Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

Hope, Science, and Passion: 2017 and 2018 highlights

Happy New Year! At Point Blue, we believe that combining and applying science, passion, and partnership can truly improve the health of the planet for all. That belief is based on more than 50 years of seeing our scientific results improve conservation outcomes. We are deeply grateful for the support you provided to make our 2017 science successes possible and are excited to continue addressing some of the major conservation challenges of our time in the coming year.

Pictured: Melissa Pitkin, Education and Outreach Group Director. Point Blue photo.
Pictured: Melissa Pitkin, Education and Outreach Group Director. Point Blue photo.

This past year was huge for Point Blue, thanks to your partnership. In particular, we are proud that in 2017 we:

Became an official NGO observer with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Listen to my recent interview with Infinite Earth Academy or read my blog post for a recap on my trip to Bonn, Germany for COP23;

Implemented on-the-ground conservation science and education by restoring 19 acres of stream and wetland habitat with 3,180 students in our STRAW program, and engaging 102,181 new acres of agricultural land in conservation and monitoring activities through Partner Biologist collaborations;

Enhanced climate-smart conservation of waterbirds and wetlands across 12 countries, from Alaska to Chile, through our Migratory Shorebird Project, and in California, through our new Water Tracker;

Published innovative science that’s helping to protect whales and inform policy. Our ship strike work prompted Rep. Alan Lowenthal to introduce a congressional bill called ‘The Blue Whales and Blue Skies Act’ (H.R. 3682) which directs NOAA to continue and expand a program that slows ships to protect whales and reduce pollution in Southern California; and

Helped prepare California for sea level rise and severe storms through further expansion of the Our Coast Our Future tool to Southern California. The new information is already being used for climate-smart planning by 12 cities, 3 counties, 8 regional collaboratives, and 9 different state and federal agencies.

Pictured: Ryan Burnett, Sierra Nevada Group Director. Point Blue photo.
Pictured: Ryan Burnett, Sierra Nevada Group Director. Point Blue photo.

We have big plans for 2018. Among many other priorities, we plan to:

Expand climate-smart restoration throughout the state and internationally by pilot testing our successful STRAW model with Plumas County communities to restore two mountain meadows, collaborating with US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy to develop a climate-smart restoration plan for a 300 acre project along the Sacramento River, and presenting our climate-smart restoration framework at an international rivers conference in France;

Significantly improve whale protections from ship strikes by helping NOAA identify management targets in the highest vessel traffic areas, off San Francisco and Long Beach;

Build on the over one billion scientific observations we currently manage by expanding the breadth of partners contributing to and using our data-driven conservation approaches to include new state agencies and other NGOs; and,

Celebrate Year of the Bird and the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act!

Get in touch and ask how you can join us in scaling up climate-smart conservation. As we share our science with you via emails, on Facebook, and on Twitter this year, send us your comments, share what you like, and mention us in your posts. Our work is always stronger with collaborative input and support from people like you.

Thank you for working with us and supporting us to be the best Point Blue we can be this year and beyond.

All the best to you in the new year,

Ellie & The Point Blue Team
Ellie M. Cohen
President and CEO

top photo: Senior Ecologist, Dr. Libby Porzig (right), and former Partner Biologist, Ben Martin, sampling rangeland soils. Point Blue photo.