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Use the search feature below to find Water Center supported products, including papers, videos, and fact sheets.

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Fact Sheet

Tidal wetlands are recognized for their important role in carbon sequestration, as well as for their potential to become significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions when converted to other land uses. The substantial quantities of carbon captured and stored by tidal wetlands—termed “blue carbon”—is an ecosystem service of great interest to those developing regional, national, and global climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, including carbon markets. While carbon stocks data have been collected in several parts of the world to quantify the carbon sequestration potential of tidal wetlands, there is a scarcity of such information in the Pacific Northwest. This project helps to fill this gap by conducting the first-ever comprehensive blue carbon assessment in Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands and generating a user-friendly database of regional blue carbon data. Input from end users will guide the design, scope, outputs, and outcomes of the project. This project will contribute to national and international efforts to incorporate blue carbon science into coastal management and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017
Fact Sheet

The Coos Bay estuary has a diverse set of end users who share a common need: to better understand circulation and sediment transport under current and future conditions. The estuary is one of three Oregon estuaries designated as “deep draft development,” which means that planners must balance industry, restoration, and natural resource goals. The project team’s primary research objectives are to fill data gaps that are critical to addressing their myriad management needs. These needs include characterizing the present-day sediment distribution, monitoring sediment fluxes to the estuary, and modeling how circulation and sediment in the estuary will respond to perturbations due to both natural and human-induced causes—such as dredging or inundation caused by sea level rise.

The project has direct application to management objectives identified by the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the broader needs of identified end users, including Coos County, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. These end users will remain actively engaged during the project to reach agreed-upon outcomes, such as updating the estuarine management plan, improving the success of oyster restoration projects, informing fisheries habitat maps, and increasing data efficiency among community stakeholders.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017
Fact Sheet

As the sixth largest estuary on the west coast, the Coos Bay estuary is one of Oregon’s most important ecological resources, both in its abundance, diversity, and quality and in the economic and cultural value it provides. However, modern management of the estuary and surrounding shorelands is based on the economic and social drivers of the 1970s, when local land use plans were developed. The surrounding community now agrees that current land use regulations need to evolve to reflect today’s economic and social drivers, while proactively addressing environmental changes and protecting natural resources.

This project is looking at how to create a modernized land use plan for the Coos Bay estuary that balances responsible economic development, social interests, and protection of natural resources. In order to identify areas where zone change will benefit estuarine management, this project will synthesize existing information to compare actual uses of estuarine and shorelands to zoned uses. For areas where lands are underutilized, have conflicting zones, or have obsolete zone designations, team members, end users, and stakeholders will assess economic, social, and environmental information. This will generate scenarios and recommendations that Coos County can use to improve its estuarine and shoreland management.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017
Fact Sheet

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve convened a roundtable of mosquito control agencies to examine the intersection of sea level rise, salt marsh structure, habitat modification and restoration, and nuisance mosquito populations. A chief concern is how climate change and sea level rise may affect marsh habitats, subsequently increasing mosquito production. Also of concern is how past physical alterations meant to reduce mosquito habitat affect the ability of salt marshes to maintain their relative elevation, and, as a result, their long-term resiliency in the face of sea level rise. Recognizing the valuable role that salt marshes play in buffering coastal communities, coastal decision-makers are increasingly advocating for the restoration of salt marshes. While the thin-layer application of dredge spoil is of increasing interest as a way to help marshes keep up with rising sea levels, it could also greatly affect mosquito production. In this project, mosquito control agencies and other land management partners are working together to design and implement a marsh research program that informs future mosquito control management actions.

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017
Fact Sheet

Coastal communities are striving to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks. One approach is to restore and manage natural features, including coastal wetlands such as Piermont Marsh on the Hudson River in New York. Residents believe Piermont Marsh significantly reduced wave and flood debris damage on the abutting Village of Piermont during Hurricane Sandy. Without the marsh, the financial impact of Sandy would likely have been far worse. Marsh managers and village leaders now seek to better understand the marsh’s capacity to buffer against waves, flood, and debris, and the economic values associated with these functions. In partnership with the local community, this project will design and apply state-of-the-art predictive models that will evaluate different approaches to managing the marsh. As a result, marsh managers will better understand coastal wetlands’ role in enhancing community resilience to storm events and will have the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions.

