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WRMP Winter 2021 Newsletter


As we round out another year of hard work developing the WRMP, we wanted to share some major accomplishments to celebrate how far we have come and anticipate what comes next. This is an exciting time for the WRMP, and we hope you will stay tuned for the next steps toward beginning coordinated regional monitoring!

Three birds swimming in a line

Credit: Shira Bezalel

Progress on the science framework

    • The WRMP completed a Data Fit-Gap Analysis, led by Cristina Grosso and Tony Hale (SFEI), describing the data needs for WRMP geospatial indicators and evaluating those needs against existing datasets. Read the Fit-Gap Analysis Report.
    • The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) identified and recommended a suite of mature marshes to serve as Benchmark Sites within the WRMP Monitoring Site Network. See the map of sites below and read the full Benchmark Site Recommendations memo, which was approved by the Steering Committee. The TAC is currently working on identifying potential Project and Reference Sites.
WRMP Benchmark Monitoring Sites

Credit: Christina Toms

    • The WRMP Geospatial Workgroup is finalizing a habitat classification system and draft standard operating procedures (SOPs) for mapping habitat types (WRMP Indicator 1) and transition zones (WRMP Indicator 3). The SOPs will guide the development of the Baylands Change Basemap funded by an EPA Water Quality Improvement Fund grant.
    • The WRMP Fish & Fish Habitat Workgroup conducted a review of fish monitoring downstream of the Carquinez Strait and is finalizing a draft SOP for monitoring fish and fish habitat.
View of wetlands from a hillside

Credit: Shira Bezalel

Program development progress

    • The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) and San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) began co-administering the WRMP.
    • We held a WRMP Permitting Workshop in January 2021. This workshop was developed by partners at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and SFEP; and was facilitated by the Consensus Building Institute. The workshop goals were to (a) understand the WRMP and how it can support regulatory and resource agencies’ goals for wetlands and (b) explore the role of regional monitoring to inform and improve regulatory requirements. The workshop produced several key recommendations that will be carried forward in our work in 2022. Read the WRMP Permitting Workshop summary.
    • We released a new WRMP website, www.wrmp.org, thanks to the work of former California Sea Grant State Fellow Kelly Santos.
    • The WRMP Steering Committee approved the first WRMP Charter. During the Charter development process, new seats were added for community and tribal representatives to diversify critical representation in Program decision-making.
    • The WRMP Steering Committee selected its first programmatic Chair and Vice Chair, Sandra Scoggin (San Francisco Bay Joint Venture) and Erika Castillo (Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District).
    • We held a virtual Open House, organized by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, to share program progress, next steps, and ways for people to get involved. View the recording of the WRMP Open House or stay tuned for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, to be posted on the WRMP website.

Funding updates

    • A third phase of funding from the U.S. EPA Wetland Program Development Grant Program will fund engagement from community and tribal groups, identification of priority ecosystem services and how to monitor them, development of data collection protocols and a data management system usable by a broad audience, and alignment of WRMP monitoring with regulatory agencies.
    • New funding from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SFBRA) will fund initial establishment of the WRMP Monitoring Site Network and alignment of WRMP indicators with SFBRA performance metrics and other regional programs.
Top-down view of small marsh plants in cracked mud

Credit: Megan Elrod

As always, we extend our gratitude to the partners on our Committees and Workgroups who move our program forward, the U.S. EPA Region 9 as our current major funder, and you for your interest in the WRMP.

Wishing you a healthy and joyful new year.

Heidi Nutters, SF Estuary Partnership
Alex Thomsen, SF Estuary Partnership
Tony Hale, SF Estuary Institute
Cristina Grosso, SF Estuary Institute
Melissa Foley, SF Estuary Institute