Ellen Plane's picture

Ellen Plane

Environmental Analyst
Design and Communications
Resilient Landscapes Program
Shoreline Resilience
510-746-7337

Ellen Plane joined SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program as an Environmental Analyst in 2019. Ellen is primarily involved in sea-level rise and shoreline resilience work at SFEI. Areas of focus include nature-based shoreline adaptation strategies, tidal habitat restoration, rising groundwater, and collaborative adaptation planning processes. Ellen is experienced in geospatial analysis, cartography, and graphic design. She holds a BA in ecology from Dartmouth College and Master of City Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture in Environmental Planning degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Her graduate studies included investigating the impacts of sea-level rise on shallow coastal groundwater and exploring ways to finance shoreline adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining SFEI, Ellen worked in Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration at a Boston-area environmental consulting firm and on climate change adaptation at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Related Projects, News, and Events

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.

Sediment for Survival (Project)

The tidal marshes and tidal flats along the San Francisco Bay shoreline depend on sediment delivered by the tides. Healthy sediment supplies are essential for maintaining resilient marshes and tidal flats that can persist into the future and build up as sea level continues to rise. Currently, the sediment supply in the Bay is adequate to meet the sediment needed by tidal marshes and tidal flats. However, as sea level rise accelerates in the coming decades, the sediment needed for these habitats to survive will increase considerably.

Preparing for the Storm (Project)

Preparing for the Storm is an innovative public-private partnership funded by the US EPA to improve watershed health and resilience in the Alameda Creek watershed.

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.

Shallow Groundwater Response to Sea Level Rise (Project)

As sea levels rise and extreme storms become more frequent, communities are developing climate adaptation plans to protect housing, jobs, ecosystems, and infrastructure from flooding. However, these plans often neglect an important potential flood hazard – emergent groundwater. Shallow groundwater in coastal communities will rise as sea levels rise, increasing the risk of flooding communities from below. The threat of rising groundwater levels was identified by the Coastal Hazards Adaptation and Resiliency Group as a critical data gap in regional climate resilience planning.

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.

Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy (Project)

The Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy is a comprehensive high-level plan for landscape-scale restoration, flood protection, and public access in the tidal Lower Sonoma Creek portion of the San Pablo Baylands. 

The Strategy: