Proposed Abstract Title

An Indicator Approach to Transboundary Characterizations of the Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Softening Borders through Information Exchange: Monitoring and Indicator- Efforts Within and Across Boundaries in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Transboundary collaboration towards characterization of the health of the Salish Sea ecosystem is ongoing and conducted in a manner that both builds on previous work and provides opportunities for temporal trend evaluation. . In 1994, the British Columbia – Washington (BC-WA) Marine Science Panel of the Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) prepared a report on status and future environmental quality trends in shared waters including the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. This presentation revisits the outcomes of the report to set the stage for contrast and comparison among subsequent initiatives, including the Health of the Salish Sea indicator reports developed under the Environment Canada – US Environmental Protection Agency (EC-EPA) Statement of Cooperation (SOC) for the Salish Sea. Questions that the Panel was charged to answer would benefit from current characterizations of ecosystem health. An additional question to consider is whether ecosystem indicators are being used beyond depicting recent trends, and if so, where they are applied to anticipate future conditions and management needs.

In 2000, USEPA and EC signed an SOC to facilitate cross-border understanding, dialogue, and collaboration on Salish Sea issues. From this partnership came the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project to track progress in managing the Salish Sea ecosystem, and to identify priorities for action. The project published reports in 2003, 2006 and 2013. Under the 2016 Action Plan for the SOC, the project team has been tasked with updating and expanding the current suite of indicators on the state of air, water, species and human wellbeing. Emphasis will be placed on developing leading diagnostic indicators to advance the utility of Salish Sea ecosystem health characterizations. This paper also will reflect on projections from the 1994 Marine Science Panel report, and present progress towards the 2016 Action Plan commitment for the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project.

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An Indicator Approach to Transboundary Characterizations of the Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem

2016SSEC

Transboundary collaboration towards characterization of the health of the Salish Sea ecosystem is ongoing and conducted in a manner that both builds on previous work and provides opportunities for temporal trend evaluation. . In 1994, the British Columbia – Washington (BC-WA) Marine Science Panel of the Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) prepared a report on status and future environmental quality trends in shared waters including the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. This presentation revisits the outcomes of the report to set the stage for contrast and comparison among subsequent initiatives, including the Health of the Salish Sea indicator reports developed under the Environment Canada – US Environmental Protection Agency (EC-EPA) Statement of Cooperation (SOC) for the Salish Sea. Questions that the Panel was charged to answer would benefit from current characterizations of ecosystem health. An additional question to consider is whether ecosystem indicators are being used beyond depicting recent trends, and if so, where they are applied to anticipate future conditions and management needs.

In 2000, USEPA and EC signed an SOC to facilitate cross-border understanding, dialogue, and collaboration on Salish Sea issues. From this partnership came the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project to track progress in managing the Salish Sea ecosystem, and to identify priorities for action. The project published reports in 2003, 2006 and 2013. Under the 2016 Action Plan for the SOC, the project team has been tasked with updating and expanding the current suite of indicators on the state of air, water, species and human wellbeing. Emphasis will be placed on developing leading diagnostic indicators to advance the utility of Salish Sea ecosystem health characterizations. This paper also will reflect on projections from the 1994 Marine Science Panel report, and present progress towards the 2016 Action Plan commitment for the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project.