Osborne; Erica Miller; Lisa Murphy Greater than 770 waterbirds and mammals were found either sick or dead at a large-scale island restoration project in Chesapeake Bay during the summer and fall 2012. Avian botulism and exposure to microcystins during a harmful algal bloom were determined to be responsible for the mortalities and morbidities.

STP16. ArcGIS as a Tool to Study Population Dynamics of Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) in Rocky Intertidal Zones of Greenwich Point, CT

Peter Linderoth, Sacred Heart University The interpolated average count/m2 of Hemigrapsus sanguineus was determined to be 11.71 in the upper intertidal zone and 16.75 for the lower intertidal zone through a combination of field sampling and ArcGIS analyses. A total population of 96,066 individuals was extrapolated for the rocky intertidal zones on Greenwich Point, CT.

STP17. The LightHawk Aerial Perspective: Assessing Near Shore Habitat With Small Planes

Jonathan Milne, Lighthawk.org

Small planes piloted by LightHawk pilots have helped many organizations delineate and assess habitat features for nearly 35 years. Organizations such as TNC, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana have benefitted from this long-term partnership with LightHawk.

STP18. Late Summer Native Plant Establishment

Joseph Paternoster, DriWater

Can a time-release water gel (TRWG) provide enough moisture to establish a plant with reduced costs and less maintenance than hand watering?

STP19. Enhancing Regional Capacity for Habitat Restoration Project Tracking, Assessment, and Reporting

Sandra Scoggin, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture Coauthors: Kristal Davis-Fadtke, Delta Conservancy; Cristina Grosso, San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Sciences Center; Ruth Ostroff, Central Valley Joint Venture This project will expand the current capabilities of the wetland project tracking system for the monitoring and assessment of California’s aquatic resources to meet the project tracking, assessment, and reporting needs for current and planned habitat restoration in the San Francisco Bay-Delta and Central Valley.

STP20. Microplastics in Coastal Southeastern U.S. National Parks

Catherine Anna Toline, NPS Coauthors: Alex Chow and Xubiao Yu, Clemson University Microplastics pose a potentially serious threat to wildlife and human health in the coastal environment. Quantification of microplastics at NPS sites is necessary to determine the impact of this threat to otherwise protected areas. Data demonstrate the presence of plastic in sediments. Composition and potential sources are discussed.

STP21. Our Global Estuary: A Plan for the Future of Sustainable Estuary Management Through Enhanced Observation and Prediction Systems

William Douglas Wilson, Caribbean Wind, LLC

Coauthors: Antonio Baptista; Megan Davis; Vembu Subramanian; Robert Tudor Our Global Estuary is a response to the urgent need to anticipate and manage changes in estuaries – locally critical ecosystems whose aggregate services are essential for regional and global sustainability. The poster will present the Our Global Estuary concept, how it applies to the problems of estuary management nationally and internationally, and a vision of the future of estuary management.

STP22. The Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program – An Integrated Approach to Quantifying Carbon Cycling Throughout the Coastal Landscape at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC

Susan Cohen, Dept. of the Navy

Coauthors: Craig Tobias; Carolyn Currin; Iris Anderson The Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program, a multi-investigator project at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC focuses on carbon cycling with an approach that equally weights intra-habitat mass balancing with inter-habitat exchanges to yield an integrated assessment of carbon (re)distribution across a coastal landscape.

STP23. The Blue Carbon Potential of Living Shorelines

Jenny Davis, CSS/NOAA

Coauthors: Carolyn Currin; Colleen O’Brien Rates of carbon sequestration were investigated via collection of sediment cores in five created and two natural Spartina alterniflora marshes in coastal NC. Sequestration rates were similar between created and natural marshes indicating that living shorelines are valuable as sinks for blue carbon.

STP24. Developing a Model for Methane Emissions in Brackish Marshes for Use in Carbon Crediting

Robert Kyle Derby, University of MD, College Park

Coauthors: Brian A. Needelman, J. Patrick Megonigal Methane is a potent GHG and may offset a significant portion of the carbon sequestration of many brackish marshes. We will develop, calibrate, and validate an addendum to the Marsh Equilibrium Model to estimate methane emissions from brackish marshes using data collected from two marshes on MD’s Eastern Shore.

STP25. Ecosystem Level Methane Fluxes From Tidal Wetlands in LA

Guerry Holm, CH2M HILL

Coauthors: David McWhorter; Brian Perez; Richard Raynie Ecosystem level methane emissions from natural and created tidal wetland habitats that varied in salinity were estimated with eddy covariance techniques over three years. The methane emissions from these LA sites conformed well to an existing methane-salinity relationship established from chamber studies.

STP26. Geographic Concentration of Blue Carbon in the Continental U.S.: The Potential of Specific Estuaries, States, and Wetland Types for Carbon Sequestration

Audra Hinson, Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management, TX A&M University

Coauthor: Rusty A. Feagin Saltwater wetlands are reservoirs of carbon that can be bought and sold. The objective is to determine amounts of blue carbon in coastal wetlands in the continental U.S., categorizing potential by basin, state, and type. The potential of carbon sequestration relative to location could be influential in policy and society.

STP27. Blue Carbon in the Comox Valley: Monetizing the Benefits of Eelgrass and Salt Marsh Restoration in Coastal Communities

Christine Hodgson, North Island College

Project Watershed, a non-profit community organization located in Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada, received funding from NAPECA to pursue development of protocols appropriate to measure carbon sequestration in eelgrass and salt marsh habitats in a manner that is cost-effective and can be accomplished by community groups.

STP28. Sediment “Blue Carbon” Concentrations Vary Spatially Between a Restored Zostera marina (Eelgrass) Meadow: Implications for Estimating Carbon Benefits

Matthew Oreska, University of VA

Coauthor: Karen McGlathery Seagrass “blue carbon” sequestration helps mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. Calculating the magnitude of this benefit requires information on carbon accumulation and on meadow-scale spatial variation in the sediment carbon pool. We document sediment carbon concentration differences attributable to meadow expansion history and to edge proximity in a restored eelgrass meadow.

STP29. Continuous GHG Measurement at Plot of Field Scale: Tradeoffs in Supporting Blue Carbon Accounting With Chamber or Eddy-Covariance Flux Data

Lisamarie Windham-Myers, USGS Coauthors: Frank Anderson and Brian Bergamaschi, USGS GHG accounting methods (CO2, CH4, and N2O) were compared in a well-documented, restored, subsidence-reversal wetland of CA’s Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta. Methods showed comparable results, but the high spatial and temporal frequency of chamber data illustrated unappreciated flux pathways and opportunities to maximize carbon accounting through wetland design, monitoring, and modeling.

