Presentation Title

Reporting on the Health of the Salish Sea using Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators

Session Title

Session S-10F: Understanding and Communicating Salish Sea Human Dimensions and Ecological Health

Conference Track

Planning Assessment & Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Start Date

2-5-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

2-5-2014 3:00 PM

Abstract

The Salish Sea ecosystem is a transboundary area of ecological, social and economic significance. In 2000, the USEPA and EC signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation to facilitate cross-border understanding, dialogue, and collaboration on Salish Sea issues. From this partnership came the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project to track progress in managing the Salish Sea ecosystem, and to identify priorities for action. The most recent report, which was published in 2013, updates previous indicators and expands the suite of information to increase their relevance to ecosystem health, including human well-being. Mixed trends have been observed among transboundary indicators, reflecting the complexity of the ecosystem. Improvements were demonstrated among indicators of air quality, freshwater quality and toxics in the food web. Declining trends were observed among indicators of marine water quality, marine species at risk, Chinook salmon and summer stream flow. Variable or neutral trends were observed among indicators of southern resident killer whale abundance, access to shellfish beaches and access to swimming beaches. The suite of transboundary indicators represents an integrated system of receptors to multiple drivers and pressures. Two primary drivers of change in the Salish Sea ecosystem health are climate change and population growth. Global scale climate change impacts on marine dissolved oxygen, summer stream flow, and habitat and species composition have been reported in the literature. Population growth and associated conflicts in landscape and water demands have also reported, however their impacts take place on more localized scales than climate change. Impacts of these key drivers on Salish Sea ecosystem health should be better characterized and responses to ecosystem change should be discussed to facilitate the sharing of best management practices. Partnerships that were developed over the course of the Salish Sea Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project will likely prove beneficial to understanding drivers and identifying responses to indicator trends.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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May 2nd, 1:30 PM May 2nd, 3:00 PM

Reporting on the Health of the Salish Sea using Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators

Room 602-603

The Salish Sea ecosystem is a transboundary area of ecological, social and economic significance. In 2000, the USEPA and EC signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation to facilitate cross-border understanding, dialogue, and collaboration on Salish Sea issues. From this partnership came the Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project to track progress in managing the Salish Sea ecosystem, and to identify priorities for action. The most recent report, which was published in 2013, updates previous indicators and expands the suite of information to increase their relevance to ecosystem health, including human well-being. Mixed trends have been observed among transboundary indicators, reflecting the complexity of the ecosystem. Improvements were demonstrated among indicators of air quality, freshwater quality and toxics in the food web. Declining trends were observed among indicators of marine water quality, marine species at risk, Chinook salmon and summer stream flow. Variable or neutral trends were observed among indicators of southern resident killer whale abundance, access to shellfish beaches and access to swimming beaches. The suite of transboundary indicators represents an integrated system of receptors to multiple drivers and pressures. Two primary drivers of change in the Salish Sea ecosystem health are climate change and population growth. Global scale climate change impacts on marine dissolved oxygen, summer stream flow, and habitat and species composition have been reported in the literature. Population growth and associated conflicts in landscape and water demands have also reported, however their impacts take place on more localized scales than climate change. Impacts of these key drivers on Salish Sea ecosystem health should be better characterized and responses to ecosystem change should be discussed to facilitate the sharing of best management practices. Partnerships that were developed over the course of the Salish Sea Transboundary Ecosystem Indicators project will likely prove beneficial to understanding drivers and identifying responses to indicator trends.