This case study project is on the Upper Pajaro River, which crosses a 9,000-acre natural floodplain in the Central Coast. A portion of the riparian corridor within the floodplain is highly degraded due to intensive agricultural land use that has diminished its wildlife value and severed habitat connectivity. If restored, the corridor would connect 2 million acres of core habitat in adjacent uplands and link exceptionally rich natural communities in three climatically diverse coastal mountain ranges. This project developed a suite of climate-smart restoration practices in the Central Coast Ecoregion and pilot those practices on the Upper Pajaro River as a case study. Project goals are to: 1) Establish native riparian vegetation using climate-smart restoration designs that will benefit wide-ranging wildlife and prepare the region for the consequences of climate change. 2) Engage and educate local communities as advocates for conservation, habitat restoration, and climate resilience. 3) Develop a community of conservation professionals prepared to employ climate-smart restoration practices tailored to the Central Coast ecoregion.
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