Event Title

Integrating global climate change stressors and human health and well-being endpoints into a Bayesian network relative risk model of the Skagit River

Presentation Abstract

Global climate change (GCC) is expected to have widespread impacts on future ecosystem services in the Salish Sea. In this research, we focused on the question of how stressors generated by GCC affect contaminant toxicity to marine species in the Skagit River, WA. Specifically we assessed how those combined effects potentially influence risks to the river’s ecosystem services that, in turn, impact human health and well-being. To answer this question, we are conducting an ecological risk assessment using the Bayesian network Relative Risk Model (BN-RRM). It is a quantitative, probability-based model that calculates complex relationships between ecological variables to provide estimates of risk to valued receptors (endpoints). The Skagit River study area contains important habitats for native salmon species and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). These species provide numerous ecological, economic, cultural, and spiritual benefits to humans. Its floodplains also provide fertile, highly productive croplands, making it an important agricultural center in the region. Pesticide use on croplands in the watershed currently pose risks to these non-target species that may increase in severity with GCC. Increasing water temperature, decreasing dissolved oxygen levels, and changes in seawater pH are of particular concern, as are changing river and stream flows, increasing storm event frequency and intensity, and sea level rise. These stressors have potential to impact human health and well-being endpoints such as human health, water quality, salmon fisheries, tribal cultural and community health indicators, recreation areas, tourism, agriculture, boating, fishing, and shellfishing. The BN-RRM will enable us to calculate the risks posed by pesticides on these select endpoints in the Skagit River watershed due to climate change. Once constructed the BN-RRM can also serve as a useful tool for resource managers and decision-makers to direct future research efforts in the watershed, as well as in other watersheds in the Salish Sea region.

Session Title

Posters: Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, & Research

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-6

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Integrating global climate change stressors and human health and well-being endpoints into a Bayesian network relative risk model of the Skagit River

Global climate change (GCC) is expected to have widespread impacts on future ecosystem services in the Salish Sea. In this research, we focused on the question of how stressors generated by GCC affect contaminant toxicity to marine species in the Skagit River, WA. Specifically we assessed how those combined effects potentially influence risks to the river’s ecosystem services that, in turn, impact human health and well-being. To answer this question, we are conducting an ecological risk assessment using the Bayesian network Relative Risk Model (BN-RRM). It is a quantitative, probability-based model that calculates complex relationships between ecological variables to provide estimates of risk to valued receptors (endpoints). The Skagit River study area contains important habitats for native salmon species and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). These species provide numerous ecological, economic, cultural, and spiritual benefits to humans. Its floodplains also provide fertile, highly productive croplands, making it an important agricultural center in the region. Pesticide use on croplands in the watershed currently pose risks to these non-target species that may increase in severity with GCC. Increasing water temperature, decreasing dissolved oxygen levels, and changes in seawater pH are of particular concern, as are changing river and stream flows, increasing storm event frequency and intensity, and sea level rise. These stressors have potential to impact human health and well-being endpoints such as human health, water quality, salmon fisheries, tribal cultural and community health indicators, recreation areas, tourism, agriculture, boating, fishing, and shellfishing. The BN-RRM will enable us to calculate the risks posed by pesticides on these select endpoints in the Skagit River watershed due to climate change. Once constructed the BN-RRM can also serve as a useful tool for resource managers and decision-makers to direct future research efforts in the watershed, as well as in other watersheds in the Salish Sea region.