STP30. Fraser River Fisheries Restoration Using an Experimental Approach to Armouring the Foreshore

Jim Armstrong, Salmon Enhancement Habitat Advisory Board

Fraser River Fisheries Habitat Restoration/Foreshore Stabilization Project has a primary purpose to stabilize the river foreshore and restore/enhance the sensitive fisheries habitat in this area of the Fraser River using an experimental approach that will account for climate change and SLR. The project has been designed to use natural materials and native vegetation.

STP31. Comparison of Lead Concentrations in the Sediments and Biota of Stratford Point Before and After Restoration at the Mouth of the Housatonic River, CT

Courtney Ray, Sacred Heart University

Coauthors: Jennifer Mattei; John Rapaglia; Mark Beekey We compared the lead concentrations in sediments and biota before and after remediation and restoration. This unique technique in Long Island Sound, is experimenting with installing a ‘living shoreline’ to cap the site, decrease lead exposure to wildlife, slow coastal erosion, and increase estuarine habitats.

STP32. Initial Recruitment of Macroalgal and Invertebrate Species on an Artificial Reef in Long Island Sound, Stratford Point, CT

Brett Buckhout, Sacred Heart University

Coauthors: Jennifer H. Mattei; Mark A. Beekey; LaTina Steele The construction of a living shoreline at Stratford Point, CT was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the structure in protecting coastal shoreline from storm generated erosion. The living shoreline was designed using a marsh edge stabilization approach. Biotic data were collected and analyzed to determine recruitment success.

STP33. Shoreline Remediation at Stratford Point, CT Using Reef Balls for Wave Energy Reduction as Part of a Hybrid Living Shoreline Protection Strategy

Andrew Dolan, Sacred Heart University

Coauthors: John Rapaglia; Mark Beekey; Jennifer Mattei At Stratford Point, CT, a previously degraded salt marsh is being remediated by installing 60 Reef Balls parallel to the shoreline that will mitigate wave energy causing beach erosion. To mitigate beach erosion, we are using a hybrid approach of hard permeable structures and a living shoreline of Spartina grass.

STP34. Living Shorelines, Techniques, and Successes

Jim McFarlane, Reef Ball Foundation / Reef Innovations

Coauthors: Larry Beggs; Jim McFarlane Reef Balls used in various coastal settings will be studied. We expect excellent results in shoreline restoration, increased shoreline resilience, and long range results with sea level rising. Pre-sight studies and approval of project will provide baseline analysis of the area. On-site quantitative data and photographic records will be analyzed to show the effectiveness of the projects.

STP35. Living Shorelines: Using Created Oyster Reefs and Science to Develop Better Erosion Control Structures for GA

Jan Mackinnon, GA DNR: Coastal Resources Division Coauthors: T. Bliss, Marine Extension Service; S. Coleman, Little Saint Simons Island; C. Lambert, TNC This presentation details the engineering, biological attributes, and benefits of the recently constructed erosion control, living shoreline oyster reef on Little Saint Simons Island, GA. Included in the project are an Essential Fisheries Habitat study coupled with the novel use of interspersed vegetation plantings and geotextile for enhanced erosion-resistance and habitat benefits.

STP38. Living Shorelines: Small-Scale Restoration Efforts and Their Ecological Impacts on Local Communities.

Jim Dobberstine, Lee College and Galveston Bay Foundation Coauthors: Tia Hall, Lee College; Lee Anne Wilde, Galveston Bay Foundation Data was collected at living shorelines sites to quantify potential benefits of small-scale restoration projects around Galveston Bay. The data suggest that while the restored sites are similar to natural sites across a number of characteristics measured, time may be required before community development achieves ecologic parity with comparable natural sites.

STP39. Living Shoreline Sites in DE: Site Selection, Research Design, and Lessons Learned

Matthew Jennette, DE DNR and Environmental Control (DNREC) Coauthors: Alison B. Rogerson, DNREC; Danielle Kreeger and Joshua Moody, Partnership for the DE Estuary Living shoreline projects were installed in tributaries of the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays to showcase natural alternatives to hard armoring and educate contractors and landowners. Criteria for site selection, drafting construction plans, establishing a research program, and navigating the permitting process are documented to guide restoration efforts.

STP40. New Performance Assessment and Guidance Document of “Soft” and “Hard” Shore Protection Techniques in Puget Sound

Jim Johannessen, Coastal Geologic Services Coauthors: Andrea MacLennan and Alexis Blue, Coastal Geologic Services Quantitative performance analysis of 25 “soft” and “hard” shore projects informed the development of a guidance document for the sheltered marine shores of Puget Sound.

STP41. Pilot Living Shorelines Project Design and Data From San Francisco Bay

Marilyn Latta, CA State Coastal Conservancy Coauthors: Katharyn Boyer, San Francisco State University; Jeremy Lowe, ESA PWA; Chela Zabin, University of CA, Davis

The San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines Project is a multi-objective habitat restoration project with the overarching goal to create biologically rich and diverse subtidal and low intertidal habitats, including eelgrass and oyster reefs. Preliminary data show that restored habitat structure promotes increased abundance of numerous organisms and reduces wave energy.

STP42. Restorative Landscaping in a Coastal Ecosystem: Living Shorelines

Rosmarie Lohnes, Helping Nature Heal, Inc.

Coauthor: Kirsten Busche Restorative landscaping treats the environment and people as an interconnected system and focuses on the importance of the design component of coastal management. The technique we use to design Living Shorelines is “Land to Water”. The broader ecosystem is considered in designs that incorporate the needs of the environment with those of the people using the system to create sustainable coastlines.

STP43. Coastal Marsh/Living Shoreline Restoration Pilot Projects in the Mid-Atlantic Region: Chesapeake Bay and Barnegat Bay Watersheds

Lawrence Malizzi, Matrix New World Engineering, Inc.

Coauthors: Rejina Sharma; Robert R. Fiorile Matrix and Restore the Earth Foundation are implementing two living shoreline pilot projects in the mid-Atlantic region. The projects utilize innovative technology successfully employed in the Gulf region to demonstrate that this restoration method can be successfully adapted to local conditions of the mid-Atlantic.

STP44. Shoreline Green Infrastructure – The Next Generation of Resilient Techniques

Ed Morgereth, Biohabitats, Inc.

This poster covers the innovation of shoreline management and green infrastructure applications for more resilient coastal communities, particularly in developed areas. From case studies and demonstration projects the future needs and possibilities for new techniques and applications are explored with the goal of regenerating ecological functions for improved ecosystem services.

