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CEMAR News Archive

May, 2015
Water for Salmon, Water for School
CEMAR's conservation hydrology work is featured in the film "Water for Salmon, Water for School", by Trout Unlimited. Whitethorn Elementary School installed 80,000 gallons of tank storage with the help of Trout Unlimited, Sanctuary Forest and CEMAR. In exchange the school agreed not to pump from the river during the dry season. Watch the video.

March, 2015
Napa River Salmon Recovery Project receives SECOND $25,000 grant!
CEMAR is pleased to announce that The Campbell Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant for the Napa River Salmon Recovery Project. The funds will be used to produce and share streamflow, water need, and habitat information; evaluate potential streamflow conservation and enhancement opportunities; and produce concepts for storage and operational modifications that reduce dry season diversion. The project, conducted in collaboration with local landowners and Napa Resource Conservation District, is also benefiting from support by the Dean Witter Foundation and the Department of Water Resources. The year-long project commences this spring.

February, 2015
Napa River Salmon Recovery Project receives $25,000 grant. CEMAR is thrilled to announce that The Dean Witter Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to initiate Phase 2 of the Napa River Salmon Recovery Project. The funds will be used to develop the hydrologic information needed as the basis to develop water management projects that address the impact of summer diversions on important steelhead and salmon rearing areas in the Napa River. The year-long project will commence this spring.

December, 2014
CEMAR's Fisheries Scientist, Gordon Becker, was a guest on KQED's Forum discussing the status of coho salmon in relation to California's drought. Listen to the archived show.

November, 2014
Matt Deitch, CEMAR's hydrologist, was honored at the annual CHEER (Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration) Awards Dinner held in Gilroy on Saturday, November 1. Matt received a Congressional resolution from the office of Zoe Lofgren for his work in Little Arthur Creek, tributary to Uvas Creek in Santa Clara County. His research will result in ten houses along important steelhead habitat in Little Arthur Creek storing water in winter for use in summer, rather than diverting from the channel or shallow wells immediately beside it. CEMAR will also conduct post-implementation studies to assess if the change in management practices result in improved summer base flow.

July, 2014
CEMAR's Executive Director Andrew Gunther gave the Keynote Address, Sustaining our Ecological Infrastructure in a Changing World, at the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation GIS in Monterey.

The Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership has been awarded a $500,000 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant to continue its streamflow restoration work in five key tributaries of the Russian River. To date, NFWF has invested over $3.2 million in the Partnership’s work. CEMAR serves as the official grantee for NFWF on behalf of the partnership. The Sonoma County Water Agency has provided a significant amount of additional support through fisheries research and monitoring activities related to management of Russian River water resources.

April, 2014
CEMAR's Executive Director Andrew Gunther led a workshop entitled Giving Effective Presentations for staff at the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. If you are interested in having Dr. Gunther conduct this workshop for your organization please contact CEMAR.

March, 2014
CEMAR received a donor-directed grant of $10,000 from The Orvis Company. The restricted gift is to be used to fund the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, a project focused on improving streamflow and coho salmon recovery in five key tributaries of the Russian River.

January, 2014
CEMAR recently completed a study of selected portions of the Napa River watershed for potential flow enhancement projects. The project, funded by the Dean Witter Foundation, found that water storage projects could be developed in important Napa River tributaries and portions of the mainstem river that have the potential to improve and expand steelhead habitat. Questions or comments about the report should be addressed to Gordon Becker or Matthew Deitch.

upper napa
Upper Napa River

January, 2014
CEMAR recently completed a study of selected portions of the Napa River watershed for potential flow enhancement projects. The project, funded by the Dean Witter Foundation, found that water storage projects could be developed in important Napa River tributaries and portions of the mainstem river that have the potential to improve and expand steelhead habitat. Questions or comments about the report should be addressed to Gordon Becker or Matthew Deitch.

upper napa
Upper Napa River

December, 2013
Andy Gunther, Executive Director of CEMAR, and Executive Coordinator of the Bay Area Ecosystem Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC), welcomed 50 ranchers, public rangeland managers, and rangeland experts to a half-day workshop in Livermore on the afternoon of December 4 entitled Managing Rangelands in Increasingly Uncertain Times. The goal of the workshop, sponsored by BAECCC and co-sponsored by the California Rangeland Trust and Alameda County Resource Conservation District, was to bring these groups together to begin to identify conservation strategies to sustain the numerous ecosystem benefits of rangelands that could be at risk in an increasingly uncertain environment, in part due to climate change.

