Search Results for: coastal

Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Coastal Resilience Ventura Web Map

Brian Cohen

As a member of the Coastal Resilience Network, the Conservancy is leading Coastal Resilience Ventura. Coast Resilience Ventura is a partnership that provides science and decision-support tools to help conservation practitioners, planners and policymakers address the impact of climate change. Through this effort, the…


Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Coastal Resilience Monterey webmap

Brian Cohen

The Coastal Resilience Network supports a community of practitioners who are applying nature-based solutions to coastal hazard and climate adaptation issues. As a member of this Network, the Conservancy is working with scientists, geomorphologists, urban and environmental economists, regional conservation partners, and local stakeholders…


Marine | Publications & Reports

Marine and Coastal Impacts of Ocean Desalination in California

Szeptycki, L., E. Hartge, N. Ajami, A. Erickson, W. N. Heady, L. LaFeir, B. Meister, L. Verdone, J.R. Koseff

The drought in California rekindled interest in ocean desalination as a new and reliable water supply option; yet desalination is expensive, energy intensive, potentially emits greenhouse gases, and has adverse impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems. This report is a synthesis of an Uncommon…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Near-term priorities for the science, practice, and policy of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Halpern, B.S., Diamond, J., Gaines, S., Gelcich, S., Gleason, M., Jennings, S., Lester, S., Mace, A., McCook, L., McLeod, K., Napoli, N., Rawson, K., Rice, J., Rosenberg, A., Ruckelshaus, M., Saier, B., Sandifer, P., Sholtz, A., Zivian, A.

This paper informs emerging efforts to implement coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) in the United States, Europe and elsewhere around the world. In order to identify priority needs for significantly advancing CMSP, the authors—expertsexperts in the science, policy and practice of CMSP—developed recommendations for…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

An Inventory and Classification of U.S. West Coast Estuaries

Walter N. Heady, Kevin O'Connor, Jennifer Kassakian , Kate Doiron, Charles Endris, Daniel Hudgens, Ross P. Clark , Jena Carter , Mary G. Gleason

Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. This inventory classifies more than 600 coastal confluences on the West Coast of the United States. Each estuary was classified using the federal Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). A spatial database of…


Marine | Planning | Science | Maps & Webmaps

California Coastal and Marine Program: Protecting Fish Stocks and Livelihoods

Matt Merrifield, Megan Webb, Katie Andrews

Since 2007, The Nature Conservancy has pioneered a first-of-its-kind fishery reform approach that aligns communities, the fishing industry, and conservation interests to drive strategic changes in fishery management and harvest practices. We have provided science and planning expertise and applied technology to increase efficiency and…



Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Low-Cost Restoration Techniques for Rapidly Increasing Wood Cover in Coastal Coho Salmon Streams

Jennifer K. Carah, Christopher C. Blencowe, David W. Wright

Coho salmon in California are critically imperiled so there is strong impetus to achieve as much habitat restoration as possible in priority watersheds quickly and with limited resources. This paper discusses a proven low-cost restoration technique for salmon streams. Adding fallen trees and pieces…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Climate mediates hypoxic stress on fish diversity and nursery function at the land–sea interface

Brent B. Hughes, Matthew D. Levey, Monique C. Fountain, Aaron B. Carlisle, Francisco P. Chavez, Mary G. Gleason

This comprehensive study of a major California estuary documents the links between nutrient runoff from coastal land use, the health of the estuary as a nursery for young fish, and the abundance of fish in an offshore commercial fishery. The researchers assembled long-term data sets…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Assessing California’s bar-built estuaries using the California Rapid Assessment Method

Walter Heady, Ross P. Clark, Kevin O’Connor, Cara Clark, Charles Endris, Sierra Ryan, Sara Stoner-Duncan

Connecting marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, bar-built estuaries are complex and dynamic coastal confluences that provide a great diversity of habitat and ecosystem services. The wetland habitats of bar-built estuaries are threatened by development, pollution, and climate related changes including diminished streamflows and sea…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Aligning Natural Resource Conservation and Flood Hazard Mitigation in California

