Proposed Abstract Title

Evaluating Threats in Multinational Marine Ecosystems: A Coast Salish First Nations and Tribal Perspective

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

This presentation will illustrate the challenges of evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span jurisdictions and countries. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. We identified ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea, and evaluated threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish peoples depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue, as a staple food source, for cultural and spiritual significance, and as part of Coast Salish lifeways since time out of mind. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. We evaluated threats based on available published data and estimated that impacts are likely to occur in 23 to 28% of the possible pressure/species scenarios and are possible in another 15 to 28% additional pressure/species interactions. Our findings show the value of evaluating multiple threats at the level of the ecosystem, and highlight the serious need for managers of multinational ecosystems to actively collaborate on evaluating threats, assessing risk, and managing resources.

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Evaluating Threats in Multinational Marine Ecosystems: A Coast Salish First Nations and Tribal Perspective

2016SSEC

This presentation will illustrate the challenges of evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span jurisdictions and countries. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. We identified ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea, and evaluated threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish peoples depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue, as a staple food source, for cultural and spiritual significance, and as part of Coast Salish lifeways since time out of mind. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. We evaluated threats based on available published data and estimated that impacts are likely to occur in 23 to 28% of the possible pressure/species scenarios and are possible in another 15 to 28% additional pressure/species interactions. Our findings show the value of evaluating multiple threats at the level of the ecosystem, and highlight the serious need for managers of multinational ecosystems to actively collaborate on evaluating threats, assessing risk, and managing resources.