SUSTAINING COASTAL WETLANDS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Harlequin Duck Photo – Rod Gilbert
The Pacific Americas Flyway spans the coast from Alaska and Canada to South America. All along the way its estuaries, mudflats and coastal freshwater wetlands are used as breeding, stopover and wintering sites by millions of migrating birds.
Too many wetlands along the flyway have been lost or degraded. The majority of coastal habitats in Puget Sound have been lost, and wetland conversions have occurred in Humboldt Bay, the Fraser River Delta and other estuaries. In coming years, sea level rise and other climate change effects will compound the existing habitat conservation issues.
Currently, coastal habitat conservation is conducted within a local framework. We know that a hemispheric, interconnected network of healthy, coastal wetlands is key to sustaining bird populations, so we need to adopt a birds-eye view to identify effective future conservation tools and strategies.
Our long term goal for this priority is ambitious— to develop flyway-scale conservation strategies and help partners implement those strategies. We have started by identifying gaps and needs in regional planning, science, and implementation. Once those needs are identified, we will assist with the funding, planning, policy and outreach actions that will make a difference for birds.