November, 2013
Senior Scientist Matthew Deitch has published his most recent article "Cumulative Effects of Small Reservoirs on Streamflow in Northern Coastal California Catchments" in the international peer-reviewed journal Water Resources Management, with co-authors Adina Merenlender and Shane Feirer. The article examines the influence of several hundred small reservoirs on early-season streamflow in Russian River tributaries, illustrating the usefulness of spatial tools to evaluate cumulative hydrologic impacts in California's watersheds.

CEMAR's work in the Mattole River has begun to produce on-the-ground results. Our science has provided the foundation for water storage tanks at Whitethorn School in southern Humboldt County, so the school no longer has to rely on an instream diversion to meet water needs in summer and fall (photo courtesy of Sanctuary Forest).

white thorn sign

October, 2013
Pacific Gas and Electric Company has awarded a community investment grant to CEMAR to begin flow gauging work in select tributaries of the Eel River. The collected data will help us better understand the hydrology and habitat of tributary streams and, long term, help to improve the biological health and productivity of those tributaries. We extend our sincere thanks to Pacific Gas and Electric Company for their support.

September, 2013
CEMAR has had a busy summer. Two of our projects have been written up in magazines, we hired a new employee, and several projects have started. Read all about it in our September newsletter.

May, 2013
CEMAR in the News! The Sonoma Valley Sun recently ran an article discussing a salmonid study CEMAR is conducting in association with the Sonoma Ecology Center and the Southern Sonoma Resources Conservation District. This project is financed under the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, administered by the California Department of Water Resources, Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, and Association of Bay Area Governments.

March, 2013
Adult steelhead show apparent pre-spawning behavior near the outmigrant trap on Pescadero Creek. This trap is being operated in a partnership between the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, CEMAR, Alnus Ecological, federal and state resource agencies, local landowners and volunteers.



This 24" steelhead male was collected on his way out of the upper Sonoma Creek watershed as part of CEMAR's outmigrant trapping program.

Ernie

Steelhead are currently in San Francisquito Creek! Video by Doug Rundle.

February, 2013
CEMAR has released its February newsletter. If you missed it, click here to see the letter and if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter follow the intstructions at the bottom of the newsletter.

January, 2013
CEMAR organized, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) hosted, a confab regarding smolt trapping in Bay Area watersheds. Biologists from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Napa County Resource Conservation District, the SFPUC, the East Bay Regional Park District, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service, as well as biologists trapping in Pescadero and Sonoma creeks this spring, participated in a wide ranging discussion of methods, data analysis, volunteer coordination, permitting and other related topics. The January 15th event proved to be a highly effective collaboration, and produced important information and materials sharing opportunties.

December, 2012
Salmon have been spotted in Grape Creek, in Dry Creek Valley!

Modifications to a culvert on San Anselmo Creek (just below Center Boulevard) are finished. CEMAR's design recommendations include a series of raised baffles and step pools to slow streamflow and improve migrating conditions for fish on this tributary to Corte Madera Creek in Marin County (Photo Courtesy of Sandy Guldman, Friends of Corte Madera Creek). The Before Picture can be seen here.

landsdale

And here's another! The City of San Jose completed modifications, based on CEMAR's analysis and conceptual designs, to a migration barrier in Upper Penitencia Creek (tributary of Coyote Creek) near the Youth Science Institute in Alum Rock Park (Photo courtesy Mike McClintock, Alum Rock Park).  The Before Picture can be seen here.

alum after

September, 2012
CEMAR's Executive Director Andrew Gunther has been selected to be part of team working on a grant from the Kresge Foundation to develop plans for adaptation to climate change in the Bay Area. The team will examine issues related to development and use of scientific information, social equity, and governance structure.

