- Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, & Research
- Collaboration & Engagement
- Data & Information Management
- Economics, Ecosystem Services, & Human Well-Being
- Ecosystem Management, Policy, & Protection
- Fate, Transport, & Toxicity of Chemicals
- Habitat Restoration & Protection
- Land-Use, Growth & Development
- Monitoring: Species & Habitats
- Policy, Management, & Regulations
- Species & Food Webs
- Transboundary Management & Policy
- Vessel Traffic: Risk & Impacts
You can jump to different tracks by clicking the links above, or search for the session using the search function below.
General (for Program Committee Review & Assignment)
Session Chair : —
Session Code : GENERAL1
This is a general category. Submissions entered with this code will be reviewed and, if approved, will be assigned to a new or existing session as appropriate.
Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, & Research
Restoration and protection today for an uncertain tomorrow: climate change in practice
Session Chair : Jennifer Pouliotte, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : CLIMATE1
Global climate change will have important, regionally-specific implications for biota and associated ecosystems in the Salish Sea. As such, climate change impacts must be considered when developing and implementing regional restoration and protection projects. The unfortunate reality is that the idea of historical ecosystem baselines as an achievable reference state are no longer useful on its own. Restoring ecosystems and their associated ecosystem services to some historic norm is unlikely to be easy, and in some cases may not even be possible, in the future. Considering the investment spent on restoration and protection efforts in the Salish Sea, projected changes to the biophysical conditions of a region should be considered from the outset to ensure the long-term success of a project.
Climate change projections and predicted ecosystem responses in the Salish Sea have made significant advances in recent years. However, implementation of ecosystem restoration and protection projects that consider climate risks still remains new territory, and the effectiveness of these actions are not fully understood. The purpose of this session will be to showcase examples of ecosystem restoration and protection projects implemented in the Salish Sea region that have made changes to their approach, design, and implementation in light of forecasted climate change impacts. Examples will describe how projects have confronted questions such as: What is the appropriate time frame to assess the durability of restorations efforts?; Are certain restoration efforts infeasible in a changing climate?; and What kinds of future desired conditions are feasible?
Harmful Phytoplankton in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Teri King, University of Washington
Session Code : CLIMATE2
The Salish Sea is home to many notable harmful algae species such as Alexandrium, Heterosigma, Pseudo-nitschia and Dionohysis and some emerging species such as Azadinium. How does the Coast influence conditions in the Salish Sea? Climate Change? This session will explore the research, policy and monitoring of harmful algae from the perspective of Canadian and US Federal agencies, tribes, natural resource managers, researchers, citizen scientists as well as finfish and shellfish producers.
Sea level rise adaptation strategies and governance: Experiences in British Columbia and Washington State (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Nicole Faghin, Washington Sea Grant
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Climate change and sea level rise are projected to impact ecosystems and communities throughout the Salish Sea region, regardless of political boundaries between nations, states, provinces, and cities. However, different political and cultural contexts shape the way that adaptation to sea level rise is governed and implemented. This session establishes a dialogue between the environmental agencies and local governments of Washington State and British Columbia to compare approaches to vertical coordination, adaptation resources, and multi-sector collaboration, and provides an opportunity for neighboring political entities experiencing sea level rise in the Salish Sea to learn from one another.
Part 1: State and Provincial Government Experiences (20 minutes)
Bobbak Talebi, Johanna Wolf
- What is the role of Washington State in governing adaptation to sea level rise? What is the role of British Columbia? How and why might these roles differ?
- What adaptation resources have these agencies produced?
- How do these agencies coordinate within the province/state? How do they coordinate with local governments?
- How do the province/state collaborate with entities in other sectors such as non-profit, private, and academia to implement adaptation actions successfully?
Part 2: Local Government Experiences (40 minutes)
Matt Osler, Laura Roddan, Keith Stahley, Lara Whitely Binder
- What has your local government done to implement sea level rise adaptation measures?
- How do local governments determine what to do?
- How are state/provincial resources being used to make sea level rise adaptation effective?
Part 3: Local, State, and Provincial Government Dialogue (20 minutes)
- How can state/provincial resources be improved for local government use?
- What approaches are working or not working?
- How does cross jurisdiction collaboration work?
- What are the funding sources?
- Did you have a formal mandate for this work? If not, what motivated you to move forward?
Using Collaborative Multi-Sector Partnerships to Address Sea Level Rise in Washington State (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Paul Dye, Washington Sea Grant
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Organizations in many sectors in Washington State recognize the need to integrate science and policy to build resilience to intensifying storm surges, higher tides, and more severe flooding resulting from sea level rise. With a few notable exceptions, however, planning for these changes at community scales has remained largely nascent in Washington State. An analysis of Washington community needs assessments conducted from 2009-2016 identified several factors that hinder community-level planning, including 1) incomplete or confusing sea level rise impacts data and information available, 2) lack of clear and comprehensive guidance for local planning, and 3) difficulty addressing this complex problem without new capacity and resources.
The Washington Coastal Resilience Project (WCRP) is a three-year collaborative effort spearheaded by a coalition of public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions engaged in coastal management. The proposed session will demonstrate how the WCRP addresses the issues identified in the needs assessment through:
- Development of an updated sea level rise assessment that incorporates recently-developed probabilistic sea
level rise models, accounts for geographic variations in VLM, and assesses the relative risks posed by storm
surge and waves across the Salish Sea.
- Collaboration with local governments and regional restoration efforts to integrate new sea level rise information
through place-based planning and capital project assistance.
- Expansion of statewide guidance and training for local planners and decision makers to address future risks to
natural resources and communities.
Finally, a 15-minute Q&A dialog amongst the audience and presenters will take advantage of the expertise and experiences convened during the Salish Sea Conference and transfer knowledge and best practices across boundaries. The proposed session will demonstrate, evaluate, and consider improvements to the multi-sector partnerships that are working to apply science, planning, funding, and outreach to build coastal climate resilience at the local level across the Salish Sea.
Integrated coastal climate change modeling for Salish Sea planning
Session Chair : Eric Grossman, US Geological Survey
Session Code : CLIMATE3
Coastal ecosystems that support Pacific Northwest communities, natural resources, and human well-being are projected to experience greater impacts from coastal flooding and erosion hazards in the future, as climate change and sea-level rise concurrently squeeze landscapes and infrastructure. Extensive development and high-value habitats in low-lying coastal areas of the Salish Sea, and particularly river deltas, are highly vulnerable to the combination of higher peak stream flows associated with more intense atmospheric rivers and more frequent, impactful storm surges and waves brought about by sea-level rise. Flood-related processes are expected to interact in complex ways with vertical land motion, sedimentation, riparian vegetation, and groundwater. Given this complexity, physics-based modeling is perhaps the most useful tool for identifying potential impacts and evaluating scenarios suitable for planning, permitting and engineering. This session intends to provide a forum for regional programs that are advancing downscaled, coupled hydrodynamic, sediment transport, and environmental response models to inform floodplain, estuary and nearshore planning and policy to share their approaches and compare lessons learned. Together, these projects are setting the stage to explore how changing coastal ecosystems and growing coastal communities that are critical to the Pacific Northwest way of life will likely respond, interact, and adapt to increasing coastal flooding and erosion risk during the next century.
Steve Litke, Fraser Basin Council, Lower Fraser Flood Management Strategy
Nancy Soontiens, UBC, Regional NEMO Model of Storm Surges in the Strait of Georgia
Eric Grossman, USGS, Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System (PS-CoSMoS) to inform infrastructure planning and ecosystem prioritization in the coming century
Ian Miller, Washington Sea Grant, A probabilistic sea-level rise and flood vulnerability model of the Washington Coastal Resilience Project: Downscaling and integrating vertical land motion, eustatic sea level rise, storm surge and waves
Jana Compton (EPA ORD) – Implementation of the Salish Sea Model to identify management options for nitrate pollution in the Nooksack Basin
Challenges and opportunities related to the assessment and management of wood waste in the aquatic environment
Session Chair : Kate Schendel, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Session Code : CLIMATE4
Challenges and opportunities related to the assessment and management of wood waste in the aquatic environment
Historical and current log booming and wood processing operations have resulted in woody debris accumulation in our waterways. Woody debris and wood waste can adversely affect sediment and water quality, and the ability of benthic organisms and infauna to use these areas. The potential effects are not well understood and can vary considerably. There are currently limited standards and guidelines specific to the assessment, management and disposal of wood waste affected sediment and there are limited economically viable options for their disposal. There is also a desire to explore alternative remedial options and restore areas that have been historically impacted to increase habitat value and productivity. As such, management of wood waste impacted sites is an emerging issue that crosses boundaries and warrants further consideration.
The purpose of this session is to bring together interested parties across the Salish Sea to present their challenges, opportunities, solutions and “lessons learned” related to assessing, managing, disposing and/or restoring wood waste impacted sites. Participants will be solicited from, but not limited to, consultants, wood processing facility operators, Aboriginal groups, researchers and regulators from across the Salish Sea.
Potential Session Topics:
• Guidelines, best management practices, and mitigation measures for preventing or reducing wood waste introduction in the aquatic environment
• Spatial characterization of wood waste deposits in the Salish Sea
• Methods for sampling, testing and assessing the effects of wood waste in? on?on sediment and water chemical and physical properties
• Assessing potential effects of wood waste on habitat and organisms potentially affected by wood waste
• Options for wWood waste disposal or reuse options:, challenges and emerging technologies
• Disposal options assessment
• Case studies: how wWood waste can affect impacted Enhancement or restoration of wood waste impacted hhabitat enhancement and restoration: techniques and case studiesprojects and case studies
• Restoration options and techniques
• Examples of successful partnerships or collaborative efforts to enhance or restore wood waste impacted habitat within the Salish Sea
• Regulatory context for assessingment and managementing of wood waste impacted sites
• Guidelines, best management practices, and mitigation measures for preventing or reducing wood waste introduction in the aquatic environment or for remediating and restoring sites
Estuarine Climate Change Adaptation
Session Chair : Jeff Parsons, Herrera Enviromental Consultants
Session Code : CLIMATE5
This special session seeks to bring together a range of organizations that are preparing for climate change, with particular emphasis on several climate change adaptation strategies being developed in the lower Puyallup River valley in western Washington. The Puyallup River has an abnormally high sediment load owing to past river modifications and the presence of Mt. Rainier in its drainage basin. The heightened sediment load adds complexities to climate change adaptation. The combination of the river’s intensively developed lower valley, close to sea level, and flooding typically driven by rain-on-snow in the upper watershed increases the vulnerability of the lower valley to both precipitation changes and sea level rise. The presentations in this session will be useful to practitioners and decisionmakers in other locales facing similar issues, and raise awareness of the challenges present in the Lower Puyallup valley.
Ocean Acidification in the Salish Sea: New findings from science and management
Session Chair : Wiley Evans, Hakai Institute
Session Code : CLIMATE6
Ocean acidification (OA) may threaten ecosystem health in the Salish Sea. Investigators on both sides of the border are engaged in research to 1) describe the status, trends, and variability of OA within the Salish Sea and in adjacent coastal waters; 2) characterize biological and ecological responses to OA; 3) develop biological indicators of OA; 4) create forecast models to assist resource managers and shellfish growers; 5) develop and test strategies for local adaptation and mitigation; and 6) effectively move knowledge into decision-making domains.
We aim for a multidisciplinary session in which new scientific findings are reported and innovations in adaptation, mitigation, and governance are explored. This session will build on the success of OA sessions at two prior SSEC conferences. We solicit contributions from members of academic institutions, government agencies, First Nations and tribes, industry, and NGOs. We encourage contributions of new research that has emerged since the 2016 SSEC, with the specific goal of advancing our shared understanding of OA in the Salish Sea and its effects on regional processes and people. Opportunities for mitigation and adaptation will be highlighted.
The co-conveners, representing B.C. and Washington, solicit oral and poster presentations from scientists and others throughout the region. We anticipate convening 1-3 linked sessions, based on the volume of response to the OA session at the 2016 SSEC conference. Sessions will be organized to progress from observations and monitoring through modeling, biological responses, and strategies for adaptation and mitigation. Participants and presentations will represent the breadth and diversity of OA research in the region. Anticipated outcomes of the session(s) include dissemination of new knowledge, strengthening of trans-boundary collaborations and partnerships, and emergence of new innovations for regional management, mitigation, and adaptation.
Collaboration & Engagement
Diversity and Inclusion for Environmental Progress
Session Chair : Michael Chang, Makah Tribe
Session Code : ENGAGE1
Long-term solutions to complex environmental issues will not be successful without a representative, collaborative, and inclusive approach in building solutions. Natural resource management inherently revolves around communities’ access to resources. Regardless of intention, the field of conservation has systematically excluded many groups who may experience disproportionate impacts to environmental issues. Diversity and inclusion within conservation can lead to innovation, community empowerment and buy-in during decision making processes, and more effective solutions to environmental issues. Because of this, it is imperative that we systematically diversify the environmental movement.
There are many different ways of thinking of diversity and inclusion within the field of environmental science, policy, and management. Here, we focus on three different paradigms of thinking regarding diversity and inclusion, though they are not mutually exclusive: diversity and inclusion through representation, content, and process. In this panel session, we will bring regional leaders to discuss this framework of paradigms and how it applies to diversifying environmental actions in the Salish Sea, using some specific examples of successes and failures and their implications for progress toward environmental goals. Furthermore, we will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss their experiences with diversity and inclusion efforts in a question and answer session. The goals of the session are to center underrepresented voices in the conversation about diversifying the environmental workforce and synthesize recommendations for practices to elevate diversity and inclusion across the regions’ institutions and help advance environmental progress in the Salish Sea.
Community Marine Science Centers Collaborative (WORKSHOP – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Janine Boire, Port Townsend Marine Science Center
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Community Marine Science Centers throughout rural and small metro areas of our region are active in educating locals and visitors alike about protecting the Salish Sea and its marine ecosystems. These small, community-based science center’s face unique opportunities and challenges. By coming together to learn from each other, share knowledge and resources, centers can support each other in developing collaborative approaches to protecting the marine resources that are essential to the environmental and economic health of our region.
In March of 2017, eight centers* from around Puget Sound were invited to an initial meeting to discuss opportunities for collaboration including but not limited to: professional development, marketing, outreach beyond current audience, evaluation, and pursing larger grant opportunities than any of our small organizations could reasonably take on alone.
Several of the organizations participating suggested the concept of extending the group throughout the Salish Sea to include similar size organizations on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait.
To gauge interest in the potential of expanding upon this initial group, we would like to propose a round-table session at the Salish Sea Conference for similar minded and scaled Marine Science Centers.
*List of organizations initially invited:
Harbor Wild Watch, Gig Harbor, WA
Langley Whale Center (Orca Net), Whidbey Island, WA
Marine Life Center, Bellingham
Marine Science and Technology Center, in Des Moines, WA
Nisqually Reach Nature Center, Olympia WA
Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Port Townsend, WA
SEA Discovery Center, Poulsbo, WA
South Sound Estuary, Olympia, WA
Proposed Criteria for organizations invited to this session is:
– Operate an Aquarium and/or marine centered display
– Marine science focus
– Budget under $1 million
– Major focus on public education and serving schools
– Salish Sea Region
Coastal Almanac: Marine Science Beyond the Ivory Tower (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Marco Hatch, Western Washington University
Session Code : Closed for Submission
The Coastal Almanac is a place-based network of people collectively working to empower coastal communities through co-creating locally meaningful research. We start from five premises: (1) Coastal environments are becoming destabilized by direct impacts and global forcing. (2) All coastal communities (Indigenous, fishing, place-based, etc.) are impacted by these shifts. (3) Mainstream science cannot keep pace with the changes, much less propose, test, and implement solutions. (4) Coastal community residents have a set of places/spaces they care about and have witnessed change in the health and status of. (5) With local involvement of coastal community residents, we can combine multiple ways of knowing and data types to best protect, preserve, and restore coastal ecosystems.
The Coastal Almanac aims to be four interacting elements: (1) a digital dataspace to find/store information on where and when natural phenomena occur in the coastal environment, things of import to the culture, traditions, economies, and values of coastal communities and their residents. (2) a network of community members, scientists and resource managers who are committed to working together to bear witness to the changing environment through multiple ways of knowing. (3) a library of protocols and projects inviting individuals and organizations to join in data collection. (4) a clearinghouse of expertise connecting those who need support/advice to those who can provide it.
In this session, we present the idea of the Coastal Almanac, and focus on five panelists who actively explore the data and knowledge space beyond the ivory tower of mainstream science as a beginning step in inviting partnerships and stimulating conversation about what the Coastal Almanac can and should be. Panelists will speak from their experiences within one or more of the following science communities of practice: community-driven research, tribal community collaborations, citizen science projects, and “mainstream” science.
Drayton Harbor shellfish recovery – A case study of local collaboration
Session Chair : Andrea Hood, Washington Department of Health
Session Code : ENGAGE2
This session explores the significant components of a multi-faceted, long-term, community-wide effort (22 years) to recover “Approved” status for year round shellfish harvest in Drayton Harbor, Whatcom County, WA. Located just south of the Canadian border, Drayton Harbor has been a traditional shellfish harvest area for the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation for generations and a commercial shellfish growing area since 1906. Fecal coliform pollution created public health concerns for shellfish harvest in Drayton Harbor, and in 1995 a portion of the harbor was closed to harvest. By 1999, the harvest restriction extended to the entire harbor and remained in place for decades. All the while, dedicated community members, municipalities, and government agencies worked diligently to identify and correct the sources of bacteria pollution. In late 2016, the Drayton Harbor community celebrated an achievement 22 years in the making: restoration of year-round shellfish harvest for 810 acres of growing area.
Potential presentations include 1. Building community awareness and engagement – Community Oyster Farm (Puget Sound Restoration Fund); 2. Addressing on-site sewage systems through Marine Recovery Area designation and local fee (Whatcom County Health); 3. Addressing stormwater and achieving support for new WWTP (City of Blaine); 4. Promoting voluntary farm stewardship (Whatcom Conservation District); 5. Drayton Harbor Oyster Company as a community asset (Steve Seymour – owner).
Understanding what matters to agricultural producers
Session Chair : Dan Calvert, Puget Sound Parntership
Session Code : ENGAGE3
Agricultural producers are part of the social fabric of Puget Sound, but the industry faces many challenges to its long-term viability and economic vitality. This can be especially true for smaller scale producers in our area. In an effort to address this, multiple groups are working to balance agricultural and flood management needs with salmon recovery goals. Critical to these efforts is understanding what’s important to producers. This session focuses on strategies for meaningful engagement of agricultural producers in Puget Sound recovery efforts. Presentations will describe how better understanding the wants and needs of producers can support resilient agricultural and ecological systems. Presenters will focus on applied examples of how to engage agricultural landowners by gaining a better understanding of what’s important to them. The session will include presentations followed by an interactive panel discussion. The desired outcome will be to share strategies, lessons learned, and on-the-ground experiences.
Protecting riparian areas in agricultural landscapes: reach-scale planning and acquisition projects from the NEP watershed lead organization
Session Chair : Carrie Byron, Washington State Dept. of Ecology
Session Code : ENGAGE4
This session will feature presentations from organizations that have engaged in reach-scale planning efforts and are now acquiring riparian areas in Puget Sound agricultural landscapes. The Washington State Department of Ecology awarded eight multi-phased National Estuary Program grants in 2016 to organizations interested in developing protection and restoration plans for key riparian areas along stream reaches in agricultural areas. These plans were completed in the spring of 2017, and now Ecology is awarding implementation funding to these organizations to purchase conservation easements and fund other related restoration activities.
These grantees completed their reach-scale plans in spring of 2017 and will be moving into project implementation as the conference takes place. Grantees can present on the processes they undertook to develop the reach scale plans, share landowner engagement and outreach strategies, and discuss lessons learned through the planning and early phases of implementation processes. The landscapes that are the focus of these planning efforts often feature areas that are desirable for both agriculture and salmon habitat restoration, and can be the focus of conflicts over land use prioritization. Each organization will handle these conflicts in different ways and hearing from multiple groups can result in useful tools for others seeking to work in these areas.
Other organizations undertaking planning efforts and purchasing conservation easements in agricultural landscapes statewide may also fit well within this session and can share complementary or contrasting experiences.
Possible presenters include representatives of our 8 grantee organizations working on reach scale plans: these groups include King County, Mason Conservation District, Nisqually land Trust, Nooksack Indian Tribe, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Skagit Land Trust, and the Snohomish Conservation District.
Insights from Community-Based Approaches to Salish Sea Restoration Projects
Session Chair : Peter Hummel, Anchor QEA
Session Code : COMM1
Involving stakeholders and Treaty Tribes/First Nations in Salish Sea restoration projects takes many forms and can be successfully integrated with science based restoration. Some Salish Sea restoration programs and projects have limited community involvement because of concerns that it may interfere with or affect the desired outcomes of a purely science based restoration approach. Due to the public funding and public review of environmental approvals needed for most of these projects, subsequent difficulties with organized opposition may arise due to not understanding community and property owner needs and concerns. This opposition can significantly delay, complicate, or hinder restoration implementation. However, there are alternatives that involve project planning inclusive of stakeholders and Treaty Tribes/First Nations which address their issues, leading to broader support, increasing the ability to fund and implement restoration. In this session, approaches to Salish Sea Restoration that embrace community issues, needs, and concerns will be explored. The session will examine: how to identify key stakeholders and Treaty Tribes/First Nations; group size; how and when to involve and engage stakeholders and Treaty Tribes/First Nations in project planning and design; collaborative development of project goals, mission and vision; integrating science based approaches in responding to community issues; and how stakeholder and Treaty Tribe/First Nation support can facilitate funding, permitting, and implementation. This session will address two General Session topics: Communication-Informing constituencies; and Social Science-networks of decision makers, stakeholders, and scientists. The session participants will draw from and use case study examples of their Salish Sea restoration experience including the Hood Canal Large Estuaries Project, Lower Big Quilcene River Restoration, Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration, and others. This experience includes projects at the feasibility, project planning, and design stages. The session presenters include a broad range of organizational perspectives including local governments, environmental consulting firms, and non-profit environmental and salmon recovery organizations. .
Science communication and Salish Sea recovery: are we failing? (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Sarah Brace of Veda Environmental
Session Code : Closed for Submission
The view of science nationally is in a state of chaos, with politicians, the public and news media feeding into a polarized state of denial, confusion and for some, frustration. How do we reverse the trend and make science relevant again? During this panel discussion, national and regional science communication experts will engage directly with audience members to identify and address the conditions that have led to the current day skepticism of science, discuss its impact on Salish Sea ecosystem recovery, and propose actions to reverse this trend. Invited panelists will include a science writer (e.g. Randy Olsen) a social scientist (Dr. Katherine Wellman), and a science reporter (from Seattle Times, Bellingham Herald, KUOW, and/or Vancouver Sun). This interactive, dynamic panel will engage the audience to identify concrete science communication gaps and actions needed to address those gaps.
[Note: we propose following this session with Abstract #2: Practice in action – what does effective science communication look like?]
Practice in action – what does effective science communication look like? (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Hilary Wilkinson, Veda Environmental
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Scientists and technical experts routinely miss the target on clearly conveying the story behind their work, and its importance. In addition to PowerPoint woes, science and technical information is often not explained clearly to the desired audience. In this panel, we’ll invite experts in science communication and public outreach to demonstrate what works, what doesn’t, and to discuss how to improve the state of science communication in the Salish Sea region. Invited panelists could include NOAA communications staff who have developed strong messaging around fishing quotas in Alaska; the Coastal Training Program that offers courses in how to wow your audience with PowerPoint; and Veda Environmental that provides training on the importance of knowing your audience in order to engage them effectively.
During this session, the audience will participate in identifying the challenges in effective science communication and will directly engage with the panelists to better understand the skills needed to translate the results of their work effectively.
