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Long-Term Monitoring In Central Puget Sound: Are Local Climate Anomalies Impacting Phytoplankton Populations?, Gabriela Hannach, Lyndsey M. Swanson, Kimberle Stark 2018 King County Environmental Lab., United States

Long-Term Monitoring In Central Puget Sound: Are Local Climate Anomalies Impacting Phytoplankton Populations?, Gabriela Hannach, Lyndsey M. Swanson, Kimberle Stark

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Puget Sound is a large and productive estuarine system at the southern end of the Salish Sea. King County’s comprehensive, long-term marine monitoring program tracks water quality in Puget Sound’s Central Basin through year-round collection of data for a suite of physical, chemical and biological parameters. Phytoplankton monitoring began with traditional microscopy methods in 2008, and expanded to include a particle imaging system in 2014. These data are critical to assess how changes from climate, physical conditions and other stressors linked to anthropogenic activity from the region’s growing population may impact the Sound’s biodiversity and trophic ...


Impact Of Septic Systems In Drayton Harbor Water Quality, Jennifer Hayden 2018 Whatcom County Health Dept., United States

Impact Of Septic Systems In Drayton Harbor Water Quality, Jennifer Hayden

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Septic systems are personal wastewater treatment systems for rural properties. Over 3,000 septic systems exist in the Drayton Harbor watershed. Septic systems that are not maintained properly can create problems for homeowners, negatively impact water quality, and pose a public health threat. Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) began implementing a septic system operation and maintenance (O&M) program in 2008 in the Drayton Harbor watershed when most of Drayton Harbor was classified as Prohibited for shellfish harvesting due to elevated fecal coliform bacteria levels. The local health officer’s designation of Drayton Harbor as a Marine Recovery Area in ...


Accelerating Watershed Protection In The Central Puget Sound Region, Maria Sandercock 2018 Puget Sound Regional Council, United States

Accelerating Watershed Protection In The Central Puget Sound Region, Maria Sandercock

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

In the last five years, 324,000 people have moved to the central Puget Sound region. While helping to fuel economic growth in the area, this rapid growth also threatens the natural wealth that the region is known for. Legacy stormwater issues and hardening watersheds in the region are harming our aquatic systems and Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Regional Council, whose member jurisdictions include the four counties and 82 cities in central Puget Sound, is developing a regional open space conservation plan with the goal of accelerating conservation of the open spaces that support watershed processes and a high ...


The Community Engagement Process: Inclusivity, Integration Across Cultures And Fostering Boundary Permeability, Don Castleden 2018 Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, Canada

The Community Engagement Process: Inclusivity, Integration Across Cultures And Fostering Boundary Permeability, Don Castleden

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

This presentation reflects on the process that emerged when a small ENGO on the east coast of Vancouver Island experienced significant funding cuts to its programs and struggled to redefine its purpose. This changed when the Board became aware of community concerns regarding the local estuary which had been severely compromised by industry and commerce over the past century. Debate was occurring in the local media concerning plans to develop a gas station along a road that ran through the estuary; regarding a new ‘for sale’ sign on a decommissioned former sawmill site in the estuary; and ongoing seal predation ...


Interannual Variation In Early Marine Survival Patterns Of Puget Sound Steelhead Smolts Indicates Shifting Predation Pressures, Barry Berejikian, Megan Moore, Steve Jeffries 2018 NOAA Fisheries, United States

Interannual Variation In Early Marine Survival Patterns Of Puget Sound Steelhead Smolts Indicates Shifting Predation Pressures, Barry Berejikian, Megan Moore, Steve Jeffries

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Marine survival of steelhead smolts during their two week migration from river mouths to the Strait of Juan de Fuca has been estimated at 20% or less for several populations originating in Puget Sound. Low survival rates likely reduce overall smolt-to-adult return rates and limit recovery of Puget Sound steelhead populations. Harbor seals are generalist predators known to eat juvenile salmon in the Salish Sea. Harbor seals were captured in 2014 (12 seals) and 2016 (16 seals) and outfitted with acoustic telemetry receivers and GPS tags to quantify likely predation events and estimate foraging area overlap with acoustically tagged steelhead ...