August, 2012
Steelhead trout will have an easier time returning to Corte Madera Creek in Marin County with the modification of a large culvert in San Anselmo. The original engineering designs for this modification (and four others in the Bay Area) were developed through CEMAR's Passage Improvement Program with support from the California State Coastal Conservancy, the Giles and Elyse Mead Foundation, and the Bella Vista Foundation.

July, 2012
CEMAR Executive Director Andrew Gunther co-convened a symposium at the North American Congress of the Society for Conservation Biology entitled Science as a Second Language: Getting Science Used by Policymakers, Practitioners, and the Public. Dr. Gunther spoke at the symposium (held on July 17th in Oakland) regarding the need for scientists to with policymakers and practitioners to encourage informed decision making, using the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium as an example.

May, 2012
This spring, CEMAR initiated new projects in several central coast watersheds. In the South Bay tributary San Francisquito Creek, CEMAR is working with National Marine Fisheries Service , the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District and other partners to design a modification of an important fish passage barrier known as the Bonde weir.

On the Alameda Creek tributary Stonybrook Creek, CEMAR, working with the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, installed streamflow gauges to improve understanding of rearing habitat availability in that creek.

CEMAR also installed multiple gauges in Pescadero Creek to begin collecting data to support water conservation and streamflow enhancement projects in cooperation with the Integrated Watershed Restoration Program and local partners.

March, 2012
An op-ed entitled The Climate Change Hoax by CEMAR Executive Director Andrew Gunther (and co-author James McCarthy of Harvard University) appeared in the Sacramento Bee, the Miami Herald, and the Kansas City Star on March 21.

February, 2012
CEMAR's Executive Director Andrew Gunther spoke about how universities and local organizations work together to address topics needing research attention on February 14th as part of an Uncommon Dialogue sponsored by the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

January, 2012
Senior Environmental Scientist Dr. Matthew Deitch measures streamflow at Westminster Woods in Occidental, CA after the recent rains.

 

A video of Dr. Andrew Gunther's plenary address at the 2011 State of the Estuary conference is now available.

December, 2011
Senior Environmental Scientist Matthew Deitch served on a Discussion Panel at the Eighth Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium on Saturday, December 3 on the UC Berkeley campus. Dr. Deitch shared his experiences conducting collaborative technical projects with local stakeholders in California and discussed constraints placed on restoration practices with ecological objectives in human-influenced landscapes.

November, 2011
Coho salmon are returning to the Russian River. Read more about the good news and keep track of the number of coho adults returning to the Russian River watershed. CEMAR is one of six organizations working together as the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership to implement conservation strategies that increase water reliability for both humans and fish.

October, 2011
CEMAR GIS Analyst Nick Reseburg provided GIS support for a presentation at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver B.C., where Deborah Giles presented research on killer whale behavioral response to the presence of vessels. Giles used remote sensing equipment to collect spatial data on real time orca and vessel locations, which Nick then animated to easily visualize the orca/vessel encounters. These data will be used to inform policy for control of vessels as part managing the recovery of this endangered species.

September, 2011
Articles about the State of the Bay report were published September 19th in the San Jose Mercury and the San Francisco Chronicle.

The State of the Bay 2011 was released at the State of the Estuary Conference on September 20. CEMAR's Andrew Gunther was the project leader for this report, which is available from the San Francisco Estuary Project website. Read more about CEMAR's work on Ecological Indicators. Dr. Gunther will be speaking about the report at the State of the Estuary Conference.