STP45. Assessment of Landscape-Seascape Connectivity in a Developed Estuary Based on Diamondback Terrapin Distribution Models

Robert Isdell, VA Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Coauthors: Randolph M. Chambers; Donna M. Bilkovic; Matthias Leu To assess landscape-seascape connectivity in a developed estuary, we used occupancy models to relate diamondback terrapin occurrence survey data to human, habitat, and environmental variables at multiple spatial scales. We identified thresholds for terrapin occurrence that relate to ecosystem health and functioning with implications for managers.

STP46. Diamondback Terrapin in Maryland’s Coastal Bays: Science and Outreach

Roman Jesien, MD Coastal Bays Program

Coauthors: Bill Mahoney; Sandi Smith We describe activities conducted from 2010 to 2014 in MD’s Atlantic Bays to expand information on terrapin distribution within the coastal bays and for outreach on the challenges to terrapin survival. Activities include: head count surveys, removal of abandoned crab pots, reporting terrapins, and encourage use of turtle excluders.

STP47. Sand Seepage Wetland Restoration at Lizard Hill, MD

Roman Jesien, MD Coastal Bays Program Coauthors: Joe Berg, Biohabitats, Inc; Keith Underwood, Underwood and Assoc.; Kevin Smith, MD DNR We describe results of monitoring a restoration sand seepage wetland dominated by Atlantic white cedar in MD’s Atlantic coast. Physical measurements, temperature, and dissolved oxygen generally increased from upstream to the downstream station. Nutrients exhibited wide fluctuations but nitrogen and phosphorus consistently decreased from the upstream to downstream during summer.

STP48. Assessing and Restoring Tidal Restrictions in Casco Bay, ME

Curtis Bohlen, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership

Coauthor: Matthew Craig, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership At least 70 roads, dams, and other structures restrict saltwater inundation of Casco Bay’s salt marshes, altering hydrological regimes and habitat. The Casco Bay Estuary Partnership developed innovative rapid assessment and remote sensing techniques to identify tidal restrictions, prioritize restoration efforts, and inform implementation and monitoring.

STP49. Macro- and Meso-Tidal Wetland Restoration in Canada’s Maritime Provinces

Jennie Graham, CBWES, Inc. Coauthors: Nancy Neatt and Tony Bowron, CBWES, Inc.; Robert Pett, Nova Scotia Dept. of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

The focus of this poster is on the eight tidal wetland restoration projects in Nova Scotia that are using the GPAC Regional Monitoring Program in order to illustrate some of the lessons learned regarding the ecological condition of Nova Scotia tidal wetlands and their response to restoration efforts.

STP50. Fragmentation of Jekyll Island’s Forgotten “First Creek”: Planning for Restoration

Ben Carswell, Jekyll Island State Park Authority

Coauthors: Kimberly Andrews; Elizabeth King; Guy Moore A tidal system formerly known as First Creek on Jekyll Island, GA, exists in a fragmented and degraded state. The objectives of this work are to assess drivers of ecosystem health, evaluate restoration methodologies, and monitor ecosystem variables to prepare for restoration.

STP51. Investigating the Development of a Bay Promontory Salt Marsh in Greenbackville, VA Through Vibracoring

Adam Cooper, Kutztown University

Coauthors: Adrienne Oakley; Sean Cornell; Eric Wink Vibracore samples from the Greenbackville/Franklin City salt marsh provide details about the origin of this bay promontory marsh. Initial results from cores collected in March 2014 suggest that the salt marsh grew outward into the bay over time.

STP52. Expansion of Phragmites australis Resulting From Alteration of Salt Marsh Hydrology Due to Anthropogenic Causes at Greenbackville, VA

Megan Kelsall, Shippensburg University

Coauthors: Benjamin Eppley; Sean Cornell Water monitoring wells were installed and the data collected were used to investigate the dynamics of the hydrologic activity in the salt marsh at Greenbackville, VA. To explain how people have affected the marsh, the data collected, infrastructure placement, and the growth of the invasive plant Phragmites australias were studied.

STP53. Long-Term Planning for Forested Wetland Restoration at an Estuary’s Edge

Robin Dingle, The ELM Group, Inc.

Coauthors: Matthew Bennett; Peter Brussock This poster presentation will identify the hydrologic conditions of the forested wetland complex pre- and post­remediation, including an assessment of the frequency and intensity of storm events over the past 30 years and their influence on the restored wetland’s hydrology. The data will be extrapolated to estimate future wetland hydrology and the impact on plant species composition.

STP54. Pre-Restoration Hydrological Results of Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay Ditched-Drained Marshes on the Eastern Shore of MD

Dorothea Lundberg, University of MD

Coauthors: Brian Needelman; Karen Prestegaard This project assesses hydrological processes in ditched-drained marshes in Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay marshes. Main objective is to identify and compare pre-restoration and natural unaltered unditched site characteristics in ditched, unditched, and one reference site. Results of pre-restoration period of hydrological, soil, water quality, and salinity will be presented.

STP55. Strategic Marsh Adaptation: The MAST Tool

Charles Colgan, Monterey Institute of International Studies

Coauthor: Sam Merrill To help guide the inward migration of wetlands, the Marsh Adaptation Strategy Tool (MAST) was developed and tested. Expert-allocated Wetland Benefit Units and Benefit Creation Functions enable the software to evaluate cumulative expected benefits over time. Counterintuitively, the smallest test parcel generated the greatest value, demonstrating need for topographically-sensitive software.

STP56. The Hole-in-the-Donut Success Story: Soil Removal Transforms Invasive Monoculture to Herbaceous Wetland

Jill Meyer, CSS-Dynamac Coauthors: Suzanne Kennedy, Floravista, Inc.; Steve Woodmansee, Pro Native Consulting; Jonathan Taylor, Everglades National Park

Through removal of invasive Brazilian pepper and farmed top-soil The Hole-in-the-Donut, a 6,600 acre wetland mitigation area in the Everglades National Park, has been successfully restored to herbaceous marsh. Vegetation monitoring and analyses indicates restored areas have consistently met government regulatory mitigation criteria targets starting one year after soil removal.

STP57. Tolerance Capacity and Acclimation of Coastal Plant Species to Variation in Salinity and Hydric Stress for Restoration of Urban Wetlands

Wilmer O. Rivera-De Jesús, University of PR – Río Piedras Campus

Coauthor: Elvira Cuevas This study evaluates the tolerance capacity of three coastal plants species to varying condition in hydric and salt stress. These species are used in the rehabilitation of urban wetlands. For this reason it is important to know the degree of tolerance that these species can have to different stress conditions.

STP58. Nueces Marsh Restoration Master Plan: Successful Implementation of Flexible Design and Funding Strategies

Cameron Perry, HDR

To address habitat losses in Nueces Bay, TX, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) developed a long-term restoration master plan to create 160 acres of marsh complex. The flexible plan and permit allowed CBBEP to pursue multiple funding sources to quickly complete the entire project scope.

STP59. Rumney Marsh Wetland Restoration Areas

Edward Reiner, EPA

The status of Rumney Marsh restoration projects involving fill removal or the installation of self-regulating tide gates is depicted on mapping products prepared by Region 1 GIS Center.

STP60. Safeguarding From Sulfide: Can Pescadero Estuary Be Restored?

Chandra Richards, University of CA, Berkeley

Coauthor: Céline Pallud Die-offs of steelhead trout in the Pescadero Estuary have prompted studies into the causal reasons for their deaths, implicating biogeochemical conditions of the aquatic ecosystem. This research reviews sulfur redox processes, biochemical conditions, and anthropogenic disturbances at Pescadero in determining if environmental mitigation is likely before damages to Pescadero are irreversible.

STP61. Sampling Suspended Sediment Within Estuarine Wetlands: A Case Study in San Francisco Bay

Lisa Schile, San Francisco Bay NERR

Coauthors: Matt Ferner; John Callaway; Evyan Borgnic We developed and tested a simple method for sampling suspended sediment entering into estuarine wetlands. Resulting data were used to inform three marsh accretion models previously applied to San Francisco Bay wetlands. Future application of the method will allow comparison of sediment inputs to a variety of estuarine wetlands.

STP62. Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project – Three Years of Post-Construction Monitoring

Lawrence Smith, USACE Coauthors: Jane Grandon, USACE; Rachel Woodfield, Merkel & Associates The poster presents three years of post-construction monitoring for the Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project.

STP63. Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model to Describe Marsh Platform Flow With Barrier Design

Susan Taylor, Abt Associates and Vanderbilt University Coauthor: David J. Furbish, Vanderbilt University We present an analysis of the flow regime on salt marsh platforms exposed to various barrier designs, with implications for primary productivity and marsh platform inundation. The model provides the first steps for examining whether shoreline structures contribute to macrophyte sustainability or degradation, or contribute to platform erosion.

STP64. Restoration of a Suburban, Coastal Woodland: Management of Aggressive Invasive Plant Species

Lindsay Tomaszewski, Sacred Heart University

Coauthors: Matt Baldwin; Jennifer Mattei Invasive plant species were identified and mapped in the area of a fragmented coastal wetland. The most aggressive of these species have a rhizome root system, decreasing the effectiveness of many removal methods. Alternative procedures were examined to determine to most successful eradication technique.

STP66. Louisiana’s Coastwide Reference Monitoring System-Wetlands (CRMS): Past, Present, and Future

Leigh Anne Sharp, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of LA

The Coastwide Reference Monitoring System-Wetlands is funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act and LA to monitor the effectiveness of LA’s coastal restoration effort at multiple scales. Hydrologic, elevation change, vegetation, and spatial data are utilized for project assessment, planning, and modeling.

STP67. Are Tidal Marsh Restorations Designed To Be Resilient to Climate Change?

Judith Weis, Rutgers University

Coauthor: Beth Ravit, Rutgers University “No fill” policies may undermine urban marsh restoration success. Recent salt marsh restorations in NY/NJ did not address future SLR or storms, while CA and LA did, including use of dredged material to create new marshland. Marsh “replenishment” should be specifically allowed in regulatory policy to preserve and restore low-lying urban coastal marshes.

STP68. The Effects of Long-Term Water Level Management Upon Accretion and Wetland Elevations in the Coastal Impoundments of DE

Bartholomew Wilson, USFWS Coauthors: Drexel Siok, Kenny Smith, and Christina Pinkerton, DE Coastal Program/DNREC This study evaluated the effects of long-term impoundment management on the rate of accretion and wetland platform elevational deficiencies, as compared to reference wetlands. Cs-137 analysis and RTK surveying were conducted on nine impoundments and four tidal wetlands to evaluate the effect of management upon their evolution.

STP69. Evaluation of Tidal Marsh Stability as a Component of Remediation and Restoration Planning in an Urban Estuary

Jennifer Wollenberg, The ELM Group, Inc.

Coauthor: Peter P. Brussock Marsh area, vegetation, and channel geomorphology were evaluated over time at an estuarine Superfund site. Marsh functions and values, and aboveground biomass, were also measured. The morphology appears stabilized by the Phragmites-dominated plant community. No relationship was observed between contaminant concentrations and biomass or wetland functions and values.

STP71. Beneficial Use of Dredged Material to Restore Resiliency to Salt Marshes: Two Methods Explored

Metthea Yepsen, TNC

Coauthor: Adrianna Zito-Livingston This study pilots two salt marsh restoration techniques using dredged materials in NJ. Two methods were employed for this project: 1) thin-layer placement of dredged material to help marshes keep pace with SLR and 2) dredged material used to restore marsh area lost to erosion.

STP72. Distribution Patterns of Tropical Wetlands in the Course of Reforestation and Urbanization

Mei Yu, University of PR, Río Piedras Campus

Coauthors: Qiong Gao; Luis Villanueva; Daniel Davila The coastal wetland in PR has been under great pressure for cultivation historically and coastal development recently. However, the implementation of laws and regulations on wetland protection since the 1970s resulted in the recovery of coastal wetlands and led to its aggregation with the fragmentation reduced by more than half.

STP73. Evolution of Community-Based Restoration Techniques for Transition Zone Habitat at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in San Francisco Bay, CA

Hayley Zemel, Save The Bay, San Francisco Coauthors: Jack States, Jon Backus, and Donna Ball, Save The Bay The transition zones between the coastal marshes and upland areas of San Francisco Bay are critical habitat for hundreds of species, some of which are threatened or endangered. We describe the evolution of Save The Bay’s community-based restoration techniques in these critical areas using case studies of sites over a six-year period.

STP74. Salt Marsh Integrity Assessment Baseline Monitoring Results: 15 National Wildlife Refuges – ME to VA, 2012 – 2014

Susan Adamowicz, USFWS/ Rachel Carson NWR

Coauthors: Toni Mikula; Jordan Kramer; Jan Taylor The results from three years of salt marsh conditions at 15 NWR are presented here. Study sites included coastal refuges located from ME to VA. Data from 2012/13 will be summarized and a preliminary assessment of 2014 findings given. This project will inform current and future restoration efforts.

STP75. Measuring Tidal Wetland Resilience Across Region Five: Monitoring Protocol for Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Projects

Georgia Basso, USFWS

The USFWS Sandy Team conducted a needs assessment and developed monitoring protocol in an effort to ensure success of Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Projects. This poster presentation will cover the planning process, resulting monitoring protocol and how the protocol is being applied to improve restoration for resilience in the Sandy affected areas of Region 5.

