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Partner Spotlight Series: Kwiaht & Santa Monica Bay Foundation

November 15, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us for an informational webinar highlighting the work of Kwiaht and The Bay Foundation to restore their local estuaries. The webinar will consist of a short presentation followed by opportunity for audience Q&A. This is a great opportunity to learn about restoration techniques, challenges, and opportunities in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.

Russel Barsh, Director for Kwiaht, take webinar participants through key steps of Kwiaht’s experimental construction of shellfish beds in a shallow, densely populated Pacific Northwest bay with focus on the assessment of erosional processes; the conceptual design of living breakwaters to work with natural forces that have begun reshaping the bay; and the design at fine-scale of breakwater alignments for individual shoreline units as small as 100 linear feet. Central to this project was discovery of unusual geology and erosion patterns that are not addressed in standard hydrodynamic models for building in-water structures. Shorelines were studied intensively to understand how precipitation, infiltration, currents and tides interact in this novel biophysical setting. Conditions shifted the best feasible outcome from “saving” shoreline salt marsh habitats over the next 50-100 years, to “recreating” shoals and bars in the shallows that had already been lost a century ago.

Tom Ford, CEO of the Bay Foundation, will discuss how anecdotal evidence from the 1960’s suggests a more expansive and diverse assemblage of SAV in Santa Monica Bay. Our efforts to restore or establish eelgrass along our shores is an approach to generate ecological services, increase habitat, and develop methodologies that can be used throughout suitable sites in the Southern California Bight. The effort is rooted in reversing past harms, but we’re not chasing a baseline. We except that our coast will experience stressors in the coming hundred years that we yet can’t define. We’re using a polymodal approach towards our Bay via research and monitoring, nested in adaptive management. We will only need more from our coastal systems in the future, we’re trying increase our ability and capacity to meet those needs.

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Suzanne Simon – RAE
Suzanne Simon is NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program Director for Restore America’s Estuaries. She has spent more than 20 years working on coastal, marine, and estuarine issues in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. An estuarine scientist by training, she started her career at an oceanographic consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. Suzanne earned a B.S. in biology from Bates College and an M.S. in environmental science with a concentration in marine and estuarine science from Western Washington University.

Russel Barsh – Director, Kwiaht
Russel Barsh has been working on understanding and managing long term human impacts on Salish Sea ecosystems for fifty years, from teaching at the University of Washington and advising Treaty Tribes in the 1970s; to co-founding Kwiaht, a grassroots conservation laboratory in the San Juan Islands in 2006 with Tribal leader and environmentalist Ken Hanson. Russel also worked with United Nations agencies on grassroots ecological initiatives in southern Africa and the southwest Pacific. In recent years, his work has focused on changing food webs in the San Juan Islands, and experiments in making key habitats more climate-resilient.

Tom Ford – CEO, The Bay Foundation
Tom Ford has spent the past 25 years working on coastal management in Los Angeles California. Tom has worked to protect, enhance, and restore coastal wetlands, beaches, kelp forests, and most recently offshore eelgrass. These efforts have required broad partnerships, applied science, communications, and development. Tom currently serves at the CEO of The Bay Foundation, Director of the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program, Co-Executive Director of the Coastal Research Institute at Loyola Marymount University.



November 15, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Restore America’s Estuaries
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