Presentation Abstract

Log handling and storage has contributed large amounts of wood waste to the benthic environments of Howe Sound over the last century. Rates of organic matter deposition in these areas far exceed those of natural origin. Debris, in the form of wood chips, bark, and whole logs, quickly overwhelm benthic environments leading to physical disruption and anoxic conditions unsuitable for most biota. It is estimated that these sites may remain relatively devoid of marine life for many years or decades. As such there is considerable interest in the actual size of these sites and remediation opportunities, especially in productive nearshore habitats where log handling and storage typically occur. Remedial actions may include natural recovery, enhanced natural recovery, capping, dredging/removal, or in-situ treatment. Natural recovery is the most cost effective option however its biological effectiveness requires assessment. Gambier Island, in Howe Sound, provides a special study area opportunity as it offers fallowed and active log storage sites. Five bays received extensive log storage use for well over forty years; one of which continues to be used today. A cessation of log storage activity occurred in four of the bays during the 1980s due, in part, to product quality (reducing the time logs were stored in the water) and foreshore lease (increased land value) rationale. We use a variety of sampling gear including a benthic grab, drop camera, and side scan sonar to describe reference, historic, and active log storage areas. Parameters measured include Oxidation-Reduction Potential, Total Volatile Solids, and Carbon-Nitrogen ratios of the sediments. Epifauna and infauna were explored using under water video and grab techniques. Fallowed sites are compared to reference and active sites to determine the extent and degree of natural recovery which has occurred.

Session Title

The Assessment and Management of Wood Waste in the Aquatic Environment

Keywords

Log boom storage, Wood waste, Log dumps

Conference Track

SSE8: Policy, Management, and Regulations

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE8-295

Start Date

6-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

6-4-2018 2:15 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 6th, 2:00 PM Apr 6th, 2:15 PM

Is natural recovery occurring at historic log storage sites in Howe Sound?

Log handling and storage has contributed large amounts of wood waste to the benthic environments of Howe Sound over the last century. Rates of organic matter deposition in these areas far exceed those of natural origin. Debris, in the form of wood chips, bark, and whole logs, quickly overwhelm benthic environments leading to physical disruption and anoxic conditions unsuitable for most biota. It is estimated that these sites may remain relatively devoid of marine life for many years or decades. As such there is considerable interest in the actual size of these sites and remediation opportunities, especially in productive nearshore habitats where log handling and storage typically occur. Remedial actions may include natural recovery, enhanced natural recovery, capping, dredging/removal, or in-situ treatment. Natural recovery is the most cost effective option however its biological effectiveness requires assessment. Gambier Island, in Howe Sound, provides a special study area opportunity as it offers fallowed and active log storage sites. Five bays received extensive log storage use for well over forty years; one of which continues to be used today. A cessation of log storage activity occurred in four of the bays during the 1980s due, in part, to product quality (reducing the time logs were stored in the water) and foreshore lease (increased land value) rationale. We use a variety of sampling gear including a benthic grab, drop camera, and side scan sonar to describe reference, historic, and active log storage areas. Parameters measured include Oxidation-Reduction Potential, Total Volatile Solids, and Carbon-Nitrogen ratios of the sediments. Epifauna and infauna were explored using under water video and grab techniques. Fallowed sites are compared to reference and active sites to determine the extent and degree of natural recovery which has occurred.