Presentation Abstract

Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) are the only oyster species native to the west coast of North America. Historical overharvest and environmental stressors have reduced the current population to less than 5% of historic numbers throughout Puget Sound. Restoring native oysters is a priority in Puget Sound and coastwide; oysters provide ecosystem services and may provide critical elements of resilience in coastal ecosystems under changing ocean conditions. The Puget Sound Restoration Fund and partners have been restoring Olympia oysters in Puget Sound for two decades. To support restoration planning, we developed a habitat suitability index model to identify optimal locations for Olympia oyster restoration within selected areas in Puget Sound. Habitat suitability index models are a widely used tool for predicting species abundances and distributions, and for targeting restoration activities. Such models have been developed and applied for Eastern oysters and for species of restoration interest in Puget Sound. The habitat suitability index model that we developed combines environmental information important to survival of Olympia oysters including salinity, temperature, and exposure to identify areas most suitable for restoration. We then validate the model by comparing model results with available data from population monitoring. This study presents an example of a collaborative process to support restoration planning and implementation for native shellfish.

Session Title

Track: Shellfish – Posters

Conference Track

Shellfish

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_5224

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Building a Habitat Suitability Index for Olympia Oyster Restoration

Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) are the only oyster species native to the west coast of North America. Historical overharvest and environmental stressors have reduced the current population to less than 5% of historic numbers throughout Puget Sound. Restoring native oysters is a priority in Puget Sound and coastwide; oysters provide ecosystem services and may provide critical elements of resilience in coastal ecosystems under changing ocean conditions. The Puget Sound Restoration Fund and partners have been restoring Olympia oysters in Puget Sound for two decades. To support restoration planning, we developed a habitat suitability index model to identify optimal locations for Olympia oyster restoration within selected areas in Puget Sound. Habitat suitability index models are a widely used tool for predicting species abundances and distributions, and for targeting restoration activities. Such models have been developed and applied for Eastern oysters and for species of restoration interest in Puget Sound. The habitat suitability index model that we developed combines environmental information important to survival of Olympia oysters including salinity, temperature, and exposure to identify areas most suitable for restoration. We then validate the model by comparing model results with available data from population monitoring. This study presents an example of a collaborative process to support restoration planning and implementation for native shellfish.