In science news this week: State of Bay Delta Science Summary for Policy Makers; Agencies pursue hatchery for Central California Coastal coho; Shasta Dam Fish Passage Evaluation Pilot Implementation Plan; California North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed Resilient Lands and Waters Storymap; A silver lining for rare Blue Smith’s butterflies; Congressional Briefing on “A New Frontier in Water Operations: Atmospheric Rivers, Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Predictions and Weather Forecasting Technology”; Researcher says management of pine beetle not working; and lastly … Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting by David Burdeny
State of Bay Delta Science Summary for Policy Makers: “The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2016 (SBDS, 2016) is a compendium of scientific papers that synthesize the current scientific understanding of the Bay and Delta, with an emphasis on progress made since the first edition of SBDS was published in 2008. Also, select members of the editorial board prepared a summary for policymakers: The Delta on Fast Forward: Thinking Beyond the Next Crisis. This summary includes seven new perspectives on SBDS, 2016, a suite of tools that are advancing Delta science, and eight forward-thinking actions. SBDS is a key element in the overall Delta science strategy that includes the Delta Science Plan and the Science Action Agenda, and it is intended to inform the science and policy audiences about the state of science of the Bay-Delta system.” To read the summary, please click here.
Agencies pursue hatchery for Central California Coastal coho: “State and federal officials are working together to relocate and expand a small conservation fish hatchery that has helped endangered Central California Coast (CCC) coho salmon hang on in their historic habitat south of San Francisco. NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife agree that construction of a new and larger hatchery is essential to saving and recovering CCC coho south of the Golden Gate. Coho salmon populations in this region have fallen to critically low levels after decades of continued decline in the small coastal streams where they spawn and rear. NOAA Fisheries recently named CCC coho salmon as one of eight national “Species in the Spotlight” that face high risk of extinction. ... ” Read more from the NOAA here: Agencies pursue hatchery for Central California Coastal coho
Shasta Dam Fish Passage Evaluation Pilot Implementation Plan: “The Shasta Dam Fish Passage Evaluation (SDFPE) is an effort to determine the feasibility of reintroducing winter-run and spring-run Chinook Salmon and steelhead to tributaries above Shasta Dam. The SDFPE is part of U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) response to the June 4, 2009, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion (BO) and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) (NMFS 2009). The NMFS BO concluded that, as proposed, CVP and SWP operations were likely to jeopardize the continued existence of four federally-listed anadromous fish species: Sacramento River winter-run Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus
tshawytscha), Central Valley spring-run Chinook Salmon (O. tshawytscha), California Central Valley steelhead (O. mykiss), and the Southern distinct population segment of the North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The BO set forth a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) that allows continued operation of the CVP and SWP in compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). … ” Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Shasta Dam Fish Passage Evaluation Pilot Implementation Plan
California North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed Resilient Lands and Waters Storymap: “The California North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed Resilient Lands and Waters site brings together 3,295 square miles of coast and ocean and 1,485 square miles of the Russian River watershed. Within this area, multiple federal, state, county, city and local governments, as well as universities, non-profit organizations and private landowners are working to understand the impacts of climate change on this region. Because of this, the California North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed was appointed as one of President Obama’s priority areas under the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative in 2016. This designation allowed for additional collaborative efforts between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) to develop key recommendations and to provide examples of climate adaptation within this region. Two offices within NOAA, The National Ocean Service (Office of National Marine Sanctuaries) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Restoration Center and West Coast Region) combined with DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have developed this story map to address climate-related issues in the region and detail current and proposed climate adaptation activities.” Click here to go to the storymap.
A silver lining for rare Blue Smith’s butterflies: “With a wingspan of only one inch, Smith’s blue butterflies are a challenge to spot with the naked eye. Despite their small size and rarity, the attractive bright blue coloring of the males and bright orange and brown coloring of the females never fails to catch the attention of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service senior fish and wildlife biologist Jacob Martin. Martin, based in Santa Cruz., is a native Californian and works to help recover threatened and endangered wildlife. He has studied the butterfly for more than 10 years. “Much of my work involves thinking and writing about how human activities affect the Smith’s blue butterfly; it is always refreshing to get out and see them behaving naturally in relatively undisturbed habitat,” Martin says. … ” Read more from the US FWS here: A silver lining for rare Blue Smith’s butterflies
Congressional Briefing on “A New Frontier in Water Operations: Atmospheric Rivers, Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Predictions and Weather Forecasting Technology”: “An interagency, cross-disciplinary team of experts recently convened in Washington to provide Congressional staff with a briefing on atmospheric rivers, subseasonal-to-seasonal precipitation prediction needs, and the benefits of enhanced predictive forecasting technology to the future of water management. … This briefing highlighted CW3E’s major effforts on atmospheric river science, monitoring and predictions, and their application to possible new water management strategies, such as Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO; http://cw3e.ucsd.edu/FIRO/), which is co-led by CW3E’s Director, F. Martin Ralph. Roughly 40 people attended, including representatives of congressional offices, committees, ACWA, federal agencies and other groups.” Click here to read the briefing summary from the Center for Western Weather Extremes.
Researcher says management of pine beetle not working: “A method to control the spread of mountain pine beetles—pheromone baiting—may actually help the pest’s population increase, UBC research shows. A study by Rebecca Tyson, an associate professor of mathematics at UBC’s Okanagan campus, used mathematical modelling to examine several mountain pine beetle management strategies used in Banff National Park. The two-year simulation, which included then PhD candidate Shaun Strohm and University of Calgary professor Mary Reid, compared four separate management strategies: no management (monitoring only), pheromone baiting, tree removal, and finally, pheromone baiting combined with tree removal. Other management strategies are prescribed burning and clearcutting—which Tyson says cause severe changes to the landscape and have not been proven to stop the spread of the beetle. … ” Read more from PhysOrg here: Researcher says management of pine beetle not working
And lastly … Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting by David Burdeny: “Photographer David Burdeny, whose photo of a towering iceberg we featured last month, has been working on another large-scale photography project. Burdeny began the series SALT: Fields, Plottings and Extracts in 2015, using aerial photography to explore some of the world’s most vibrant salterns in Utah, Mexico, and Australia. Gazing upon the images it’s difficult to determine whether the expressive boxes of color are produced with a camera or paintbrush, or if the gestures were made by hand or nature. “In their use of amorphous shapes, elongated fields of color and vertical, jagged and sinuous lines, Burdeny’s images suggest the painterly expressiveness of Rothko, Still, Newman, Diebenkorn and late career Willem de Kooning,” explains an essay written about the project. “The effect is less intentional than it is available—Modernism’s abstracted reordering of the visual landscape…permits a non-objective reading of these compositions.” ... ” Check out the photo gallery at Colossal here: Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting by David Burdeny
Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …
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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven