Design and Communications
Resilient Landscapes Program
Watershed Science & Management
Katie McKnight joined SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes team in 2016. Her work focuses on fluvial and tidal geomorphic processes in Bay Area rivers and wetlands, with particular focus on climate change adaptation and sediment management. Her work also examines how landscapes have changed over time and uses this information to guide landscape-scale restoration and adaptation strategies in watersheds and along shorelines. Her skill set includes fieldwork, synthesis of scientific literature, geospatial analysis, cartography, scientific illustrations, graphic design, oral presentations, and project management. Prior to joining SFEI, Katie earned her Master of Landscape Architecture in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
Related Projects, News, and Events
Delta Wetlands and Resilience: Blue Carbon and Marsh Accretion (Project)
Restoring wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) can mitigate subsidence, sequester carbon, reduce GHG emissions, and provide habitat for wetland dependent species. These benefits–their magnitude, scope, and resilience to future sea level rise–depend on the type and siting of new wetlands; rates of carbon accumulation, GHG emissions, and vertical accretion; and opportunities for wetlands to migrate upslope.
Managing Open Space in Support of Net Zero (Project)
Protecting carbon stocks and increasing carbon sequestration can support climate change mitigation and maintain healthy, resilient ecosystems. To support SFPUC managers in making informed carbon management decisions, the Alameda Watershed Carbon Assessment offers scientific guidance on the watershed’s current and potential performance as a natural climate solution. This assessment was framed by two main objectives: to quantify current carbon stocks in the Alameda Watershed, and to evaluate opportunities to enhance carbon sequestration in its vegetation and soils.
Landscape Scenario Planning Tool (Project)
This project is a tool for planning scenarios of landscape-scale restoration. The tool is designed to inform ongoing and future restoration planning efforts. In particular, this tool will help inform implementation of restoration objectives as described in the Delta Plan, as well as the ongoing Ecosystem Amendment to Chapter 4.
Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands (Project)
Through the EPA-funded Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands project, SFEI and sixteen partner organizations are developing multi-benefit tools to enhance climate change resilience in San Francisco Bay. Healthy Watersheds Resilient Baylands has two major components: Multi-benefit Urban Greening and Tidal Wetlands Restoration. Through both components, we have developed strategies that inform policy, planning, and design of innovative implementation projects.
Introducing the Making Nature's City Toolkit (News)
Making Nature’s City Toolkit (makingnaturescity.org) is an interactive, beautifully designed website that guides cities through an actionable, science-based approach to support biodiversity in cities. Based on SFEI’s 2019 report titled Making Nature’s City, the Toolkit is intended to make the report’s core urban biodiversity framework more accessible to actors and decision-makers in cities across the world.
Making Nature’s City Toolkit (Project)
In partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Urban Alliance, the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) has developed the Making Nature’s City Toolkit
Introducing the Landscape Scenario Planning Tool Version 2.0 (News)
In partnership with the Delta Stewardship Council, the San Francisco Estuary Institute has developed version 2.0 of the Landscape Scenario Planning Tool, a GIS-based analysis toolkit to evaluate user-designed land use and restoration scenarios for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. This free mapping toolbox brings together ten years of science-based research and peer-reviewed methods for California’s Delta-Suisun region.
Preparing for the Storm (Project)
Catalyzed by the extensive damages caused by the Winter 2016-2017 storms and the opportunity to align flood response with major habitat improvement, Preparing for the Storm is an innovative public-private partnership to improve watershed health and resilience in the Alameda Creek watershed.
Flood Control Channel Classification Scheme for the San Francisco Bay Region (Project)
SFEI is working with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and a team of technical advisors on a pilot effort to develop a classification scheme for Bay Area creeks and rivers that are managed for flood conveyance (i.e., flood control channels). Focused primarily within Sonoma and Santa Clara Counties, this pilot effort investigates relationships between local stream health indicators and flood control channel composition and management activities.
