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U.S. EPA awards $85,970 for central California coastal wetlands monitoring


SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $85,970 to San Jose State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory to develop a wetlands monitoring program.

The project team will work with the California Coastal Commission and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program to take an intensive look at area watersheds to provide a framework for further wetlands protection and water quality enhancement in the Central Coast.

“We’re delighted to strengthen the surface water monitoring network for the Central Coast watersheds and coastline”, said Alexis Strauss, water director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. "Through our collective efforts, we are using and understanding the historic and current water quality information as a critical step in restoring and protecting our streams and coast.”

Under the grant San Jose State University will develop a common framework for the assessment and public reporting of wetland resources in the central coast of California. The main objective is to participate in the development of the overall State Wetland Monitoring Program by establishing the Central Coast Wetlands Workgroup Coordinating Committee and Science Group, and to create a regional historical ecology program. The grantee will partner with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the California Coastal Commission, and will integrate with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program.

The Central Coast wetlands have been impaired by various land use practices including forestry, agriculture, grazing and urbanization. Recent trends indicate that many rural land uses are being converted to urban development. Urbanization can cause permanent wetlands loss and impacts to water quality.

Wetland areas provide habitat for endangered wildlife and are valuable in cleaning the water that recharges groundwater supplies and reduces flood risks. Wetlands are also valuable ecosystems that provide habitat for a wide variety of species and are an important part of the environment. Native wetland areas are vulnerable to environmental changes and the impacts of human activities.


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