Nutrient Dynamics And Ties To Environmental Conditions And Drivers In Central Puget Sound, Stephanie Jaeger, Ben Larson, Bob Kruger, Kimberle Stark 2018 King County Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks, United States

Nutrient Dynamics And Ties To Environmental Conditions And Drivers In Central Puget Sound, Stephanie Jaeger, Ben Larson, Bob Kruger, Kimberle Stark

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Real-time and near-continuous in-situ measurements can provide new insights into variability and patterns of a marine system that would otherwise be undetected by sampling at a lower temporal resolution. King County has a comprehensive long-term marine water quality monitoring program in the Central Basin of Puget Sound that currently includes: bi-monthly water column vertical profiles, discrete sampling, near-surface real-time moored sensors, and new quantitative phytoplankton and zooplankton components. These data can assist with identifying changes and linkages in biogeochemical and ecological processes as well as changes in climate patterns. Recently, new moored and profiling optical nitrate sensors were added to ...


Nooksack Tribe Collaborative Teaming To Address Shellfish Harvest Closures In Drayton Harbor, Oliver Grah, Jezra Beaulieu 2018 Nooksack Indian Tribe, United States

Nooksack Tribe Collaborative Teaming To Address Shellfish Harvest Closures In Drayton Harbor, Oliver Grah, Jezra Beaulieu

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Nooksack Indian Tribe reservation is located at the foot of the North Cascades Mountains, near Deming, WA, and approximately 13 miles east of Bellingham and the Salish Sea. Drayton Harbor is part of the Salish Sea and is the Tribe’s traditional shellfish gathering area. Drayton Harbor is also an important shellfish gathering and production area for commercial and recreational uses. The Harbor has been under a TMDL for fecal coliform bacteria for more than 10 years for non-compliance with state water quality standards. Although re-opened to year-round harvest in late 2016, Drayton Harbor’s shellfish have been subjected ...


Harbour Seals Consume More Juvenile And Adult Salmon In Estuaries Than Elsewhere In The Strait Of Georgia, Sheena Majewski, Chad Nordstrom, Austen Thomas, Andrew Trites 2018 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Canada

Harbour Seals Consume More Juvenile And Adult Salmon In Estuaries Than Elsewhere In The Strait Of Georgia, Sheena Majewski, Chad Nordstrom, Austen Thomas, Andrew Trites

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Recent studies of harbour seal diets (2012-2014) have been used to estimate the amounts of salmon consumed by seals in the Strait of Georgia. However, these diet data have primarily come from estuary habitats, and may not be representative of all seals. We analysed 1,317 scat samples collected at an estuary (Cowichan Bay) and 7 non-estuary sites from Apr–Nov 2016 and Apr–May 2017 to compare salmon consumption inside and outside of estuaries. Using high-throughput DNA techniques, we determined seals consumed a wide range of prey (n = 238 species)—with gadids (primarily hake) and forage fish (primarily herring ...


High-Resolution Archival Tags Provide New Insights Into The Underwater Foraging And Echolocation Behavior Of Resident Killer Whales Capturing Pacific Salmon, Brianna Wright 2018 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada

High-Resolution Archival Tags Provide New Insights Into The Underwater Foraging And Echolocation Behavior Of Resident Killer Whales Capturing Pacific Salmon, Brianna Wright

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Dtags contain sensors for recording both high resolution animal movement and underwater sound. They provide a valuable tool for examining the foraging behavior of resident killer whales, a specialist predator that relies on echolocation to find and pursue Pacific salmon, its primary prey. We deployed Dtags on 32 northern residents off Vancouver Island, BC, and compared reconstructed whale dive paths to distributions of different salmonid prey. Foraging whales dove deeper, remained submerged longer, swam faster, increased their dive path tortuosity, and rolled their bodies more than during other activities. Foraging dive structure also reflected the deeper vertical distribution of Chinook ...


Juvenile Salmon Density On Marsh Surfaces Versus Within Tidal Channels, W. Gregory Hood, Eric Beamer, Rich Henderson 2018 Skagit River System Cooperative, United States

Juvenile Salmon Density On Marsh Surfaces Versus Within Tidal Channels, W. Gregory Hood, Eric Beamer, Rich Henderson

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Use of tidal marsh surfaces by juvenile salmon in Pacific Northwest estuaries has generally been ignored by ecologists, engineers and planners involved in salmon habitat restoration. In contrast, fish use of marsh plains has been documented in many other parts of the world. Are Pacific Northwest marshes an exception to the pattern of fish use that is so common elsewhere? For three consecutive years, fish were sampled bi-monthly in tidal channels and on tidal marsh plains of the Skagit Delta to answer this question. Juvenile Chinook and chum salmon, as well as sticklebacks were the most consistently caught and abundant ...


