Enjoying some time out in the fresh air overlooking the Elkhorn Slough, Congressman Jimmy Panetta heard from ESNERR and ESF staff about issues facing the slough.
With large cuts aimed at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in the Trump Administration’s proposed budget, we were glad Congressman Jimmy Panetta made time in his busy schedule to visit the slough. NOAA is the funding source for the 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves, which includes the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR). The Federal funding provided by NOAA supports the research, stewardship, Coastal Training Program (CTP), and Tidal Wetlands Project (TWP) here at the slough.
During Congressman Panetta’s visit staff provided some highlights of the work happening at the slough. ESNERR Research Coordinator, Kerstin Wasson, Ph.D., shared that the research conducted helps to guide the restoration effort here, while also collaborating with other Reserves to learn about coastal resilience. Kerstin also touched on the fact that hundreds of researchers and scientists conduct graduate studies here and throughout the National Reserve system. If funding is cut, the opportunity to conduct research – for our researchers and others – will be negatively impacted.
Monique Fountain, Tidal Wetland Project Director, highlighted the important work of marsh restoration and how one project involves collaboration between the Reserve’s Research and Stewardship teams and community leaders to find the best possible way to create a healthier marsh. Monique also discussed how these projects help provide an important economic benefit – jobs – for the local area.
Elkhorn Slough Foundation’s Executive Director, Mark Silberstein tied it all together. Mark shared how NOAA funded work supports the science that underscores the conservation, education, and stewardship conducted at the slough. That together NOAA, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (that owns and managed the Reserve), and ESF (the Reserve’s non-profit partner and the watershed’s land conservancy) work to protect this rare environment for future generations.
You are part of that big picture too! Your support of our work is important. Please let Congressman Panetta and other elected officials know that you support funding the National Estuarine Research Reserve system through NOAA. Learn more about the entire Reserve system at https://coast.noaa.gov/nerrs/