Tuesday June 25, 2024

Maven’s Notebook —

California’s freshwater ecosystems―from springs and wetlands to rivers and estuaries―are in trouble and the warming world is hastening their decline. Fish and the wealth of other aquatic species that live in these habitats are increasingly vulnerable as freshwater flows shrink and water temperatures rise.

“Climate change is right on top of us, it’s really coming a lot faster than we expected,” says aquatic ecologist Ted Sommer, a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center and former lead scientist for California Department of Water Resources. “Many freshwater species could be extinct by the end of the century.”

Protecting the state’s freshwater biodiversity, especially in the face of climate change, can be a disheartening task. “It’s easy for people to get overwhelmed,” Sommer says.

To help make this task less daunting, Sommer led a team that identified tools for reversing the decline in freshwater species and ecosystems. The team presented their findings in a May 2024 report called Climate-Smart Tools to Protect California’s Freshwater Biodiversity.

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