[Note: we propose that this session follows Abstract #1: Science communication and Salish Sea recovery: are we failing? ]
Broadening the audience: Can ’Silicon Valley North’ change the way we think about Salish Sea recovery? (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Robert Ewing, Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel and University of California, Berkeley
Session Code : Closed for Submission
A strong economy propelled by a world-leading technology industry is expected to draw millions of new residents to the Salish Sea region within decades. This changing population brings with it new strains on the environment but also new perspectives, an evolving sense of place and new relationships to the natural world. Understanding and engaging this growing audience will be critical to future ecosystem recovery efforts. This panel explores the potential role of the technology and online commercial sectors in reaching this audience. Known collectively as ’Silicon Valley North’, the region’s digital technology industry is adept at marketing and creates the very tools — from social networks to online search and digital media — that drive modern communication and commerce. We will bring together local technology leaders along with journalists and other analysts to talk about how this expanding industry can help deliver the means and messages for restoring the Salish Sea.
Session Chair : —
Session Code : COMM2
This is a general communication category. Submissions entered with this code will be reviewed and, if approved, will be assigned to a new or existing session as appropriate.
Data & Information Management
Understanding the Salish Sea Model and its application for Puget Sound recovery
Session Chair : Tarang Khangaonkar, Pacific Northwest National Labs
Session Code : DATA1
The Salish Sea Model has been developed by Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) in collaboration with the Washington Department of Ecology with support from EPA to model the physical, chemical, and biological systems in the Salish Sea. The model has broad applications from understanding and evaluating regional nutrient management scenarios for dissolved oxygen and ocean acidification to specific applications for understanding impacts from estuary restoration and other local-scale activities.
As use of the model continues to grow and expand, it is important for people to understand its capabilities, limitations, model skill, peer review it has already been through, and areas for continual improvement. We would like this session to cover these different aspects of the model, to get “under the hood” and familiarize the listeners with the model.
Speakers for the session include developers of the model and those who have applied the model to their specific projects. The model has been used for multiple applications in Puget Sound recovery and this is an opportunity to highlight some of those uses as well.
Coordinating Regionally-accepted Nearshore Geospatial Data
Session Chair : Jennifer Burke, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : DATA6
Organizations throughout the Puget Sound region have been engaged with the Puget Sound Partnership to improve data on marine nearshore landforms and habitats needed for Chinook salmon recovery planning and tracking progress, shoreline management, and more broadly, Puget Sound restoration and protection. Region-wide coordination among technical and policy experts has resulted in standardized protocols and data, primarily geospatial data, improvements in data, identification of data gaps and deficiencies, and a means to compile these data into a shared system and framework. Data are now available for use and can help us understand what is needed and where for recovery actions and communicating progress.
This session will introduce datasets in the following focal areas; shoreline modification including armor, soft shore protection, and overwater structures; characterization of drift cells, river deltas, pocket estuaries, and marine riparian. A common spatial structure will also be introduced that compiles the data into a single Nearshore Geospatial Framework for local and regional practitioners. These data and the common framework are being used by a variety of programs, including Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program’s effort to be more strategic in protection and restoration, Partnership’s Vital Signs indicator tracking, Chinook Salmon Recovery Common Indicators, NOAA Status and Trends, and Northwest Indian Fish Commission.
This session also provides the technical background for the Nearshore Practitioners Workshop session, currently proposed as a session at Salish Sea.
Modeling Change in the Transboundary Salish Sea
Session Chair : Dino Marshalonis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Session Code : DATA2
The Salish Sea ecosystem is a transboundary area of ecological, social and economic significance shared by Canada and the US. The ecosystem extends from Johnstone Strait north of the north end of the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, Canada, to the south end of Puget Sound in Washington State, U.S., west to the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca where it meets the Pacific Ocean and east to the land and rivers that drain into these coastal waters. At a very fundamental level, taking effective action for ecosystem recovery requires either mechanistic understanding about how ecosystem components (physical processes, social processes, biological processes, species, habitats, food webs, etc.) respond to management action or, in the absence of such knowledge, models that approximate how the ecosystem (or process, species, habitat, etc.) is likely to respond to management actions, which can be subsequently verified against real-world observations. In addition, prioritizing actions requires the ability to assess tradeoffs among multiple possible actions. The purpose of this session is to learn more about transboundary ecosystem models currently in development and explore applications of modeling tools toward understanding important drivers of change in the ecosystem including climate change, potential pressures of land cover changes, and cumulative impacts of pressures from multiple projects in the international Salish Sea ecosystem. This session is a companion to the session “Integrated coastal climate change modeling for Salish Sea planning,” (CLIMATE3), which focuses on physical modeling. This session seeks presentations specifically related to models of social-ecological processes in the Salish Sea.
Salish Sea marine ecosystem data collation and management
Session Chair : Terry Curran
Session Code : DATA5
While we share a common sea, many times we do not share common data. Some of this is because of the international border, but many organizations are starting to address this in a cross-border manner. As well, some data systems focus on physical variables, yet not biological data, leaving ecosystem-scale data unattainable.
To date, many websites have sprung up to organize and provide Salish Sea data to users. The capabilities of these websites are often not well understood by potential users because the user community have not had an opportunity to understand the suitability for their needs. Behind the websites is often a database cluster that securely holds the data. For this session, we propose a panel of speakers to permit individual presenters that have data sharing websites to discuss data access and data manipulation capability, target users, data content (especially transborder datasets), underlying technology chosen and rationale, governance issues, and future plans.
Structure from motion and drone aerial imagery for coastal restoration and management
Session Chair : Branden Rishel, Coastal Geologic Services
Session Code : DATA3
New techniques in high resolution photogrammetry create color 3D models of coastal environments at unprecedented resolutions. This “structure from motion” (SfM) enables data-rich nearshore management, including applications for beach, march, and estuary restoration, sea level rise planning, topographic mapping, and vegetation monitoring.
Low-altitude aerial imagery, such as from inexpensive drones (UAS or UAV), can be used to create point clouds that exceed LiDAR resolution and accuracy. Because the results are in color, they can be used for automated image classification such as mapping vegetation shading or eelgrass. The 3D models resulting from SfM can be used in intuitive visualizations of beach restoration and sea level rise. This real-world data may be experienced through 3D PDF documents that anyone can open, or an immersive video game interface.
SfM source images can come from any camera, including cell phone cameras. Volunteered geographic information (VGI) may be collected for SfM research and monitoring through citizen science programs. Repeated 3D scans can easily detect changes, such how beach topography changes the first winter after a restoration project. This “4D” mapping can be used to quantify or animate landscape change.
In this session, we will share recent work in all of these topics, from consultants and government agencies on both sides of the border. Talks will begin at an introductory level, in hopes that those who have no experience in SfM and drone mapping will be inspired in new directions.
Citizen science education, data management and project effectiveness communication
Session Chair : Lucas Hart, Northwest Straits Commission
Session Code : DATA4
Citizen science has grown in popularity in recent years. Dedicated volunteers offer an avenue for obtaining ecosystem recovery goals that otherwise would not be accomplished in a low funding environment. Along with these advantages comes new challenges in training, data management and communication. For example, the funding streams that support citizen science projects are shifting to require documentation of effectiveness and overall contributions to ecosystem recovery metrics. Simultaneously, organizations leading volunteer projects will face capacity limitations in managing, analyzing and communicating project data and results. This session aims to discuss tools and techniques available for adequate volunteer training, which will streamline data communication between those in the field and project managers; available technologies for data management and communication; and citizen science case studies where project effectiveness and ecosystem impact have been documented.
Economics, Ecosystem Services, & Human Well-Being
Deciding where to invest: Prioritization of green stormwater infrastructure projects in the Salish Sea watershed
Session Chair : Christian Nilsen, Geosyntec
Session Code : ECON1
Urban stormwater runoff continues to degrade the Salish Sea’s inland and coastal waterways, impacting water quality, aquatic habitat, and public health. Addressing this degradation through such “business as usual” approaches will do little to offset the magnitude of the problem. Recent studies have shown that at the current pace of redevelopment, complete management of runoff would take more than 100 years to achieve. Smarter approaches are needed today to identify the highest priority locations and types of green stormwater infrastructure that can make the most impact and do it in a cost effective manner. This session would highlight programs being employed to build green stormwater infrastructure where it is needed most. Potential topics include decision support tools, stormwater retrofit incentive programs, and evaluation of co-benefits in urban landscapes.
So how do we pay for this?! Funding Puget Sound and Salish Sea protection and recovery
Session Chair : Mindy Roberts, Washington Environmental Council
Session Code : ECON2
Puget Sound and Salish Sea protection and recovery will involve hundreds of actions by hundreds of organizations, some of which are funded but most of which are not at present. The funds available for Puget Sound protection and recovery represent a few percent of the need that has been identified in each of the three strategic initiatives. Moreover, the strategic initiatives represent important actions but are not comprehensive. Each year we fall further and further behind in meeting the need for funding, regardless of whether we look at the federal, state, or local level. This session will first describe existing government fund sources. The larger purpose is to explore additional fund sources that involve private sources, including businesses, philanthropy, and investor networks.
Federal – Peter Murchie, Director, Puget Sound Program, US Environmental Protection Agency
State – Kirsten Feifel, Puget Sound Policy Lead, Department of Natural Resources with other state agencies (to be determined)
Local Government – Rhys Roth, Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure at The Evergreen State College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Private – to be determined
Canada – to be determined
Final time slot will be a Q&A with the speakers and an open invitation for creative solutions to the funding crisis in the US and Canada. This session will also invite poster submissions for additional creative solutions from the larger community.
Salish Sea Cities as hubs in North America’s sustainable seafood movement (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Edward Allison, University of Washington
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Seattle and Vancouver are two of the world’s major centers of innovation in fisheries and food system governance. Both cities pride themselves on their environmental and social consciousnesses, and have therefore been in the vanguard of the sustainable seafood movement. Universities, NGOs and seafood sector businesses, from catching, through processing and retailing, have all been evaluating their supply systems against evolving criteria to determine both environmental sustainability, by-catch reduction and ‘social responsibility’ that includes a commitment to addressing exploitative or unsafe working conditions among seafood sector workers and maintaining viable fishing communities. Local food movements co-exist with commitments to global sustainable sourcing.
Over the last year, students and postdoctoral researchers in Seattle and Vancouver have been collecting information on the trade in seafood through these cities, with special attention to the volume of trade that is labelled as sustainable in some way. The aim, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other conservation NGOs, has been to evaluate if Seattle and Vancouver can be declared ‘sustainable seafood cities’.
This session will present the student’s preliminary findings, framed against a panel discussion among multiple stakeholders on the meaning of sustainability and social responsibility in seafood sourcing. The session will address the challenges of ‘localizing’ food systems in a context where major cities make demands that exceed the local environment’s capacity to supply, such that being a ‘locavore’ may not be the most environmentally responsible option for the conscious seafood consumer.
ecosystem services valuation, understanding nature’s benefits across international, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries
Session Chair : Matt Van Deren, Earth Economics
Session Code : ECON3
The Salish Sea is an integral part of the livelihoods and wellbeing of individuals from a diverse set of economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. Its unique ecosystem provides a wide array of benefits such as food sources, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, flood protection, aesthetic and cultural value, and more. These naturally occurring benefits, derived from an ecosystem, are called ecosystem services and they are the bedrock of life, and the economy, for the coastal areas that border the Salish Sea.
We pay little to nothing for ecosystem services, but when nature disappears the services disappear too. Some of the most pressing issues facing our economy stem from a loss or degradation of natural capital. Only by understanding the true value of goods and services provided by nature are communities able to make the appropriate investments in the ecosystems upon which they rely.
The goal of our session will be to examine how ecosystem service valuations can overcome international, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries to better reflect the true value of an entire ecosystem and the benefits it provides. With presentations on projects that directly address how an environmental services valuation overcame “boundary specific” challenges, we hope to illuminate best practices to inform future valuations in the Salish Sea. Moreover, we hope to explore how ecosystem benefits are realized by the diverse communities who rely on the Salish Sea, an important aspect of the application and use of environmental services valuations.
Status and future of Puget Sound Partnership human wellbeing indicators (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Kelly Biedenweg, Oregon State University
Session Code : Closed for Submission
We propose a panel discussion in which we will present the status of pilot data for the human wellbeing indicators and facilitate a conversation on plans for integrating these data and their concepts into Puget Sound monitoring and planning. Topics will include: 1) pilot data summary for all nine wellbeing Vital Signs (Economic Vitality, Cultural Practices, Sense of Place, Outdoor Activities, Local Foods, Good Governance and Sound Stewardship) and 2) initial plans to integrate human wellbeing and ecosystem indicators for Implementation Strategy planning and LIO Near-Term Action planning. For the second, topics will include the use of tradeoff analysis, multi-attribute assessments, and adaptive management. We plan to facilitate a conversation with participants to consider how to best move forward with these new indicators.
