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.