Science for Environmental Management course

Part of the MEES Spring Semester 2013 program, MEES 698Y: Special Topics in Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences is being taught by Don Boesch and Bill Dennison. This 3 credit course addresses the role of science in environmental management, using theory, case studies, practitioner perspectives, and current environmental issues as topics. Students will develop synthesis and science communication skills through tutorials, readings, and assignments. Students will be trained to produce conceptual diagrams, media releases, and briefing papers.

Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit meeting

Twenty four university/research institutions and nine federal agencies comprise the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CW CESU). These partners provide leadership in watershed science and stewardship with special emphasis on the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay. The agenda for this workshop in Annapolis on March 28th, 2013 includes an introduction and tour of the new National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, climate change presentations by Dr. Shawn Carter, Senior Scientist at the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (USGS), Dr. Don Boesch, President of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, an update on Chesapeake Watershed CESU climate change related activities, and introductions to the federal partners and university/research institution representatives. To register for the workshop, please visit: /link/cwcesu/

Coastal Bays Report Card 2011

Coastal Bays report card coverThe aim of this report card is to provide a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of 2011 Coastal Bays health. Coastal Bays health is defined as the progress of four water quality indicators (total nitrogen, total phoshorus, Chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen) and two biotic indicators (seagrass, hard clams) toward scientifically derived ecological thresholds or goals. The six indicators are combined into one overarching Coastal Bays Health Index, which is presented as the report card score. Detailed methods and results are available on the EcoCheck Coastal Bays report card website. The overall score for the Coastal Bays was a C in 2011, with little change since 2010.

Ecosystem-based vs. engineering-based adaptation in Lami Town, Fiji

Lami Town synthesis report coverThe narrow coastal area of Lami Town, Fiji, is surrounded by steep hills with three rivers flowing to the ocean, making it highly susceptible to flooding and erosion. This synthesis report presents a cost-benefit assessment of four adaptation scenarios to reduce Lami Town's vulnerability to flooding and erosion, both of which are projected to increase due to climate change. These four adaptation scenarios represent the spectrum of ecosystem-based and engineering-based adaptation options. Historically, engineering-based solutions have been predominantly used; however, ecosystem-based adaptation approaches are increasingly recognized as they provide additional benefits beyond solely reducing the identified threat. Based on the findings in this report, Lami Town council has already started planting mangroves and revegetating streamlines to mitigate flooding and erosion.

Making Marine Protected Areas Work: Lessons Learned in the Mediterranean

Making Marine Protected Areas Work booklet coverEarly engagement with local communities and regional and national officials are essential to the capacity and efficiency of marine protected areas (MPAs). This WWF MedPAN South report, along with the Marine Protected Areas: Guiding Principles and Benefits newsletter, identifies lessons learned in case studies from five countries with MPAs in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Published in English, French, and Arabic, this report is an important tool for managers worldwide who want to make their MPAs fully functional and effective.

International River Prize awarded to Willamette River, Oregon

Willamette teamEvery year since 1999, the International RiverFoundation (IRF) has awarded the Thiess International RiverPrize to the organization(s) who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary, and sustainable programs in river management. Previous recipients from Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America have included large river systems (e.g., Thames River, Danube River, Mekong River) and small rivers (e.g., Alexander River, Charles River). The 2012 recipient of the International RiverPrize is the Willamette River Initiative, based in Portland, Oregon. Bill Dennison (IRF Director) will be attending their biennial Within Our Reach conference: "Making Progress Towards a Healthier Willamette," and along with Johnny Sundstrom (IRF Ambassador), will present a talk on the history and significance of the International RiverPrize. The conference will be in Portland, Oregon on December 11-12. A new European RiverPrize, sponsored by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, has been announced for 2013.