Bear River Estuary Restoration included in 2020 Waters to Watch

PMEP-supported Bear River Estuary Restoration is included in the National Fish Habitat Partnership list of “Waters to Watch” for 2020. This annual list represents a collection of strategic conservation efforts implemented on rivers, streams, estuaries, and lakes to protect, restore, or enhance fish habitat. These voluntary, locally-driven projects represent some of the top conservation activities completed or in progress by 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout the country. These projects are carried out under the goals and objectives of the 2012  National Fish Habitat Action Plan. These conservation projects conserve freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats essential to many fish and wildlife species. These activities are fundamental to the overall success of the National Fish Habitat Partnership that was established in 2006.

“The projects, which focus on the protection, restoration, and enhancement of fish habitats across the country, are a sampling of the top priorities of our partnerships,” said Ed Schriever, Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “The Waters to Watch campaign provides people an opportunity to learn about our projects in a more in-depth way, which exemplifies collaborative conservation involving many partners.”

The 2020 “Waters to Watch” list and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships

  1. Bear River Estuary, Washington (Retrospective) – Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
  2. Boone River Watershed, Iowa (Retrospective) – Fishers and Farmers Partnership
  3. Chipola River, Florida (Retrospective) – Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
  4. Deep Creek Town Diversion and Warner Basin, Oregon (Retrospective) – Western Native Trout Initiative
  5. Maunalua Bay, Hawai’i – Hawai’i Fish Habitat Partnership
  6. Minsi Lake, Pennsylvania – Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
  7. San Juan and Santiago Watersheds, California – California Fish Passage Forum
  8. San Luis Obispo Creek, California – Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative
  9. Shoshone Springs, California (Retrospective) – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
  10. Tularosa River, New Mexico – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership

 

Bree Yednock, South Slough NERR, Joins PMEP Steering Committee

PMEP welcomes Bree Yednock, Reserve Manager at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), to its Steering Committee. Bree has been the Reserve Manager at the South Slough NERR since 2018 after serving as the Reserve’s Lead Scientist and Research Coordinator for four years. Before coming to the reserve, she worked for more than 15 years in the fields of science education and research at various non-profits, academic institutions, and agencies in Oregon, Maryland, Georgia, Maine, and Washington. Her research background ranges from field ecology to molecular biology and includes projects related to population genetics of fishery species, environmental adaptation in marine organisms, and estuarine habitat use of fish and invertebrates. She holds a PhD in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana, a MS in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies from Coastal Carolina University, and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

 

Stephanie Messerle, BLM, Joins PMEP Steering Committee

PMEP welcomes Stephanie Messerle, from the Bureau of Land Management, onto our Steering Committee. Stephanie will represent BLM on PMEP, facilitating the sharing of data and support for fish habitat restoration and protection on BLM lands along the US West Coast. Stephanie is the District Fish Biologist for the Coos Bay Bureau of Land Management, located along the Oregon Coast. Prior to joining the Coos Bay District in 2007, Stephanie was a fish biologist for the Medford BLM. She also has worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service’s Biological Resource Division in Utah. Stephanie received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science/Biology from Southern Oregon University. Stephanie grew up on the Southern Oregon Coast and is so happy to live there now. Outside of work she stays busy with her two sons and husband enjoying outdoor recreation activities and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

PMEP Partners Annual Meeting a Success

PMEP partners met in Arcata, California in late January to develop their annual workplan, refine PMEP’s strategic plan, learn about local restoration projects and affirm their’ shared vision for healthy estuarine and marine nearshore fish habitat along the West Coast. We also gave John Bragg, of South Slough National Research Reserve, a special sendoff, thanking him for his years of service to PMEP. Thanks again, John! Enjoy your retirement!

PMEP Issues Call for Nearshore Datasets

PMEP is expanding its spatial data framework to include nearshore areas and developing a ‘State of the Knowledge’ report on West Coast nearshore habitats.

PMEP is seeking spatially interpreted data (in either vector or raster format) identifying nearshore fish and invertebrate habitats (substrate, biotic, and water column component). We are placing a priority on datasets with a large spatial footprint that consistently map a habitat feature or features for large segments of the coast (preferably 10’s to 100’s of kilometers). For this project, PMEP is identifying the core nearshore as the upper end of the splash zone to -30m depth. In addition, PMEP is requesting data that extends beyond -30m to -100 (Seaward Zone) since many nearshore fish and invertebrates use habitats deeper than -30m. We are not currently looking for data from estuaries, however, we are looking for data for the nearshore of Puget Sound while recognizing that the Sound itself is classified as an estuary. For a full description of this request and a list of datasets already in hand, see PMEP_NearshoreDataCall.

