Supporting wetland recovery with MAPT
Conservation Biology Institute is playing a key role in improving the health and resilience of wetland ecosystems in Southern California. The Marsh Adaptation Planning Tool provides spatial analysis and decision-support technology in support of a newly-released recovery plan for tidal and non-tidal wetlands from Point Conception to the Mexican border.
On October 18, 2018, the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (SCWRP), a consortium of federal and state agencies, released its new science-based plan for the long-term restoration and expansion of Southern California’s coastal wetlands. Called the Regional Strategy 2018, this plan is the culmination of four years of work to identify critical locations and best practices for the restoration of today’s wetlands, as well as the protection and enhancement of wetland - upland transition zones that may become tomorrow’s wetlands as a result of sea level rise. The Strategy establishes broad Goals and specific Objectives to prevent further net wetland loss and could result in up to 7,700 new acres of wetlands by restoring historic wetland areas currently isolated behind levees and by allowing sea level rise to claim low-lying coastal uplands.
The Marsh Adaptation Planning Tool (MAPT) is a website released together with the Regional Strategy 2018 that provides transparency and access to the geospatial datasets, maps, and information that were used to develop the Strategy and will be used going forward to facilitate wetland restoration. Within the MAPT are:
- Sections dedicated to the Goals of the Strategy presented with relevant galleries of maps and data;
- A dynamic "Quick-start Map" that encourages the public to explore the region's historical and present-day wetlands together with other map layers such as developed areas, projections of impacts from climate-change, and important transition-zones;
- A system for planning wetland recovery projects and applying for these projects to be included in the Strategy's Work Plan, and for the SCWRP to evaluate and prioritize restoration projects within the Work Plan. This system helps SCWRP partners translate the regional Goals and Objectives to site-specific recommendations, calculates acres of targeted habitat restored or gained, and maps the footprint of the project for future tracking toward cumulative regional project impacts.
The MAPT is powered by Data Basin, Conservation Biology Institute's robust online platform for creating, sharing, and using spatial data. Data Basin supports thousands of conservation practitioners, researchers, and educators, providing them with tools that put science and geographic information to work for them.
At Conservation Biology Institute we think that everyone should be empowered to learn about and participate in caring for the natural environments we live in. We are proud of our work to support efforts like the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project. To learn more about the SCWRP and the Marsh Adaptation Planning Tool, go to http://scwrp.databasin.org.