Leah L. Bremer

Leah L. Bremer
University of Hawai'i System · University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization and the Water Resources Research Center

PhD

About

80
Publications
27,244
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2,290
Citations

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Effective and equitable coastal decision-making under sea level rise (SLR) requires managing for multiple coastal uses and values. This study explores how coastal decision-makers in Hawaiʻi perceive diverse uses and values of beaches and coastlines to be important and how they see recognition of these uses and values ideally shaping SLR response. W...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal groundwater‐dependent ecosystems benefit from lowered salinity, nutrient‐rich submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). Across Pacific islands marine macroalgae appear to have been challenged by and adapted to the stress of lowered salinity with a trade‐off of nutrient subsidies delivered by SGD. Human alterations of groundwater resources and...
Article
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As water funds and other watershed investment programs expand around the world, there is growing interest in designing equitable programs that provide both upstream and downstream benefits. While research demonstrates that diverse values underlie upstream participation, existing communication and outreach materials from non-governmental organizatio...
Article
Fresh groundwater is a critical resource supporting coastal ecosystems that rely on low-salinity, nutrient-rich groundwater discharge. This resource, however, is subject to contamination from point- and nonpoint-sources such as on-site sewage disposal systems (OSDS) and urban developments. Thus, the significance of flow and transport processes near...
Article
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Untreated and minimally treated wastewater discharged into the environment have the potential to adversely affect groundwater dependent ecosystems and nearshore marine health. Addressing this issue requires a systems approach that links land use and wastewater management decisions to potential impacts on the nearshore marine environment via changes...
Article
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Nature‐Based Solutions (NBS) are an increasingly popular approach to water resources management, with a growing number of projects designed to take advantage of landscape effects on water flow. As NBS for water are developed, producing hydrologic information to inform decisions often requires substantial investment in data acquisition and modeling;...
Article
Groundwater sustainability initiatives, including sustainable yield and watershed policy protection policies, are growing globally in response to increasing demand for groundwater, coupled with concerns about the effects of climate and land-cover change on groundwater supply. Improved understanding of the impacts of watershed management on groundwa...
Article
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Well-managed rangelands provide important economic, environmental, and cultural benefits. Yet, many rangelands worldwide are experiencing pressures of land-use change, overgrazing, fire, and drought, causing rapid degradation. These pressures are especially acute in the Hawaiian Islands, which we explore as a microcosm with some broadly relevant le...
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As the extent of secondary forests continues to expand throughout the tropics, there is a growing need to better understand the ecosystem services, including carbon (C) storage provided by these ecosystems. Despite their spatial extent, there are limited data on how the ecosystem services provided by secondary forest may be enhanced through the res...
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The ecosystem service (ES) community aspires to illuminate how nature contributes to human well-being, and thereby elevate consideration of nature in decision making. So far, however, policy impact of ES research has been limited. To understand why, we identify five key elements of ES research that help inform decisions by connecting the supply of...
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Worldwide, water utilities and other water users increasingly seek to finance watershed protection and restoration in order to maintain or enhance water quality and quantity important for drinking water supply and other human use. Hydrologic studies which characterize the relative effectiveness of watershed management activities in terms of metrics...
Chapter
Healthy ecosystems are intricately connected to healthy communities and human well-being. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are an important tool for water security, while also providing additional human health, climate mitigation, and livelihood benefits that contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals. NBS also play out in landscapes of curre...
Chapter
The contributors to this volume have approached nature-based solutions (NBS) from many different angles. Our collective experience with NBS includes applied research but primarily comprises practical experience supporting, developing, and implementing NBS policies and guidance for governments and businesses; advising local to international entities...
Article
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are associated with diverse and profound values, such as spiritual fulfillment, cultural heritage, and identity-related phenomena. Early ecosystem services research often omitted these deep meanings, but they are increasingly explored in recent studies through a range of disciplinary and epistemological perspective...
Article
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Globally, an increasing recognition of the importance of ecosystem-based management (EBM), Indigenous resource management (IRM), and Indigenous-led research and management is emerging; yet, case studies within scholarly literature illustrating comprehensive application of these theories and philosophies are scarce. We present the collaborative mana...
Article
