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Lessons From Long Time-Series Of Benthic Invertebrate Communities In The Southern Salish Sea, And An Expansion Of Parameters To Assess Nutrient Loading And Climate Change Pressures, Valerie Partridge, Margaret Dutch, Sandra Weakland, Dany Burgess, Angela Eagleston 2018 Washington State Dept. of Ecology, United States

Lessons From Long Time-Series Of Benthic Invertebrate Communities In The Southern Salish Sea, And An Expansion Of Parameters To Assess Nutrient Loading And Climate Change Pressures, Valerie Partridge, Margaret Dutch, Sandra Weakland, Dany Burgess, Angela Eagleston

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Changes in habitat and benthic invertebrates indicate responses of the ecosystem to stressors. Since 1989, the Washington State Department of Ecology has monitored sediments and benthic invertebrate communities annually at ten sentinel stations. This is a unique and important dataset, providing yearly insights into benthic community structure and abundance cycles of individual species. Except where events destabilized the habitats and communities, the sediments at these ten long-term stations, and the invertebrate communities inhabiting them, have largely remained stable over time, though with some drift and cycles in species composition and abundance. A few of these long-term stations, however, have experienced ...


A Collaborative Approach For Evaluating Agricultural Contributions To Nonpoint Source Pollution In The Deschutes Watershed, South Puget Sound, Stephen Bramwell, Nicole Warren 2018 Washington State Univ., United States

A Collaborative Approach For Evaluating Agricultural Contributions To Nonpoint Source Pollution In The Deschutes Watershed, South Puget Sound, Stephen Bramwell, Nicole Warren

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The 2015 Deschutes River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report by the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) recommended actions to improve water quality parameters in this watershed, including reduction of agricultural non-point source pollution. Farmers in the watershed were suspected of contributing to violations of state water quality standards for fecal coliform and nutrient loading, among other parameters, but basic information on crop production, livestock numbers and stocking rates, and the presence or absence of exclusion fencing, among other data, was unavailable. A local research effort was initiated in 2016 to address these issues. A local collaboration was established ...


How 19 Years Of Bc Coastal Waterbird Citizen Science Data Is Informing Conservation Planning, Karen Devitt, James Casey 2018 Bird Studies Canada, Canada

How 19 Years Of Bc Coastal Waterbird Citizen Science Data Is Informing Conservation Planning, Karen Devitt, James Casey

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Fraser River Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area consisting of Sturgeon Bank, Roberts Bank, Boundary Bay and upland areas was designated in 2016 as an IBA in Danger by Birdlife International. The designation is based on the myriad of threats across the delta that have developed despite several transboundary and international designations of the region including a Ramsar Wetland of International Significance listing since 1982 and a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site designation since 2004. Despite these listings, declines in coastal waterbirds continue. The Coastal Waterbird Surveys have been running along the BC portion of the Salish Sea ...


Urban-Related Distribution Patterns Of An Iconic Salish Sea Mesopredator, The Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus Dofleini), Eliza C. Heery, Amy G. Olsen, Blake E. Feist, Kenneth P. Sebens 2018 National Univ. of Singapore, Singapore

Urban-Related Distribution Patterns Of An Iconic Salish Sea Mesopredator, The Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus Dofleini), Eliza C. Heery, Amy G. Olsen, Blake E. Feist, Kenneth P. Sebens

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Like many coastal areas globally, the Salish Sea has undergone rapid urbanization over recent decades. Terrestrial research suggests urbanization facilitates a variety of mesopredators by enhancing food and shelter resources and by limiting apex predation. Yet urbanization’s effect on mesopredators in the marine environment has rarely been examined. The giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, is an iconic mesopredator of the Pacific Northwest due to its size and cognition, and is thought to reach a particularly large maximum size in inland waters of the Salish Sea. We examined the spatial distribution patterns and habitat use of giant Pacific octopus in ...


Using Surface Elevation Tables And Marker Horizons To Evaluate Resiliency And Trajectories Of Tidal Marshes And Restoration Projects In The Snohomish River Estuary, Devin Robinson, Jason Hall, Joshua Chamberlin, Todd Zachery, Casimir Rice 2018 Veterans Conservation Corp., United States

Using Surface Elevation Tables And Marker Horizons To Evaluate Resiliency And Trajectories Of Tidal Marshes And Restoration Projects In The Snohomish River Estuary, Devin Robinson, Jason Hall, Joshua Chamberlin, Todd Zachery, Casimir Rice

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The abundance of tidal wetlands has been increasingly impacted by environmental changes, human alterations and sea-level rise around the world. Elevation and sediment dynamics control tidal wetland vegetation colonization, assemblages, resiliency, and recovery trajectories. Seal level rise and hydromodifications may threaten the resiliency of existing tidal marshes, and impact the recovery trajectories of restoration projects. The Snohomish river delta currently supports the second largest extent of tidal wetlands in the Puget Sound, and has become the focus of what could be the largest cumulative estuary restoration effort in Puget Sound. However, we currently know very little about elevation and sediment ...