A Multiple-Methods Vertical Land Movement Analysis And Its Integration Into Probabilistic Sea Level Rise Projections For Coastal Washington, Ian Miller, Tyler Newton, Ray Weldon, David Schmidt, Guillaume Mauger, Eric Grossman 2018 Washington Sea Grant, United States

A Multiple-Methods Vertical Land Movement Analysis And Its Integration Into Probabilistic Sea Level Rise Projections For Coastal Washington, Ian Miller, Tyler Newton, Ray Weldon, David Schmidt, Guillaume Mauger, Eric Grossman

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

In order to support climate change planning and adaptation at the community scale, climate projections should ideally be down-scaled, and also provide meaningful representations of uncertainty. As part of the NOAA-funded Washington Coastal Resilience Project, our team developed new sea level projections for Washington State that feature two innovations. First, the projections include an assessment of the likelihood of occurrence of different sea level magnitudes at decadal intervals through 2150. Next, sea level is projected in a relative framework using vertical land movement information. This presentation will describe the development of the most comprehensive database of vertical land movement observations ...


Efforts Of Washington And British Columbia Agricultural Producers To Address Fecal Coliform Bacteria Pollution In The Lower Nooksack Watershed, Geoff Hughes-Games, Rich Appel, Mark Raymond 2018 British Columbia Agriculture Council, Canada

Efforts Of Washington And British Columbia Agricultural Producers To Address Fecal Coliform Bacteria Pollution In The Lower Nooksack Watershed, Geoff Hughes-Games, Rich Appel, Mark Raymond

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Since the late 1990s several efforts have been initiated to reduce fecal coliform pollution in the Nooksack River and shellfish harvest areas in Portage Bay. Agriculture has historically been a significant contributor of fecal coliforms, however other sources include human waste from septic systems, pets, and wildlife. To protect the watershed and preserve the shellfish harvest areas the agriculture sector, particularly the dairy sector, has committed great amounts of labor and resources to adopt nutrient management planning and improve manure storage and handling practices. These changes on-farm have resulted from both voluntary initiatives as well as from implementation of new ...


Groundwater Availability For Summer Low Flows: Co-Production And Shared Application Of Hydrogeologic Tools And Information, Rick Dinicola, Lonna Frans, Wendy Welch 2018 U.S. Geological Survey, United States

Groundwater Availability For Summer Low Flows: Co-Production And Shared Application Of Hydrogeologic Tools And Information, Rick Dinicola, Lonna Frans, Wendy Welch

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Groundwater discharge to streams and rivers in Puget Sound basin is the primary source of water for sustaining summer low flows and associated aquatic habitat. The science underlying how human and environmental stressors can affect low flows can be difficult for scientists and stakeholders to grasp, largely because it requires understanding the mechanics of groundwater recharge and discharge processes combined with the subtleties of estimating cumulative rates of groundwater extraction and use in subbasins. USGS has initiated a Near-Term Action (NTA) for the 2016 Action Agenda that will better inform our understanding of the effects of current and future stressors ...


Evaluating Common Trends In Chinook Density And The Influence Of Temperature And Salinity Patterns Among Distributary Channels In A Large River Estuary To Aid Evaluation, Planning, And Prioritization Of Restoration Activities, Joshua Chamberlin, Jason E. Hall, Todd Zackey, Frank Leonetti, Michael Rustay 2018 NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Ctr., United States

Evaluating Common Trends In Chinook Density And The Influence Of Temperature And Salinity Patterns Among Distributary Channels In A Large River Estuary To Aid Evaluation, Planning, And Prioritization Of Restoration Activities, Joshua Chamberlin, Jason E. Hall, Todd Zackey, Frank Leonetti, Michael Rustay

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Landscape context is critical in estuary restoration planning and assessment due to the complexity and size of estuaries, and the unique attributes and cumulative effects of individual restoration projects. In addition, the diversity and mobility of estuarine species, in particular juvenile salmon, highlights the importance of landscape position given certain locations in the delta are less accessible to salmon. The Snohomish River delta has been the focus of major estuary restoration efforts in recent years and efforts could result in the largest cumulative estuary restoration action in Puget Sound. While several large projects have been initiated/competed in recent years ...


Commercial Ship Versus Whale Watch Boat Noise: Relative Effects On Southern Resident Killer Whales, Jason Wood, Dominic Tollit, Ruth Joy, Nicole Koshure, Alex MacGilivray, Krista Trounce, Orla Robinson 2018 SMRU Consulting, United States

Commercial Ship Versus Whale Watch Boat Noise: Relative Effects On Southern Resident Killer Whales, Jason Wood, Dominic Tollit, Ruth Joy, Nicole Koshure, Alex Macgilivray, Krista Trounce, Orla Robinson

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Underwater noise may be impacting the population recovery of critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). This study used an SRKW-Noise exposure simulation model to compare noise effects from large (AIS-enabled) commercial vessels with whale watch boats during summer (May-September) within their principal Salish Sea habitat range use. It predicted moderate or low behavioural responses (BRs) using SRKW-specific dose-response relationships and, if no BRs were triggered, the extent of residual high frequency echolocation click masking. BRs were considered to result in lost foraging due to switches in behaviour or via strong masking effects. The Monte-Carlo simulation used a fine-scale acoustic ...


