State of the Knowledge Report for West Coast Eelgrass Coming Soon

PMEP, with funding support from The Nature Conservancy, will be releasing a report on the state of the knowledge of eelgrass habitats along the West Coast later this Spring. The report synthesizes the state of scientific knowledge of U.S. West Coast estuary eelgrass habitats and the ecosystem services they provide. PMEP held a webinar on January 31st to give a preview of the findings in the report. The webinar slides can be viewed here – Jan 31 Presentation on West Coast Eelgrass.

We investigated the role of 444 U.S. West Coast estuaries in providing eelgrass habitat. PMEP synthesized the literature relevant for the West Coast and standardized existing geospatial data on the current and historic extent of eelgrass for Zostera spp. In addition to the report, PMEP will be introducing a geodatabase that contains information on eelgrass in estuaries along the coast.

Check our website later this spring for the report and data.

Newport Bay makes 2017 National “Waters to Watch” List

In 2017, PMEP helped fund a living shorelines project in Upper Newport Bay, CA. Our funding helped to integrate native Olympia oyster habitat restoration into a larger multi-species restoration project. The overall goals of this project are to return historically present (but currently depleted) species to the area, enhance habitat quality and connectivity for fish and wildlife, improve water quality, control erosion, and help adapt to sea level rise. The project was just recognized as one of seven national “Waters to Watch” projects for 2017 by the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). These voluntary, locally-driven projects represent some of the top conservation activities supported by regional Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout the country. These “Waters to Watch” are proving that science-based on-the-ground conservation efforts are truly making a difference in improving fish habitat across the United States.

See the project highlighted on the NFHP website-
To learn more about the project visit the Orange County Coastkeeper website

NOAA Funds PMEP Habitat Loss Mapping Effort

 NOAA is providing $55,000 to PMEP to map estuarine habitats and habitat loss along the Oregon Coast and to fill critical eelgrass habitat data gaps along the West Coast. In 2017, NOAA provided a total of over $100,000 across four Fish Habitat Partnerships to support prioritization, monitoring, and data analysis projects. These projects support the goals of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and align with NOAA’s efforts to protect, restore, and promote stewardship of coastal and marine habitat to support our nation’s fisheries for future generations.


PMEP will conduct a pilot project to assess tidal wetland loss by habitat class (emergent, scrub-shrub, and forested classes) on the Oregon coast, south of the Columbia River. This collaborative project will entail compiling existing spatial data on historical estuarine habitat classes for Oregon coastal wetlands, including data previously digitized from General Land Office (GLO) maps. The historical tidal habitat data will then be analyzed in comparison to current habitat mapping datasets previously created by PMEP and the Oregon Coastal Management Program to quantify habitat loss by habitat type for each estuary assessed. Laura Brophy from the Institute for Applied Ecology and staff from the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission have already begun working on this important assessment.