Proposed Abstract Title

Recovery of the intertidal communities in Howe Sound: 25+ years of monitoring data analysis and modeling.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Howe Sound's Time is Now: Knowledge and Planning in Action

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Marine biological community in Howe Sound (British Columbia, Canada) adjacent to Georgia Strait has been recovering over the last two decades since initiation of more stringent enforcement of environmental standards. Closure of one of the two pulp mills, improvement in the effluent treatment at the second pulp mill and at the former copper mine site, as well as a number of remediation and restoration projects led to the reduction of the contamination load on Howe Sound. Intertidal community monitoring has been conducted in the area since 1990, which documented some recovery of intertidal species diversity and abundance. However, the recovery at the sites heavily impacted by industrial effluents and historically accumulated marine depositions was minimal compared to the recovery of the less impacted sites. Data collected since 1990 at several sites located along contamination gradient were analyzed with the following questions in mind: (a) what are the dynamics of recovery at the sites with different impact level? (b) what are the major factors impairing recovery? (d) What are the key species that could facilitate the successional recovery at the site? (e) Can we accelerate the recovery of intertidal communities though physical and biological habitat enhancement? The results of the analysis and data modeling are presented to illustrate recovery of marine communities in multi-stressor environments and can be applied to develop management to facilitate successful marine ecosystem recover post-pollution abatement.

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Recovery of the intertidal communities in Howe Sound: 25+ years of monitoring data analysis and modeling.

2016SSEC

Marine biological community in Howe Sound (British Columbia, Canada) adjacent to Georgia Strait has been recovering over the last two decades since initiation of more stringent enforcement of environmental standards. Closure of one of the two pulp mills, improvement in the effluent treatment at the second pulp mill and at the former copper mine site, as well as a number of remediation and restoration projects led to the reduction of the contamination load on Howe Sound. Intertidal community monitoring has been conducted in the area since 1990, which documented some recovery of intertidal species diversity and abundance. However, the recovery at the sites heavily impacted by industrial effluents and historically accumulated marine depositions was minimal compared to the recovery of the less impacted sites. Data collected since 1990 at several sites located along contamination gradient were analyzed with the following questions in mind: (a) what are the dynamics of recovery at the sites with different impact level? (b) what are the major factors impairing recovery? (d) What are the key species that could facilitate the successional recovery at the site? (e) Can we accelerate the recovery of intertidal communities though physical and biological habitat enhancement? The results of the analysis and data modeling are presented to illustrate recovery of marine communities in multi-stressor environments and can be applied to develop management to facilitate successful marine ecosystem recover post-pollution abatement.