Sediment for Survival report released (News)
SFEI worked with local, state, and federal science experts to develop the new Sediment for Survival report. The report provides a regional sediment strategy aimed at examining the future of sediment in the Bay and informing sediment management for the resilience of tidal marshes and tidal flats to climate change.
New Life for Eroding Shorelines (Project)
The New Life for Eroding Shorelines project explores living shoreline approaches for sea level rise adaptation that can reduce erosion at the marsh edge and improve habitat quality for marsh species. Solutions explored include reestablishing marsh-fringing barrier beaches to attenuate waves at the marsh edge and reintroducing California Sea Blite (Suaeda californica), a rare and endangered plant with the ability to climb driftwood and other shoreline features, providing much-needed high-tide refuge for marsh wildlife.
Coyote Creek Native Ecosystem Enhancement Tool (Project)
The Coyote Creek Native Ecosystem Enhancement Tool (CCNEET, neet. ecoatlas.org) is an online decision-support tool to identify opportunities to improve ecological conditions. CCNEET was inspired by the need for a watershed approach to environmental resource management. Available ecological and environmental information is synthesized by objectives, management questions, and enhancement actions to identify and justify potential habitat improvements along the creek corridor. The overarching goal of CCNEET is to help coordinate habitat conservation and enhancement along so that multiple projects and limited funding can result in meaningful ecological improvement.
Special Study on Bulk Density (Project)
Sediment bulk density is the total mass of mineral and organic sediment within a defined volume. It is a key variable in many research questions pertaining to Bay sediment studies but one that is often poorly quantified and can be misinterpreted. The motivation for this report comes from a recommendation by Schoellhamer et al. (2018) to compile more accurate estimates of bulk density of Bay sediments to convert between volume and mass with a higher level of certainty.
Resilience Atlas (News)
The Resilience Atlas is an interactive mapping platform that visualizes the past, present and future conditions of the Bay’s edge and surrounding watersheds by combining layers of information, such as shoreline infrastructure, shoreline change over time, and sea level rise.
SFEI's and SPUR's Adaptation Atlas shared by multiple media outlets (News)
The newly released Adaptation Atlas (adaptationatlas.sfei.org) has been making waves on several significant media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, Politico, ABC 7 News, East Bay Times, and the Marin Independent Journal.
We welcome you to learn more about the adaptation strategies that might be best suited to your own "natural jurisdiction."
Resilient By Design: Science Advisors (Project)
The challenges of accelerating sea level rise and aging shoreline infrastructure are creating a once-in-a-century opportunity to redesign the Bay shore. Originally constructed with little regard for the Bay, the future shoreline can more successfully integrate the natural and built environments to make a healthier shore for both the Bay and local communities. New shoreline design approaches must incorporate the complex ecological and physical processes of our urbanized estuary while anticipating the future challenges of climate change and extreme weather.
San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas: Working with Nature to Plan for Sea Level Rise (Project)
In partnership with SPUR, The Operational Landscape Units project, funded by the SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, will create a new way of looking at the Bay.
Resilience Atlas (Project)
The Resilience Atlas is a compilation of cutting-edge science, creative visions and relevant spatial data to support planners, designers, policy-makers, and residents in the creation of the healthy cities, shorelines and surrounding landscapes of the future. The main goal of the Resilience Atlas is to make the science of resilience more accessible to help communities successfully adapt and thrive in the face of climate change and other challenges.
Landscape Vision for Calabazas Creek, San Tomas Aquino Creek and Pond A8 (Project)
SFEI released a resilient landscape vision for the interface of Calabazas Creek, San Tomas Aquino Creek, and Pond A8 in South San Francisco Bay that benefits both flood management and bayland habitat restoration.
Vision for Upper Penitencia Creek completed! (News)
SFEI recently completed a resilient landscape vision for Upper Penitencia Creek in San Jose that integrates flood management and ecosystem support. SFEI and the Santa Clara Valley Water District worked with technical advisors and local stakeholders to develop the vision, which identifies a range of multi-benefit management opportunities that increase flood storage in a manner that expands recreational amenities, supports water supply needs, and enhances habitat for a variety of native fish and wildlife species.
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