 

Keywords: Piermont Marsh, Hudson River, New York, coastal wetlands

April 2017
Fact Sheet

Hundreds of dams built on tributaries of the Hudson River estuary currently hold substantial volumes of sediment and have altered the way that sediment moves through the system. Natural resource managers are interested in removing some of these dams to improve connectivity of aquatic habitats, restore fish spawning habitat, and reduce risks of dam failure. A high-priority management need of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve is to improve the scientific understanding of potential impacts that dam removals have on sediment transport in the estuary and deposition in
downstream tidal wetlands, including how these dam-derived sediments might help offset future sea level rise impacts.

Project leaders will address needs identified by managers and regulators to assess the immediate impacts of sediment that is released when a dam is removed, as well as the longer-term implications. The approach combines field observations with analysis of sediment transport using a proven hydrodynamic model. The project will develop watershed assessment tools for permitting dam removals and establish an improved scientific basis for considering the potential downstream benefits in regulatory decision-making.

 

 

Keywords: NERRS, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, dam removal

April 2017
Fact Sheet

This project will 1) quantify pathogens, nutrients, and sediment delivery to the Rachel Carson Reserve; 2) create predictive models for shellfish and recreational waters in the North Carolina Reserve by using this information, along with decades of historical data; 3) engage stakeholders and end users to prioritize management options; and 4) engage coastal decision makers, community members, K-12 students, and teachers in hands-on education on stormwater runoff and its impacts.

 

 

Keywords: NERRS, Rachel Carson Reserve, stormwater runoff

April 2017
Fact Sheet

This project will assess the ecosystem services of shellfish farming by measuring impacts of newly established farms in the North Carolina Research Reserve. Because there is an opportunity to assess conditions before farm installation, North Carolina estuaries provide an ideal place to measure these effects. Two years of intensive sampling in and adjacent to oyster farms, concentrating on wild shellfish resources and the physical and chemical environment will aim to link small-scale changes with large-scale ecosystem-level alterations. Coastal managers, state agencies, and shellfish farmers will provide input throughout the course of the project to ensure that the study parameters align with decision-making needs. The project will culminate with the production of visualization tools and models to allow resource managers, culturists, and reserve staff members to make better decisions when determining the locations and scales of shellfish farming operations.

 

Keywords: NEERS research, North Carolina Research Reserve, Shellfish farming, Oyster

April 2017
Fact Sheet

This summary covers the need for oil spill responders require accurate, up-to-date information to ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to a spill. New technologies present an opportunity for responders to use real-time information about a spill and the conditions affecting it. Electronic maps can be used to create dynamic oil spill response plans, allowing responders to react immediately to changing conditions in the field. These plans can be accessed using a tablet, cellphone, or computer, and are expected to improve oil spill response times, potentially preventing a small spill from becoming a larger one.

The project team’s pilot work in the Western Lake Erie Basin demonstrates the potential for electronic plans to be applied throughout the Great Lakes region.

See: Project Website

Keywords: Oil Spill Response Plan, Electronic, Western Lake Erie Basin, Great Lakes region, water quality, David Dean, Colin Brooks, Arthur Endsley, Michigan Tech Research Institute 

January 2017
Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of how the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve is leveraging approaches and lessons learned from the first “Bringing Wetlands to Market” project, which was developed by the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and supported by the Science Collaborative from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The project will boost support for restoration and conservation in several ways. It will connect Gulf Coast blue carbon end users with established blue carbon networks. It will provide long-term and sustained technical assistance opportunities and connections to carbon finance markets. And it will engage the public’s interest in blue carbon education through tours, videos or other media, and two “Bay Talks” lectures.

 

Keywords: Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, restoration, conservation, carbon finance markets

November 2016

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