From Grey to Green: Developing the Guidelines for Natural Infrastructure

ESA’s coastal engineering team, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Point Blue, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Site Sentinel Cooperative, has developed the Natural Shoreline Infrastructure: Technical Guidance for the California Coast; a guideline and toolset for the implementation of natural infrastructure elements as accountable, effective, and sustainable solutions for protecting our shores against sea-level rise.

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A Major Shift in Floodplain Management Although September 2011 marked a major milestone in floodplain management across the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound region, the road forward remains uncertain. Read More »

Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Bay Area: Protecting Our Communities, Infrastructure and the Bay The rapid changes in climate and sea level projected over the next 100 years threaten not only the natural wetlands, but also the communities and infrastructure around San Francisco Bay. How can we proactively create a new, more sustainable shoreline that integrates natural processes and undervalued resources such as sediment and wastewater? Read More »

Can We Even Begin To Imagine What Our Cities Will Look Like In The Year 2050? Cities are indeed where the action is: for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities; by 2050 66% of us will be urban dwellers as the global population swells to more than 9 billion. Read More »

Derry Dell Stream Restoration Project On June 9th, the Oregon Department of State Lands awarded the Derry Dell Stream Restoration Project the Project of the Year Award. Read More »

Geospatial Services Advance Projects ESA is charting new territories and solving environmental problems in ways that are more powerful and efficient than ever before. Read More »

A New Life for the Cooper-Molera Complex in Downtown Monterey The Cooper-Molera Adobe is one of the most important remaining representations of the Mexican Republic and early American eras in California. Visitors from around the world tour the Adobe, part of the Monterey Old Town National Historic Landmark District. Read More »

The 40-Year Evolution of Wetland Restoration Approaches in San Francisco Bay According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than half of America’s historic wetlands have been lost or disturbed as a result of human intervention. In San Francisco Bay, this number is even higher, at more than 90 percent. Read More »

Central Cities on the Rise: Attracting Housing and Jobs

After a period of general decline, central cities are on the rise again. This surge of people and businesses choosing to take root in city centers reflects a shift back to the preference for a lively urban lifestyle, ease of access to transit, and celebration of local arts and culture. Cities are looking for opportunities to capitalize on this changing dynamic.

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Growth, Zoning, and Their Effect on Neighborhoods

Wherever population growth takes place—city or suburb—it requires space. A need for more space spurs some level of redevelopment, which affects established neighborhoods—places where people already live. Zoning changes tend to bring about misgivings within affected communities, fueled by fears of gentrification, overtaxed infrastructure, and a threat to dramatically change the historic fabric of a neighborhood. Read More »


Dry Creek Gets Drenched: Lessons Learned after Intense Storm Events in Northern California One of the more enlightening moments in stream restoration is when a recently constructed site experiences a large storm event. Whether these events test a restoration design approach or trigger system adjustment, they are always an opportunity to learn. Read More »

UAS/Drone Services: FAA Nationwide Program Expansion to 500 Airports Begins With the FAA’s implementation of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system, the FAA will be able to grant faster authorizations while maintaining the safety of the National Airspace System. Read More »

In the World of Airports, Upgauging and NextGen Are Trending As airport planners and environmental specialists, ESA’s airport specialists are always keeping an eye on new trends that affect airport operations. Two trends that we have been tracking are upgauging and NextGen. Upgauging is a trend in the airline industry that has had a profound effect on the growth in passenger traffic at airports throughout the world. Read More »

ESA Is Taking Action: Global Climate Action Summit

For decades, we have been watching the devastating effects that climate change has had on our environment. This global epidemic has moved from the outer reaches of our attention to endangering our homes and daily lives. Whether the threat is drought, fire, rising sea levels, agriculture loss, or storm intensity, the time for action is now.