Ecosystem Management, Policy, & Protection
The Lower Fraser River: a wildlife hotspot on the brink
Session Chair : Laura Kehoe, University of Victoria
Session Code : ECOSYS1
The Lower Fraser River and its estuary serves as a fitting microcosm of the challenges and opportunities that the Salish Sea ecosystem faces. This estuary is both breathtakingly biodiverse and a bubbling industrial hub. We propose a special session that will delve into the issues and solutions to the ecosystem recovery of the Lower Fraser and its estuary. Through this body of diverse research, we aim to shed light and create linkages with potential management solutions related to the Salish Sea as a whole.
The Lower Fraser River is in the crossroads of industrial and demographic growth, making the management of the cumulative impacts of escalating human use an urgent task. This region is already highly modified with more than 80% of original wetlands lost and the majority of original tidal habitats now behind diking structures and training walls. Despite this, the estuary is amongst the most important salmon rivers in the world and recognized internationally as an Important Bird Area, supporting millions of birds from three continents and providing a major stopover point along the Pacific Flyway. This region is also home to more than 260 species of conservation concern, including those listed federally by COSEWIC and SARA, and those listed by the Province of BC.
Our proposed session will delve into the social, biophysical, and policy work in the region that are aimed around developing strategies for conservation, protection, recovery, and adaptation of the species and ecosystems of concern. Our close ties with First Nations, NGOs, industry partners (e.g. Port Metro Vancouver), and government will bring diverse knowledge that can lead to action orientated solutions. These solutions, grounded in shared-decision making, will tackle a broad mix of challenging issues including: balancing the needs of industry and the private sector, assessing the costs and feasibility of management actions under climate change, structured decision science techniques when data is scarce and systems are complex, and optimal policy and governance structures in cross-boundary regions.
Achieving an integrated watershed approach for freshwater ecosystems in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Stephen Stanley, Washington Department of Ecology
Session Code : ECOSYS2
The 2018 Salish Sea Conference theme places an emphasis on an integrative approach including “working towards strategies for recovery and management that integrates across cultures, disciplines, and boundaries, and bringing knowledge to action.” Often, this integrative approach is hampered by the difficulty of presenting complex watershed information in a manner that is both understandable for stakeholders and effectively applied by all jurisdictions within a watershed. Our session proposes to present examples of integrative approaches, employing decision support tools, that are both accessible and useful to a range of stakeholders involved in the protection and restoration of freshwater systems in Puget Sound. This includes:
• Local governments developing watershed based land use plans that protect important watershed processes and propose restoration strategies and actions. Of particular significance, these projects have worked with diverse groups of citizens to produce projects that integrate science with the social needs of cities and counties to provide housing and services;
• Stakeholders working together to seek solutions to watershed based problems associated with climate change that cross jurisdictional boundaries and also threaten to impact public services.
A final session, following the presentations on local watershed planning efforts, will be devoted to a discussion with the audience on how to increase the use of an integrated watershed approach in the Salish Sea watersheds. Ways to remove barriers to watershed planning will be discussed, including improving coordination of planning efforts between jurisdictions within a watershed and adopting planning and permitting regulations that promote an “offsite” approach based on watershed priorities to address site specific impacts.
Strategic Recovery: Planning and implementing ecosystem recovery
Session Chair : Angela Adams, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Session Code : ECOSYS3
How does one “recover” a vast and complex ecosystem? How does one even partially reverse detrimental effects of 150 years of increasing human density and impact? On the US side of the Salish Sea region (Puget Sound and its watersheds) practitioners have opted to intensify a heuristic (“adaptive”) approach to ecosystem recovery and management. In principle, the theory of this approach is straightforward: if remedial actions are focused on a sufficient set of valued ecosystem components and the pressures affecting them (representing terrestrial, aquatic, and marine systems); and if research addresses key uncertainties about how best to proceed; and if vital indicators of progress are monitored, then acquired knowledge can be used to serially re-focus effort on ever-more effective actions, and ultimately recovery targets will be met. Putting this theory into practice remains challenging in many ways. We will address a selection of these challenges over four sessions, described as follows. Session 1 provides opportunities to describe and compare how practitioners are tackling ecosystem recovery on each side of the international border, presenting case studies, successes, and challenges. Session 2 focuses on how to plan, implement, and manage recovery strategies at different scales (local vs. regional vs. international), and across jurisdictions. Session 3 addresses a persistent barrier: effective interactions between scientists and decision makers, emphasizing co-production of decision-relevant research. Session 4 provides an opportunity for participants in small groups to further address issues arising in Sessions 1-3, and then share their findings in plenary. It should be noted that the fourth session in this series would permit groups to discuss issues of shared interest in mini-workshop format, either on an impromptu basis, or, preferably, planned in advance.
Strategic Recovery: Managing recovery at different scales
Session Chair : Kari Stiles, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : ECOSYS10
How are you collaborating with partners who work on ecosystem recovery at different geographic scales (local, regional or international) or on different but related topic areas? Does your work require that you integrate information across jurisdictions or incorporate information from more broadly or narrowly focused recovery efforts? Around the Salish Sea, many ecosystem recovery efforts have been underway for years or even decades. Dedicated, interdisciplinary teams have developed and are adaptively managing recovery plans at many different scales, generating experience about what works, what doesn’t, and where there are still outstanding unknowns to address. These efforts typically use language, decision processes, and communication formats familiar to the community of practice and its stakeholders, often making it difficult to share information, learn from or leverage the work of other groups. As we learn more about ecosystem recovery, it is becoming increasingly clear that most situations are not unique and we can learn a lot from related efforts. Similarly, as resources for ecosystem recovery are scarce, we must learn from related efforts to maximize our investments in the most effective recovery actions. A variety of tools and standards of practice are being employed to ensure multi-scale recovery efforts are inclusive of differing priorities, increase opportunities for shared learning, and increase the effectiveness of recovery efforts. What tools are you using to integrate information and what cross-scale or cross-topic challenges are you still addressing? The format for this session will be presentations with panel discussion. This session is one in four of a proposed series on strategic recovery. The fourth session in this series would permit groups to discuss issues of shared interest in mini-workshop format, either on an impromptu basis, or, preferably, planned in advance.
Strategic Recovery: Linking Science to Decision Making
Session Chair : Nicholas Georgiadis, Puget Sound Institute
Session Code : ECOSYS4
A preference for decisions in recovery to be science-based is stated about as often as miscommunication between the producers and users of science is lamented. This problem is widespread and persistent because its causes are prevalent and enduring: academic scientists are not rewarded to produce useful science; maintaining scientific rigor often demands more time than users can spare; scientific terminology is impenetrable, or results are not transferrable; users maintain unrealistic expectations, or fail to specify goals sufficiently, and so on. Too often, attempts to bridge this span begin with firm foundations on either side, but fail to connect in the middle. Recent advances show a trend from improving ‘translation’ of completed research to ‘co-production’ of research, in which producers and users agree in advance on what constitutes useful information, and then coordinate in design and execution. This session provides opportunities to address how coordination between producers and users of science may be enhanced in the Salish Sea region. Presentations or panel discussions are sought that include, for example: importing practices that have worked elsewhere and may apply here; highlighting local instances that would benefit from concerted attention; and bringing together producers and users of science on a given topic (for example, agency scientists with regulators or legislators) to plan ‘co-production’ on specified issues. It should be noted that the fourth session in this series would permit such groups to meet in mini-workshop format, either on an impromptu basis, or, preferably, planned in advance.
Strategic Recovery: Workshop leveraging the recovery community to tackle key challenges (WORKSHOP – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Julie Watson, WDFW & Habitat Strategic Initiative Lead
Session Code : Closed for Submission
What is the driving challenge you need to solve in order to be more effective in your recovery work? The goal of this session is to leverage the collective expertise of the recovery community to make progress on our most pressing challenges by bringing together practitioners doing work that bridges scales, perspectives, and disciplines. Policymakers, academics, scientists, regulators, managers, on-the-ground practitioners, and all other stakeholders are encouraged to attend. Together, we will work to tackle common challenges, share lessons learned, and build new partnerships and collaborations. This session is the culmination of the Strategic Recovery series of sessions, and it will build on topics, tools, challenges, opportunities, and questions identified throughout the preceding sessions. However, you do not need to attend all (or any) of the other Strategic Recovery sessions in order to participate.
We will use a ‘World Café’ format to address selected challenges, with one discussion table per theme. Some anticipated themes and driving questions will be determined based on discussions in the earlier Strategic Recovery sessions, and additional ad hoc topics will be selected at the start of the session. Attendees will be prompted to establish a personal intention or goal for what they want to achieve from the session. During the World Café, participants will have the opportunity to rotate among tables to discuss topics of interest. We will conclude with a wrap-up discussion about key accomplishments by table, plus any aha moments, new collaborations, or goals achieved.
Innovative co-management partnerships to improve salmon habitat and recreation
Session Chair : Steve Hinton, Skagit River System Cooperative
Session Code : ECOSYS5
Tribes, First Nations, local, State, Provincial, and Federal governments, and non-governmental organizations cover a very wide knowledge base in regards to natural resources conservation, salmon habitat restoration, and recreational opportunities. Many of these entities focus on a narrow range of these topics limiting their reach across these opportunities.
This session will focus on special partnerships between two or more entities that have come together to co-manage and/or co-own an area or resource and developed an innovative approach in combining their knowledge and resources together to provide greater protections and opportunities than either entity could bring alone.
Such partnerships may include: indigenous communities or governments collaborating with other governments or NGOs to protect culturally important resources; transboundary relationships between different national government entities and indigenous communities or governments (nation-to-nation-to-nation).
Using traditional ecological knowledge to protect natural resources
Session Chair : Todd Mitchell, Swinomish Tribe
Session Code : ECOSYS6
Tribes and First Nations have a long history of living with our Mother Earth and using the knowledge of our ancestors to preserve our resources for the next generations. A lot of that knowledge has been lost and forgotten with the various pressures of westernized and modern culture. However, many indigenous peoples have continued past practices to some extent as well as worked to reinvigorate the importance of that knowledge. Historical research into these past practices has shown the great wisdom in the uses of natural plant, animal, and marine resources. Adapting or combining that knowledge with modern science and conservation can provide innovative techniques or methods for greater ecological and cultural benefits. This session will showcase the breadth of knowledge and resiliency of our indigenous nations through their projects that use their traditional knowledge base for the betterment of the environment.
Integration of science and policy leadership in Puget Sound
Session Chair : Laura Blackmore, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : ECOSYS7
In this session, members of the Puget Sound Management Conference will discuss the successes, challenges, and opportunities for innovation in leading the Puget Sound recovery effort. The Puget Sound Partnership manages four Boards — a Science Panel, Ecosystem Coordination Board, Salmon Recovery Council, and Leadership Council — with representatives from the US and Canada, tribes, all levels of US government, and the business, agricultural, and environmental communities. These four boards wrestle with current policy issues, strive to integrate scientific findings and monitoring data into decision-making, and guide the collective effort to accelerate Puget Sound recovery. Attendees will leave with an appreciation for the challenges associated with collaborative decision making, the need for strong adaptive management systems, and local attempts to grapple with transboundary issues.
Seagrass Cross-border Connections
Session Chair : Margot Hessing-Lewis, Hakai Institute
Session Code : ECOSYS8
Seagrass habitats, and their known ecological functions, are critical nearshore habitats, protected and managed in both American and Canadian waters. The coastal habitats of British Columbia and Washington are connected by waters, water-borne stressors, and animal movements, but their management remains jurisdictional, with different tools and policies implemented in Canada and the United States. This Special Session would bring together scientists, managers, practitioners and coastal stewardship groups with an aim of increasing transboundary dialogue on seagrass trends, agents of change to seagrass habitats, warning signs of seagrass decline and policy options to mitigate and foresee loss of this critical habitat. We invite speakers from Washington State and British Columbia to compare seagrass trends; discuss tools for seagrass management; and report on observations and explanations for seagrass stress and disturbance. As well, we welcome discussion and new evaluations of the ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats. This Special Session would facilitate greater technological and science knowledge transfer; necessary to mitigate seagrass declines across this region, as well as augment nearshore habitat restoration.
