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Prioritizing Management Actions For The Fraser River Estuary, Laura Kehoe, Jessie Lund, Julia Baum, Lia Chalifour, Tara Martin 2018 Univ. of Victoria, Canada

Prioritizing Management Actions For The Fraser River Estuary, Laura Kehoe, Jessie Lund, Julia Baum, Lia Chalifour, Tara Martin

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Conservation research has predominantly focused on identifying where and why species or habitats are under threat. While this is a crucial first step, it does not tell us how to optimize the allocation of resources in order to conserve threatened biodiversity. The time is ripe to focus on identifying the key management actions needed to respond to multiple threats and emerging risks. Using state-of-the-art techniques in conservation decision science, priority threat management assessment, and expert elicitation, we seek to identify the most ecologically effective and at the same time, least costly management actions needed to ensure the long-term persistence of ...


Kelp Forest Dynamics: Links To Climate And Long Term Trends, Helen Berry, Cathy Pfister, Tom Mumford 2018 Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources, United States

Kelp Forest Dynamics: Links To Climate And Long Term Trends, Helen Berry, Cathy Pfister, Tom Mumford

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Kelp forests are foundation species in the Salish Sea, and their dynamics are key to the fate of many other species. Research in other regions has shown that kelp abundance is driven in part by climate and can be impacted by human activities (for example, pollution and altered competition among species). While downward trends in kelp abundance have been of concern globally, trends are often locally distinct. We combined long term monitoring datasets and historical records to explore whether bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) dynamics in the Salish Sea region: 1) correlate with climate conditions, and ...


Is Stormwater Harming Our Streams? Long-Term Monitoring Of Metals In Stream Stormflow, Daniel Nidzgorski, James M. Grassley, Debora Lester, Debra Bouchard 2018 King County, United States

Is Stormwater Harming Our Streams? Long-Term Monitoring Of Metals In Stream Stormflow, Daniel Nidzgorski, James M. Grassley, Debora Lester, Debra Bouchard

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Water-quality problems in urban and suburban streams are commonly blamed on stormwater pollution -- but actual stormflow pollutant data are much more limited. We analyzed 18 years (1993-2010) of stormflow metals concentrations from 33 stream stations across King County. We tested for long-term trends, compared stormflow and baseflow concentrations, and assessed aquatic and human-health toxicity. Five metals had long-term trends, all beneficial. Lead, nickel, and zinc concentrations have decreased over time. Calcium and magnesium concentrations have increased, which can reduce the adverse effects of toxic metals. In comparison to baseflow, 13 metals had discernably higher concentrations in stormflow (during 2001-2003 when ...


Potential Interactions Of Sea Level Rise And Sedimentation In The Lower Puyallup River, Jeff Parsons 2018 Herrera Enviromental Consultants, United States

Potential Interactions Of Sea Level Rise And Sedimentation In The Lower Puyallup River, Jeff Parsons

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Sea level rise and sedimentation have both been documented to contribute to future flooding in the densely developed Lower Puyallup River valley. However, their impacts have only been analyzed in isolation. In the Lower Puyallup River, these processes will interact. As sea level rises, the salt wedge, which is often flushed from leveed river channel, will be increasingly located in the leveed river channel, exacerbating sedimentation issues. Since the reach is no longer dredged, this sedimentation will decrease conveyance and increase the risk of the flooding over time. The interactions of the salt wedge and sedimentation will be nonlinear and ...


Comparison Of Bull Kelp Coverage Survey Methods Over Time In The San Juan Archipelago, Todd Woodard, Casey Palmer-McGee 2018 Samish Indian Nation, United States

Comparison Of Bull Kelp Coverage Survey Methods Over Time In The San Juan Archipelago, Todd Woodard, Casey Palmer-Mcgee

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Bull Kelp forests are an important habitat in the Salish Sea. They provide critical habitat for a wide variety of species including newly listed rockfish. Yet little data currently exists to determine overall canopy coverage or trends in kelp coverage. In 2017, the Samish Indian Nation initiated a project to compare baseline kelp coverage with Traditional Ecological Knowledge from Tribal Fishermen and a 2006 remote sensing survey conducted by Friends of the San Juans. Using a combination of aerial photography analysis, boat based surveys and NASA satellite imagery, this project seeks to gain a unique perspective on kelp forest trends ...