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Port of Oakland Seaport Air Quality Planning: Aligning with State and Community Goals An interview with Richard Sinkoff, Director of Environmental Programs and Planning, Port of Oakland, on the value of working with stakeholders to achieve a healthier environment. Read More »

Buses are Making a Rapid Comeback Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at rail transit capacities. By providing high-capacity transit at a much lower cost and being more dependable than standard bus service, BRT is recharging our communities by helping solve transportation issues, encouraging sustainable growth and development, and transforming the way people are getting to major employment and education centers. Read More »
Stack of Brochures

Transportation Energy Technical Studies Can Provide Useful Information in EIR Process Located in the northwestern portion in Riverside County, California, the city of Moreno Valley is one of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the state, in one of its fastest growing counties. Evidence of this growth can be seen by number of industrial and logistics companies who operate within its limits. Read More »
Tech Speak: Flying a Drone

Technically Speaking: New Tools for Natural Resource and Habitat Assessments The ESA Drone Program has recently added three 5-band precision sensors to our fleet, which will support a range of natural resource assessments. With this gimbal technology mounted on our DJI Inspire 2 drones, we can collect visual band (RGB) imagery as well as vegetation indices with near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (or RedEdge), including normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a method of determining whether an area contains live green vegetation. Read More »

Completing the Missing Link:
A Multi-Use Trail Sparks Controversy
The Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) is one of the most heavily used pedestrian and bicycling paths in Seattle, serving as a major transportation corridor for commuter and recreational bicyclists. Noted as a top priority project in the City’s Bicycle Master Plan, the completion of the BGT network will improve Seattle’s health and quality of life by providing safe bicycle and pedestrian travel routes for residents of all ages. Read More »

More Agencies Get On Board with Alternative Project Delivery Methods The 2016 California Transportation Commission (CTC) Annual Report recommends eight California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) reforms for promoting efficiency through innovations. One of the reforms is to permanently authorize Caltrans and its regional partners to “use alternative project delivery tools such as public-private partnership (P3), design-build (DB), and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) methods.” Read More »

Prop 1 Funding for Storage: Choosing Collaboration An interview with Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District and Jim Watson, Sites Project Authority on Increasing California Water Storage Capacity. Read More »

Putting Aspirations into Action at the Port of Los Angeles An interview with Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management at the Port of Los Angeles, on the importance of clean air and how industry technology will get us to net-zero. Read More »

The 30,000-Foot View: What You Need to Know about Airport Master Planning Commercial airports all over the country share the same mission: to provide high-quality, safe air travel services. Their success often drives regional economic development as business travelers, tourists, and the transport of goods rely heavily on these “mini cities.” Read More »

A Public Health Framework for Mitigating Climate Change According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative.” Read More »

Working Toward Climate Justice in the Gateway Cities Across the spectrum of climate hazards the impacts of climate change will fall hardest on those who are historically over-burdened and most susceptible, including the elderly, infants and children; people and communities of color; and people living in poverty. Read More »

What You Need to Know About Executive Order 13807 While not making the headlines or evening news reports, recent changes stemming from White House Executive Orders are making a significant impact to the environmental review process nationwide. Here is a summary of the changes and what they mean to you. Read More »

Taking Funding for Granted: Resources for Restoration Projects Grants have long been an important―and sometimes the only ―funding resource for restoration projects. Non-profit organizations, local and special district agencies, tribes, academic institutions, and other eligible applicants rely on grant monies to envision and accomplish a wide array of restoration goals and objectives. Read More »

Three Ways We’re Using Technology to Work Smarter ESA has been exploring new ways to use technology to increase our efficiency collecting and managing data both in the office and in the field. Here are three ways we are streamlining workflows for the public comment process, monitoring, and developing complex climate models. Read More »

Are American Shopping Malls Really Dying? Since 2013, e-commerce retail sales have been creeping up from 7 percent to 10 percent in the United States, and that number is expected to reach almost 14 percent by 2021. While not a staggering statistic (considering the amount of business and personal shopping most of us do online on a daily basis), it has had a direct effect on the brick-and-mortar counterparts—especially those large retailers that anchor shopping malls. Read More »

A Roadmap Towards a Lower Carbon Footprint Despite increasing awareness and the “eco-friendly” steps corporations have been taking in recent years, climate modeling projects indicate that maintaining current levels of GHG emissions will increase global mean temperatures from between 3.7°C to 4.8°C by the end of the century. Read More »

An Arena Fit for the Kings

Development of new sports arenas and stadiums for major league professional sports teams has been fueled by public-private partnerships, public subsidies, and wealthy team owners looking to have dedicated facilities for their team. Cities across the country are recognizing the benefits that can be reaped by developing an arena in an urban environment. Read More »

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