We welcome a multidisciplinary group of speakers involved in seagrass science, management and stewardship, including scientists, government agencies, community groups, First Nations/Tribes, non-profits and consultancies. The Session will be divided into 3 sub-sessions to address: 1) trends from BC and WA, 2) investigations on agents of change in BC and CA, 3) policy and management directions for BC and CA. We envision the total session to run for ~5 hours, along with a complementary poster session. We have reached out to various members of the seagrass community to participate; those flagged with an asterisk are eager to submit presentations. Other potential speakers have also been noted, and we welcome and anticipate more.
1. Seagrass cross-border trends: Reports from British Columbia and Washington (~2hrs)
*Lynn Lee, Jennifer Yakimishyn (Parks Canada)
Parks Canada annual monitoring trends; seagrass density and fish communities in Gwaii Haanas, Pacific Rim and Gulf Islands National Parks
*Luba Reschitnyk (Hakai Institute), Natasha Nahirnick (University of Victoria)
Mapping seagrass using UAVs (Unmaned Aerial Vehicles); quantifying environmental constraints across BC seagrass meadows
Leanna Boyer, Nikki Wright (Seagrass Conservation Stewardship Group)
Seagrass community-based mapping and monitoring in British Columbia
*Margot Hessing-Lewis, Angeleen Olson, Zach Monteith (Hakai Institute)
Northeast Pacific seagrass trophic trends; ecosystem factors promoting community resilience
*Bart Christiaen (Washington Department of Natural Resources)
Regional patterns in seagrass distribution, and their implications for management in greater Puget Sound
*Ole Shelton (NOAA), T. Francis, B.E. Feist, G.D. Williams, A. Lindquist, and P. Levin
Forty years of seagrass population stability and resilience in an urbanizing estuary
2. Seagrass stressors and disturbances North and South (~2 hrs)
*Erin Rechsteiner, Mathew Henderson (Hakai Institute)
Sea otter physical disturbances to seagrass beds
*Emily Adamcyzk, Mary O’Connor (University of British Columbia)
Human activities affect eelgrass biodiversity in the northern Salish Sea
Josie Iacarella, Julian Baum (Department of Fisheries and Oceans & University of Victoria)
Biotic homogenization of seagrass-associated fish communities along an anthropogenic gradient
*Drew Harvell, Olivia Graham (Friday Harbour Labs and Cornell University)
Is eelgrass wasting disease a threat to northwest eelgrass meadows?
*Morgan Eisenlord (Friday Harbour Labs and Cornell University), Miranda Winningham, Phoebe Dawkins, Evan Fiorenza, Reyn Yoshioka, Clio Jensen, Colleen Burge, Natalie Rivlin, Drew Harvell
Tipping the balance: seagrass wasting disease in a changing ocean
Ron Thom & lab group (Battelle National Laboratory)
Factors affecting the recovery trajectory of seagrass restoration
*Heath Bohlman, Jude Apple, Nicole Burnett, Suzanne Shull (Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve)
Seasonal temperature regimes of eelgrass beds (Z. marina and Z. japonica) in Padilla Bay, WA
*Sylvia Yang & lab group (Western Washington University)
Biogeochemical factors as seagrass stressors
Jennifer Ruesink & lab group (University of Washington)
Aquaculture effects on seagrass ecology
3. Seagrass management North and South; synergies in policy, and implementation (~1hr)
*Cynthia Durance (Precision Identification, Inc.)
Seagrass mitigation policy in British Columbia; insights from practice
Emily Rubidge (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada)
Seagrass as Ecologically and Biologically Important Areas (EBSAs) in British Columbia; next steps in marine planning
*Jeff Gaeckle (Washington Department of Natural Resources), Rom Thom, John Vavrinec et al.
Eelgrass (Zostera marine) recovery in Puget Sound: restoration tools, successes and challenges
*Nick Tolimieri and Jameal Samhouri (National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA)
Seagrass Health in Puget Sound, Washington
4. Complimentary poster session – inclusive of all seagrass topics
*Department of Natural Resources
SeagrassNet sampling in Washington State
*Carolyn Prentice, Rhea Smith, Margot Hessing-Lewis (Hakai Institute)
Seagrass Blue Carbon in BC
Katrina Poppe (Western Washington University)
Seagrass Blue Carbon in WA
*Rhea Smith, Laura Parfrey, Marcus Campbell (Hakai Institute and UBC)
Spatial trends in seagrass-associated microbial communities
*Angeleen Olson, Francis Juanes (University of Victoria)
Kelp forests enhance the nursery function of seagrass habitats
Tribal Governments Advancing Puget Sound Recovery through the Sharing of Culture, Science and Leadership (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : David Herrera, Skokomish Tribe
Session Code : Closed for Submission
This presentation will showcase tribal leadership, vision and science in protecting and restoring the Salish Sea. A series of three, tiered, panel presentations will address individual specific topic areas and collectively build to share cultural, political and science based approaches being brought forward by tribes. This will be coupled with an invitation to collaborate and improve efforts to better govern and manage the Salish Sea in a way that supports tribal treaty rights and the eco-system as a whole.
The three sessions include:
1. “gw∂dzadad – Teaching of Our Ancestors” – Tribal Habitat Strategy
Form and function – collectively engaging placed based knowledge, best available science, data and maps to identify needs, track, quantify and act.
2. Water Quality: Expecting the Best – Regulations as Inspiration – responsive to science, driving innovation and building economies
3. Salmon Recovery: Harvest – Hatcheries – Habitat
Contemporary Management Strategies
All sessions will include cultural background and foundation perspective, as well as science and policy objectives and the imperative of a changing climate on all work and decisions compounded with the pressures of explosive population growth.
The overall purpose is to share tribal experience and perspective to deepen understanding and inspire urgency of action.
The sessions will showcase success, identify concerns, build understanding and promote improved collaboration.
The application and creation of knowledge that leads to action to restore and protect an ecosystem
Session Chair : Donald Castelden, Comox Valley Project Watershed Society
Session Code : ECOSYS9
This proposal for a General Session will invite presentations of initiatives that have addressed the application of existing, new and evolving knowledge that has led to action focussed on the restoration and protection of an ecosystem within the Salish Sea Ecosystem.
Contributors will be asked to describe the intervention that addresses:
I. The background, framework or structure under which the initiative and action emerged
II. Critical processes in the intervention and
III. The leadership that was provided – how leadership enabled the initiative
Ideally, the intervention will address cross cultural (Indigenous – non indigenous interaction); interdisciplinary (the contribution of multiple disciplines); and boundary issues (between organizations, institutions, and governments – First Nation/Native American, local, regional, provincial and state, and federal.
Donald Castleden, Ed.D.
Chair, Estuary Working Group
Comox Valley Project Watershed Society
Assistant Professor (retired), Continuing Education Division and Adjunct Professor (retired), Native Studies, The University of Manitoba
Professional Member, NTL Institute of Applied Behavioural Science
Increased ocean-going vessel traffic and its effects and risks to wildlife and the economy of the Salish Sea.
Session Chair : Misty MacDuffee, Raincoast Conservation Foundation
Session Code : ECOSYS11
Increases in vessel traffic that are planned or projected to ports shipping oil and other cargo within the Salish Sea increase pollution, noise and oil spill risks to transboundary marine mammals, ecosystems and our regional economy. Given this threat, we require a better understanding of the risks and consequences. This session will discuss the ecological and economic risks of oil pollution, spills, noise and potentially other adverse effects of increased ocean-going vessels in the Salish Sea. Presenters will discuss findings from bioacoustics studies on marine species impacted by shipping as well as discuss results from oil spill and vessel traffic risk assessments and the impacts of an oil spill to our regional economy. Presenters will discuss lessons that can be learned from and for environmental assessment regimes on both sides of the border, as well as for transboundary efforts that are underway to raise awareness of these combined risks among decision-makers and members of the public.
Fate, Transport, & Toxicity of Chemicals
Modeling the effects of pesticides, toxicants, and multiple stressors on the fish populations of the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Wayne Landis, Western Washington University
Session Code : TOXICITY1
The Salish Sea is an outstanding example of the issues when dealing with multiple stressors, acting over a diverse landscape to a variety of endpoints that provide diverse ecosystem services. Contaminants enter the freshwater and marine components of the Salish Sea from agriculture, non-point surface runoff, effluents, long-range transport, and many other sources. Other stressors include changes in temperature, dissolved oxygen, flow rates, turbidity, siltation, and physical alterations. These different stressors act as mixtures of different chemical inputs, changes in physical properties of the water, and alterations due to human activities. The combined effects of these inputs to the population dynamics of salmonids and other fishes in the Salish Sea are poorly understood. Synergistic, additive and antagonistic interactions can occur and affect populations for decades. This session will concentrate on tools to predict the population scale dynamics for diverse habitats and a range of fish species. The tools will include l population modeling, Bayesian networks, and machine learning. Examples of the papers will include the prediction of Chinook salmon dynamics due to combinations of pesticides, the use of Bayesian networks to incorporate chemical stressors and the characteristics of watersheds. Finally, we will propose the establishment of a long-term research and monitoring agenda to improve our understanding of these effects and improve our predictions.
Contaminants in marine mammals of the Salish Sea and their food web
Session Chair : Marie Noel, Ocean Wise
Session Code : TOXICITY2
The Salish Sea is at the receiving end of thousands of chemicals being released into the marine environment, many of them being persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. As long-lived, high trophic level feeders, marine mammals tend to bioaccumulate persistent organic pollutants to levels that can be harmful. Contaminants have been identified as a key factor with a high likelihood of affecting recovery of southern resident killer whales in US Conservation Plans and southern and northern resident killer whales in Canadian Recovery Plans. Documenting the presence, trends and health effects of important contaminant of concerns in killer whales, other marine mammal species and their food web is therefore an important line of research. This session will highlight recent work on contaminant monitoring in various marine mammal species as well as important prey species. The focus will be on both legacy and emerging contaminants with the goal of providing an overview of current efforts to evaluate contaminants in resident killer whale habitat.
Biological Indicators of Stormwater Impacts and Mitigation Effectiveness in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Julann Spromberg, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Session Code : TOXICITY3
Lowland areas surrounding the Salish Sea are experiencing increasing urbanization due to human population growth. The conversion of forested and agricultural lands to commercial and residential uses increases the amount of runoff carrying pollutants from roads, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces. The runoff flows directly into the Salish Sea as well as its streams and rivers. Stormwater runoff poses a significant threat to the biological integrity of freshwater, estuarine, and nearshore habitats in the Salish Sea. Research has shown that stormwater runoff can significantly affect the health of biological communities that comprise productive aquatic ecosystems. Recognized impacts from stormwater include high rates of adult coho pre-spawn mortality in urban streams, decreased aquatic invertebrate survival, and embryo development and cardiovascular issues in fish. The current conservation and resource management challenges associated with toxic runoff are geographically widespread and complex. Myriad efforts are underway to reduce the ecological impacts of polluted stormwater runoff via toxic source control, low impact development (LID), redevelopment using green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), and best management practices. While these activities represent an unprecedented societal investment, little is known about their effectiveness – e.g., whether toxic loadings are reduced to the extent that the biological integrity of aquatic habitats is ensured. Typically, effectiveness is measured either physically (e.g., % flow reduction) or chemically (e.g., % reduction in mass loading). Less research has focused on biological metrics and the extent to which the biological integrity of receiving waters is protected. An approach might be successful from the standpoint of physical and chemical indicators, yet fail to protect aquatic species from the harmful effects of toxic runoff. Using a variety of biological indicators, such as salmon and forage fish, to measure effects will assist in translating impacts and mitigation strategies to ecosystem recovery targets. This session will highlight research on the biological indicators under development to characterize the impacts of stormwater and test the effectiveness of mitigation techniques for the protection of Salish Sea biota.