Juliano Calil, Michael W. Beck, Mary Gleason, Matthew Merrifield, Kirk Klausmeyer, Sarah Newkirk

The U.S. National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the 1% of policies that experienced multiple, repetitive losses. During the same period, the loss of…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

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

Walter N. Heady, Brian S. Cohen, Mary G. Gleason, Joshua N. Morris, Sarah G. Newkirk, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Hilary R. Walecka, Elizabeth Gagneron

Sea level rise presents a new challenge to coastal conservation. The authors quantified and mapped the vulnerability of habitats, imperiled species, and conservation lands to sea level rise throughout the entire California coast, where high biodiversity, high endemism, and 26.5 million people coincide. Combining habitat…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Maps & Webmaps

Actions Likely to Increase Plant and Animal Resilience to Climate Change

Kirk Klausmeyer

This webmap provides regional climate projections with information about topography, coastal proximity and level of habitat fragmentation to help land managers identify concrete conservation actions they can take now to help address the threat of climate change to the terrestrial species of California.


Marine | Publications & Reports

Are we missing the boat? Collaborative solutions for North American fish wars

Mary Gleason, Chuck Cook, Michael Bell, Erika Feller

This editorial highlights the polarization and lack of innovation in U.S. fisheries management, using the West Coast groundfish fishery as an example. The authores focus on the need for new models of collaboration among NGOs, fishermen, and regulators in order to create a brighter future for our…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Landscape-scale indicators of biodiversity's vulnerability to climate change

Klausmeyer, K. R., M. R. Shaw, J.B. MacKenzie, D.R.Cameron

This analysis provides an approach for distilling complex climate and landscape data into actions land managers can take to help plants and animals adapt to a changing climate. Based on historical data, climate projections and landscape attributes like topography, coastal proximity and habitat fragmentation that…


Freshwater | Publications & Reports

Mapping Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in California

Jeanette Howard, Matt Merrifield

In 2014 the California legislature passed a three-bill package (SB 1168, AB 1739, and SB 1319) of groundwater reform legislation that was the most significant update of California water policy in several decades. The legislation provides authorities and guidance for local agencies to develop sustainable…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Adapting stakeholder processes to region-specific challenges in marine protected area network planning

Evan Foxa, Eric Poncelet, Darci Connor, Jason Vasques, John Ugoretz, Scott McCreary, Dominique Monié, Michael Harty, Mary Gleason

This paper examines how differences in regional characteristics and lessons learned influenced three important elements of the stakeholder process of California's Marine Life Protected Area (MLPA) Initiative including convening the stakeholders, managing stakeholder engagement, and integrating input from managing state agencies. It provides a case…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Enabling conditions to support marine protected area network planning: California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative as a case study

Evan Fox, Melissa Miller-Henson, John Ugoretz, Mike Weber, Mary Gleason, John Kirlin, Meg Caldwell, Sonke Mastrup

In California, after two unsuccessful attempts, statewide planning of a network of marine protected areas (MPA) was achieved through the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. This paper discusses, and highlights the importance of, six enabling conditions in this planning effort. These conditions enabled the…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Addressing policy issues in a stakeholder-based and science-driven marine protected area network planning process

Evan Fox, Sean Hastings, Melissa Miller-Henson, Dominique Monie, John Ugoretz, Adam Frimodig, Craig Shuman, Brian Owens, Rebecca Garwood, Darci Connor, Paulo Serpa, Mary Gleason

This paper explores the strategies used to address policy issues that arose in marine protected area (MPA) planning process in California. The authors provide examples from six specific topic areas—fisheries management, water quality, military use areas, marine bird and mammal protection, dredging and maintenance, and tribal…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

50-Year Climate Scenarios and Plant Species Distribution Forecasts for Setting Conservation Priorities in Southwestern California