Simulating Eutrophication Effects In Puget Sound Using Qualitative Network Models, Chris Harvey, Kathryn Sobocinski 2018 Northwest Fisheries Science Ctr., United States

Simulating Eutrophication Effects In Puget Sound Using Qualitative Network Models, Chris Harvey, Kathryn Sobocinski

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Ecosystems are complex, dynamic networks of interacting physical, chemical, biological and social components. A stressor such as eutrophication thus can cause responses throughout the system via direct and indirect pathways and feedbacks. Ecosystem models are typically designed to account for as many critical components, functions and pathways as possible in order to reasonably simulate how a system may respond to a stressor; however, many aspects of ecosystem structure and function are poorly studied and too data-poor to represent in a quantitative, mechanistic model. Qualitative network models (QNMs) assume comparably simple (i.e., positive or negative) relationships between interacting components, and ...


Inspiring Farm Conservation Stewardship: Adaptations To Incentive-Based Campaigns, Aneka Sweeney 2018 Whatcom Conservation District, United States

Inspiring Farm Conservation Stewardship: Adaptations To Incentive-Based Campaigns, Aneka Sweeney

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Traditional information-based campaigns, programs of voluntary incentive-based technical and financial assistance and regulatory compulsion have proved moderately effective in the past to abate bacterial pollution from livestock operations. These have been an industry standard for decades as the exclusive means to motivate land managers to adopt stewardship practices. These methods have failed to sustain reductions in bacteria from farms primarily because they leave 60% of the target audience unengaged. Widespread adoption of better livestock and manure management practices can reduce fecal coliform bacteria in both fresh and marine waters. However, to achieve and maintain Approved shellfish growing areas, land stewardship ...


What's Working To Restore Puget Sound? Connecting Investments, Actions, And Outcomes, Leska Fore, Keith Dublanica, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Archer 2018 Puget Sound Partnership, United States

What's Working To Restore Puget Sound? Connecting Investments, Actions, And Outcomes, Leska Fore, Keith Dublanica, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Archer

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Throughout Puget Sound, long-term funding and investment in recovery actions have resulted in measurable improvements. Results from individual projects have been reported anecdotally in terms of improved water quality, habitat condition and wildlife, and salmon populations. Yet our ability to report these positive outcomes to funding agencies has been limited. This is because information and results are scattered across databases maintained by multiple local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. Data sets are typically well curated, but not connected. We have developed a prototype of a web tool that combines information about actions and outcomes to demonstrate the value of investments ...


Bottom-Up And Top-Down Processes Affecting Marine Survival Of Salmon In The Salish Sea, Dave Beauchamp 2018 U.S. Geological Survey, United States

Bottom-Up And Top-Down Processes Affecting Marine Survival Of Salmon In The Salish Sea, Dave Beauchamp

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Bottom-up processes mechanistically link with top-down control of populations, and these interactions are mediated by environmental variability and human-induced changes in land and water use. Size-selective mortality can be a significant force regulating recruitment of salmon and may be imposed at different life stages and habitats for different species, stocks, or life history types. The first months of marine growth are commonly regarded as a critical period for growth and survival of salmon. For ESA-listed Puget Sound Chinook salmon, emergent bottom-up patterns include: 1) a critical growth period occurs when body mass increases 2-4 fold during the first month of ...


The Center For Creative Conservation: Fostering Novel Collaborations For Regional Sustainability, Sara Breslow, Joshua Lawler, Julian Olden, Spencer Wood 2018 Univ. of Washington, United States

The Center For Creative Conservation: Fostering Novel Collaborations For Regional Sustainability, Sara Breslow, Joshua Lawler, Julian Olden, Spencer Wood

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Broad environmental and social forces are affecting our regional ecosystems and impacting the communities who depend on them in diverse ways. Addressing these complex social-ecological challenges necessitates growth in the collective wisdom of society. The Center for Creative Conservation at the University of Washington is addressing this need by promoting innovative solutions to complex environmental problems through fostering collaborations across broadly diverse disciplines, sectors, and communities. We strive to learn and apply best practices of transdisciplinarity, meaning authentically engaging different modes of knowing toward novel and integrated ideas, methods, and applications. For example, we convene medical researchers with ecologists, urban ...


