Tag: freshwater conservation

Salmon Cam: A Live Look at Migrating Fish

Watch salmon return after a long absence to California’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch, thanks to Nature Conservancy restoration projects! Enjoy our Salmon Cam for a live, underwater look at migrating steelhead trout and Chinook and coho salmon.

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People of the Salmon: Haida Tribe Defends Salmon with Science in Alaska

The Haida community on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, have long considered themselves “people of the salmon.” They rely on the fish for their food and culture. Now community members are being trained to become scientists. Their assessments could help get their streams protected under Alaska state law.

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Notes from Silver Creek: Computer Modeling for Stream Conservation

What effects will land use changes have on a stream and its wildlife? How do conservation managers know what will happen in a stream when a restoration project takes place? Will it really lower water temperatures? Will fish thrive?

Surely conservationists can’t see into the future? 

Actually, stream managers now use sophisticated computer modeling to predict the outcomes of their activities. These models allow them to see how planting native shrubs, for instance, will alter stream flows and water temperatures.

In 2010, The Nature Conservancy was contacted by Maria Loinaz, a PhD candidate  at the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Idaho.  She was interested in developing a hydrologic model of the Silver Creek watershed using software called MIKE SHE/Ecolab.

This software is changing the way stream managers engage in restoration. It incorporates data on both groundwater and surface water, including stream flow, precipitation, vegetation and soils to accurately predict the effects of a new activity on a stream.

Maria proposed using the MIKE SHE program to model the groundwater and surface water systems and use the EcoLab program to build a water temperature model. Together these would allow her to model what happens to stream temperatures when riparian buffers were planted or stream flows increased.  Maria also wanted to incorporate fish data to see whether she could model where, based on the hydrology and temperature, fish would thrive in the system.

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A Q&A with the New Director of our Global Freshwater Program

More than 1 billion people face daily water shortages, and within the next 20 years, more than half the world’s population could face water shortages. Our CEO sits down with the new Global Freshwater Program Director to find out where to go from here.

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Conservation You Can Jump Across

Conservation often thinks big—because animals do.

Think about Africa’s Serengeti, where wildebeest annually migrate between two countries. Or the grizzly bears and lynx of the Northern Rockies, roaming hundreds of square miles in a season. Or Pacific salmon and their 900-mile journey from ocean to spawning river.

It’s often conservation’s job to link these animals’ far-flung habitats so they can migrate, forage and spawn. That linking up is what conservation biologists call “connectivity.”

But what about connecting small places like this tiny Florida stream I’m standing before? It’s anything but enormous – often, I can cross it in a casual step.

There are no grizzlies or salmon here. How could this connect anything worth saving?

Then I look at Steve Herrington, a fisheries biologist and director of freshwater conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Florida, who’s looking into the stream with the enthusiasm of a a kid about to pounce on a frog.

He sifts through his net, calling out names of the fish as he placed them in a bucket.

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