Date of Graduation

Fall 12-13-2019

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Gretchen Coffman

Abstract

Riparian and wetland ecosystems accomplish a variety of significant ecological purposes, especially in the State of California where a majority of these ecosystems have been removed, degraded, or altered due to human interferences. A large portion of this interference comes from a strong agricultural presence throughout the state. In order to combat further ecological loss, private and public entities have begun strong restorative and managerial efforts. This project reviews the effects of agriculture in riparian and wetland areas, and what are the best management practices focusing on the Santa Clara River Watershed and the Elkhorn Slough found in Monterey Bay. Two methods of evaluating restoration projects are discussed, the Society for Ecological Restoration International Primer(SER Primer), which gives details on how to include different types of wetland and riparian zones into a restoration project regardless of ecological and economic complexity; and the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM), which gives practitioners a cost-effective and swift assessment protocol for all types of wetlands and riparian zones. The results call for a combination of the SER Primer and CRAM which will focus on developing a centralized database that allows for different restoration techniques and data to be shared and studied. With the aid from the results, recommendations were developed in order to help aid future restoration efforts in the Watsonville Slough system.

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