Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Integrating Science with Landowner Outreach to Increase Coastal Resiliency

Description

The Washington Department of Ecology Coastal Monitoring & Analysis Program has developed an objective, systematic, and data-based approach to identifying and prioritizing intact shorelines (drift cells) that offer a high potential for learning, protection, and restoration, combined with a convergence of stakeholder interest and institutional capacity for collaborative nearshore ecosystem management. The approach and current criteria used identifies highest-priority drift cells with feeder bluffs that actively provide sediment to the nearshore and sustain an unusually high level of ecosystem services. The approach is intended to serve as a model for determining where in the landscape to strategically invest capital and social inputs for protection and restoration efforts. Spatial analysis of widely available physical, ecological, and social data and the use of multiple criteria, metrics, and their relative weighting provide initial assessment of high-value locations, while site monitoring, characterization, and geomorphic change analysis can provide refined information to guide the specific approach to ecosystem management for each site.

With over 1000 drift cells in Puget Sound, the current project identified 17 ‘top-tier’ and 24 ‘second-tier’ drift cells as well as 105 ‘third-tier’ drift cells that represent 163, 143, and 406 km of shoreline, respectively. The drift cells within the ‘top-tier’ category are predominantly located in north Puget Sound; only one site is located in south central or south Puget Sound sub-basins, whereas 8 of the 24 ‘second-tier’ sites are located in these southern basins. The current criteria used emphasizes drift cells that offer the greatest potential return on ecosystem services per quantity of capital and social investment, thus there is an inherent bias toward projects involving protection over restoration. However, given the anthropogenic overlay and influence on the landscape, opportunities for restoration are essentially ubiquitous.

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A geospatial approach to prioritizing drift cells for strategic protection, restoration, and enhancement

2016SSEC

The Washington Department of Ecology Coastal Monitoring & Analysis Program has developed an objective, systematic, and data-based approach to identifying and prioritizing intact shorelines (drift cells) that offer a high potential for learning, protection, and restoration, combined with a convergence of stakeholder interest and institutional capacity for collaborative nearshore ecosystem management. The approach and current criteria used identifies highest-priority drift cells with feeder bluffs that actively provide sediment to the nearshore and sustain an unusually high level of ecosystem services. The approach is intended to serve as a model for determining where in the landscape to strategically invest capital and social inputs for protection and restoration efforts. Spatial analysis of widely available physical, ecological, and social data and the use of multiple criteria, metrics, and their relative weighting provide initial assessment of high-value locations, while site monitoring, characterization, and geomorphic change analysis can provide refined information to guide the specific approach to ecosystem management for each site.

With over 1000 drift cells in Puget Sound, the current project identified 17 ‘top-tier’ and 24 ‘second-tier’ drift cells as well as 105 ‘third-tier’ drift cells that represent 163, 143, and 406 km of shoreline, respectively. The drift cells within the ‘top-tier’ category are predominantly located in north Puget Sound; only one site is located in south central or south Puget Sound sub-basins, whereas 8 of the 24 ‘second-tier’ sites are located in these southern basins. The current criteria used emphasizes drift cells that offer the greatest potential return on ecosystem services per quantity of capital and social investment, thus there is an inherent bias toward projects involving protection over restoration. However, given the anthropogenic overlay and influence on the landscape, opportunities for restoration are essentially ubiquitous.