Cooperative coordinator to help Bay Area respond to sea-level rise

Katherine Leitzell

brenna mahoneyBrenna Mahoney has been appointed as the new coordinator of the San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative. The cooperative is a partnership between California Sea Grant, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the NOAA Office for Coastal Management.

The cooperative was established in 2012 as part of a NOAA effort to provide coastal communities and resource managers with information about the potential impacts of sea-level rise on coastal habitats. There are currently five cooperatives in the NOAA Sentinel Site Program: San Francisco Bay, Hawaii, Chesapeake Bay, the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and North Carolina.

As the new cooperative coordinator, Mahoney will be tasked with connecting San Francisco Bay decision makers to critical NOAA and NOAA partner resources to improve their capacity to understand and address sea-level rise.  She will also work with the California Sea Grant Extension Program to share the successes and lessons of the cooperative beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, and bring innovative and novel approaches and capabilities from other California coastal communities to the Bay Area.

Mahoney brings a unique combination of scientific and climate change adaptation experience to the position. She has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and experience with climate change adaptation planning and natural resource management working with the Bay Conservation Development Commission, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, and California State Coastal Conservancy, where she was a California Sea Grant State Fellow.

“We are excited to welcome Brenna to the cooperative. Her skills and experience will help Bay Area decision makers use the latest sea-level rise science and tools to enhance community resilience. I’m also looking forward to exploring additional ways in which the cooperative and California Sea Grant Extension Program can work together to share information and transfer knowledge to coastal communities across the state,” says California Sea Grant Extension Director Lisa Schiavinato.

Mahoney’s first priorities will be to coordinate the development of a sea level rise mapping visualization reference tool for the Bay Area and to work with the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to plan and host a series of living shorelines workshops.

“I am excited to work with the cooperative to build resilience to sea level rise in the Bay Area and to build and strengthen partnerships among regional and national climate change adaptation programs,” says Mahoney.

“We are very pleased to have Brenna join the Sentinel Site Cooperative.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with the San Francisco Estuary to this position.” says Aimee Good, coastal training program coordinator at the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Brenna will be based predominantly at the Estuary and Ocean Science Center in Tiburon, part of the Romberg Tiburon Campus of San Francisco State University.