UCLA study suggests path to recovery for Southern California’s endangered wetlands

November 7, 2018
California’s coastal wetlands, such as the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve in Carpinteria, are under stress from development, pollution and a rise in sea level.
Kyle Cavanaugh/UCLA

California’s coastal wetlands are projected to disappear entirely by the end of the century due to stress from climate change, pollution, and human development. However, a new UCLA study published in Global Change Biology reveals that changes to coastal infrastructure such as reconfiguring bridges and removing levees could help preserve, and even expand, California’s remaining wetlands.

Authors of the study include:

– Cheryl Doughtry (Doctoral Student of the Department of Geography)
Richard Ambrose (Professor of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences)
Kyle Cavanaugh (Assistant Professor of the Department of Geography)

The study was conducted in partnership with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, the San Francisco Estuary Institute, and the state Coastal Conservancy. The study is part of the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project’s regional strategy and will help inform how public funds are spent to protect this vital habitat. The study also aligns with the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge’s efforts to enhance ecosystem health in Los Angeles by 2050.

Read more at UCLA Newsroom.