STP76. Tidal Marsh Restoration at Edwin B. Forsythe and Cape May NWR

Paul Castelli, USFWS EB Forsythe NWR

Coauthors: Virginia Rettig; Brian Braudis; Heidi Hanlon We will discuss a suite of projects designed to mitigate impacts of Hurricane Sandy and reduce threats to resiliency of Edwin B. Forsythe and the Cape May NWR complex. Our goal is to maintain and improve green infrastructure and safeguard ecosystem services, including wildlife habitat and protection of shore communities.

STP77. Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Restoration of Salt Marsh Habitat on NWR in RI: A Preliminary Summary

Nick Ernst, USFWS RI NWR Complex

The John Chafee NWR includes salt marshes along the Narrow River which are subjected to wave impacts. A comprehensive assessment of waves, marsh bank conditions, and erosion was performed. In 2014, 1,500 linear feet of biologs (plus oyster sills) and controls were established. Preliminary findings will be presented.

STP78. Comprehensive Marsh and Water Monitoring Guides for Wetland Management, Planning, and Restoration at Prime Hook NWR on the Delaware Bay

Susan Guiteras, USFWS Bombay Hook NWR

Coauthors: Annabella Larsen; Bob Scarborough; Mike Mensinger Prime Hook NWR plans a large-scale tidal marsh restoration in 4,000 acres of previously managed freshwater wetlands, which were impacted by saltwater intrusion through substantial dune breaches during recent storms, including Hurricane Sandy. The proposed restoration design, monitoring, and current project status will be described in more detail.

STP79. A Regional Collaboration to Assess Lessons Learned and Best Practices From Marsh Restoration Projects Across the Superstorm Sandy-Impacted Region

Nicole Maher, TNC

TNC is assembling a multi-state Regional Technical Workgroup composed of salt marsh restoration practitioners from across the Sandy-impacted region to share lessons learned and best practices. This regional collaboration will allow a synoptic analysis of marsh response to similar techniques and a more comprehensive approach for implementing adaptive management.

STP80. Oyster Reef Restoration at Chincoteague NWR in VA

Kevin Holcomb, USFWS Coauthor: Bowdoin Lusk, TNC The USFWS, in partnership with TNC, NPS, and the VA Marine Resources Commission, are planning to construct two living shoreline/oyster reef restoration projects on the Chincoteague NWR. The proposed restoration design, monitoring, and current project status will be described in more detail.

STP81. The Value of Information in Ocean Energy Development

Zaneta Adme, East Carolina University

A large number of parameters for Gulf Stream energy are highly uncertain. Particularly, although not uniquely, important are the current speeds in the Gulf Stream over three dimensions of space and over time. Using a fairly flexible model of levelized cost, the economic value of increasing confidence and/or reducing variance in estimates of key model parameters.

STP82. Predicting Effects of Changing Salinity and Light on Native and Invasive Submerged Plants in the Upper San Francisco Estuary

Evyan Borgnis, CA Coastal Conservancy Coauthor: Katharyn Boyer, San Francisco State University This poster will describe an investigation into impacts from shifting salinity and light regimes within the San Francisco Estuary on native and invasive SAV. Currently, competition likely limits native SAV in freshwater, but rising salinity and falling turbidity could lead to an eastward distribution shift as invasive SAV becomes too stressed to compete.

STP83. Distribution and Diversity of Invasive Tunicates on Eelgrass in Eastern North America

David Grunden, Town of Oak Bluffs, MA Coauthors: Mary R. Carman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Philip D. Colarrusso, EPA The impacts of tunicates using eelgrass blades as a settlement surface, especially invasive species, is detrimental to healthy eelgrass meadows. The results to the eelgrass are reduced growth rates, reduced number of leaves per shoot, and reduced canopy height.

STP85. Mangrove Ecology and Restoration Potentiality in the Miri River Estuary, Sarawak, Malaysia

Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal, Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Campus

Coauthor: M.K.A. Bhuiyan Mangroves are important coastal habitats that help to stabilize banks and coastline and become homes to many organisms. The degradation of this forest due to anthropogenic activities may cause depletion of various ecosystem functions. This poster outlines the present status of mangroves and its ecosystem, which help to restore a wetland in a degraded estuary in Malaysia.

STP87. Assessment of the Ecological Uplift Associated with the Restoration of the Caño Martín Peña (San Juan Bay, PR)

David Tomasko, Environmental Science Associates Coauthors: Don Deis, Atkins North America; Francisco Perez, Atkins Caribe; Katia Aviles, Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña

The closure of the Caño Martín Peña has resulted in reduced tidal exchange into San José Lagoon from San Juan Bay. Reestablishment of the tidal connection is anticipated to benefit not only San José Lagoon, but also those species that use nearshore reef environments for (typically) adult stages of their life cycle.

STP88. Community-Based Oyster Gardening, Monitoring, and Restoration in the Indian River Lagoon, FL

Samantha Anderson, Brevard Zoo Coauthors: Jody Palmer, Brevard Zoo; Holly Abeels, University of FL IFAS Extension, Brevard County; Virginia Barker, Brevard County Natural Resources The Brevard Oyster Gardening Project is a community-based project utilizing citizen scientists to collect data regarding the survivability of oysters in the Indian River Lagoon for oyster reef restoration efforts. Filter feeding oysters have the potential to improve the water quality and overall health of the Indian River Lagoon.

STP89. The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s “Oyster Shell Recycling and Reef Restoration Program”

- Leveraging Partnerships to Implement LA’s First Oyster Shell Recycling Program

Hilary Collis, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) Coauthors: Jenny Byrd and Kelly Messer, CRCL In 2014, CRCL created the state’s first formalized oyster shell recycling program. CRCL leveraged partnerships from Shell, NOAA, the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, local restaurants, recycling companies, and volunteers to ensure program success. Shell collection began in May 2014, and shell will be used for volunteer-based projects.

STP90. Shell Recycling as an Integral Part of Oyster Restoration in VA

Jackie Shannon, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF)

Coauthors: Tommy Leggett; Bill Goldsboro CBF recognizes the importance of shell recycling as a key component of restoring healthy oyster populations in VA. CBF works with many dedicated partners and volunteers to recycle this valuable resource through outreach and education. Current efforts are yielding about 700 bushels of shells annually. The reclaimed shells are utilized for “spat on shell” production.

STP91. Fossil Oyster Shell in Oyster Restoration: From Underwater to Underground and Back Again

Eric Weissberger, MD DNR

Coauthor: Michael Naylor Fossil oyster shell from FL is a favored but cost-prohibitive substrate for oyster reef restoration. Donation of transport costs by CSX railroad lowered the overall price, allowing MD to use fossil shell in the largest oyster sanctuary restoration projects ever attempted in Chesapeake Bay, and potentially for public fishery enhancement.