General session on contaminants in wildlife
Session Chair : John Elliott, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Session Code : TOXICITY4
The Salish Sea has a rich native wildlife fauna. It is also a region with a historical legacy of industrial, urban and agricultural pollution with associated releases of persistent contaminants. Currently the human population on both sides of the border is among the fastest growing in North America. Associated with the population growth is the use and release of plethora of commercial chemical products. Thus that rich wildlife fauna is exposed to an increasing array of chemical stresses, including persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Many species of mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates on both sides of the border are listed as endangered or threatened, and in some cases the critical factors causing population decline are not known, but often chemical contaminants are known or suspected important factors. This session welcomes presentations on any subject related to exposure and effects of chemical stressors on wildlife, particularly those which also examine multiple factors, and the subject area ranges from molecular to population biology studies.
Occurrence and impacts of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Andrew James, University of Washington
Session Code : TOXICITY5
Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) include a wide array of compounds that are used in daily activities, but not well characterized in terms of occurrence, fate, transport, or toxicity. CECs include pharmaceuticals and personal care products (antibiotics, pain medications, sunscreen agents, etc.), synthetic hormones (birth control), perfluorinated compounds and current use agrichemicals (imidacloprid, atrazine). Numerous investigations have been performed in the region to characterize the extent and distribution of their occurrence, as well as, their potential impacts on important species. Novel methods are being used to further understand patterns and transformations.
In this session, we will explore the current research related to the occurrence and ecological impacts of CECs in regional water bodies. We also aim to explore the differences in the approaches to the management of this vast group of compounds.
This session format will consist of a set of presentations selected from those submitted based on relevance and significance of the work towards improving our understanding of CECs in the Salish Sea.
Habitat Restoration & Protection
Restoring shellfish harvesting beaches in the transboundary Salish Sea
Session Chair : Lawrence Sullivan, Washington Department of Health
Session Code : HABITAT1
Shellfish are an important part of the economy, lifestyle and heritage of the Salish Sea, and access to shellfish resources is an indicator that relates environmental condition to human wellbeing in the Salish Sea ecosystem. At low tide, an abundance of clams, mussels and oysters may be found in coastal waters of the Salish Sea. This has earned this transboundary region a reputation as being one of the largest producers of shellfish in North America, and draws Salish Sea residents to recreational beaches throughout the year, connecting them with nature. Most significantly, shellfish harvesting has been a vital component of Coast Salish traditions and economies for thousands of years.
Bivalve shellfish feed by filtering the water that washes over shellfish beds. As such, depending on the quality of water at these beaches, shellfish can accumulate harmful pathogens. To protect for human health, shellfish beaches are classified based on the results of local sanitary surveys and water quality monitoring results. If sanitary surveys identify potential impacts to water quality, such as being too close to wastewater treatment outfalls or industrial developments, or if monitoring shows poor water quality, then a shellfish beach may be closed to harvesting. While protective of human health, such closures have impacts on human wellbeing. This session explores the significance of shellfish harvesting to the social and economic wellbeing of the Salish Sea ecosystem, transboundary programs to protect human health from pathogens borne in shellfish, and successful restoration efforts in Georgia Basin and Puget Sound where shellfish harvesting beaches have been upgraded in their classification to allow for continued shellfish harvesting.
1. Significance of Commercial, Recreational and Coast Salish Shellfish Resources in the Salish Sea
2. US and Canadian Shellfish Sanitation programs –
3. Shellfish Restoration in Georgia Basin (Indian Arm) – and/or Tsleil-Waututh’s story of reopening shellfish harvest in Burrard Inlet this year for the first time since 1972.
4. Shellfish Restoration in Puget Sound (Drayton Harbor – overview of this success story)
5. Potential for US-Canada Collaboration (Boundary Bay?)
Nearshore Practitioners Workshop – Developing a new multi-purpose data-driven tool based on Puget Sound-wide new shoreline data to meet the needs of restoration practitioners and resource-protectors in the Salish Sea (WORKSHOP – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Tish Conway-Cranos, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Session Code : Closed for Submission
The objective of this workshop is to identify important questions/decisions for restoration and protection, discuss data limitations and gaps, and gather input as ESRP and CGS develop a new conceptual tool through the “Beach Strategies Project” that informs nearshore restoration and protection decisions in the Salish Sea. The workshop will be hosted by Jay Krienitz and Tish Conway-Cranos, who manage the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP), which funds restoration and science investigations to advance Puget Sound Nearshore ecosystem recovery. The workshop will consist of a panel of experts representing different sectors of the nearshore restoration and protection community including: regional salmon recovery, local and state shoreline managers, non-profit organizers, coastal geographers/GIS analysts, shoreline planners and permit-issuers, and tribal representatives. Workshop participants and speakers will begin by introducing their role in the nearshore community and then briefly describe their values and approaches to nearshore restoration or protection including the types of actions they try to implement and how those actions or projects are determined. A discussion will be facilitated on data limitations and constraints to restoration and protection success in the region. This workshop will be an interactive event in which all audience members will be invited to participate through live on-screen surveys. Surveys will measure consensus among participants in restoration and protection priorities, critical data gaps, and the most effective tools used to guide successful restoration and protection actions. This workshop aims to facilitate a cross-pollination of ideas and approaches, prioritize data gaps, and highlight new tools to meet the needs of multiple users in the nearshore community.
Challenges and solutions for shoreline armor removal and design of soft shore protection
Session Chair : Jessica Cote, Confluence Environmental Company
Session Code : HABITAT2
The removal of hard shoreline armoring is widely recognized as essential to restoration of nearshore habitat and ecological function in the Salish Sea. Hard shoreline armoring structures are generally defined as rock slopes or vertical walls placed either parallel to the shoreline to prevent erosion of sediment from the upland and create a stable shoreline position (i.e. seawalls, revetments and bulkheads) or placed perpendicular to the shoreline to prevent sediment from moving alongshore (i.e. groins, jetties). The intention of removing armoring from the shoreline is to restore the natural exchange of sediment between the upland and the nearshore area creating a dynamic shoreline that can shift due to tides and waves.
Many shoreline armor removal projects have land use constraints, such as buildings or other infrastructure, which require a stable and predictable shoreline position. These constraints can preclude complete restoration at some sites. Soft shore protection, which uses naturally occurring materials (e.g., sediment, wood, and vegetation) to stabilize the shoreline position and provide a dynamic buffer between upland land uses and the nearshore environment, is one possible solution at constrained sites. The primary goal in the replacement of hard armoring with soft shore protection is to recreate the natural environment as closely as practical. However, the design of soft shore stabilization techniques in heavily modified environments is often complicated by adjacent land uses, disturbance of existing ecological function, and conflicts between stakeholders. This session will focus on the challenges encountered and solutions applied during the design of soft shore protection to replace hard armoring on both public and private property, as well projects of varying scale (single to multiple parcels). Presentations will be provided from several perspectives including representatives from state agencies, county agencies, non-profit organizations, and consulting companies.
Kelp distribution and recovery strategies in the Salish Sea.
Session Chair : Helen Berry, WA Department of Natural Resources
Session Code : HABITAT3
The Salish Sea supports more than 20 species of kelp that serve as both primary producers and biogenic habitat for species ranging from zooplankton to rockfish and salmon. Kelp habitat also supports commercially important and ESA-listed species. In recent decades, conspicuous declines in canopy forming kelps have been noted. These losses have raised significant concerns about wider ecosystem impacts as well as questions related to the cause of kelp declines and recovery options. A collaborative effort has been developed to address these issues. Experts in the region met for a 2016 workshop to discuss knowledge gaps and develop a plan forward for conservation and recovery. The aim of this session is to share the most current information on historical and current kelp distribution trends, suspected stressors, ecological and cultural impacts, and recovery and conservation efforts. Speakers from a variety of agency, tribal, and non-profit backgrounds are invited to share insights that will build transboundary and interdisciplinary collaborations
Forage fish spawning beach restoration and monitoring results in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Jim Johannessen, Coastal Geologic Services Inc.
Session Code : HABITAT4
THIS IS A GENERAL SESSION PROPOSAL:
Forage fish including surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) and Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus), also called candlefish, spawn on upper intertidal beaches in the Salish Sea, and are the primary food for returning adult salmon. These habitats have been degraded through reduction in littoral drift, installation of shore armor, and placement of fill. To offset the long-term degradation of forage fish beach spawning habitat, numerous recent restoration, monitoring, and research projects have been undertaken, especially in Washington state. Data and findings discussed will include small to the largest recent beach projects in the region. This session will bring together leading scientists and practitioners to present the latest information and provide current science and lessons learned on forage fish beach restoration. Topics covered will include an overview of restoration projects, selection and design of restoration sites, project implementation, status and trends, results of pre-and post-project forage fish restoration and armor removal monitoring with reference sites, and advice on advanced this type of restoration throughout the Salish Sea. The session will emphasize work in the Puget Sound region and include work in the Salish Sea of Canada. Presenters already committed to this proposed session and topics proposed include (interest from additional Canadian and US scientist and others has been expressed):
Jim Johannessen, Coastal Geologic Services – Salish Sea forage fish spawning beach restoration overview and implementation, climate change considerations
Erin Dilworth, WDFW Habitat Science Team: Puget Sound wide forage fish habitat monitoring
Hannah Faulkner, WDFW Habitat Science Team: Forage fish beach restoration monitoring
Rachel Wang, WWF-Canada: Protecting beach spawning habitat in British Columbia’s Salish Sea
Jason Toft, UW, and many collaborators: Shoreline Armoring Removal: Synthesis and Assessment of Restoration Effectiveness in the Salish Sea
Tina Whitman, Friends of the San Juans, Strategies for engaging public and private landowners in forage fish restoration
Building resilient floodplains through regional policy, community-driven solutions and science- the story of integrated floodplain management.
Session Chair : Libby Gier, Department of Natural Resources
Session Code : HABITAT5
Floodplains are some of the most valuable places in Washington State for people and for wildlife. They are home to endangered salmon, provide local and fresh food, and are home to some of our largest cities, like Seattle. The goal of integrated floodplain management is to build resilient floodplain systems that support an integrated approach to the 3F’s: fish, farm, and flood risk reduction.
This session intends to highlight the restoration progress and approaches being taken by local multi-benefit groups and regional entities. This includes the tactics of on-the-ground projects, how they are measuring success and effective engagement strategies to support multiple interests. It also provides an opportunity to showcase regional coordination efforts and higher level partnerships that support the needs of those local communities and interests. And finally, building resiliency into a complex ecosystem in the developed world is no easy task. This session will also highlight local and regional efforts to include climate resiliency and flood risk projections into integrated planning efforts.
Big Objects Need Big Solutions: Addressing the environmental effects of major infrastructure around the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Susan O’Neil, Long Live the Kings
Session Code : HABITAT6
We continue to discover unintended environmental consequences related to major infrastructure in the Salish Sea, but these multi-million dollar engineering feats often provide critical societal functions and natural restoration is not always an option. It is up to scientists, engineers, and policy makers to dissect unique and high-stakes problems to deliver solutions that allow society and the environment to progress. This session will examine significant projects in the Salish Sea, while leaving an opportunity for additional contributors.
The Hood Canal Floating Bridge is the third largest saltwater floating bridge in the world and its placement near the mouth of a fjord complicates the entire ecosystem. Partners are working to pinpoint the cause of high steelhead mortality observed near the bridge and to gauge the bridge’s effect on water quality.
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) celebrated its 100th anniversary this July and stakeholders are concerned about its growing age, environmental effects, and the survival of salmonids in the ship canal’s warm water. Partners are looking for solutions to assure that the Locks continue to deliver over $1 billion in economic activity while better protecting the threatened salmonids seeking passage to their natal streams.
The Seattle waterfront is currently undergoing a significant renovation and at its foundation is the seawall, protecting critical infrastructure and now, salmon habitat. Innovative engineering, partnerships, and research make this example a hopeful success story.
We propose three presentations on the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment, a presentation on scoping the Ballard Locks project, a presentation on the environmental aspect of Seattle’s seawall, and an open presentation slot for an additional project. With additional examples, this session could expand to two sessions. Presentations will discuss the partnerships, science, and outreach unique to large infrastructure projects. The session will be chaired by Susan O’Neil, LLTK.