Principe, Z., J.B. MacKenzie, B. Cohen, J.M. Randall, W. Tippets, T. Smith, S.A. Morrison

Coastal southern California has long been the focus of regional conservation planning efforts. Decades ago – and prior to today’s heightened awareness of the magnitude of the likely impacts climate change – reserve designs were established with the intent of protecting the region’s very diverse…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Fractured genetic connectivity threatens a southern California puma (Puma concolor) population

H.B. Ernest, T.W. Vickers, S.A. Morrison, M.R. Buchalski, W.M. Boyce

Highly fragmented landscapes can pose myriad threats to wide-ranging species like mountain lions. Coastal southern California has long been the focus of research into demographics, genetics, and movement patterns of lions, in large part to inform conservation planning. This paper presents genetic data, which combine…


Marine | Planning | Technology | Science | Blogs

Managing Fisheries in the Face of Climate Change

Jono Wilson

The author discusses a need for a new paradigm in fisheries management to address the challenges of a changing climate.  See related publication by the author and colleagues in Conservation Letters.


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Lack of an urban edge effect on reproduction in a fragmentation-sensitive sparrow

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger

Fragmentation-sensitive species – those that tend to disappear when their habitat is fragmented – pose particular challenges for conservation, in part because fragmentation ushers in such a wide array of ecological changes. This study focuses on one such species, examining whether reproductive success is different…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

San Diego County Ecosystems: Ecological Impacts of Climate Change on a Biodiversity Hotspot

Megan Jennings, Dan Cayan, Julie Kalansky, Amber Pairis, Alexandra Syphard, Rachel Clemesha, Alexander Gershunov, Kristen Guirguis, John Randall, Eric Stein, Sula Vanderplank, Shasta Gaughen


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Arthropods in urban habitat fragments in southern California: area, age and edge effects

Douglas T. Bolger, Andrew V. Suarez, Kevin R. Crooks, Scott A. Morrison, Ted J. Case

Habitat fragmentation ushers in a wide array of ecological changes, and understanding the drivers and impacts of those changes is critical for conservation management. This study examines an often overlooked suite of taxa – arthropods – and describes patterns of abundance and diversity across a…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Variation in a sparrow’s reproductive success with rainfall: food and predator-mediated processes

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger

Reproductive success of many species in arid environments can be sensitive to rainfall patterns: rainfall events can produce a boom of primary productivity that fuels an ecological response from the “bottom-up.” This study describes the reproductive success of a songbird in a semi-arid region over…


Marine | Technology | Science | Video

Aquaculture by Design, Tomales Bay

Serena Lomonico, Robert Jones, Torrey Johnson, Sarah Newkirk, Sarah Lummis, Kirk Klausmeyer, John Finger, Terry Sawyer, Richard James

Aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important global food source. With this growth comes urgent, unanswered questions about the interactions of aquaculture operations—both positive and negative—and ecosystems. This video describes a collaboration between the Conservancy, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Hog Island Oyster Company aimed at…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Spatially biased dispersal of acorns by a scatter-hoarding corvid may accelerate passive restoration of oak habitat on California’s largest island

Mario B. Pesendorfer, T. Scott Sillett, Scott A. Morrison

An individual jay can cache thousands of oak seeds per year, and in so doing provide oaks a means to disperse long distances. This ecological process can be especially important in restoration of degraded habitats – like Santa Cruz Island, CA, which experienced over 150…


Marine | Technology | Science | Video

Sustainable Management of Abalone Fishery in California

The Nature Conservancy, Jono Wilson

California fisheries, like the red abalone fishery, are facing increasing environmental variation and uncertainty due to climate change, complicating the sustainable management of commercial and recreational fisheries and threatening the resilience of fishing communities. To better manage these resources, better data is needed. In this video,…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Annual survivorship of a sedentary sparrow: no effect of edge or rainfall

