2016 – 2018 Identification of tuna migratory pathways in the Gulf of Mexico (PI)
Funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust. First, this project First mapped tuna species range within the Gulf of Mexico, high use habitats, and used a variety of data sources to map the migratory corridors for key Atlantic/Gulf tuna species – e.g., Albacore, bonito, bigeye tuna, bluefin tuna, blackfin tuna, little tunny, skipjack tuna, and yellowfin tuna. Second, we Identified threats to tuna and their conservation areas in the Gulf of Mexico. We analyzed the spatial data compiled for the species to identify a portfolio with areas of the Gulf that should be conserved to complete the full life cycles of as many species as possible and for specific fisheries. This process involved the development of species and multispecies spatial models of habitat use for the identification of the fidelity of species to specific habitats and pathways required to maintain healthy populations for their multiple benefits and the spatial optimization model MARXAN. Publications: Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. 2018. Gulf of Mexico tuna migrations. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 24 pp.
2016 – 2007 Spatial Patterns of Ecosystem Services Value of Private Protection Strategy in North America (PI)
Funded by The Nature Conservancy. This project used a spatially explicit value transfer analysis to assess the economic value provided by the diversity of ecological habitats protected in each project site. Outputs: Ecosystem services value transfer geodatabase, and site value map portfolio.
2015 – 2020 Gulf of Mexico Migratory Species Conservation (PI)
Funded by Lyda Hill Foundation, Shell Oil ($325k) and The Nature Conservancy. This project identified spatially explicit migratory corridors of marine megafauna species in the Gulf of Mexico using a database of more than 1200 individual satellite tracks contributed by more than 100 academic and governmental collaborators. The project aimed at informing managers and decision-makers of opportunities for site-based conservation and threat abatement. Outputs: Technical and decision-making reports and online decision support system at https://maps.migratoryblueways.org. Publications: Brenner, J., C. Voight, and D. Mehlman. 2016. Migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico large marine ecosystem: Pathways, threats, and conservation. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 93 pp.; Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. 2018. Gulf of Mexico tuna migrations. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 24 pp; Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. in preparation. Conservation status of migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal and Ocean Management.
2015 – 2017 Inventory of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Indicators using an Ecological Resilience Framework (co-PI)
Funded by NOAA’s RESTORE Science Program (NA15NOS4510227). This project identified ecological and ecosystem services indicators using an integrity framework that includes both the condition of key ecosystem types in the Gulf and the variety of benefits that they provide. Monitoring metrics for five major Gulf of Mexico habitat types were identified -i.e., salt marsh, mangrove, seagrass, oyster beds/reefs, and coral reefs. Outputs: Final reports to RESTORE Act Program. Publication: Goodin, K.L., D. Faber-Langendoen, J. Brenner, et al. 2018. Ecological resilience indicators for five northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. NatureServe. Arlington, 381 pp.
2014 – 2016 Prioritization of Critical Marsh Conservation and Restoration Areas based on Future Sea Level Rise Scenarios (PI)
Funded by NOAA’s Coastal Management Program through the Texas General Land Office (15-032-000-8374). This project developed a high-resolution SLAMM-based (Sea-Level Affecting Marshes Model) and scenarios, and a series of spatial indicators of coastal resilience in support of restoration in Copano Bay and San Antonio Bay in Texas. Outputs: Final report to TGLO and online data platforms at www.slrportal.org and http://maps.coastalresilience.org/gulfmex/. Publication: Brenner, J., M. Murdock, and M.K. Brown. 2016. Prioritization of critical marsh conservation and restoration areas based on future sea-level rise scenarios in Copano and San Antonio Bays, Texas Area. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 77 pp.
2014 – 2016 Texas Coastal Bend Regional Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (PI)
Funded by EPA through the CBBEP (1512) ($70k). This project completed a climate change vulnerability assessment for the central Texas coast. Nature and critical and other infrastructure were evaluated for their risks to several types of climate stressors – e.g., sea-level rise, temperature and precipitation increase, storms, etc. Outputs: Final report to CBBEP and public stakeholder workshop at Mission-Aransas NERR. Publication: Murdock, M., and J. Brenner. 2016. Texas Coastal Bend regional climate change vulnerability assessment. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 80 pp.
2012 – 2013 Sea Level Rise Affecting Marsh Model (SLAMM) in Corpus Christi Bay (co-PI)
Funded by EPA, TCEQ, and CBBEP (1306). This project used the SLAMM and ADCIRC models to assess the implications of sea-level rise and storm surge, respectively. The goal was to assess the resiliency of the coastal habitats and communities in the Corpus Christi, Bay area in Texas to these climate stressors. The project used spatial indicators to assess socio-ecological components of coastal resilience. Outputs: Final reports to the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) and TCEQ. Publication: Geselbracht, L., K. Freeman, A. Birch, J. Brenner, and D. Gordon. 2015. Modeled sea level rise impacts on coastal ecosystems at six major estuaries on Florida’s Gulf coast: Implications for adaptation planning. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132079.
2011 – 2014 Assessing Nature-based and Engineered Adaptation Solutions to Climate Change (co-PI)
Funded by NOAA’s Climate and Society Initiative (CSI) (29326550-50792-A). This project used and developed new InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) models to assess benefits provided by oyster reefs, salt marshes and fresh marshes in protecting the coast, sequestering blue carbon and supporting fisheries in Galveston Bay area in Texas. Findings include the identification of marsh and oyster reef habitat size and distance to the shoreline to provide different ecosystem services to coastal communities. The changes in their value (market and non-market) were also assessed. Outputs: Final report to NOAA and the Lone Star Coastal Alliance. Publication: Ruckelshaus, M., G. Guannel, K. Arkema, G. Verutes, R. Griffin, A. Guerry, J. Silver, J. Faries, J. Brenner, and A. Rosenthal. 2016. Evaluating the benefits of green infrastructure for coastal areas: Location, location, location. Coastal Zone Management Journal 44(5): 504-516.
2010 – 2013 Gulf of Mexico Sea-level Rise Data Platform (PI)
Funded by NOAA through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (S-08-TNC-GOMA-01). This project developed SLAMM-based sea-level rise and ADCIRC-based storm surge future scenarios for Galveston Bay and Jefferson County coast in Texas, St. Andrews Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay in Florida, and Grand Bay NERR in Mississippi. All products were published in an offline and online data platform to support the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Outputs: Final reports to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and online data platforms at www.slrportal.org and http://maps.coastalresilience.org/gulfmex/. Publication: Thompson, M., J. Brenner, and B. Gilmer. 2014. Informing conservation planning using future sea-level rise and storm surge modeling impact scenarios in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Ocean and Coastal Management 100: 51-62.