Land-Use, Growth & Development
Growing smart: diverse perspectives on encouraging density in Puget Sound’s Urban Growth Areas
Session Chair : Tristan Peter-Contesse, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : LAND1
The Puget Sound region is experiencing unprecedented population growth. Last year, Pierce and Snohomish counties had the largest net increase in people of all 3,100 counties nationwide, and as of July 2016, the Seattle metro area is gaining 1,100 new residents every week (2016 US census data).
Our efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound – which is inextricably tied to the quality of life we enjoy here – are complicated by this ever-increasing population density. Moving forward, one of our greatest challenges is to protect habitat on which our native species depend while also accommodating everyone who wants to call this place home.
The Puget Sound Partnership and others are charting the course to recovery through Implementation Strategies, which articulate key approaches to restoring and protecting Puget Sound. One of these Implementation Strategies highlights that reducing barriers to infill and redevelopment in Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) is one of the best ways to a) encourage growth and population density in places where it’s planned to occur; and b) reduce conversion of farmland and other ecologically-important lands elsewhere .
Public-private partnerships may well hold the key to directing population growth in a manner that reduces impacts to important habitats and native species in Puget Sound. In this conference special session, we propose to engage private sector partners – in addition to state government representatives – to help identify approaches to incentivizing infill and redevelopment in UGAs. Infill and redevelopment may include multifamily development, new retail space, and an increased footprint for the maritime industry and ports. Realtors, developers, land use attorneys, agency regulators, and others with first-hand experience of barriers will have the opportunity to share perspectives with the scientific community on barriers and solutions to encouraging development in places where – under the Growth Management Act – it is planned to occur.
The performance of low impact development applied across land use scales using flow control, water quality and biological metrics
Session Chair : Curtis Hinman, Herrera Environmental Consultants
Session Code : LAND2
Pursuant to Municipal Stormwater Permit requirements, the use of low impact development (LID) is required for large jurisdictions as of January 2017 and will be required in 2018 for smaller jurisdictions across western Washington State. Consequently, the use of LID best management practices (BMPs) in both the public and private sector in Washington State will increase dramatically. Due to this trend away from traditional stormwater controls (e.g, wet ponds and vaults) and toward the use of LID BMPs, developing specifications and designs which maximize effective water quality treatment and runoff volume control is imperative.
To understand how well the LID approach protects receiving waters, effectiveness must be examined at various scales and with appropriate metrics. This session will begin with one of the few paired watershed studies conducted in the U.S. and how conventional and LID stormwater practices applied at the watershed scale compare for protecting receiving waters. We will then examine the application and performance of LID BMPs applied at the sub-basin scale across different land use types. Drilling down further, the process for developing high performance bioretention media with a focus on water quality treatment performance will be presented. Finally, we will examine the latest science assessing how well bioretention systems protect aquatic organisms at the molecular and whole organism level.
Beyond Armwaving and Anecdotes: Bringing Adaptive Management to Land Use Planning
Session Chair : Keith Folkerts, WDFW
Session Code : LAND3
In this session participants will learn from practitioners about how two counties have used new technology and thoughtful analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of their Critical Area Ordinance (CAO) and Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Audience members will hear why these “monitoring and adaptive management” efforts were undertaken, how they were funded, what they had in common and why there were differences. State agency staff from Commerce, Ecology and Fish and Wildlife will discuss emerging trends in CAO and SMP monitoring and adaptive management, why it’s shaping up to be a major topic in Commerce’s forthcoming guidance on CAOs and how Ecology is promoting it for shoreline management. WDFW will demonstrate how a powerful new, easy-to-use, and scientifically sound tool can help local jurisdictions conduct their own evaluation of CAOs and SMPs. The session will conclude with a Q&A among the county and state agency staff and audience members.
Learning objectives of this 90-minute session: understand the definition and importance of “effectiveness monitoring” and “adaptive management;” understand counties’ experience with it; understand the reasons causing it to be a growing trend for CAOs and SMPs; see how new tools can help local jurisdictions accomplish it in a way that is cost effective.
NOTE: If this session proposal is accepted we will look for people from BC to be included on the panel to discuss monitoring and adaptive management efforts in BC.
Revamping PHS: Improving how WDFW provides land use advice to conserve habitat
Session Chair : Keith Folkerts, WDFW
Session Code : LAND4
In this session participants will interact with WDFW staff about ongoing improvements to the way WDFW provides land use advice to local governments and others through its Priority Habitats and Species (PHS) program. Participants will learn about WDFW’s efforts to revamp PHS using web-based tools and staff training to convey spatially-explicit, situation-specific, client-specific management recommendations to conserve Priority Habitats and perpetuate Priority Species.
Since 1990 PHS has been WDFW’s primary means of providing fish, wildlife and habitat information to local governments, landowners, tribes, and others for land use planning purposes. PHS has many strengths: is a well-known brand and frequently used resource among land use planners; it is referenced repeatedly in the Washington Administrative Code regarding the Growth Management Act and Shoreline Management Act; it is among the best programs of its kind in the US. There are also opportunities for it to be more effective: Modern web-based tools allow PHS to reach a broader audience with information tailored to their place and circumstances; WDFW’s new High Resolution Change Detection dataset provides unprecedented opportunities to evaluate effectiveness of habitat conservation efforts.
The revamp effort, begun in 2017 and on track to be completed in 2020, is a major initiative of WDFW and has direct implications for local, tribal, state, and federal agencies throughout the state as well as landowners and NGOs.
NOTE: If this session is selected we will try to find a person from BC to compare/contrast efforts in BC aimed at achieving habitat conservation through local land use planning.
Who knew hazard mitigation could be so beautiful? Integrating GI and LID into Hazard Mitigation Plans
Session Chair : Krista Mendelman, US EPA Region 10
Session Code : LAND5
Nationally, we have seen an increase in extreme one-day precipitation events since the early 1990s This infusion of water causes increased flows downstream. During large rainstorms and flood events, downstream systems are pushed past their capacity leading to flooding of uplands and damage to other infrastructure. FEMA and EPA are collaborating to integrate traditional stormwater quality and habitat best practices of green infrastructure and low impact development into hazard mitigation planning to better address flooding and drought. Who knew that we could potentially reduce flood insurance costs with “rain garden” flowers and “green street” trees? This session will cover the FEMA’s new guidance that encourages this work, the four EPA funded pilots that demonstrate how green infrastructure and low impact development can be incorporated into FEMA hazard mitigation plans, the FEMA grant programs that are available for funding this work and FEMA’s work with the state and local governments to implementing the National Flood Insurance Program Biological Opinion in Washington. Speakers will be from FEMA Region 10 and EPA Region 10 and University of Oregon’s Partnership for Disaster Resilience.
Monitoring: Species & Habitats
Evolution and integration of long term status and trends monitoring programs to assess nutrient enrichment and climate change pressures in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Margaret Dutch, Washington State Department of Ecology
Session Code : MONITOR1
Long-term monitoring of the condition of the Salish Sea ecosystem has been conducted for decades in Canadian and US waters by local, state, and federal government agencies. These ongoing status and trends programs have characterized baseline conditions on multiple spatial scales and have identified changes in conditions over time in the water column and sediments, and in the diverse communities of plankton, invertebrates, fish, seagrasses and kelp they support.
While the goals, objectives and hypotheses of these programs have differed from one another, reflecting differing management priorities, significant findings from each suggest changes in habitat and biotic community condition likely due to stressors and pressures related to climate change and nutrient enrichment. While long-term monitoring programs must maintain consistency in their methods to accurately identify change over time, they must also have the flexibility to evolve and fine-tune their questions and study design in response to key findings from all of these programs.
This session is intended to present findings from long-term monitoring programs that highlight changes in Salish Sea ecosystem condition related to nutrient enrichment and climate change, discuss new directions taken by these programs to better understand the relationship between these pressures and changes in habitat and biotic communities, and to suggest new sets of environmental indicators that will better inform Salish Sea policy and management actions.
Transboundary monitoring of marine birds and mammals in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Peter Hodum, University of Puget Sound
Session Code : MONITOR3
The Salish Sea is an internationally significant area for marine birds and mammals, with 72 bird and 29 mammal species considered to be highly dependent on intertidal or marine habitat and marine-derived food in the region (Gaydos and Pearson 2011). With a complex and growing set of human impacts in the region, marine bird and mammal populations are under increasing pressure. For example, of the 37 most common overwintering species of marine birds, 14 are considered to be declining significantly (Bower 2009).
Understanding the spatial distribution and abundance patterns of Salish Sea-dependent species is useful for identifying conservation and restoration priorities integrated throughout the Salish Sea as well as for evaluating the effectiveness of management or restoration actions. As such, strategic, long-term monitoring of marine bird and mammal populations plays a crucial role in advancing system-wide conservation planning and action.
There is a wide range of monitoring programs being undertaken in the Salish Sea by a variety of organizations, including regional and federal government, universities and local non-profits, using many different approaches, including important citizen science initiatives.
In this session, we will include programs and approaches in existing transboundary collaborations and explore ways to develop and/or better coordinate additional transboundary monitoring initiatives. We will focus on the (1) use of bird and mammal monitoring information to inform ecosystem health, (2) use of bird and mammal monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation actions, and (3) the development of integrated, strategic monitoring approaches in the Salish Sea.
Changes in ecosystem function and climate revealed by long-term monitoring in the Salish Sea.
Session Chair : Jude Apple, Padilla Bay NERR
Session Code : MONITOR4
Long-term monitoring of environmental parameters is critical for revealing oceanographic and climatic variability and evaluating their effects on ecological processes and ecosystem-scale function. There are numerous long-term monitoring efforts in the Salish Sea, as well as multiple programs that collect and archive real-time and near real-time ocean and environmental data. Collectively, these long-term datasets reveal anomalous conditions, offer novel insight into basin and regional-scale change and pattern, and provide a valuable context for interpreting present-day measurements and phenomena.
We propose a session that will bring together those who are conducting long-term monitoring projects, those involved in the interpretation and analysis of long-term monitoring data, and those interested in the application of these data to protection and management of the Salish Sea ecosystem. Contributors to this session will address some of the following:
• What can long-term monitoring and ocean observing data tell us about the health, function and future of the Salish Sea Ecosystem?
• How has long-term data been used to reveal the effects of the abnormal oceanographic and climatological conditions experienced in the Salish Sea during recent years?
• What management and policy needs can be met by long-term observing data? Are there new approaches to using long-term data that will better inform the environmental decision-making process and help translate science into action?
• What novel applications of long-term data can we foresee as a tool to better understand and preserve the Salish Sea?
• Are there gaps in the coverage of long-term data (i.e. geographic extent, parameters measured, ecological processes measured) that need to be addressed?
The primary outcome of this session will be an improved understanding of large spatial and temporal-scale change in the Salish Sea and revised ideas for the application of long-term data for management decisions.
Shorebird monitoring in the Salish Sea: A session to launch a shared, scalable and integrative currency of estuarine value
Session Chair : Todd Hass, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : MONITOR2
The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program recently synthesized and evaluated bird monitoring efforts associated with the largest estuary restoration projects in Puget Sound over that past two decades (Kolberstein et al. 2017, for the Marine Birds Work Group). The analysis revealed that no systematic approaches or common monitoring goals for birds have been identified—let alone adopted. By contrast, the effectiveness of estuarine restoration projects can often be measured and assessed by the number of additional salmon smolts they produce. Although many qualitative ecological benefits of tidal marshes and mudflats have been described for waterbirds and shorebirds, there are scant data sources in Puget Sound that can be rolled up—quantitatively at the meso- or macro-scale—to provide regional population information and inform conservation and management.This deficit is especially distressing, because individually and collectively, various estuaries within the Salish Sea (e.g., Fraser River, Skagit River Delta etc.) are recognized as sites of regional to hemispheric level importance to imperiled shorebirds whose migrations and critical ‘fueling stops’ span the Americas. While some shorebirds’ use of relatively large, open prey-rich areas has been consistent over time, in recent years their use of smaller prey-rich foraging areas appears to have declined due to rebounding populations of predators like Peregrine Falcons and dwindling “safety-in-numbers” benefits at smaller, or less open sites. To bridge these gaps and challenges, we propose a work shop that assembles estuarine ecologists and bird monitoring experts—locally and internationally—to outline a systematic and streamlined framework for future avian monitoring that: builds on the body of monitoring work in the Salish Sea; applies recommendations from the synthesis of regional bird monitoring efforts; accounts for temporal and area-dependent tradeoffs in habitat quality and predator pressure; is scalable and compatible with peer programs along the Pacific flyway; and establishes common and reciprocal monitoring goals for estuaries and birds.