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger, T. Scott Sillett

Fragmentation-sensitive species – those that tend to disappear when their habitat is fragmented – pose particular challenges for conservation, in part because fragmentation ushers in such a wide array of ecological changes. This study focuses on one such species, examining whether its annual survivorship is…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Passive recovery of vegetation after herbivore eradication on Santa Cruz Island, California

Beltran, R.S., N. Kreidler, D.H. Van Vuren, S.A. Morrison, E.S. Zavaleta, K. Newton, B.R. Tershy, D.A. Croll

Introduced predators and herbivores can have dramatic ecological effects on island ecosystems; their eradication can produce similarly profound ecological responses. This paper analyzes data from photo-monitoring stations and vegetation maps to characterize the passive recovery of vegetation that occurred over decades on Santa Cruz Island,…


Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Cannabis and residential groundwater pumping impacts on streamflow and ecosystems in Northern California

Samuel C. Zipper, Jennifer K. Carah, Christopher Dillis, Tom Gleeson, Ben Kerr, Melissa M. Rohde, Jeanette K. Howard, Julie K.H. Zimmerman

Using a newly developed tool for estimating streamflow depletion from groundwater pumping, this study examined the impacts of ongoing groundwater pumping on streamflow and aquatic ecosystems in the Navarro watershed in rural, coastal California. The study found that common uses of groundwater in the watershed,…


Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Islands

Nicholas D. Holmes, Olivier Langrand, Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. Rylands, Thomas Brooks, Dena R. Spatz, James C. Russell, Wes Sechrest, Federico Méndez Sánchez, Cristina Mittermeier (Editor)

Covering only five percent of the land on our planet, islands are home to an estimated 20 percent of the world’s bird, reptile, and plant species, as well as the most astonishing examples of species’ evolution. "Islands" is the 26th volume in the CEMEX Nature Series…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Protocols for Argentine ant eradication in conservation areas

C. L. Boser, C. Hanna, D. A. Holway, K. R. Faulkner, I. Naughton, K. Merrill, J. M. Randall, C. Cory, D.H. Choe , S. A. Morrison

Argentine ants are highly invasive and ecologically damaging. This paper presents a method demonstrated to reduce even large-scale (~400 ha) infestations to non-detectable levels. This protocol represents a significant advance in methods to eradicate invasive ant populations, which not only is important in conservation areas…


Freshwater | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Nursery Functions of U.S. West Coast Estuaries: The State of Knowledge for Juveniles of Focal Invertebrate and Fish Species

Brent B. Hughes, Matthew D. Levey, Jennifer A. Brown, Monique C. Fountain, Aaron B. Carlisle, Steven Y. Litvin, Correigh M. Greene, Walter N. Heady, Mary G. Gleason

Estuaries support significant biodiversity and important ecosystem functions such as providing rearing habitat for juvenile fish and invertebrates. This report synthesizes the scientific literature and geospatial data on the nursery requirements of fifteen species of commercial, cultural, and conservation concern and highlights the potential nursery role…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Survival and mortality of pumas (Puma concolor) in a fragmented, urbanizing landscape

Vickers, T.W., J. N. Sanchez, C. Johnson, S.A. Morrison, R. Botta, T. Smith, B.S. Cohen, P. Huber, W.M. Boyce

Conservation of wide-ranging species like mountain lions is especially difficult in highly fragmented landscapes, such as coastal southern California. Research into their populations can provide important insights into what is needed to protect them, such as where to prioritize habitat conservation or restoration. This paper…


Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

CA Rock Crab Fishery Management

Sean P. Fitzgerald, Jono R. Wilson , Hunter S. Lenihan

Despite the economic value of California fisheries, many lack information needed to determine if fishing is occurring at a sustainable level. The Southern California Rock Crab fishery in the Santa Barbara Channel is one such data-limited fishery that is currently managed through a state-wide size…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Interfacing models of wildlife habitat and human development to predict the future distribution of puma habitat

CL Burdett, KR Crooks, DM Theobald, KR Wilson, EE Boydston, LM Lyren, RN Fisher, TW Vickers, SA Morrison, WM Boyce

