STATE OF THE BAY 2015 Report Posted
The State of the Bay 2015 (SOTB) report, produced by the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program (SMBNEP) over a five-year period, is now published and posted for free as a special issue of Urban Coast. The SOTB report is a science-based comprehensive assessment of the environmental conditions of Santa Monica Bay and its watershed. This is the fifth such report published by the SMBNEP since 1993.
The SOTB 2015 report celebrates progress in categories such as water resources management and improving habitat conditions as a result of restoration efforts. The report also examines the work still to be done in these areas, and identifies emerging issues we must begin to tackle in the next five years.
The year’s report includes discussion and articles pertaining to seven habitats—Freshwater Aquatic and Riparian, Coastal Wetlands, Sandy Shores, Rocky Intertidal, Rocky Reefs, Soft-Bottom Benthos, and Coastal Pelagic—with status, trends, and suggested improvement projects. Check it out HERE.
Reports: Wetlands to Kelp Forests
TBF and their partners recently completed a multi-year project evaluating the health of five major coastal estuarine wetland systems in southern California. The resulting report, Regional Monitoring Report for Southern California Coastal Wetlands, was posted in December and compares several high-quality, or ‘reference’, wetland systems such as the Carpinteria Salt Marsh to severely degraded systems like the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This critical research will help inform several large-scale wetland restoration projects currently in the planning phases, while also supporting statewide efforts to standardize wetland monitoring across California.
Going underwater, TBF with project partners—NOAA, Commercial Sea Urchin Harvesters, Vantuna Research Group and The California Science Center—continue to restore and study kelp forest along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Since July 2013, 34 acres of urchin barren (nearly 26 football fields) have been cleared of 3.3 million excess purple urchins allowing the recruitment of giant kelp and other species of macro algae. The Palos Verdes Kelp Restoration Project 2015 Report released last November describes the ecosystem’s response to these restoration efforts. Several key metrics include increases in gonadosomatic indexes for red and purple sea urchins, fish species richness, and biomass as indicated by kelp bass and sheephead. These trends describe strong, and in some cases significant, increases in value in response to restoration activities over the past 2 years.
Please visit our Reports page for these and other informative findings.