August, 2011
As part of the Bay Area Fish Passage Improvement Program, CEMAR led a team of stakeholders and passage engineers that produced a channel design allowing for fish migration at a total barrier on Stuart Creek. Project implementation will provide passage to substantial upstream habitat and improve the open space value of the parcel on which the barrier is located. Featured in the Sonoma Valley Sun.

July, 2011
Working with PRBO Conservation Science, CEMAR recently installed a stream gauge at TomKat Ranch in San Mateo County. The gauge and subsequent calibration and analysis will allow the landowners to understand variations in local streamflow, particularly during low flow conditions.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has provided $600,000 in funding to CEMAR for the second year of the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership.

June, 2011
CEMAR will be continuing its work facilitating the Alameda Creek Fisheries Restoration Workgroup for the next year, with support from the signatories of the watershed’s Memorandum of Understanding (Alameda County Flood Control District, Alameda County Water District, California State Coastal Conservancy, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Zone 7 Water Agency, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company).

CEMAR Executive Director Andrew Gunther has been asked to organize two sessions on Climate Driven Ecological Change and its Management Implications at the 10th Biennial State of the Estuary Conference. The Conference will take place on September 20-21 at the Marriott Hotel in Oakland.

CEMAR gratefully acknowledges renewed support from the Tides Foundation.

May, 2011
CEMAR is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Tandle as Deputy Executive Director. Linda, who for 10 years was the Executive Director of the Anza Borrego Foundation, brings administrative and development skills to the management team at CEMAR.

April, 2011
Steelhead trout in the upper Pajaro River watershed, California, discovered by CHEER volunteers and filmed by CEMAR's hydrologist Matthew Deitch on 4/25/2011

CEMAR is pleased to announce the debut of the Streamflow Data Center, which shows data from CEMAR's network of stream gauges in coastal California. The data produced by these gauges are being used by a diverse array of stakeholders to provide an objective technical foundation for discussions about improving streamflow conditions for salmonids while maintaining other beneficial uses of water.

CEMAR Senior Scientist Matthew Deitch will be delivering the keynote address at the Annual Hydrology Symposium at UC Berkeley on May 7. His lecture is entitled "Restoring streamflow in coastal California watersheds: lessons learned through a science-based process.

March, 2011
California Sea Grant and the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program announced that an estimated 190 adult coho salmon returned to the Russian River this year, as compared with a previous annual average of less than four. Sea Grant is a partner in the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, which being supported by a grant to CEMAR from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The returns of coho was welcome news to the Partnership, which is working to improve habitat conditions for coho in key tributaries in the Russian River watershed.

Dr. Andrew Gunther, Executive Director of CEMAR, has been selected to serve as the Executive Coordinator of the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium. Dr. Gunther will coordinate a regional, multi-agency approach to addressing and adapting to climate change impacts on nature, from the Gulf of the Farallones to the SF Bay Estuary and uplands.

February, 2011
Gordon Becker presented at the FishNet 4C steering committee meeting regarding restoration opportunities for steelhead in the region between Marin and Monterey counties.

Gus Yates (HydroFocus, Inc.) and Barry Hecht (Balance Hydrologics) will use CEMAR's data analysis to explore correlations between watershed bedrock type, baseflow magnitude and persistence, and steelhead rearing habitat. The results will be presented at the 29th Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference in San Luis Obispo at the end of March.

On Tuesday, February 15, CEMAR's Senior Environmental Scientist Dr. Matthew Deitch will be giving a seminar for the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The seminar, titled "Tools to address environmental flow recovery for coastal salmon in a vineyard landscape," is a joint presentation with Dr. Adina Merenlender, Professor of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. More information can be found at
http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/iis

January 2011
Dr. Matthew Deitch of CEMAR will also be serving as lecturer in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department at UC Berkeley for the Spring 2011 semester, where he is teaching the graduate-level course Hydrology for Planners. 
In addition, CEMAR has been awarded a GIS Conservation Program grant from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, which will be used for spatial analysis in CEMAR’s steelhead restoration and conservation hydrology programs.