Changes In Hatchery Subsidies Of Chinook Salmon In The Salish Sea: Implications For Predators, Fisheries, And Conservation, Benjamin Nelson, Eric Ward, Ole Shelton, Joe Anderson 2018 NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Ctr., United States

Changes In Hatchery Subsidies Of Chinook Salmon In The Salish Sea: Implications For Predators, Fisheries, And Conservation, Benjamin Nelson, Eric Ward, Ole Shelton, Joe Anderson

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Historically, salmon hatcheries were designed to increase fishery production and to recover depleted native populations. As demands of human protein consumption increase and wild populations continue to decline due to anthropogenic impacts like climate change and habitat loss, hatcheries and stocking programs will be called on to provide food security and to supplement threatened populations. Since 1950 over 3.7 billion Chinook salmon have been released into the Salish Sea and its tributaries in Washington State and southern British Columbia. However, relatively little research has been conducted that considers the impact of hatchery subsidies on estuarine and nearshore marine ecosystems ...


Population, Community And Food Web Impacts Of Hypoxia : A Synthesis Of Findings From Hood Canal, Timothy Essington 2018 Univ. of Washington, United States

Population, Community And Food Web Impacts Of Hypoxia : A Synthesis Of Findings From Hood Canal, Timothy Essington

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Hypoxia is a regular, yet increasingly prevalent feature of southern regions of Hood Canal, WA. While occasional fish kill events garner much public attention, these events are rare and may therefore may not be as important as effects from non-lethal levels of dissolved oxygen. Low levels (near 2 mg / l ) are common and species have a range of responses Here I use results from multiple investigations to illustrate the nature and magnitude of effects. On a population level, long lived sessile species like geoduck clams show clear evidence of substantial impacts from hypoxia. In addition, several sessile invertebrate species are ...


Public Outreach: Growing And Adapting With Changing Times, Meagan Harris, Kate Kimber, Erika Douglas, Aneka Sweeney 2018 Whatcom Conservation District, United States

Public Outreach: Growing And Adapting With Changing Times, Meagan Harris, Kate Kimber, Erika Douglas, Aneka Sweeney

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Drayton Harbor’s 2016 reopening of 810 acres of commercial, tribal, and recreational shellfish harvesting area marked a significant achievement in the efforts to improve water quality and allow year-round harvest of the productive shellfish growing area. Public outreach over the past 20 years played a critical role in engaging the local community and encouraging on-the-ground actions to reduce pollution throughout the watershed. Bacteria pollution is a complex issue requiring diverse solutions; no single fix exists. In the Drayton Harbor watershed, a variety of organizations, agencies, and community members participated in developing and carrying out a robust and diverse outreach ...


Assessment Of Floodplain Condition Across Puget Sound: An Emerging Tool For Tracking Investments And Communicating Status, Jennifer Burke, Colin Hume, Ilon Logan, Scott McKinney 2018 Puget Sound Partnership, United States

Assessment Of Floodplain Condition Across Puget Sound: An Emerging Tool For Tracking Investments And Communicating Status, Jennifer Burke, Colin Hume, Ilon Logan, Scott Mckinney

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Floodplains are some of the most economically and ecologically vital lands of Puget Sound but also some of the most impaired as well. Investments at the local and regional level aim to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat, reduce flood risk, and protect economically important lands. However, the condition and status of Puget Sound floodplains is poorly quantified in a consistent manner across the 17 major watersheds, hindering strategic investments and planning. The Puget Sound Partnership and Washington Department of Ecology are developing an assessment of floodplain condition and status for a Sound-wide watershed-scale floodplain monitoring effort using spatial data and ...


Samish Indian Nation Department Of Natural Resources' Efforts To Remove Marine Debris And Creosote Using Gis In The San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, Casey Palmer-McGee 2018 Samish Indian Nation, United States

Samish Indian Nation Department Of Natural Resources' Efforts To Remove Marine Debris And Creosote Using Gis In The San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, Casey Palmer-Mcgee

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Samish people have been stewards of the environment in the San Juan Archipelago for hundreds of generations. As a Coast Salish Tribe, Samish culture and traditions are intimately tied to resources and places in the Salish Sea. Every beach in Samish Traditional Territory has seen footprints of the ancestors. Honoring traditional ways while preserving cultural use materials and foods for future generations is a cornerstone that guides the work of Samish DNR. In the past 4 years, Samish DNR in partnership with Washington DNR, Washington Conservation Corps, Veterans Conservation Corps, and Earthcorps, have removed over 580,000 pounds of creosote ...