If you would like to contribute to this effort, contact PMEP Data Steward, Kate Sherman, at info@pacificfishhabitat.org or 503-595-3100 by January 31, 2020.

PMEP Announces FY19 Funded Projects

The Pacific Marine & Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) is pleased to announce its FY2019 funded projects. The three projects, Eelgrass Expansion in the Morro Bay Estuary, Assessment and mapping of seagrass and macroalgae kelp habitats, and Mattole River Estuary Middle Slough Restoration, represent important conservation priorities of PMEP.  The projects have been selected for funding through the National Fish Habitat Partnership. $124,118 has been awarded to PMEP to fund these projects through the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the following three projects. Read more about these projects at here.

PMEP Requests Project Funding Proposals

The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) is seeking project proposals that benefit nursery habitats for PMEP focal species within smaller estuarine and nearshore waters along the West Coast.

To apply for funding, interested applicants should complete and submit the online application. Please read the full Request for Proposals for instructions regarding what information to include and the preferred format for information. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The deadline for project proposal submissions is 5:00PM PST, Thursday, November 14, 2019.

Find the Request for Proposals here.

New PMEP Study Documents Dramatic Loss of West Coast Estuaries

PMEP partners  are lead authors on a newly published collaborative study that maps the historical extent of West Coast estuaries and estimates losses of vegetated tidal wetlands  since European settlement.  It is the first time researchers have applied consistent methods across all 450 estuaries of the contiguous U.S. West Coast. Their results show that more than a century of development has erased roughly 85 percent of original vegetated estuarine wetlands, especially around major river deltas.

The project was coordinated by the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP). Read the full press release here. The report, published August 14 in PLOS ONE, can be accessed here.

NOAA’s Bryant Chesney Joins PMEP Steering Committee

Bryant Chesney is a Senior Marine Habitat Resource Specialist with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) West Coast Region and has worked on a variety of habitat conservation efforts since 2000. Currently, Bryant works in Long Beach, California, and focuses on marine habitat conservation in support of protected species and sustainable fisheries. He is particularly interested in seagrass and rocky reef ecology and conservation. In addition to marine habitat conservation, Bryant supports PRD’s efforts to conserve and recover sea turtles, abalone, and other protected marine species. Bryant works closely with regulatory agencies to provide conservation recommendations for coastal development projects that adversely affect estuarine and marine ecosystems in southern California. Specifically, he has experience with port/harbor development, aquaculture, shoreline protection, transportation, dredging, and fill projects. In addition, Bryant has worked with various partnerships to advance conservation and restoration goals by providing leadership, scientific expertise, and policy support. He has been involved with a number of seagrass transplanting projects and has assisted with studies related to the distribution, ecology, and fishery utilization of eelgrass and has helped advance the status of seagrass conservation and monitoring in California. He also played a significant leadership role in an important wetlands partnership, Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project.

Todd Zackey Joins PMEP Steering Commitee

Todd Zackey is the Marine and Nearshore Program Manager for the Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Department and has been working for the Tribes for 17 years.  He manages the research and monitoring efforts for the department in the marine and estuary areas of the Tribes usual and accustomed area and is responsible for mapping, monitoring, assessing, and protecting the Tribes’ nearshore and marine resources on and off the Tulalip Reservation.  Todd has conducted and been involved in a variety of monitoring and research projects in the nearshore areas of the Puget Sound including water quality monitoring, mapping of intertidal habitat, studying juvenile salmon utilization of the Snohomish River estuary, pocket estuaries, and small coastal streams and monitoring the recovery of the Qwuloolt Restoration project in the Snohomish River Estuary.  Todd is an active member of the Island County Local Integrating Organization, San Juan Salmon Technical Advisory Group, and Co-Chair of the Island County Salmon Technical Advisory Group. Todd is excited to be part of the PMEP Steering Committee and learn about and contribute to efforts to protect, preserve, and recover fish habitat across the entire West Coast.