December 2010
CEMAR prepared a report entitled Considerations for Restoration of Pescadero Marsh. The report is based on the proceedings of the December 2008 public forum:  Restoration of Pescadero Marsh: Identifying Problems and Exploring Solutions and was prepared with funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

November 2010
CEMAR has prepared a report entitled: Southern Steelhead Resources Evaluation: Identifying Promising Locations for Steelhead Restoration in Watersheds South of the Golden Gate.

October 2010
CEMAR will be celebrating it's 10th Anniversary with a reception from 5:00 - 7:30 PM on October 28. If you have not received an invitation and would like to attend, please contact us!

October 2010
Senior Environmental Scientist Gordon Becker presented Coastal California Steelhead: Conservation Planning and Restoration Approaches to a graduate level course in River Restoration at UC Berkeley.

September 2010
CEMAR will begin work next month assisting the San Francisco Estuary Partnership develop a "State of the Bay" report for the San Francisco Estuary. CEMAR will be leading a team that includes The San Francisco Estuary Institute, The Bay Institute, and PRBO Conservation Science.

September 2010
Senior Environmental Scientist Matthew Deitch presented Hydrology and River Restoration; and Applications to Coastal California to a graduate level course in River Restoration at UC Berkeley.

August 2010
CEMAR's Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Gunther, conducted a climate science education workshop at the national retreat of the Alliance for Climate Education.

July 2010
CEMAR will be serving as an expert witness for a plaintiff that is suing the City of Calistoga, claiming the City has violated California State Fish and Game Code §5937 in relation to operation of Kimball Canyon Dam on the upper Napa River. This code section requires that dam owners allow sufficient water flows around or through their facilities to keep downstream fisheries in "good condition."

July 2010
CEMAR's Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Gunther, was part of a panel on climate change at the Commonwealth Club entitled "Hot, Wet, and Uncertain." An audio recording of this event is available online.

June 2010
Senior Environmental Scientist Matthew Deitch presented Streamflow and Hydrology of Green Valley Creek at a public meeting in Graton, CA.

May 2010
CEMAR's Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Gunther, conducted the professional training Giving Effective Presentations for Cambridge Systematics in Oakland.

May 2010
Linda Tandle has been hired by CEMAR to serve as the Program Coordinator for the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership. Linda will be working from the offices of the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District in Santa Rosa.

April 2010
CEMAR has prepared and distributed An Approach to Restoration of the Pescadero Marsh, a report based upon the proceedings of the December 2008 public forum Restoration of Pescadero Marsh: Identifying Problems and Exploring Solutions. This report is presently being reviewed by the members of the Pescadero Marsh Working Group.

April 2010
Executive Director Andrew Gunther conducted the professional training Giving Effective Presentations for the Center for Energy Efficient and Renewable Technologies in Sacramento.

April 2010
CEMAR will be preparing a video for Alameda County that will describe how the Flood Control District is integrating environmental stewardship and sustainability into their programs.

April 2010
Executive Director Andrew Gunther presented Global Climate Disruption: A Scientific Call to Action at Laney College in Oakland, CA.

March 2010
Dr. Matthew Deitch, Senior Environmental Scientist, completed the Upper Green Valley Creek Hydrology Assessment as part of the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District's Upper Green Valley Creek Watershed Management Plan.

February 2010
CEMAR has been awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be the managing partner for the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership. CEMAR's partners in this project will be Trout Unlimited, the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District, the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and UC Cooperative Extension. The project's objective is to restore coho salmon to the Russian River through a combination of improved water resources management, habitat restoration, and stocking of fish in collaboration with the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program.

February 2010
Senior Environmental Scientist Matthew Deitch gave a presentation about the Partnership at a public meeting in the Mill Creek watershed organized by the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District.

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CEMAR: Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration
Pursuing innovative, collaborative approaches to restore California's coastal ecosystems.

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