Increases In Synchrony Among Central Coast Salmon Populations In British Columbia Over The Last 60 Years, Eric Hertz, Brendan Connors, Katrina Connors, John Reynolds 2018 Pacific Salmon Foundation, Canada

Increases In Synchrony Among Central Coast Salmon Populations In British Columbia Over The Last 60 Years, Eric Hertz, Brendan Connors, Katrina Connors, John Reynolds

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Understanding the dynamics of salmon populations is important for conservation and management, but the factors driving spatial and temporal variation in many salmon populations remain poorly understood. Understanding these patterns is important for many coastal First Nations, who play an important role in the monitoring and management of salmon in their traditional territories. Using data from 200 unique spawning locations on the Central Coast of British Columbia, we quantified patterns in abundance and coherence of salmon over space and time to measure the extent to which portfolio effects stabilize variation in stocks. We found strong declines in Sockeye Salmon abundance ...


Bull Kelp Bed Surveys In Island County, Washington Usa, Linda Rhodes, Vernon W. Brisley, Gregg Ridder, Debra Paros, Paulette Brunner, Barbara Brock, Barbara Bennett, Anna Toledo 2018 Island County Marine Resources Committee, United States

Bull Kelp Bed Surveys In Island County, Washington Usa, Linda Rhodes, Vernon W. Brisley, Gregg Ridder, Debra Paros, Paulette Brunner, Barbara Brock, Barbara Bennett, Anna Toledo

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Although bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) is a prevalent nearshore habitat throughout the Salish Sea, its distribution and seasonal bed area dynamics are poorly characterized. Island County contains bull kelp beds that are positioned in dramatically different oceanographic situations. The western part of the County is fully exposed to marine conditions of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, while the eastern part is exposed to the strong freshwater influence of the largest rivers in Puget Sound. Each part contains bull kelp beds, providing an opportunity to compare their seasonal dynamics. Since 2015, the Island County Marine Resources Committee ...


Nitrogen Inventory In The Nooksack-Fraser Transboundary Watershed, Jiajia Lin, Jana Compton, Jill Baron, Chris Clark, Donna Schwede, Shabtai Bittman, David Hooper, Barb Carey, Peter Homann, Hanna Winter, Peter Kiffney, Nichole Embertson, Heather MacKay, Robert Black, Gary Bahr 2018 National Research Council, United States

Nitrogen Inventory In The Nooksack-Fraser Transboundary Watershed, Jiajia Lin, Jana Compton, Jill Baron, Chris Clark, Donna Schwede, Shabtai Bittman, David Hooper, Barb Carey, Peter Homann, Hanna Winter, Peter Kiffney, Nichole Embertson, Heather Mackay, Robert Black, Gary Bahr

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Nooksack-Fraser transboundary area (2639 km2) is home to communities with a strong base in farming, fisheries and outdoor recreation. Water quality issues impact parts of this area, where sewage effluent and animal waste are potential sources of both fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) and nitrogen (N) in the environment. Excessive nitrogen loading can lead to eutrophication in coastal areas, and nitrate contamination of groundwater. The Nooksack-Fraser Transboundary Nitrogen (NFT-N) project was developed to determine the sources and fates of N in the watershed using data on energy use, transportation, fertilization, wastewater treatment plants, livestock operations, wildlife and more. This project ...


Monitoring And Enforcement Of Laws And Policies In Canada: The Bad, The Ugly And How We Can Get To Good, Christianne Wilhelmson 2018 Georgia Strait Alliance, Canada

Monitoring And Enforcement Of Laws And Policies In Canada: The Bad, The Ugly And How We Can Get To Good, Christianne Wilhelmson

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The creation of strong environmental laws in BC and Canada has improved over the years, however the implementation of these laws is often undermined and their effectiveness to protect ecosystems and communities suffers. The reasons are many but often it’s a question of underfunding of the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms that are necessary to ensure compliance. Other reasons, in particular for regulations that apply to marine and freshwater systems, is the lack of clarity around jurisdictional responsibility and accountability. The confusion around roles, exacerbated by poor communication, results in poor monitoring and response, and laws that are paper dragons ...


The Nooksack River Transboundary Water Quality Task Group, Sheldon Reddekopp 2018 British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Canada

The Nooksack River Transboundary Water Quality Task Group, Sheldon Reddekopp

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

High levels of fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) originating from non-point sources in the Nooksack drainage contribute to seasonal closures of Portage Bay shellfish beds. The sovereign Lummi Nation relies on the Portage Bay shellfish beds for ceremonial, subsistence, and commercial harvest. Lummi Nation’s shellfish harvest rights are secured through a treaty with the United States (US) government. Washington State Governor Inslee has made achieving year-round approved shellfish harvest in Portage Bay a priority issue. The BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) is led by Director Bellon for Washington and Deputy Minister Zacharias for British Columbia. Within the ECC structure ...


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