Thursday, October 28, 2010

West Coast EBM 2010

This week the West Coast EBM Network held its annual meeting. This year the meeting was held in Monterrey, CA, selected for its proximity to the Elkhorn Slough, the site of one of the West Coast projects.

Part of the meeting was dedicated to getting updates from the various projects, and strategizing next steps for the network.

We also received presentations on the following:

  • EBM Tools and Training
  • NOAA National and Regional Developments Update
  • National Ocean Policy Update
  • WCGA Update
  • West Coast Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs)
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Green Fire Productions Ocean Film
  • Surfrider Foundation
I took the opportunity to share the trailer for our 'Cycle of Insanity' film, which provides the 'big picture' of our misuse of fresh water resources and how we can fix the problem through 'Integrated Management' - or 'Ecosystem Based Management (EBM)' - which is basically the goal of Surfrider's Know Your H2O program.

We were also treated to a field tour of Elkhorn Slough by program managers Bryan Largay and Monique Fountain. Kayaks are the preferred vehicle for navigating the slough and observing wildlife - and we saw sea otters, sea lions, seals, pelicans, and plenty of shorebirds.

Bryan provided an overview of the problems facing the slough since the Army Corps constructed Moss Landing Harbor. The large entrance to the ocean greatly increased tidal currents in the slough. These currents subsequently caused erosion of the channels and banks, with loss of sediment out to the ocean. The changed hydrology resulted in changes in habitats, with the major loss of tidal salt marsh which makes up the foundation for this ecosystem.

The project is about to break ground on construction of a small 'sill,' or submerged weir in the back channels of the slough. The Parsons Slough Restoration Project is intended to begin a process to restore the historic tidal hydrology within the slough.

More info:

Elkhorn Slough Tidal Wetland Project

Know Your H2O