Attention to Outcomes

By Jacoba Charles

The new Wetland Regional Monitoring Program, funded through an EPA Region 9 Wetlands Program Development Grant and managed by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, aims to revolutionize the way that data is collected and shared about one of the Bay Area’s most fragile yet resilient ecosystems — wetlands. “Monitoring data sits on shelves when there is an incredible opportunity to use it to inform critical management questions for the region,” says Heidi Nutters of the Estuary Partnership. The new program has moved forward not only because of growing public investment in marsh restoration, but also because of the vulnerability of these habitats and buffers to sea-level rise. “We are developing collaborative leading management questions that we can then answer with monitoring data,” says Nutters. “That has never happened before with our wetlands.”

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About the author

Jacoba Charles is a naturalist and science writer. Her first article, at age eight, was about the behavior of ducks as observed from the roof of her family’s barn. It went unpublished. She later graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism (2007). In addition to writing for Estuary News, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Modern Farmer, Bay Nature, Marin Magazine, and various literary publications. Her botany blog can be found at flowersofmarin.com and her website is jacobacharles.com. She lives in Petaluma with her family.