Abstract Title

Session S-06D: Marine Survival of Salmon and Steelhead: the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project

Proposed Abstract Title

Resilient and Effective Ecosystem Governance: The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer International Task Force Two Decades Later

Presenter/Author Information

Stephanie MessaFollow

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Location

Room 6C

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

The Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer located along the border of Southern British Columbia and Western Washington is used by over 100,000 people. This aquifer has been plagued with nitrate contamination well above the safe drinking water standards on either side of the border for over two decades. Studies have proven that a reduction in nitrate leaching is necessary to improve the health of the aquifer. Several organizations at various scales have set out to accomplish this task. One of these organizations is the Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer International Task Force, a subcommittee of the Environmental Cooperation Council. The task force was initiated after the ECC declared the aquifer one of the five highest environmental priorities and was created as part of the BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Agreement in 1992. Although it has recommended various best management practices over the years, it has not been successful in sustaining nitrate reduction overall. Further, the task force took a six year hiatus from 2007-2013, but has recently reconvened. In typical environmental management scenarios this would indicate a crisis-mode, which begs the question why has the task force re-started and will the institution be more resilient than it was? Could an adaptive management approach provide a framework for effective ecosystem governance? Finally, what do stakeholders feel the mission and future direction of the Task Force is?

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Resilient and Effective Ecosystem Governance: The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer International Task Force Two Decades Later

Room 6C

The Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer located along the border of Southern British Columbia and Western Washington is used by over 100,000 people. This aquifer has been plagued with nitrate contamination well above the safe drinking water standards on either side of the border for over two decades. Studies have proven that a reduction in nitrate leaching is necessary to improve the health of the aquifer. Several organizations at various scales have set out to accomplish this task. One of these organizations is the Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer International Task Force, a subcommittee of the Environmental Cooperation Council. The task force was initiated after the ECC declared the aquifer one of the five highest environmental priorities and was created as part of the BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Agreement in 1992. Although it has recommended various best management practices over the years, it has not been successful in sustaining nitrate reduction overall. Further, the task force took a six year hiatus from 2007-2013, but has recently reconvened. In typical environmental management scenarios this would indicate a crisis-mode, which begs the question why has the task force re-started and will the institution be more resilient than it was? Could an adaptive management approach provide a framework for effective ecosystem governance? Finally, what do stakeholders feel the mission and future direction of the Task Force is?