Restored Tidal Estuaries Report Now Available

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.

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.