A Watershed Approach To Recovering Salmon In Changing Climate Conditions, Beth leDoux, Jessica Engel, Morgan Ruff, Colin Wahl 2018 King County, United States

A Watershed Approach To Recovering Salmon In Changing Climate Conditions, Beth Ledoux, Jessica Engel, Morgan Ruff, Colin Wahl

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Snohomish Basin Forum adopted the Snohomish Basin Protection Plan in 2015 which clearly stated that the survival of our iconic salmon will be challenged by climate change. From that integrative watershed planning effort the Snohomish Basin Technical Committee investigated how locally predicted impacts of climate change affect salmon recovery in the Snohomish Basin and what key actions can be taken to ameliorate those impacts. As the basin continues to implement the Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Plan, it will be critical to restore and protect areas that preserve the basin’s hydrologic patterns and key habitat functions that support salmon ...


Sound Impacts: Building An Impact Metrics Portal For Tracking Collective Positive Impacts Of Restoration And Green Infrastructure Across The Puget Sound, Aaron Clark 2018 Stewardship Partners, United States

Sound Impacts: Building An Impact Metrics Portal For Tracking Collective Positive Impacts Of Restoration And Green Infrastructure Across The Puget Sound, Aaron Clark

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

SoundImpacts.org is a pilot of a regional scale, multi-user impact metrics portal. Entities engaged in restoration and positive impact environmental projects like green infrastructure (including rain gardens, tree planting, green roofs, depaving etc.) are highly dispersed, "siloed" and generally don't share data with each other and in fact rarely share the impacts of their work to their own communities beyond the funders who paid for the specific project. Sound Impacts addresses the tandem needs of 1. positive impact practitioners (e.g. NGO's, tribes, government agencies, communities) to collect and track their own impacts to better share that ...


Flood Modelling And Mitigation Planning In Bc's Lower Fraser River And Southcoast, Steve Litke 2018 Fraser Basin Council, Canada

Flood Modelling And Mitigation Planning In Bc's Lower Fraser River And Southcoast, Steve Litke

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Fraser Basin Council is a nongovernment, not for profit organization that is facilitating and coordinating a collaborative process in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland to develop a regional-scale flood management strategy. This initiative is focused on flood risks associated with the Lower Fraser River as well as coastal storm surge, including the effects of climate change on these hazards. More than 50 organizations are involved, including local, First Nations, provincial and federal governments, as well as the private sector and civil society. This collaborative process aims to better understand the vulnerabilities and risks associated with these flood hazards, identify ...


Prompt Data Sharing Promotes Engagement And Generates Change, Michael Isensee 2018 Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, United States

Prompt Data Sharing Promotes Engagement And Generates Change, Michael Isensee

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Dairy Nutrient Management Program (DNMP) works with tribal, state, local and Canadian partners to publicly share preliminary fecal coliform monitoring data. As data becomes available it is combined into a unified and regularly updated online map: http://arcg.is/1qvHDq. The map improves transparency of agency monitoring and increases engagement with local farmers, land managers and the public by providing easy access to water quality results. Access to preliminary data within days, presented visually, allows people to more easily link recent activities and conditions to water quality results. For DNMP, the tool enables ...


Influence Of Sedimentary Biogeochemistry On Oxygen Consumption And Nutrient Cycling In Bellingham Bay, Washington, Everitt G. Merritt, David Shull 2018 Western Washington Univ., United States

Influence Of Sedimentary Biogeochemistry On Oxygen Consumption And Nutrient Cycling In Bellingham Bay, Washington, Everitt G. Merritt, David Shull

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Bellingham Bay, a shallow, urbanized embayment in north Puget Sound, is experiencing increasing seasonal hypoxia. But, rates of sedimentary geochemical processes that might contribute to this change are not well quantified. This project explored the relationships between sedimentary biogeochemical processes, nutrient fluxes, and oxygen consumption in Bellingham Bay. Working with the Washington State Department of Ecology, we sampled 25 stations throughout the bay, and measured fluxes of dissolved oxygen, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, dissolved inorganic phosphorus, silicate, and dissolved inorganic carbon between sediment and overlying water. We observed decreases in the fluxes of DO, DIC, and DIN with station depth, suggesting ...


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