Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Long term studies reveal the complex dynamics and interconnectivity of the physical, geomorphic, biological systems of Salish Sea shorelines and how these systems interact with social and political systems

Description

As commercial vessel activity increases globally it is important to understand the potential impacts of boat generated waves (vessel wake) on coastal marine ecosystems. Due to growing concerns regarding vessel wake effects on coastal and inland waterways, wake impact studies have been conducted for proposed commercial transport operations in Canada and abroad. Indicators of biological changes in coastal ecosystems due to vessel wake are not well understood and few studies have been conducted to predict the effects of vessel wake on shoreline ecosystems.

The Rich Passage shore response study is a multi-disciplinary study designed to evaluate the environmental feasibility of re-introducing high speed passenger only fast ferry service in Puget Sound. A previous attempt to establish regular passenger only fast ferry service along the Seattle to Bremerton route proved problematic due to the negative effect of fast ferry wake wash on the shorelines of Rich Passage, the narrowest portion of the route. This long-term interdisciplinary study characterized substrate types, macroalgae, eelgrass and marine invertebrate communities along the Rich Passage ferry route over 14 years. This presentation will discuss the values and limitations of using long term data sets to evaluate wake related effects on ecosystem receptors along the Rich Passage transport route.

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Using long term datasets to evaluate wake effects on coastal marine ecosystems

2016SSEC

As commercial vessel activity increases globally it is important to understand the potential impacts of boat generated waves (vessel wake) on coastal marine ecosystems. Due to growing concerns regarding vessel wake effects on coastal and inland waterways, wake impact studies have been conducted for proposed commercial transport operations in Canada and abroad. Indicators of biological changes in coastal ecosystems due to vessel wake are not well understood and few studies have been conducted to predict the effects of vessel wake on shoreline ecosystems.

The Rich Passage shore response study is a multi-disciplinary study designed to evaluate the environmental feasibility of re-introducing high speed passenger only fast ferry service in Puget Sound. A previous attempt to establish regular passenger only fast ferry service along the Seattle to Bremerton route proved problematic due to the negative effect of fast ferry wake wash on the shorelines of Rich Passage, the narrowest portion of the route. This long-term interdisciplinary study characterized substrate types, macroalgae, eelgrass and marine invertebrate communities along the Rich Passage ferry route over 14 years. This presentation will discuss the values and limitations of using long term data sets to evaluate wake related effects on ecosystem receptors along the Rich Passage transport route.