Declines In Puget Sound Sediment-Dwelling Communities And A New Focus On Climate, Nutrient, And Other Ecosystem Stressors, Sandra Weakland, Valerie Partridge, Margaret Dutch, Dany Burgess, Angela Eagleston 2018 Washington State Dept. of Ecology, United States

Declines In Puget Sound Sediment-Dwelling Communities And A New Focus On Climate, Nutrient, And Other Ecosystem Stressors, Sandra Weakland, Valerie Partridge, Margaret Dutch, Dany Burgess, Angela Eagleston

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Washington State Department of Ecology has been collecting data on Puget Sound sediment-dwelling (benthic) invertebrates since 1989, as part of the Marine Sediment Monitoring Program. Benthic organisms serve key functions, including processing and storage of organic material and cycling of nutrients needed by other components of the ecosystem. Benthic invertebrates are an integral part of the marine food web and biogeochemical processes that support salmon, orcas, and humans and are a key component of the Puget Sound ecosystem. We are finding significant declines in the overall condition of benthic communities, with 44% of the study area adversely affected. Many ...


Designing Data Collection For Decision-Making: Shaping The Coastal First Nations Regional Monitoring System To Meet The Needs Of The Nations, Erica Olson, Brendan Connors, Lara Hoshizaki, Jana Kotaska, Darcy Pickard, Marc Nelitz, Amy Groesbeck, Jordan Benner, Katherine Kellock, Anton Pitts 2018 ESSA Technologies Ltd., Canada

Designing Data Collection For Decision-Making: Shaping The Coastal First Nations Regional Monitoring System To Meet The Needs Of The Nations, Erica Olson, Brendan Connors, Lara Hoshizaki, Jana Kotaska, Darcy Pickard, Marc Nelitz, Amy Groesbeck, Jordan Benner, Katherine Kellock, Anton Pitts

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Coastal First Nations (CFN) Regional Monitoring System (RMS) was redeveloped to support decisions related to threats to ecological and cultural values, resulting from changes to existing and impending resource use on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia. As First Nations reassert their governance authority, participate in shared decision-making with other governments, undertake land and marine use planning, and manage their territories and resources, the need for coordinated regional monitoring efforts are increasingly important. We used a systematic and inclusive strategy to determine a suitable monitoring approach to meet the needs of a diverse group of Nations across ...


Salish Sea Bull Kelp Restoration Research: Local, Regional And International Collaborations, William Heath, Sherryl Bisgrove 2018 Project Watershed Society, Canada

Salish Sea Bull Kelp Restoration Research: Local, Regional And International Collaborations, William Heath, Sherryl Bisgrove

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Bull kelp forests are important nearshore habitats for many fish and invertebrates and are an integral part of the “salmon highway” from river to estuary to ocean and back. In recent decades kelp forests have been in serious decline in the Salish Sea and other coastal regions. Research to improve our understanding of causes of the decline and on restoration methods began in the north Salish Sea in 2011 with a kelp out-planting project by Nile Creek Enhancement Society(NCES) at Hornby Island. NCES and Project Watershed began a collaboration in 2015 with work in the K'omoks Estuary and ...


Salmon-Safe Farms, Ellen Southard, Amelia Bahr 2018 Salmon-Safe, United States

Salmon-Safe Farms, Ellen Southard, Amelia Bahr

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Stewardship Partners recognizes the crucial role farmers play in the protection of our watersheds and salmon populations, leading us to implement the Salmon-Safe program in Washington in 2004 to support landowners who are promoting and practicing sustainable land management to combat environmental degradation. To date, we have added more than 100 different Washington State farms and vineyards to the program — ensuring the restoration and maintenance of watershed health across tens of thousands of agricultural acres. Since the major salmon streams in the Puget Sound basin flow through the most productive agricultural valleys, conservation efforts aimed at protecting salmon and improving ...


A Tale Of Two Sea Stars: Recovery (Ochre Star) Or Endangerment (Sunflower Star) Following The 2014 Epidemic, Miranda Winningham, Morgan E. Eisenlord, Joseph Gaydos, Diego Montecino-Latorre, Janna Nichols, Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Catherine D. Harvell 2018 Cornell Univ., United States

A Tale Of Two Sea Stars: Recovery (Ochre Star) Or Endangerment (Sunflower Star) Following The 2014 Epidemic, Miranda Winningham, Morgan E. Eisenlord, Joseph Gaydos, Diego Montecino-Latorre, Janna Nichols, Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Catherine D. Harvell

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

During the summers of 2013 and 2014, populations of sea stars along the west coast from Alaska to Mexico were decimated by the sea star wasting disease (SSWD) epizootic. Two of the most highly affected species along this range are Pisaster ochraceus (the ochre star), the most common intertidal species, and Pycnopodia helianthoides (the sunflower star), the most common subtidal species, both of which are endemic to the western coast of the U.S. For the ochre star, in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, we measured high case fatality rates associated with disease prevalence over 90% during the ...


