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 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 »


Pam Xander Joins ESA as Principal Planner in Pacific Northwest Region Pam brings more than 30 years of experience in planning, conducting, and preparing environmental studies and has worked with public agencies and private developers on more than 200 small- and large-scale projects requiring State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)/National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes. Read More »

Chris Easter Joins ESA as Director of Air Quality and Noise in Northern California This role better positions ESA to respond to the growing need for consulting services in Chris’ areas of specialty, including air quality permitting, climate-sustainability strategy, and environmental management systems and regulatory compliance. 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 »

ESA Welcomes Adrienne Centano as Director of Communications Centano joins ESA’s corporate management team and builds on the firm’s recent and forthcoming prominent and strategic hires. Read More »

Hillary Gitelman Joins ESA as Bay Area Community Development Director of Environmental Planning “Hillary has a proven track record of managing planning and environmental review processes for highly visible and complex projects in communities across the Bay Area. She is a well-known advocate for sustainable development, and we are thrilled to have her expertise and leadership at ESA.” 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 Bolsters Compliance Team with Patrick Tennant and Jon Waggoner

Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental science and planning firm with offices on the West and Gulf Coasts, has added Patrick Tennant as environmental mitigation compliance director and Jon Waggoner as environmental compliance program manager. Tennant is based in the firm’s Irvine office and Waggoner is located in Sacramento, each bringing extensive experience in managing large-scale compliance programs for high-profile infrastructure projects.

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On Former Landfill, a Portland Park Takes Shape with Inclusive Vision and Unique Public–Nonprofit Partnership It has taken a decade, but thanks to a remarkable partnership between neighborhood activists, a nonprofit developer, and the City of Portland, a landfill in northeast Portland has been transformed into a park. 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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ESA Strengthens Southeast Region with the Addition of New Biological Resources Director Douglas Skurski “Joining ESA gives me an incredible opportunity to expand my professional development as a multifaceted biologist, collaborating with some of the best scientific consultants in our industry, while contributing to strategic planning and growth of the Southeast region.” Read More »

ESA Welcomes Eric Haase as Chief Operating Officer Based in San Francisco, Haase brings more than two decades of operational experience across a diverse range of business lines for the building, engineering, and environmental industries. Read More »

Florida State Expenditure Plan Approved to Restore and Protect Gulf Coast Plan Allocates $291 Million in Project Funding for Environmental Restoration and Promotion of Tourism Following Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Read More »

Environmental Science Associates Welcomes Charles Smith to Southern California Region In this role, Charles will work across disciplines to provide environmental analysis, natural resources planning, and permitting services for large public works and infrastructure development projects. Read More »

ESA Adds Paul Schlenger to Biological Resources and Land Management Group in Seattle “He is truly a thought leader on key issues affecting our region including climate reliance, restoration, salmon recovery, and strategic planning; and bolsters our ability to tackle challenging environmental problems in a strategic, scientific, and collaborative way.” Read More »

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 »

Environmental Science Associates Welcomes Spencer Mains as Director of Information Technology Based in San Francisco, Mains brings more than two decades of experience directing information technology and knowledge management for major consulting, branding, and merchandise firms, including 16 years with Landor, a global branding firm. Read More »

ESA Welcomes Linda Peters as Principal Associate in Northern California Region Recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Business in 2018 by the San Francisco Business Times, Peters most recently worked for AECOM where she directed its San Francisco Bay Area Cities Program and held a key role on its Pacific Region Growth Team. 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 »

Floodplains, Farming, and Multi-Benefit Projects in Puget Sound Across Puget Sound, there are competing demands on floodplain areas: local jurisdictions need to manage flood risk, salmon recovery entities need to restore and reconnect habitat areas, and farmers need to ensure that their farms remain viable. Read More »
Aerial of River

Integrating Flood Management and Ecosystem Enhancement in California’s Central Valley The Central Valley, an enormous landscape feature dominating the state of California, experiences devastating floods on a fairly regular basis. It produces 25 percent of the nation’s food (including 40 percent of the nation’s fruit, nuts, and other table foods) from less than 1 percent of U.S. farmland, making it an agricultural powerhouse. Read More »