Abstract Title

Session S-05F: Ecosystem Restoration: Geomorphic Context, Design Considerations, and Success Stories

Keywords

Restoration

Location

Room 602-603

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

Restoration science is often described as an ultimate test of ecological theory; assessing the value of restoration actions is challenged by difficulties in measuring complex interactions between restored physical processes and the response of biological resources. Yet, demonstrating the value of restoration is a key to sustaining future public investment, especially in light of uncertainty of future climate change effects. At the Nisqually River Delta, a restoration partnership between the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), the Nisqually Indian Tribe (Tribe), and Ducks Unlimited culminated in re-established tidal flow to 360 ha of historic floodplain and delta representing the largest estuarine restoration in the Pacific Northwest. Restoration of this large delta was expected to result in a substantial improvement in ecological functions and services in southern Puget Sound. The goal of our scientific team, led by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the project partners, was to assess the biophysical response to restoration. Science objectives were built into a monitoring framework to include hydrodynamics, geomorphology, sedimentation and nearshore processes with vegetation, invertebrate food resources, waterbird, and fisheries. Our science partners included the U. S. Geological Survey, Refuge, Tribe, non-governmental organizations, and universities representing several disciplines. Funding the science was challenging, since as with most wetland restoration projects, adequate funds are rarely included in costs. Instead, the managers and scientists worked together to raise funds through special funds and competitive grants including addressing climate change. With this funding model, a major challenge for the team was communicating and sustaining a vision to make separate multidisciplinary efforts into unified interdisciplinary science. Here, we use lessons learned from early results of the Nisqually River Delta restoration to discuss restoration science in planning processes, funding costs and approaches, monitoring versus applied studies, and advancing interdisciplinary findings from multidisciplinary efforts.

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Progressing from multidisciplinary to interdisciplinary restoration science: monitoring and applied studies on the Nisqually River Delta

Room 602-603

Restoration science is often described as an ultimate test of ecological theory; assessing the value of restoration actions is challenged by difficulties in measuring complex interactions between restored physical processes and the response of biological resources. Yet, demonstrating the value of restoration is a key to sustaining future public investment, especially in light of uncertainty of future climate change effects. At the Nisqually River Delta, a restoration partnership between the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), the Nisqually Indian Tribe (Tribe), and Ducks Unlimited culminated in re-established tidal flow to 360 ha of historic floodplain and delta representing the largest estuarine restoration in the Pacific Northwest. Restoration of this large delta was expected to result in a substantial improvement in ecological functions and services in southern Puget Sound. The goal of our scientific team, led by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the project partners, was to assess the biophysical response to restoration. Science objectives were built into a monitoring framework to include hydrodynamics, geomorphology, sedimentation and nearshore processes with vegetation, invertebrate food resources, waterbird, and fisheries. Our science partners included the U. S. Geological Survey, Refuge, Tribe, non-governmental organizations, and universities representing several disciplines. Funding the science was challenging, since as with most wetland restoration projects, adequate funds are rarely included in costs. Instead, the managers and scientists worked together to raise funds through special funds and competitive grants including addressing climate change. With this funding model, a major challenge for the team was communicating and sustaining a vision to make separate multidisciplinary efforts into unified interdisciplinary science. Here, we use lessons learned from early results of the Nisqually River Delta restoration to discuss restoration science in planning processes, funding costs and approaches, monitoring versus applied studies, and advancing interdisciplinary findings from multidisciplinary efforts.