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Concerns over groundwater depletion and ecosystem degradation have led to the incorporation of the concept of groundwater sustainability as a groundwater policy instrument in several water codes and management directives worldwide. Because sustainable groundwater management is embedded within integrated, co-evolving hydrological, ecological, and so...
Article
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As urban areas expand around the world, there are growing efforts to restore and protect natural and agricultural systems for the multitude of ecosystem services they provide to urban communities. This study presents a researcher-farmer collaboration in a highly urbanized area of Oʻahu focused on understanding the historical and current challenges...
Article
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Calls for, and commitments to, forest restoration and regenerative agriculture are booming. While these practices are often conceptualized and implemented separately, in many contexts, research and practice at the intersection of forest restoration and diversified agriculture can accelerate the mutual goal of increasing biodiversity and ecosystem s...
Article
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Groundwater management policy around the world increasingly seeks to protect groundwater-dependent ecosystems and associated human uses and values. This includes uses of ecosystems and agricultural systems linked to natural spring discharge. Yet, there are few examples of practical tools to balance human groundwater use with ecological water demand...
Article
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As watershed management programs have become more common globally, so have efforts to support these initiatives through hydrologic modeling and monitoring. However, these efforts are often guided by oversimplified assumptions of how management programs work and the quantity, quality, and type of information needed to support their planning, impleme...
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Here, we expand on the term “ecomimicry” to be an umbrella concept for an approach to adaptive ecosystem-based management of social-ecological systems that simultaneously optimizes multiple ecosystem services for the benefit of people and place. In this context, we define ecomimicry as a strategy for developing and managing cultural landscapes, bui...
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Investments in watershed services programs hold the promise to protect and restore ecosystems and water resources. The design and implementation of such programs is often accompanied by hydrologic modeling and monitoring, although the role of hydrologic information in meeting the needs of program managers remains unclear. In the Camboriú watershed,...
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This article shows the two‐way relation between global norms and local conditions as they shape Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) theory and practice, through a case study of a water fund in Valle del Cauca, Colombia, the heartland of the country's sugarcane industry. Drawing on interviews, survey data and historical research, the article argue...
Article
This study synthesizes findings from studies of the social and behavioral outcomes of collective payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs. The collective PES model is distinct from the conventional PES model in that by working with groups, not individuals, it breaks the direct relationship between an individual's consent to participate, the ec...
Article
Declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance across the Pacific that seeks to revive customary ridge-to-reef management approaches to protect freshwater and restore abundant coral reef fisheries.We applied a linked land–sea modeling framework based on remote sensing and empirical data, which couples groundwater nutrient ex...
Article
Declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance across the Pacific that seeks to revive customary ridge‐to‐reef management approaches to protect freshwater and restore abundant coral reef fisheries. We applied a linked land–sea modeling framework based on remote sensing and empirical data, which couples groundwater nutrient e...
Article
Full-text available
As payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs grow around the world, so have concerns over whether a focus on ecosystem services will also protect biodiversity. Biodiverse Ecuadorian páramo grasslands have become a hotspot for PES in an effort to protect water supplies, sequester carbon, conserve biodiversity, and improve rural livelihoods. Howe...
Chapter
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Demand for clean, abundant water is increasing, yet the supply of clean water is increasingly at risk. As of 2010, about 40 percent of watersheds upstream of large urban areas had high to moderate levels of land and vegetation degradation caused by deforestation, poor agricultural practices, and development. This can reduce the amount of available...
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There are growing efforts around the world to restore biocultural systems that produce food while also providing additional cultural and ecological benefits. Yet, there are few examples of integrated assessments of these efforts, impeding understanding of how they can contribute to multi-level sustainability goals. In this study, we collaborated wi...
Article
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With growing calls to scale up reforestation efforts worldwide, conservation managers increasingly must decide whether and how to restore highly altered ecosystems. However, empirical research on potential trade‐offs remains scarce. We use a Hawai'i watershed to demonstrate a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to identifying synergies and tr...
Article
Full-text available
Across the Pacific Islands, declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance of customary ridge-to-reef management approaches. These indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCA) are initiated by local communities to protect natural resources through customary laws. To support these efforts, managers require scientific tools...
Article
