Presentation Abstract

As intertidal spawners, surf smelt and Pacific sand lance are vulnerable to the effects of shoreline development – especially hard armoring which has both immediate and long-term impacts to the incubating eggs and the availability of suitable spawning substrate. On private property along a public road, Friends of the San Juans restored large sections of a priority year-round forage fish spawning beach. Key steps included spawn surveys, landowner, neighborhood and community outreach including school youth involvement in pre-project monitoring. Rock removal designs were completed for the entire documented spawning reach. In the fall of 2017, 600 linear feet of habitat was restored across two sites and three private properties. Restoration methods and public involvement varied across the two sites. One section of beach was treated with mechanical removal of over 220 cubic yards of quarry spall and large rock as well as imported beach nourishment. At the second section, the rock was removed by hand with extensive youth participation (including schools and conservation corps) and no nourishment was applied. The project site has extensive monitoring data on forage fish spawn timing, distribution, and abundance which provides significant learning opportunities regarding how the two different restoration methods and beach conditions affect future forage fish spawning distribution and abundance. Initial monitoring results will be shared. Next steps at the site are to expand habitat improvements with additional landowners, monitoring, and ongoing community conversations on sea level rise adaptation including the potential for road realignment. The presentation will emphasize lessons learned and key elements of successful forage fish restoration project implementation including: strategies to engage waterfront property owners, neighborhoods and communities, and steps to achieving projects that improve spawning beaches today and also foster support for habitat friendly adaptation projects in the future.

Session Title

Forage Fish Status, Spawning Beach Restoration and Monitoring, and Community Engagement in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Forage fish habitat, Beach restoration

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-461

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 3:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

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, 2:45 PM Apr 5th, 3:00 PM

Community forage fish habitat restoration in the San Juans

As intertidal spawners, surf smelt and Pacific sand lance are vulnerable to the effects of shoreline development – especially hard armoring which has both immediate and long-term impacts to the incubating eggs and the availability of suitable spawning substrate. On private property along a public road, Friends of the San Juans restored large sections of a priority year-round forage fish spawning beach. Key steps included spawn surveys, landowner, neighborhood and community outreach including school youth involvement in pre-project monitoring. Rock removal designs were completed for the entire documented spawning reach. In the fall of 2017, 600 linear feet of habitat was restored across two sites and three private properties. Restoration methods and public involvement varied across the two sites. One section of beach was treated with mechanical removal of over 220 cubic yards of quarry spall and large rock as well as imported beach nourishment. At the second section, the rock was removed by hand with extensive youth participation (including schools and conservation corps) and no nourishment was applied. The project site has extensive monitoring data on forage fish spawn timing, distribution, and abundance which provides significant learning opportunities regarding how the two different restoration methods and beach conditions affect future forage fish spawning distribution and abundance. Initial monitoring results will be shared. Next steps at the site are to expand habitat improvements with additional landowners, monitoring, and ongoing community conversations on sea level rise adaptation including the potential for road realignment. The presentation will emphasize lessons learned and key elements of successful forage fish restoration project implementation including: strategies to engage waterfront property owners, neighborhoods and communities, and steps to achieving projects that improve spawning beaches today and also foster support for habitat friendly adaptation projects in the future.