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2020 Honda Marine Science Foundation Grant Recipients

Dune Restoration Guidebook for Pillar Point Living Shoreline

California Sea Grant is launching a project to help California communities implement dune restoration as a method to increase coastal resilience. Led by Sea Grant extension specialists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, the project will develop a best practice guidebook to inform the monitoring and maintenance strategy of the upcoming Pillar Point West Trail Living Shoreline Project in San Mateo County. Coastal dunes were historically a consistent feature of many California shorelines. However, most have been degraded due to development and beach modifications. By restoring or enhancing these dune systems, coastal communities can reestablish natural habitat and processes, as well as increase protection from coastal storm erosion and flooding—likely to be intensified with climate change.

Wanchese Village Living Shorelines Demonstration Lab

The Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park is a 53-acre complex that serves as a hub of commercial activity for the community. To limit erosion and support the marsh complex, North Carolina Coastal Federation will build a series of five living shoreline sills—low-profile barriers made from stone or shells—to provide shoreline stabilization and protection opportunities. Serving multiple purposes, the 500-foot Wanchese Village Living Shorelines Demonstration Lab will aim to combat erosion, improve water quality, and provide an outdoor living laboratory for visitors.

Enhancement of Coastal Habitat at Año Nuevo Island

Año Nuevo Island near Monterey Bay, California, once home to an 1800s-era lighthouse station, is now habitat for an astonishing diversity of wildlife and is a critical breeding ground for seabirds and marine mammals. To protect the island's habitat and biodiversity, Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge will apply natural approaches to stabilize the soil, promote native plant cover, and provide safe ceramic homes for nesting seabirds.

Regional Living Shoreline Strategies in an Ongoing Restoration Project

To address the loss of nearshore wetland habitats along the California coast and explore the best restoration methods, Orange County Coastkeeper (OCCK) is restoring eelgrass and native Olympia oyster beds in a unique living shoreline design in Newport Beach, California. OCCK aims to provide critical information to resource managers and the public on the scalability and efficacy of living shorelines. Utilizing ecological data and costs-to-date information, OCCK and partners will determine how restoration can scale up from research projects within a bay to regional-scale projects as well as the viability of funding larger scale restoration projects in Southern California.

Regenerative Kelp Farms

The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Kelp Initiative aims to establish the first-of-its-kind regenerative ocean farm on the North Coast of California. Healthy kelp forests are the foundation of California’s nearshore ocean ecosystem, supporting nearly a thousand marine species, protecting and providing for coastal communities, and boasting a rate of primary productivity rivaling that of tropical rainforests. Due to climate-driven changes, the North Coast region has lost more than 93% of its kelp forests in the last decade. This project will restore multiple acres of kelp forests, validate the potential of regenerative ocean farming, and bring back the productivity and biodiversity of the ecosystem while providing economic opportunities for coastal communities.

2019 Honda Marine Science Foundation Grant Recipients

Living Shoreline Multipurpose Area

To improve coral reef health on West Maui, Hawaii, the Coral Reef Alliance will construct a living shoreline “green infrastructure” multipurpose area to reduce pollution from severely degraded watersheds. A natural watershed made of native vegetation effectively filters storm water and absorbs chemicals and nutrients that can be detrimental to coral reefs. By reducing sediment pollution on the coral reef and building community-centric green infrastructure, the project will provide both environmental and community benefits.

Los Angeles Living Shoreline Project

To protect against sea level rise and coastal storms, this project by The Bay Foundation will enhance roughly three and a half acres of beach and coastal bluff habitat by restoring coastal bluff, sandy beach and near-shore eelgrass habitats. This project is vital to the preservation of natural ecosystems, as native flora has been almost completely eradicated across Los Angeles beaches. This habitat restoration will provide enhanced ecosystem services, including improved water quality, wildlife benefits, carbon sequestration, shoreline stabilization, and storm protection.

Smithsonian Living Shorelines Project

This initiative by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is part of a large living shorelines project by the California Coastal Conservancy at Giant Marsh on the Richmond shoreline in California’s San Francisco Bay. Rockweed will be transplanted to ameliorate heat stress in restored intertidal oyster populations. Rockweed transplantation, a process that has not yet been studied in San Francisco Bay, could prove critical to the success of oyster living shorelines projects under future climate change scenarios.

Zedler Marsh Living Shoreline Project

Zedler Marsh is one of the last surviving tidal wetlands in Los Angeles County. This 10-acre tidal wetland along the San Gabriel River in Long Beach, California, will be restored by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust by installing intertidal vegetation in order to protect the wetland marsh from future erosion, increase biodiversity, and improve water quality.

2018 Honda Marine Science Foundation Grants

San Francisco Bay Transition Zone Restoration Project

Save The Bay’s regional effort is focused on wetlands restoration, enhancement and maintenance in transition zones between the tidal marsh and the terrestrial environment. Healthy transition zones provide vital ecosystem services, including absorbing storm surges and protecting communities from flooding, filtering urban pollutants out of estuarine flows, supporting diverse native wildlife, providing migration space for wildlife as sea levels rise, and creating accessible areas for public recreation and ecological education. The grant from Honda Marine Science Foundation will support these activities and the operation of three native plant nurseries to generate thousands of native seedlings annually.

Click HERE to download the final project report.

Sunlight Shores Living Shoreline Restoration Project

The Northwest Straits Foundation aims to increase the amount of living shoreline in the Northwest Straits region of the Puget Sound through the removal of manmade shoreline structures such as cement and log piles. The project also aims to educate shoreline landowners about the importance of living shorelines and seek their support for natural approaches to shoreline protection.

Click HERE to download the final project report.

Upper Newport Bay Living Shorelines Project

Three organizations, Orange County Coastkeeper (OCCK), California State University Long Beach (CSULB), and California State University Fullerton (CSUF), collaborated on the project which focuses on oyster and eelgrass restoration to stabilize local shorelines. The goals of the project are to improve the ecological integrity and resilience of Southern California embayments as well as increase public awareness and stewardship of coastal habitats.

Click HERE to download the final project report.