STP92. Utilizing Oyster Breakwaters and Other Living Shoreline Techniques to Create a Resilient Shoreline in the Delaware Bay

Moses Katkowski, TNC

Coauthors: Patricia Doerr; Metthea Yepsen; Adrianna Zito-Livingston TNC in NJ will present the engineering plans, monitoring plans, and lessons learned from the preparation of an oyster breakwater project in the Delaware Bay that will test the efficacy of this innovative technique in a high energy shoreline in a Mid-Atlantic Estuary in 2015.

STP93. Analysis, Design, and Construction of Selected Oyster Reef Shoreline Projects in the Gulf of Mexico

Tyler Ortego, Wayfarer Environmental Technologies/ORA Estuaries

This poster will give an overview of oyster reef shoreline installations constructed of OysterBreak armor units, specifically looking at project design, construction methods, and coastal engineering analysis.

STP94. Restoring Habitat for the Selfless Shellfish: Community-Based Restoration, Research and Monitoring of Intertidal Oyster Reefs in Mosquito Lagoon, FL

Jody Palmer, Brevard Zoo

Coauthors: Linda Walters; Paul Sacks Brevard Zoo and University of Central FL are working in partnership to research, restore, and monitor oyster reefs in the Indian River Lagoon, FL. From the classroom to the field, the partners are empowering the community to act for a healthier lagoon.

STP95. Innovative Oyster Reef Restoration in Matagorda Bay, TX

Julie Sullivan, TNC

Coauthor: Mark Dumesnil The oyster reef restoration design of Half Moon Reef incorporates several innovative methods. A larger range of material sizes was used to increase the variability of interstitial habitat spaces for associated marine fauna. The material is placed into three-dimensional rows to mimic the three-dimensional qualities of undisturbed oyster reefs.

STP96. R/V Patricia Campbell: State-of-the-Art Oyster Restoration Vessel

Karl Willey, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Coauthors: Meghan Hoffman; Dan Johannes The R/V Patricia Campbell, a state-of-the-art oyster restoration vessel, will be described in this poster. She mechanically plants seed oysters, controlling the pattern and density with hydraulic hoppers, built-in conveyor belt and spreader. With through-hull spuds and a deck crane, she also has the capacity to transport and place artificial reef units like reef balls.

STP97. A Meta-Analysis of Modeled Nitrogen Removal From Shellfish Farms

Suzanne B. Bricker, NOAA

Coauthors: Julie M. Rose; Joao G. Ferreira The use of shellfish aquaculture for the reduction of coastal eutrophication is proposed. A meta-analysis of modeled nitrogen removal by shellfish farms in 14 locations in 9 countries across 4 continents and 7 species is presented. Predicted removal rates compared favorably to agricultural best management practices and stormwater control measures.

STP98. Adaptation of Freshwater Stream Restoration Techniques to Restore Estuarine Waterways

Matthew Bennett, The ELM Group, Inc.

Coauthors: Robin Dingle; Peter Brussock The Rosgen method for natural channel restoration is widely accepted and has been incorporated into freshwater waterway restoration projects across the continental U.S. The core principle of measuring morphological relationships of stable streams and applying those relationships to streams that need restoration can be applied to any river system, whether unidirectional or tidal.

STP99. Using Water Quality Monitoring Data to Direct Restoration Efforts: A Case Study in the Pettaquamscutt Estuary (Narrow River) in Southern RI

Veronica Berounsky, University of RI Coauthors: Annette DeSilva, URI-GSO and Narrow River Preservation Association.; Elizabeth Scott, RIDEM; Charles E. Vandemoer, USFWS Water quality monitoring data are crucial in pinpointing bacterial and nutrient hot spots and then planning restoration efforts in the Pettaquamscutt Estuary. The USFWS, a non-profit environmental organization, university scientists, a state agency, and two towns in the watershed are working together to achieve this.

STP100. Owl Creek Stream Assessment and Analysis: Identifying Potential Sources of Water Quality Impairment in a Tidal Watershed to Support a Stormwater Management Plan

Matt Petty, CDM Smith, Inc.

Coauthor: Robert Hopper In support of the City of Virginia Beach’s Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan, the Center for Watershed Protection’s Unified Stream Assessment method was modified for use within the non-wadeable, tidal Owl Creek watershed. Potential sources of water quality impairment were identified and prioritized, so the City could implement recommended corrective actions.

STP101. Making Ditches Work for Water Quality: An Opportunity to Improve the Chesapeake Bay With High-Value, Low-Cost Roadside Ditch Restoration

Amy Jacobs, TNC Coauthors: Alan Girard, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Kathy Boomer, TNC; Ray Clarke, Talbot County Public Works

Roadside ditch networks present an ideal opportunity to improve water quality from both agricultural and urban sources that minimizes loss of cropland and maximizes county resources. We developed a decision support tool in collaboration with government officials, farmers/landowners, and other NGOs to identify and implement enhancement and restoration opportunities.

STP102. Innovative In-Stream Control Methodologies for Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution and Abating Phosphorus Loadings to the Great Lakes

Michele Leduc-Lapierre, Great Lakes Commission

Coauthors: Thomas Crane; Erika Jensen; Elizabeth Lillard This poster presents a comprehensive overview of innovative in-stream best management practices used throughout the U.S. and Canada to reduce nonpoint source pollution and phosphorus loadings, including riparian buffers, reactive materials, and two-stage ditches. Information is provided on the costs, effectiveness, and successful implementation of these technologies.

STP103. Effects of Wet and Dry Weather Events on Bacteria (Enterococci) Levels and Detection of Hotspots in a Brackish Water Marina in TX

Emily Seldomridge, Galveston Bay Foundation Coauthors: Ryan Bare, TX A&M University; Katie McCann and Charlene Bohanon, Galveston Bay Foundation Water quality monitoring in marinas is lacking in the Galveston Bay region, making it difficult to quantify their role in fecal bacteria impairments. This study measured Enterococci concentrations throughout a marina to detect bacteria hotspots and gradients, and compare them to rainfall accumulation to determine the role of stormwater runoff.

STP104. Formation of Iron/Cadmium Nanofiber in the Decontamination Process of Wastewater

Keyla Soto, UPR

Coauthors: Beatriz Zayas; Rolando Guzman-Blas; Carlos R. Cabrera The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of the nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI) nanoparticles in the removal of Cd(II), from aqueous solutions of 1, 3, and 6 ppm. These results suggest that nZVI could be employed as an efficient adsorbent for the removal of cadmium from contaminated water sources.

