Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Toward Coordinated Resilience Planning Where People and Ecosystems are Being Squeezed by Climate Change

Description

Estuary restoration is a critical piece to the salmon recovery puzzle. In the Skagit River, where salmon are a cornerstone of tribal culture and economy, it is estimated that an additional 2,700 acres of estuary habitat is needed for a sustainable Chinook population. The delta also supports a strong agricultural economy and community that faces risks from floods and aging flood/drainage infrastructure. Climate change is further anticipated to impact estuarine habitat, agriculture, and flooding. As with many places in the Salish Sea, the Skagit Delta land base is limited; key stakeholders have formed a partnership under the Farms, Fish and Floods Initiative (3FI) to help craft a long term vision for salmon recovery, reduced flood risk, and agriculture viability.

One project that contributes to 3FI’s work is the Skagit Delta Hydrodynamic Model Project. This project is a landscape-scale assessment with the goal of developing a suite of well-supported actions to achieve long-term viability of Chinook salmon and community flood risk reduction in a manner that protects and enhances agriculture and drainage. Representatives from each interest developed a suite of objectives against which individual or groups of restoration concepts could be measured to identify those that have the greatest potential to provide multiple benefits. The objectives require hydrodynamic modeling, estimates of habitat connectivity and smolt production, predictions of sediment transport processes, GIS calculations, and use of local flood knowledge. Having each interest group identify their objectives is key to ensuring that the results are meaningful.

In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the assessment, objects, and initial results and how climate change and cumulative impacts are being considered. We will also discuss our communications with local agriculture, flood and restoration groups to ensure the process reflects local values and knowledge, and the suite of prioritized restoration concepts are well-supported.

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Thinking Big: An Assessment of 22 Estuarine Restoration Concepts to Achieve Net Gain for Fish, Floods and Farms in the Skagit Delta

2016SSEC

Estuary restoration is a critical piece to the salmon recovery puzzle. In the Skagit River, where salmon are a cornerstone of tribal culture and economy, it is estimated that an additional 2,700 acres of estuary habitat is needed for a sustainable Chinook population. The delta also supports a strong agricultural economy and community that faces risks from floods and aging flood/drainage infrastructure. Climate change is further anticipated to impact estuarine habitat, agriculture, and flooding. As with many places in the Salish Sea, the Skagit Delta land base is limited; key stakeholders have formed a partnership under the Farms, Fish and Floods Initiative (3FI) to help craft a long term vision for salmon recovery, reduced flood risk, and agriculture viability.

One project that contributes to 3FI’s work is the Skagit Delta Hydrodynamic Model Project. This project is a landscape-scale assessment with the goal of developing a suite of well-supported actions to achieve long-term viability of Chinook salmon and community flood risk reduction in a manner that protects and enhances agriculture and drainage. Representatives from each interest developed a suite of objectives against which individual or groups of restoration concepts could be measured to identify those that have the greatest potential to provide multiple benefits. The objectives require hydrodynamic modeling, estimates of habitat connectivity and smolt production, predictions of sediment transport processes, GIS calculations, and use of local flood knowledge. Having each interest group identify their objectives is key to ensuring that the results are meaningful.

In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the assessment, objects, and initial results and how climate change and cumulative impacts are being considered. We will also discuss our communications with local agriculture, flood and restoration groups to ensure the process reflects local values and knowledge, and the suite of prioritized restoration concepts are well-supported.