Long-term studies of animal movement can generate data that allow for robust modeling of habitat use by the species. This study characterizes and maps the distribution of habitat for mountain lions in coastal southern California, and combines those data with models of projected urban growth…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Improving multi-objective ecological flow management with flexible priorities and turn-taking: a case study from the Sacramento River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Alexander C.A.D., F. Poulsen, D.C.E. Robinson, B.O. Ma , R.A. Luster

Management of the Sacramento River and Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta is one of California’s greatest challenges, requiring trade-offs between valued components that serve a multiplicity of conflicting purposes. This paper demonstrates an improved method for multiple-objective allocation of water based on a “turn-taking” optimization model. The…




Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Tracking invasive species eradications on islands at a global scale

Holmes ND, Keitt BS, Spatz DR, Will DJ, Hein S, Russell JC, Genovesi P, Cowan PE, Tershy BR

Indicators for tracking conservation efforts at a global scale are rare but important tools for understanding trends and measuring progress towards global conservation targets. Eradication of invasive species from islands is an increasingly used conservation intervention in countries and territories around the world. This paper…


Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Globally important islands where eradicating invasive mammals will benefit highly threatened vertebrates

Holmes ND, Spatz DR, Oppel S, Tershy B, Croll DA, et al.

Restoring islands by eradicating damaging, non-native invasive mammals such as rats, cats, goats, and pigs has repeatedly proven to be a high impact conservation action. New research published in PLOS ONE shows this conservation action can have a major contribution towards stemming the global extinction…


Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Invasive rat eradication strongly impacts plant recruitment on a tropical atoll

Wolf CA, Young HS, Zilliacus KM, Wegmann AS, McKown M, Holmes ND, Tershy BR, Dirzo R, Kropidlowski S, Croll DA

Prior to eradication in 2011, non-native invasive rats were known to be active seed predators on Palmyra Atoll, Central Pacific Ocean. This paper reports on native and non-native tree and palm seedling abundance before and after eradication, with seedling recruitment increasing for five of the…


Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Future Directions in Conservation Research on Petrels and Shearwaters

Rodríguez A, Arcos JM, Bretagnolle V, Dias MP, Holmes ND, Louzao M, Provencher J, Raine AF, Ramírez F, Rodríguez B, Ronconi RA, Taylor RS, Bonnaud E, Borrelle SB, Cortés V, Descamps S, Friesen VL, Genovart M, Hedd A, Hodum P, Humphries G, Le Corre M, Lebarbenchon C, Martin R, Melvin EF, Montevecchi WA, Pinet P, Pollet IL, Ramos R, Russell JC, Ryan PG, Sanz-Aguilar A, Spatz DR, Travers M, Votier SC, Wanless RM, Woehler E, Chiaradia A

Seabirds are amongst the most engaged species on our planet. Among these are petrels and shearwaters: species characterized by long ocean journeys for migration and feeding, and a dependence on islands to safely breed and raise young. This dual lifestyle places them at risk from…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

Insights into estuary habitat loss in the western United States using a new method for mapping maximum extent of tidal wetlands

Laura S. Brophy, Correigh M. Greene, Van C. Hare, Brett Holycross, Andy Lanier, Walter N. Heady, Kevin O’Connor, Hiroo Imaki, Tanya Haddad, Randy Dana

The authors of this study generated new maps of current and historical tidal wetlands in 450 estuaries throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. Using laser-mapping technology known as LIDAR combined with water elevation models, the team estimated that West Coast estuaries historically covered nearly 2 million acres.…


Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Collaborative research reveals cryptic declines within the multispecies California rock crab fishery

Sean P. Fitzgerald , Hunter S. Lenihan, Jono R. Wilson, Carolynn S. Culver, Matthew Potoski

This paper highlights the benefits of collaborative fisheries research in the management of wild capture fisheries. The authors teamed up with commercial fishermen in the southern California rock crab fishery and sampled over 45,000 crabs over a two-year period. Using statistical techniques, they compared these data to a study…