Recent Projects
  BREACH III: Evaluating and Predicting ‘Restoration Thresholds’ in Evolving Freshwater-Tidal Marshes

This project is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Charles A. Simenstad, University of Washington
Stephen Bollens, Washington State University-Vancouver
Stephen Crooks, Philip Williams and Associates
Mark Hester, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Peggy Lehman, California Department of Water Resources
Nadav Nur, PRBO Conservation Science
Michelle Orr, Philip Williams and Associates
Denise Reed, University of New Orleans
Enrique Reyes, East Carolina University
Richard Wilder, US Fish and Wildlife Service

The BREACH III-Liberty Island Collaborative Research Team will be identifying the critical thresholds that trigger vegetation colonization, tidal channel development and other landscape changes that affect species of concern in the context of flooding and levee erosion risks within northern San Francisco Bay-Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers Delta.  The goals of this project are to provide a predictive level of understanding about (1) how abiotic and biotic factors in a restoring (levee breach) wetland, Liberty Island, control vegetation colonization and expansion and subsequent responses by native fish and wildlife, and (2) how restoration processes influence local flooding and levee erosion over the course of the restoration.

Implications of Future Climate Change and Restoration Policy for Gulf Coast Fisheries: A Pilot Study
  This project was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Denise Reed, University of New Orleans
Marty O’Connell, University of New Orleans
David Groves, RAND Corporation
Jordan Fischbach, RAND Corporation
Scientists from the University of New Orleans collaborated with the RAND Gulf States Institute in a pilot study to evaluate the implications of climate change and restoration policy on coastal fisheries in the north central Gulf of Mexico.  The project team developed a systems dynamic model which will generate quantitative scenarios reflecting possible ecosystem outcomes under specific management strategies and assumed future conditions. Using this model, the RAND team will applied Robust Decisionmaking (RDM) methodologies to first better understand the key risks and vulnerabilities of three species to climate change under current management patterns. These results will help identify more robust management alternatives, or those that could perform well under a wide range of plausible climate change regimes, and ecological responses to such strategies.

Synthesizing and Communicating Current Understanding of Subsidence Rates in Coastal Louisiana
  This project was funded by the Louisiana Coastal Area Science and Technology Program.
Denise Reed, University of New Orleans
The goal of this effort was to develop and communicate guidance to coastal managers and planners based on a synthesis of current understanding of subsidence processes rates in Louisiana.  The resulting report,
“Understanding Subsidence in Coastal Louisiana” (Reed and Yuill 2009), explains the contemporary, scientific understanding of subsidence in coastal Louisiana in a straight forward manner, comprehensible to a non-technical reader as well as emphasizing research that is recent, peer-reviewed, and well cited.

Effects of Hurricane Disturbance on North Shore Marshes:  Assessment of Resilience and Sustainability under Altered Nutrient Regimes

This project was funded by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mark W. Hester, University of Louisiana – Lafayette
Denise Reed, University of New Orleans
Irv Mendelssohn, LouisianaState University

This project was a collaborative effort between the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Louisiana State University.  The goal was to determine the effects of hurricane impacts on North Shore marshes in terms of resilience to hurricane disturbance and recovery trajectories by utilizing pre-existing marsh plots in which nutrient loading regimes had been experimentally altered for two years prior to Hurricane Katrina.