STP105. Nodal Point Pollution, Variability, Sustainability, and Water Quality Stressors and Its Relationship to Restoration

Diana Muller, South River Federation Coauthor: Andrew Muller, United States Naval Academy An estuarine sustainability characterization map was developed in order to prioritize restoration goals by using six years of intensive physiochemical data. Results indicate that individual tidal creeks may be considered nodes of pollutant sources and must be treated accordingly when it comes to restoration types.

STP106. Understanding Lake Erie Water Quality Dynamics Using an Unstructured-Based Bio-Physical Model

Meng Xia, University of MD Eastern Shore

Coauthors: Qianru Niu; Long Jiang; Edward Rutherford A three-dimensional, wave-current based coupled model was used to simulate hydrodynamics, nutrient, phytoplankton and zooplankton, particularly in western Lake Erie. We evaluated the interactive effects of river discharge and wind-driven currents on the plume, nutrient, phytoplankton, and zooplankton distribution. The effect of wave to nutrient/zooplankton dynamics is further investigated.

STP107. Estimated Influence of Conowingo Reservoir Infill on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL

Guido Yactayo, University of MD Center for Environmental Science

Coauthors: Lewis C. Rinker; Richard Tian; Ping Wang The ability of the Conowingo reservoir on the lower Susquehanna River to trap sediment is declining and the contribution of pollutants delivered to the Chesapeake Bay is increasing over time. The influence of the Conowingo reservoir infill on Chesapeake water quality was assessed using various modeling approaches.

STP108. Post-Sandy Bradley Beach Maritime Forest Creation: A Small-Scale Project With Large-Scale Application Potential

Aleksandr Modjeski, American Littoral Society

Coauthors: Chris Benosky; Chris Syrett Coastal lakes are unique features and important natural resources of NJ’s coastline. The Bradley Beach Maritime Forest Creation and Restoration Project was implemented as a small-scale case study that could serve as a model and template for future, more comprehensive resiliency restoration efforts.

STP109. Accelerating recovery after the Deepwater Forizon Oil Spill: Response of the Macroinvertebrate Community to Shoreline Oiling Effects

Stefan Bourgoin, Atkins Coauthor: Don Deis, Atkins This study examines the effect that the Deepwater Horizon has had on macroinvertebrate communities in Barataria Bay, LA. Study sites are grouped as reference, moderately-oiled, and heavily-oiled. Results thus far have shown the greatest abundance of Littoraria irrorata on moderately-oiled sites, although smaller individuals inhabit the heavily-oiled sites, suggesting a possible new recruitment.

STP110. Evaluating Land-Use Effects on the Stinging Sea Nettle: Are Shoreline Hardening Structures Creating Habitat for Nuisance Species?

Nina Sassano, East Carolina University

Coauthor: David Kimmel This project tested the settling rates of asexually reproducing sea nettle (Chrysaora quinqucirrha) polyps on artificial and manmade structures in the Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina. The ultimate goal of this project was to determine if polyp settlement differed among common shoreline stabilization materials.

STP111. A Blue Carbon Case Study – Restoration of K’omoks Estuary Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Beds: Towards a Marine Sediment Carbon Sequestration Rate Protocol

Angela Spooner, Project Watershed

Seagrass beds are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet yet their global carbon stores have not yet been adequately assessed. An examination of intertidal and subtidal biomass and sediment samples are being analyzed to determine the baseline carbon storage and sequestration levels in the K’ómoks Estuary eelgrass population and sediments. Sediments from within established eelgrass beds in intertidal and subtidal areas will be compared to an adjacent pelagic site, looking at 210Pb, total organic carbon, inorganic carbon, nitrogen-7 and sediment mixing layer depths.

STP112. The Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project: Habitat Improvement and Mosquito Source Reduction in a Centennial Tidal Marsh

Rachel Spadafore, Audubon California

Coauthors: Stuart Siegel; Dan A. Gillenwater The Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project will improve the hydrological and ecological function of the centennial Sonoma Creek Marsh. Channel networks will improve tidal exchange, nutrient cycling, and provide habitat for marsh-dependent wildlife species, including several listed species. By implementing an innovative transition zone, the project will improve the marsh’s resiliency to sea-level rise.

Nov 032014
 

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a water dispute between Florida and Georgia.

The court on Nov. 3 granted Florida’s request to file a bill of complaint in its dispute with Georgia over the allocation of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin (Florida v. Georgia, No. 220142 ORG).

The United States had asked the court to deny the request, arguing that the Army Corps of Engineers should be given the opportunity to finish updating its master manual for the basin.

Florida was happy with the news. State attorney general Pam Bondi said, “We are pleased with the United States Supreme Court’s decision to grant Florida’s motion and to allow the lawsuit against Georgia to move forward. Georgia has delayed long enough, and this lawsuit is essential to protect Florida from the environmental and economic harms caused by Georgia’s overconsumption of water. We look forward to continuing our fight to protect Florida’s fair share of water in the United States Supreme Court.”

Here are a few excerpts from the Solicitor General’s brief, filed at the court’s invitation:

“Permitting the Corps to complete its process for implementing the statutes it administers will provide the Court with relevant information about the hydrology of the Basin and the Corps’ view of how the federal projects should be operated to satisfy the various purposes for which they were authorized by Congress. It would be premature, before the Corps has completed its manual revision process, to decide in the abstract what effect should be given in an equitable apportionment action to the various federal statutory purposes or the Corps’ assessment of the appropriate manner in which to balance and accomplish those purposes.”

“The update process, which is ongo­ing, will include a determination of whether and to what extent storage in Lake Lanier will be used to accommodate the present and future water supply needs of the Atlanta metropolitan area.  Id. at 139. The update will also set the minimum flow rates re­quired at Woodruff Dam to meet federal project pur­poses and the requirements of the Endangered Spe­cies Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.  The Corps expects to release a draft Master Manual and an envi­ronmental impact statement in September 2015, and it expects final approval and implementation of the Mas­ter Manual in March 2017. See U.S. Army Corps of Eng’rs, ACF Master Water Control Manual Update (last visited Sept. 17, 2014).”

“Florida alleges that the depletion of freshwater flows during drought years precipitated a collapse in the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay because of resultant rising salinity levels. Compl. paras. 6, 43, 54-56. Florida further alleges that reduced flows in the Apalachicola have resulted in the deaths of thousands of threatened and endangered mussels and rendered inaccessible the spawning habitat for the threatened Gulf sturgeon.”