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We developed a linked land-sea modeling framework based on remote sensing and empirical data, which couples sediment export and coral reef models at fine spatial resolution. This spatially-explicit (60 × 60 m) framework simultaneously tracks changes in multiple benthic and fish indicators as a function of land-use and climate change scenarios. We a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Water Funds are collective-action watershed conservation mechanisms where groups of water users transfer resources to upstream communities and land stewards for protection and restoration of areas critical for water supplies. This approach is rapidly growing in popularity around the world, particularly in Latin America, where 19 Water Funds are in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Los Fondos de Agua son mecanismos de acción colectiva para conservación de cuencas en donde grupos de usuarios de agua transfieren recursos a comunidades y propietarios de tierra para la protección y restauración de áreas críticas para el abastecimiento de agua. La popularidad de este enfoque está creciendo rápidamente en el mundo, y particularment...
Article
Full-text available
Declining natural resources have led to a cultural renaissance across the Pacific that seeks to revive customary ridge-to-reef management approaches to protect freshwater and restore abundant coral reef fisheries. Effective ridge-to-reef management requires improved understanding of land-sea linkages and decision-support tools to simultaneously eva...
Data
Modeling framework predictor variables description and processing methods. This table provides a description of all the predictor variables modeled in the coral reef models. Each metric is classified by type (terrestrial drivers or marine drivers) and assigned a code for modeling. The table below indicates the data source and analytical tool used t...
Data
Copyright permission Charles Fletcher. (PDF)
Data
Response variables and drivers’ relationships. This table provides the hypothesized relationships between the drivers and coral reef indicators. (DOCX)
Data
Measured versus modeled nutrients for groundwater and coastal discharge at Ka‘ūpūlehu. (TIFF)
Data
Response curves of benthic indicators at Ka‘ūpūlehu. (TIF)
Data
Response curves of herbivore fish indicators at Ka‘ūpūlehu. (TIF)
Data
Response curves of piscivore fish indicators at Ka‘ūpūlehu. (TIF)
Data
Observed versus predicted coral reef indicators at Hā‘ena. (TIF)
Data
Observed versus predicted coral reef indicators at Ka‘ūpūlehu. (TIF)
Data
Fish species composition per functional groups. (DOCX)
Data
Coral reef predictive model performance per indicator. The percent deviance explained (PDE) by the BRT models for the calibration and cross-validation (CV) processes and the final number of predictors (Xi) is shown for Hā‘ena and Kaʻūpūlehu. (DOCX)
Data
Response curves of the benthic indicators at Hā‘ena. (TIF)
Data
Response curves of the herbivore fish indicators at Hā‘ena. (TIF)
Data
Modeling framework response variables description. Benthic (% cover) and fish biomass (g.m-1) coral reef indicators were derived from the coral reef surveys and used as response variables in the coral reef models. (DOCX)
Data
Coastal water quality data at Ka‘ūpūlehu. See Carlson and Wiegner [169] for more details on sample collection, processing, and analytical methods. (DOCX)
Data
Response curves of the piscivore fish indicators at Hā‘ena. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
As ecosystem service assessments increasingly contribute to decisions about managing Earth’s lands and waters, there is a growing need to understand the diverse ways that people use and value landscapes. However, these assessments rarely incorporate the value of landscapes to communities with strong cultural and generational ties to place, precludi...
Article
Full-text available
Resource managers increasingly seek to implement cost-effective watershed restoration plans for multiple ecosystem service benefits. Using locally adapted ecosystem service tools and historical management costs, we quantified spatially explicit management costs and benefits (in terms of groundwater recharge and landscape flammability) to assist a s...
Article
Watersheds are under increasing pressure worldwide, as expanding human activities coupled with global climate change threaten the water security of people downstream. In response, some communities have initiated investments in watershed services (IWS), a general term for policy-finance mechanisms that mitigate diverse watershed threats and promote...
Article
Watersheds are under increasing pressure worldwide, as expanding human activities coupled with global climate change threaten the water security of people downstream. In response, some communities have initiated investments in watershed services (IWS), a general term for policy-finance mechanisms that mitigate diverse watershed threats and promote...
Article
Full-text available
Andean páramo grasslands have long supported human populations that depend on them as forage for livestock and, increasingly, have been recognized as critical water sources with large soil carbon stores and high levels of biodiversity. Recent conservation efforts have used payment for ecosystem services (PES) to incentivize land management that aim...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is a global issue that is exacerbated by climate change and increasing anthropogen-ic water demands. The recent occurrence of drought in California provides an important opportunity to examine drought response across ecosystem classes (forests, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands), which is essential to understand how climate influences ec...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation projects increasingly aim to deliver both environmental and social benefits. To monitor the success of these projects, it is important to pick indicators for which there is a reasonable expectation of change as a result of the project, and which resonate with project stakeholders. Results chains are widely used in conservation to descr...
Chapter
Full-text available
This effort would not have been possible without the support and dedication of many people from the Water Funds, the Latin American Water Funds Partnership (The Nature Conservancy, FEMSA Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, Global Environmental Fund), CONDESAN, The Natural Capital Project, and many other partners. We would like to thank the...