NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) is participating in planning for NOAA's first Habitat Focus Area (HFA), which is on California's Russian River and is part of NOAA's Habitat Blueprint, a framework to improve habitat for fisheries, marine life, and coastal communities.
The goals of the Russian River HFA include:
The first meeting of the HFA Implementation Team was held from 25-26 February, and was attended by Marty Ralph of the Earth System Research Laboratory (OAR's representative on the Implementation Team) and other staff associated with the Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT). HMT has been active in researching storms and their impacts in the Russian River for over 10 years, with a focus on extreme precipitation, flooding and Atmospheric Rivers. The meeting brought together experts from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, National Weather Service, National Ocean Service, and OAR to discuss the issues and opportunities related to habitat and restoration of viable salmon populations on the river. The meeting generated a number of ideas informed by OAR-led activities such as HMT and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which deal with issues ranging from too little to too much water and are vital to better understand and predict in terms of habitat and salmon recovery.