More links

  • News Service of Florida coverage
  • FloridaEnvironments.com coverage (Excerpt: “Representatives of Apalachicola Riverkeeper and the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association say the Florida lawsuit has stifled the flow of information from Florida officials related to the bay and river system. A federal fisheries disaster was declared last year for Apalachicola bay oysters because of lack of fresh water, which increases oyster predators in the bay.”)
  • Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia calls Florida lawsuit frivolous (press release, 10/1/13)
  • Earlier coverage on ESWR.com (when the court declined to review the matter, which also involves Alabama; 6/28/12)
  • ACF Stakeholders (from June 2012: “For the past 22 years, the ACF River Basin case has been tied up in the courts. The June 2012 decision by the U. S. Supreme Court to let stand the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimous ruling that water supply is an authorized purpose for Lake Lanier resolves a significant impediment to reaching an equitable and sustainable solution to the water conflict in the ACF Basin. As long as this unresolved legal issue existed, the parties to the conflict could hold out from entering meaningful discussions for the long term sustainability of the waters in the basin.”
Oct 232014
 

EPA and the Corps of Engineers have announced the release of the final peer review of EPA’s “connectivity” report — literally, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.

Here is the final peer review, posted on Endangered Species & Wetlands Report‘s website.

Here’s part of the letter from SAB Chair David T. Allen and Amanda D. Rodewald, chair of the panel that reviewed the report. (The full letter is at the beginning of the “final peer review” link in the preceding paragraph.)

The EPA Report is a thorough and technically accurate review of the literature on the connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters. The SAB agrees with two of the three major conclusions in the Report. The SAB finds that the review of the scientific literature strongly supports the conclusions that streams and “bidirectional” floodplain wetlands are physically, chemically, and/or biologically connected to downstream navigable waters; however, these connections should be considered in terms of a connectivity gradient. The SAB recommends revisions to improve the clarity of the Report, better reflect the scientific evidence, expand the discussion of approaches to quantifying connectivity, and make the document more useful to decision-makers. The SAB disagrees with the conclusion that there is insufficient information available to generalize about the connectivity of wetlands in “unidirectional,” non-floodplain settings. In that case, the SAB finds that the scientific literature supports a more definitive statement that reflects how numerous functions of non-floodplain wetlands sustain the physical, chemical, and/or biological integrity of downstream waters, although the degree of connectivity can vary widely. The SAB’s major comments and recommendations are provided below.

  • The Report often refers to connectivity as though it is a binary property (connected versus not connected) rather than as a gradient. In order to make the Report more technically accurate, the SAB recommends that the interpretation of connectivity be revised to reflect a gradient approach that recognizes variation in the frequency, duration, magnitude, predictability, and consequences of those connections. The SAB notes that relatively low levels of connectivity can be meaningful in terms of impacts on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream waters.
  • The SAB recommends that the EPA consider expanding the brief overview of approaches to measuring connectivity. This expansion would be most useful if it provided examples of the dimensions of connectivity that could most appropriately be quantified, ways to construct connectivity metrics, and the methodological and technical advances that are most needed.
  • The Report presents a conceptual framework that describes the hydrologic elements of a watershed and the types of connections that link them. The literature review supporting the framework is technically accurate and clearly presented. However, to strengthen and improve its usefulness, the SAB recommends that the framework be expressed as spatially continuous physical, hydrological (surface and subsurface), chemical, and biological flowpaths that connect watersheds. Layers of complexity should be included in the conceptual framework to represent important aspects of connectivity such as spatial and temporal scale. The water body classification system used in the Report (i.e., classification of waters according to landscape settings) should be integrated into the flowpath framework to show that continuous phenomena interact across landscape settings. In addition, the SAB recommends that each section of the Report be clearly linked to the conceptual framework.
  •  The SAB recommends that the Report more explicitly address the scientific literature on cumulative and aggregate effects of streams, groundwater systems, and wetlands on downstream waters. In particular, the Report should contain a discussion of the spatial and temporal scales at which streams, groundwater systems, and wetlands are functionally aggregated. The SAB also recommends that, throughout the Report, the EPA further discuss several important issues including the role of biological connectivity, biogeochemical transformation processes, and the effects of human alteration of connectivity.
  • In the Report, the EPA has classified waters and wetlands as having the potential for either “bidirectional” or “unidirectional” hydrologic flows with rivers and lakes. The SAB finds that these terms do not adequately describe the four-dimensional (longitudinal, lateral, vertical, and temporal) nature of connectivity, and the SAB recommends that the Report use more commonly understood terms that are grounded in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • The SAB commends the EPA for the comprehensive literature review in the Report, although additional citations have been suggested to strengthen it. To make the review process more transparent, the EPA should more clearly describe the approach used to screen, compile, and synthesize the information. The Report should also clearly indicate that the definitions used for rivers, streams, and wetlands are scientific, rather than legal or regulatory definitions, and may differ from those used in the Clean Water Act and associated regulations.
  • The SAB finds that the review and synthesis of the literature describing connectivity of streams to downstream waters reflects the pertinent literature and is well grounded in current science. The literature review provides strong scientific support for the conclusion that ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams exert a strong influence on the character and functioning of downstream waters and that tributary streams are connected to downstream waters. However, the EPA should recognize that there is a gradient of connectivity. The SAB also recommends that the literature review more thoroughly address hydrologic exchange flows between main channels and off-channel areas, the influence of stream connectivity on downstream water temperature, and the movement of organisms throughout stream systems to use critical habitats.
  • The SAB finds that the review and synthesis of the literature on the connectivity of waters and wetlands in floodplain settings is somewhat limited in scope (i.e., focused largely on headwater riparian wetlands) and should be expanded. However, the literature review does substantiate the conclusion that floodplains and waters and wetlands in floodplain settings support the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. The SAB recommends that the Report be reorganized to clarify the functional role of floodplain systems in maintaining the ecological integrity of streams and rivers and that the Report more fully reflect the literature on lateral exchange between floodplains and rivers.
  • The SAB finds that, in general, the review and synthesis of the literature on the connectivity of non-floodplain (“unidirectional”) waters and wetlands is technically accurate. However, additional information on biological connections should be included. The SAB has provided numerous additional literature citations addressing the roles of multiple biological taxa in this regard, such as transporting propagules and nutrients and providing critical habitat.
  • The SAB disagrees with the EPA’s conclusion that the literature reviewed did not provide sufficient information to evaluate or generalize about the degree of connectivity (absolute or relative) or the downstream effects of wetlands in “unidirectional” non-floodplain landscape settings. The SAB finds that the scientific literature supports a more definitive statement about the functions of “unidirectional” non-floodplain wetlands that sustain the physical, chemical and/or biological integrity of downstream waters. In this regard, the SAB recommends that the EPA revise the conclusion to better articulate: (1) what is supported by the scientific literature and (2) the issues that still need to be resolved.