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Dunes Climate Ready Study
In 2015, the State Coastal Conservancy awarded Friends of the Dunes $249,000 for the first two years of the Dunes Climate Ready Study. Friends of the Dunes is the fiscal sponsor of the grant and the US Fish & Wildlife Service has taken the lead in this collaborative project involving multiple partners.
This 5-year study will improve understanding of sediment movement along the entire Eureka littoral cell, a 32-mile unit of coastline. The study will identify potential vulnerabilities to climate change and potential response to future sea level rise.
Components of the Study
- Transect surveys that use GPS technology to measure elevation
Topographic data is being collected, each winter and summer, over the entire Eureka littoral cell. The data is being analyzed to better understand long and short-term dune dynamics. Together, with the analysis of historic shoreline changes based on air photo records, this information will be used to predict effects of sea level rise and analyze vulnerabilities.
- Creation and monitoring of two adaptation projects
- This adaptation site will help determine the desirable planting composition that optimizes sand transport and facilitates landward and upward migration of an intact foredune (a desirable response to sea-level rise). The study compares European beachgrass dominated foredunes with foredunes that are restored and planted with different assemblages of native plants.
- (2) A second adaptation project uses a combination of native plants and driftwood to promote and monitor natural recovery of a foredune following an over-wash event.
- Native dune grass propagation site
A native dune grass propagation site has been established on the North Spit to analyze how native grass plantings affect sand movement from the beach, and to assist in future dune restoration projects along the North Spit.
Upcoming Climate Ready Education Events
- Dunes Climate Ready Walk at the Eel River Wildlife Area
Friday, April 14, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Learn about the Dunes Climate Ready Study and the impacts of winter conditions on the Eel River Wildlife Area with Michael van Hattem, Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. R.S.V.P. required by contacting Friends of the Dunes at 707-444-1397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dunes Climate Ready Grant Partners
Us Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of the Dunes, State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, The Wildlands Conservancy, The University of Victoria’s Coastal Erosion and Dune Dynamics Lab, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, Flinders University, Arizona State University and the consulting firm GHD.
Climate Change Glossary
The first rise above the beach), and characterized by the native grass Elymus mollis ssp. mollis, which is able to tolerate the intense salt spray and sand deposition that occurs in this habitat.
The degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change.
A natural compartment of the coast that contains a complete cycle of sedimentation.
An adjustment of a natural or human system to a new or change environment that moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
A capacity to anticipate, prepare for, respond and to recover from climate-change related threats.
An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying an intense storm or hurricane.