Presentation Abstract

The mission statement of the Northwest Straits Initiative includes ‘improving ecosystem health’ of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Northern Puget Sound by restoring and protecting natural habitats and resources. For the Initiative, and many other programs, defining ‘ecosystem health’ and developing relevant and measureable health metrics is problematic, and yet critical to both assessing program action effectiveness as well as justifying investments. The Initiative is exploring utilizing the concept of net ecosystem improvement (NEI) to summarize results of actions and couch the results in a broader ecosystem perspective. Net improvement is defined as following development; there is an increase in the size and natural functions of an ecosystem or natural components of the ecosystem (Thom et al. 2005. Restoration Ecol. v. 13). Conceptual models are used to summarize knowledge and guide actions to improve the ecosystem. NEI is calculated by estimating the change in function times the change in area over which this change in function occurred including both temporal and spatial aspects. For example, the anchor out zone project managed by the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee in Port Townsend protects 21.6ha (52 acres) of eelgrass. Without this protection most if not all of the eelgrass would be lost. Using data from other areas, we estimated that 3,998 - 66,077 Dungeness crab (primarily juveniles) and net production by eelgrass of 2,083 metric tons wet wt y-1, are protected. Based on WDNR monitoring (Christiaen et al. 2017), this area of eelgrass protected amounts to 0.5 – 0.8% of the total eelgrass area in the Straits, and 0.5% of the Puget Sound Partnership 2020 eelgrass recovery goal of ~4000ha. Estimating NEI and placing the results in a broader ecosystem perspective is possible for many actions taken by the Initiative’s Marine Resource Committees, and may be appropriate for other programs.

Session Title

Building Effective Citizen Science Projects for the Collection of Influential Data

Keywords

Action effectiveness, Eelgrass, Restoration

Conference Track

SSE15: Data and Information Management

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE15-35

Start Date

5-4-2018 4:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 4:45 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

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 4:30 PM Apr 5th, 4:45 PM

Restoration action effectiveness: employing the concept of net ecosystem improvement

The mission statement of the Northwest Straits Initiative includes ‘improving ecosystem health’ of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Northern Puget Sound by restoring and protecting natural habitats and resources. For the Initiative, and many other programs, defining ‘ecosystem health’ and developing relevant and measureable health metrics is problematic, and yet critical to both assessing program action effectiveness as well as justifying investments. The Initiative is exploring utilizing the concept of net ecosystem improvement (NEI) to summarize results of actions and couch the results in a broader ecosystem perspective. Net improvement is defined as following development; there is an increase in the size and natural functions of an ecosystem or natural components of the ecosystem (Thom et al. 2005. Restoration Ecol. v. 13). Conceptual models are used to summarize knowledge and guide actions to improve the ecosystem. NEI is calculated by estimating the change in function times the change in area over which this change in function occurred including both temporal and spatial aspects. For example, the anchor out zone project managed by the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee in Port Townsend protects 21.6ha (52 acres) of eelgrass. Without this protection most if not all of the eelgrass would be lost. Using data from other areas, we estimated that 3,998 - 66,077 Dungeness crab (primarily juveniles) and net production by eelgrass of 2,083 metric tons wet wt y-1, are protected. Based on WDNR monitoring (Christiaen et al. 2017), this area of eelgrass protected amounts to 0.5 – 0.8% of the total eelgrass area in the Straits, and 0.5% of the Puget Sound Partnership 2020 eelgrass recovery goal of ~4000ha. Estimating NEI and placing the results in a broader ecosystem perspective is possible for many actions taken by the Initiative’s Marine Resource Committees, and may be appropriate for other programs.