Characterizing Underwater Radiated Noise From Pacific Whale Watch Association Vessels, David Hannay, Brett Soberg 2018 JASCO Applied Sciences, Canada

Characterizing Underwater Radiated Noise From Pacific Whale Watch Association Vessels, David Hannay, Brett Soberg

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The commercial whale watch industry is interested in understanding the nature of underwater noise produced by whale watch vessels, to help their operators minimize noise emissions. Most focus on vessel-related noise has been on large commercial shipping vessels, with very little attention paid to the smaller vessel types used for commercial whale watching and for recreational purposes. Whale watch companies need this information to guide choices of equipment, such as propulsion systems, to minimize noise emissions that lead to exposures of the marine fauna that are the focus of their industry. In summer 2017, several Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA ...


Bringing High Resolution Land Cover Products To The Puget Sound Region And U.S., Melissa Rosa 2018 NOAA Office for Coastal Management, United States

Bringing High Resolution Land Cover Products To The Puget Sound Region And U.S., Melissa Rosa

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Understanding land cover patterns and their changes is essential to comprehensive natural resource management and conservation planning. Land cover products derived from satellite imagery and other remotely sensed data can provide information for resource inventories and assessments, track progress of management plans, and monitor impacts of ecosystem change at the landscape scale. For almost two decades, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management has been using satellite imagery to produce standardized, regional land cover and change information for the coastal U.S. through its Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). C-CAP products are updated every five years and provide additional wetland categories ...


Effects Of Warm Ocean Temperatures On Bull Kelp Forests In The Salish Sea, Braeden Schiltroth, Sherryl Bisgrove, Bill Heath 2018 Simon Fraser Univ., Canada

Effects Of Warm Ocean Temperatures On Bull Kelp Forests In The Salish Sea, Braeden Schiltroth, Sherryl Bisgrove, Bill Heath

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Kelp beds are marine sanctuaries, providing some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet and serving as critical habitat and refuge for many species, including juvenile salmon. Rising ocean temperature associated with climate change is a major stressor contributing to declines of kelp forests worldwide. In the Salish Sea, we identified bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) populations growing under two different temperature regimes. Since 2011, kelp growing in the central Strait of Georgia has been exposed to sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of 15-21 °C in the summer months, which is 5-6 °C warmer than temperatures in the Strait of Juan ...


The Pacific Salmon Explorer: A Data Driven Look At Salmon Populations And Their Habitats, Katrina Connors, Eileen Jones, Leah Honka, Katy Kellock, Eric Hertz, Brian Riddell 2018 Pacific Salmon Foundation, Canada

The Pacific Salmon Explorer: A Data Driven Look At Salmon Populations And Their Habitats, Katrina Connors, Eileen Jones, Leah Honka, Katy Kellock, Eric Hertz, Brian Riddell

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The lack of a centralized, standardized, and easily accessible repository of information on the state of natural resources, and threats to them, can undermine efforts to make informed, transparent, and evidenced-based management and conservation decisions. This is the case with Pacific salmon in British Columbia (BC), where a lack of information on the current status of salmon population and their habitats is undermining public confidence in the ability of government agencies to sustainability manage Pacific salmon populations. In an effort to provide broader public access to salmon datasets, the Pacific Salmon Foundation embarked on a major initiative to synthesize the ...


Using Passive Acoustics To Monitor Galiano Glass Sponge Reef, Amalis Riera, Stephanie Archer, William Halliday, Xavier Mouy, Matthew Pine, Anya Dunham, Francis Juanes 2018 Univ. of Victoria, Canada

Using Passive Acoustics To Monitor Galiano Glass Sponge Reef, Amalis Riera, Stephanie Archer, William Halliday, Xavier Mouy, Matthew Pine, Anya Dunham, Francis Juanes

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Structured biogenic habitats are biodiversity hotspots that host a wide range of soniferous species. Glass Sponge Reefs (GSRs) are rare and sensitive systems that have only been documented in shelf habitats in the Northeast Pacific from Portland Canal to the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Galiano Reef is a GSR located in the Salish Sea, in the Outer Gulf Islands Sponge Reef fishing closure, British Columbia, Canada. Little is known about the soundscapes of these deep-water systems and the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on them. Here we describe the biophony and the anthropophony on and outside of Galiano ...


