Q: If you could change one regulation or requirement to better reflect current Estuary conditions what would it be, and how would you change it?
A: Recognition that estuary restoration is about restoring processes,
not just structure. Structural changes (e.g., “impacts” such as fill
and scour) may be required in order to actively restore processes, and
structural changes will occur as a result of the restoration of natural
processes. These changes are necessary for estuary restoration and should not
be regulated as impacts the way they are for development projects. In addition,
performance criteria for estuary mitigation projects should be based on positive
trends in process, recognizing realistic restoration timelines, rather than
attempting to predict specific or arbitrary structural standards.
Kim Fettke is a wildlife and restoration ecologist with AECOM
A: Modifying the region’s Long-Term Management Strategy for dredged material to allow for in-Bay sediment placement locations that are dispersive to restoration sites. Modification should also include allowing placement at such sites to count towards the LTMS goals for beneficial reuse of dredged material and/or sediment.
Justin Semion works in environmental consulting with WRA, Inc.
A:I would base monitoring of estuarine fish
health on on-going surveys using multiple species, including non-native species
such as striped bass. See the following
publication for suggestions on how to do this: Developing Biological Goals for
the Bay-Delta Plan: Concepts and Ideas from an Independent Scientific Advisory
Peter Moyle is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UC Davis
Question of the Week, November 14
Q: Pretend you are creating a new position, Bay Area Czar, to overcome jurisdictional infighting and get the region to work as one to to galvanize climate change adaptation and action on environmental equity issues around the Bay. What powers would you give them? What would be the first three things they should do?
A: The Bay Area Czar would enact a regional policy to 1) restore Bay
Area creeks and their connections to the Bay, 2) redesign hardened shorelines
to improve green infrastructure, sea level rise adaptation, and carbon storage,
and 3) revitalize public transportation, roads, bike routes, and pedestrian
access in and around the Bay’s shorelines. Collectively the Czar’s policies would
address looming threats to the Bay Area’s real estate, economies, communities,
fish and wildlife, improve quality of life through recreation, air and water
quality, and reduce carbon emissions from transportation while increasing
carbon storage. The Czar would help lead the nation (and the world) in climate
change adaptation strategies.
Denise Colombano is a Bay Area native currently researching watershed sciences at UC Davis.
A: A dollar of funding for critical wetland and resiliency projects goes
less than half as far as it should. An absolute requirement for the Bay Area
Czar position should be 10-20 years of senior management experience in a
marine/heavy civil construction company. The right person should know the
end-to-end process of how work gets done in wet areas and would have the
confidence to say “no” to the paralyzing circle of regulatory
one-upmanship. Each presumably well-intentioned project condition adds delays,
cost, and unnecessary complexity to the essential restoration and flood control
work that needs to happen today.
Lance Dohman is a concerned citizen.
A: The czar would have the power to consider zoning, environmental, and economic regulations against the long-term impacts of climate change and make changes as necessary. The first three things they should do would be:
1. Identify best/worst case changes to the
environment in the years 2030, 2050, and 2100
2. Prioritize projects that address the
impacts and root causes of the changes
3. Change finance options to address the
Chris Choo is a planner for sea level rise in Marin County.
A: First, the Bay Area Czar should have the power of the purse to fund
projects, incentivizing regional and local collaboration and community
engagement. Second, the Czar should have the authority to initiate the override
of certain regulatory requirements if a given project demonstrated benefits
that justified the action. Third, the Czar should have the power to veto any development
in BCDC jurisdiction that did not demonstrate (and fund) a 50-year plan for
resilience against sea level rise.