Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Decision support tools to support adaptive management of Salish Sea restoration efforts

Description

The restoration and management of the Salish Sea, the classic large-scale system, without a structured decision making process is unworkable. Given the alterations in the environment induced by climate change, alterations in landuse, and changes in technology the future is full of Black Swans. The change in the goalposts for remediation and restoration brought about by changing cultural norms is the definition of Wicked Problems, those problems that do not have a final management solution. Adaptive management is often hailed as the process for the management of landscapes. Unfortunately the analytical tools necessary to implement an adaptive management approach have not developed to match the need. One of the assumptions of AM is that testable predictions are made that then can be tested by before and after management implementation (BACI) design. BACI designs have a number of assumptions, one of which is that natural factors are in a natural equilibrium be it static or dynamic. At a scale for large-scale restoration this assumption will be violated given climate change and technological innovation. Ecological risk assessment or derived approaches such as a probabilistic pressure assessments offer an alternate means of making predictions that embraces stakeholder values, environmental change and the associated uncertainty. Incorporating Bayesian networks into the relative risk model (BN-RRM) allows probabilistic predictions to be made regarding risks due to specific stressors. Management options can be evaluated and the magnitude of change in risk to endpoints evaluated. Sensitivity analysis points to the variables most important to monitor and with what degree of accuracy and precision. The models are updateable as new information is obtained from field monitoring or related research. If the goalposts move because of changing cultural values or new information, the distance to these new expectations can be calculated and new solutions proposed. We will demonstrate how the management scheme works with examples from contaminated sites, non-point contamination and invasive species.

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Black Swans, Adaptive Managment and the Future of the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

The restoration and management of the Salish Sea, the classic large-scale system, without a structured decision making process is unworkable. Given the alterations in the environment induced by climate change, alterations in landuse, and changes in technology the future is full of Black Swans. The change in the goalposts for remediation and restoration brought about by changing cultural norms is the definition of Wicked Problems, those problems that do not have a final management solution. Adaptive management is often hailed as the process for the management of landscapes. Unfortunately the analytical tools necessary to implement an adaptive management approach have not developed to match the need. One of the assumptions of AM is that testable predictions are made that then can be tested by before and after management implementation (BACI) design. BACI designs have a number of assumptions, one of which is that natural factors are in a natural equilibrium be it static or dynamic. At a scale for large-scale restoration this assumption will be violated given climate change and technological innovation. Ecological risk assessment or derived approaches such as a probabilistic pressure assessments offer an alternate means of making predictions that embraces stakeholder values, environmental change and the associated uncertainty. Incorporating Bayesian networks into the relative risk model (BN-RRM) allows probabilistic predictions to be made regarding risks due to specific stressors. Management options can be evaluated and the magnitude of change in risk to endpoints evaluated. Sensitivity analysis points to the variables most important to monitor and with what degree of accuracy and precision. The models are updateable as new information is obtained from field monitoring or related research. If the goalposts move because of changing cultural values or new information, the distance to these new expectations can be calculated and new solutions proposed. We will demonstrate how the management scheme works with examples from contaminated sites, non-point contamination and invasive species.