Quantifying Marine Vessel Traffic From Aerial Surveys In The Salish Sea, Norma Serra-Sogas, Patrick O'Hara, Rosaline Canessa, Lauren McWhinnie 2018 Univ. of Victoria, Canada

Quantifying Marine Vessel Traffic From Aerial Surveys In The Salish Sea, Norma Serra-Sogas, Patrick O'Hara, Rosaline Canessa, Lauren Mcwhinnie

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

There are a number of potential impacts associated with vessel traffic on marine ecosystems, including noise and oil pollution, ship-strikes, and fishing and fisheries bycatch. To assess these impacts, many studies employ marine traffic data collected using Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) onboard vessels. However, AIS only captures a fraction of the actual marine traffic because it omits many of the smaller vessels, which are not legally required to carry AIS. Without this information, the assessment of vessel-associated impacts based on AIS is inherently flawed, and underestimated. The NEMES (Noise Exposure to the Marine Environment from Ships) project is particularly interested ...


Puget Sound Habitat Status And Trends Monitoring Program: Nearshore And Large River Delta Geospatial Data And Habitat Status And Trends Monitoring Metrics, Jason Hall, Alex Stefankiv, Britta Timpane-Padgham, Martin Liermann, Timothy J. Beechie, George R. Pess 2018 Northwest Fisheries Science Ctr., United States

Puget Sound Habitat Status And Trends Monitoring Program: Nearshore And Large River Delta Geospatial Data And Habitat Status And Trends Monitoring Metrics, Jason Hall, Alex Stefankiv, Britta Timpane-Padgham, Martin Liermann, Timothy J. Beechie, George R. Pess

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The Puget Sound Habitat Status and Trends Monitoring (PSHSTM) program was developed to provide consistent salmon habitat status and trends data to support status reviews of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmon populations across Puget Sound’s major population groups. Our approach primarily relies on readily available and regularly updated aerial imagery to consistently map key habitat features at a regional scale. We have developed a census-based approach to map key habitat features throughout the nearshore, large river delta, large river, and floodplain environments across Puget Sound. This presentation will focus on our mapping efforts in Puget Sound’s nearshore ...


Research Into The Cause Of Brackish Marsh Recession In The Fraser River Estuary, Brent Gurd, Sean Boyd, Eric Balke, Richard Marijnissen, Brad Mason, Kathleen Moore 2018 British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Canada

Research Into The Cause Of Brackish Marsh Recession In The Fraser River Estuary, Brent Gurd, Sean Boyd, Eric Balke, Richard Marijnissen, Brad Mason, Kathleen Moore

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

At least 160 ha (30%) of the brackish marsh on Sturgeon Bank in the Fraser River estuary have disappeared since 1989. A collaborative effort between the provincial and federal governments and industry aims to determine the cause(s) of the recession to inform future restoration efforts. Three adjacent low-elevation brackish marshes along the delta front have also receded to varying degrees. River training structures and regular dredging of the Fraser River divert sediments and fresh water, and thus alter sediment and salinity patterns along the delta front. Lesser snow geese (Anser c. caerulescens) preferentially grub bulrush, and the Fraser-Skagit population ...


Genetic Structure Of The Bull-Kelp Nereocystis Luetkeana In The Salish Sea, Lily Gierke, Bobby San Miguel, Tom Mumford, Filipe Alberto 2018 Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, United States

Genetic Structure Of The Bull-Kelp Nereocystis Luetkeana In The Salish Sea, Lily Gierke, Bobby San Miguel, Tom Mumford, Filipe Alberto

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

Despite its vast geographic range and important role in coastal ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest, the bull kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana, has historically not been as widely studied as its globally distributed sister kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. To date, there have been no published studies on the population genetic structure of Nereocystis luetkeana. We developed 10 polymorphic microsatellite markers with 454 sequencing and used them to genotype a total of over 1000 samples distributed from over 32 sites within the Salish Sea. Anthropogenic impact in the Salish Sea has been associated with decreasing kelp cover in areas close to large urban centers ...


Skokomish Estuary Restoration Monitoring, Lisa Belleveau 2018 Skokomish Indian Tribe, United States

Skokomish Estuary Restoration Monitoring, Lisa Belleveau

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

In 2007 the Skokomish Tribe began breaking ground with a phased estuary restoration project. Since then almost 1000 acres have been reintroduced to tidal influence, which was restricted for hundreds of years. The objectives of this project are to restore salmon habitat to help revive the salmon population. In order to measure the success of the project at attaining these goals a monitoring plan was created. With funds provided by the Environmental Protection Agency the Tribe has been conducting estuary monitoring since 2011. Monitoring includes vegetation paired with pore-water salinity and sediment changes; tidal channel depth, temperature, and salinity; as ...


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