The National Fish Habitat Partnership released its 2019 Annual Report highlighting progress on its mission to “protect, restore, and enhance the nation’s fish and aquatic communities through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve the quality of life for the American people.” Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners provided more than $18 million to support 83 fish habitat conservation projects in 34 states. The Service provided $4 million in 2019, with state resource agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other partners contributing an additional $14 million. read the report here.
The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) is pleased to release its Restored Tidal Estuaries Report. The report documents the methods and results of a mapping project undertaken to update its tidal wetland loss assessment to include areas where tidal connectivity and inundation have been restored. PMEP mapped 127 tidal re-connection projects across the West Coast, identifying 8,085 hectares (19,978 acres) of restored tidal wetland habitat. The project focused on mapping restored areas that were shown as “lost” within the 55 estuaries included in PMEP’s original tidal wetland loss assessment. This mapping effort resulted in 2.3% of tidal wetlands that were previously classified as “lost” being reclassified as “restored,” while 82.7% of tidal wetlands remained classified as “lost.” These results illustrate both the successes of restoring tidal connectivity and the potential for future efforts to re-connect important fish habitat across the West Coast. You can download the full report here. You can view the updated data layers showing restored tidal estuaries here.
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.