Transboundary Actions to Address Threats to Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW)
Session Chair : Cecilia Wong, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Session Code : MONITOR6
The Salish Sea ecosystem includes shared transboundary waters extending north through the Strait of Georgia in Canada, west along the shared Strait of Juan de Fuca, southward through the Puget Sound in the U.S. and eastward including the land and rivers that drain into these coastal waters. A recent study (Gaydos, Thixton and Donatuto, 2015) examined threats to marine species of particular cultural importance to Coast Salish First Nations and Tribes. Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, making the prioritization of species difficult, however prominent in Coast Salish traditions are Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), which are identified as endangered by federal, state and provincial agencies. Through a shared sense of place, SRKW are important to all residents of the Salish Sea. This session explores the vulnerability of SRKW to coastal development, presents opportunities for Canadian-U.S. cooperation, and explores ways to improve the level of transboundary collaboration to support SRKW. In September 2016, the Puget Sound Federal Task Force was formed to strengthen the coordination of federal actions with other levels of government, including tribes, as well as with academic and non-governmental efforts to further our communal ability to protect and restore Puget Sound. A federal Action Plan was developed to help support and implement the Puget Sound Action Agenda and associated salmon recovery priorities. Similarly, in November 2016, Canada launched a federal Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) to protect the marine environment and offer new possibilities to Indigenous and coastal communities. These federal roles are important because SRKWs are listed by both federal governments, as well as the province of British Columbia and the State of Washington, as being at risk of extinction which provides a foundation for coordinating transboundary recovery efforts. Through both Canadian and U.S. programs, there are efforts to support recovery of SRKW and restore coastal ecosystems. In addition to strengthening partnerships among Canadian and U.S. agencies to protect SRKW, a desirable outcome from this session is inspiration and empowerment of participants to engage in activities to protect this transboundary species.
Reducing Plastics Pollution: State of the Science and International Policy Solutions
Session Chair : Margaret McCauley, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington
Session Code : PLASTIC1
We propose two back-to-back special sessions on the emerging science and policy related to plastic pollution in marine and freshwater environments. Each session will be 1.5 hours in length, featuring six 15-minute presentations (12 minutes for speaking; 3 minutes for Q&A following each talk). We are happy to work with others who may be submitting similar session proposals.
1) State of the Science: Plastic Pollution in the Salish Sea
This session will feature current research from the Salish Sea region on plastics (including microplastics) in marine and freshwater environments, addressing key questions such as: How much plastic pollution affects the Salish Sea region? What are the impacts of plastics on marine and freshwater organisms? What are the human health risks of plastic pollution? What are the data gaps?
• Peter Ross, Vancouver Aquarium – microfibers research
• Speaker from University of Puget Sound – microplastics research
• Kathy Conn/Robert Black, USGS – microplastics research
• Additional speakers (we wanted to leave room for people to submit additional abstracts for this session, including macro-plastics, freshwater systems, etc.)
2) Policy Approaches to Plastic Pollution Prevention
This session will bring participants together in a cross-discipline, trans-boundary discussion on structured and shared decision-making and the roles of policy, science, legal frameworks, economics and culture in protecting the Salish Sea from plastic pollution. Topics might include: British Columbia’s producer responsibility policies and product take-back programs; business cases for reducing single-use items; policy goals and management strategies, including barriers and solutions, related to plastics markets; transboundary environmental standards that cover plastics in the Salish Sea (e.g. water quality standards), and more.
• Speaker from Vancouver/ BC to discuss product takeback program
• Speakers from local businesses that have switched from disposables to durables in Salish Sea area (e.g. Point Defiance Aquarium, Tacoma, WA)
• Speaker to discuss challenges/success of The Binners Project (Vancouver, BC)
• Speaker to discuss challenges/successes of local bans of single use plastic products
• Speaker from EPA to discuss legal framework for Trash Free Waters program
• Speaker to discuss legal framework for WA/BC/transboundary management of Salish Sea plastic pollution
• Stephanie Barger, US Green Building Council to discuss waste-reduction in LEED certification process and business case for plastic pollution prevention
Microplastic pollution: a troubling, yet tractable, conservation priority in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Peter Ross, Ocean Wise
Session Code : PLASTIC2
Visible plastic debris has long been recognized as a significant threat to charismatic species such as seabirds, marine mammals and turtles, but microplastics are now emerging as a concern around the world. Microplastics are defined as plastic particles smaller than 5 mm in size, with primary microplastics including those products deliberately manufactured such as microbeads and nurdles, and secondary microplastics including the breakdown products of commercial items such as food and beverage containers, bags, and textiles. Despite the increasing number of reports on microplastics in the ocean and in the food web, less is known about the effects in aquatic species. Several surveys reveal microplastics to be omnipresent in the Salish Sea, and some work has found uptake by zooplankton and shellfish. Microplastics have even been found in cultured shellfish, thereby bringing human health concerns to the table. This session will bring together those researchers working on microplastics in the Salish Sea and provide a go-to opportunity to conservationists and natural resource managers interested in this topic. Presenters will be encourage to integrate their findings with the latest findings from the international literature. It is expected that presentations will highlight some of the putative source to sink pathways in the Salish Sea, something that would facilitate mitigation of a multifaceted and far-reaching conservation threat.
Policy, Management, & Regulations
Addressing European green crab in the Salish Sea: A rare opportunity for international collaboration toward effective aquatic invasive species control and prevention (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Allen Pleus, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Session Code : Closed for Submission
[Panel Session Proposal]
The first Salish Sea population of the invasive European green crab was identified in 2012 near Victoria, BC. Since that time, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been monitoring for green crab in Canadian waters and an early detection program has been established in Washington, leading to detection of and response to limited numbers of green crab at three additional sites in 2016 and 2017. Successful early detection and rapid response are rare in aquatic invasive species management and the current situation offers a unique opportunity to collaborate across the border to reduce the risk of impact from European green crab on Salish Sea habitats and resources. The motivations, barriers and opportunities for collaboration, as well as the current state of scientific understanding, will be explored to characterize the current situation and develop ideas and proposals to address the threat from European green crab. The timing and goals of the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference are ideal to facilitate and enhance efforts at collaboration, planning and engagement. The proposed approach will include several short presentations, a discussion period and closing remarks.
– Introduction (5 minutes)
– Perspectives on importance (10 minutes each)
(Washington policy, BC/DFO policy, Shellfish industry, Tribes, Research)
– Discussion (30 min)
(exploring paths forward with transboundary collaboration for effective control)
– Wrap up (5 min)
– Potential panelists or participating organizations: Jeff Adams, Washington Sea Grant; Justin Bush, Washington Invasive Species Council; Emily Grason, WSG; Allen Pleus, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Thomas Therriault, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; others TBD, but may include shellfish industry, Padilla Bay NERR, PSU, ISCBC.
Resilience: a toolbox with no tools?
Session Chair : Kenneth Currens, NW Indian Fisheries Commission
Session Code : POLICY1
The purpose of this session is to explore how ecosystem managers are applying resilience concepts in the day-to-day management of people and natural resources. An extensive scientific literature elaborates on resilience concepts, definitions, strategic planning, and potential for adaptive learning in socio ecological systems, but little information exists on how these concepts are being applied practically. This may be because 1) the concept has not yet taken root in day-to-day ecosystem management, 2) ecosystem managers have not published what they are doing, or 3) it is a useful conceptual framework but it cannot really be applied practically. In this session, we hope to explore practical examples of the successes and lessons learned from applying resilience approaches, such as 1) how resilience is being measured and monitored, 2) how resilience metrics are being communicated, and 3) applied examples of where resilience analyses have been useful in solving complex, adaptive problems leading to ecosystem recovery. This is a topic that integrates across biophysical and social sciences and policy and we encourage participation from diverse perspectives.
Beyond theory: the assessment and management of cumulative effects in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Cathryn Clarke Murray, Institute of Ocean Sciences
Session Code : POLICY2
The Salish Sea is increasingly affected by the interaction of local, regional, and global stressors, necessitating the consideration of cumulative effects at various spatial scales and for a variety of assessment purposes. Some of these stressors are a legacy of historical activities while others reflect ongoing and emerging ocean uses. Cumulative effects frameworks for assessing risks and impacts of stressors abound but are easier to critique than to execute. Users of cumulative effects frameworks have different foci, needs, and preferred outputs. We propose four categories of cumulative effect frameworks depending on the focus of the assessment: species, stressor, activity, or place. Alternatively, or perhaps within the four-category system, frameworks might be considered for ecological units such as habitats, communities, or ecosystems, and/or specifically developed for coupled human-natural systems. We invite presentations on the application of cumulative effects frameworks, case studies, and management efforts. The session will consist of a series of 4-5 presentations and a discussion session (15-30 min) on the future needs of cumulative effects research and methodology in the Salish Sea, with an emphasis on opportunities for transboundary collaborations.
Policy and management issues for restoring and protecting water quality in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Dustin Bilhimer, WA Department of Ecology
Session Code : POLICY3
There are many challenges for the recovery and protection of Salish Sea water quality. This session will take a slightly different approach from talking about water quality science and will focus on how we use science to inform local, state, federal, and trans-boundary policies and management that will drive our actions to improve Salish Sea water quality and ecological health. This session seeks to bring together policy/decision makers from Washington state agencies, federal agencies, British Columbia, the Puget Sound Partnership, and local governments to talk about strategies that we can collaborate on and increase our shared understanding of risks, constraints, and issues that each level of government faces.
This session is seeking abstracts from speakers of different organizations to share their ideas for increasing collaboration and development of complementary strategies for specific issues the region is facing now like: No Discharge Zone, Puget Sound recovery and strategic initiatives, Washington Shellfish Initiative, nutrient reduction, NPDES permitting issues for point sources, trans boundary collaboration for Salish Sea improvement, and creative ways to encourage nonpoint source pollution reduction in watersheds, as just a few examples.
The success of Puget Sound recovery will depend on both science and policy to result in long-lasting and meaningful improvements in water quality. This is a good opportunity to discuss how we can all work together, making management decisions based on science, to protect Puget Sound and the larger Salish Sea.
Exploring Best Practices in Ecosystem Services Valuation
Session Chair : Leah Kintner, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : POLICY7
This session will provide expert guidance on the use and best practices associated with ecosystem services valuation. Speakers will provide contextual examples from literature and practical application. We will explore the diverse form and function of ecosystem services valuation as a concept within the social sciences, with participants asked to answer key questions, including: 1) What does current scientific thinking tell us about the preferred methodologies and analyses for ecosystem services valuation?; 2) When is monetizing ecosystem services appropriate, and what caveats should be applied to these approaches?; 3) Under what circumstances would use of the benefit transfer method be useful and appropriate?; and 4) What tools are considered most robust for both monetized and non-monetized valuation approaches? Speakers will offer case study examples to illustrate where and how different ecosystem services valuation methodologies have been applied, focusing on specific suggestions for practitioners at the local and regional levels. A panel discussion will follow.
Enforcing ecological protections–challenges and opportunities
Session Chair : Kyle Loring, Friends of the San Juans
Session Code : POLICY4
Effective enforcement of environmental protections is critical for preserving the ecological bounty of the Salish Sea. When legislators create those laws, they assume that they will be implemented consistently and fairly and that enforcement will set a baseline for behavioral expections. However, enforcement efforts can encounter multiple challenges, including funding shortfalls, a lack of adequate monitoring for violations, a clear and predictable enforcement process managed by a lead agency, a lack of political will, or accountability for decisionmakers who decline to enforce manifest violations. Whether addressing shoreline armor or derelict vessels, improved enforcement will be necessary to halt the ongoing decline in the health of species that call the Salish Sea home.
This session will explore different enforcement challenges through the lens of individual case studies and will foster a conversation about potential options for overcoming them. It should offer perspectives from both of Canada and the U.S. and from non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and others. It will also provide time for audience discussion after the presentations. Participants should leave the discussion with a better understanding of potential enforcement pitfalls and with ideas for sidestepping them.
The 30-year history of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference – where we started, where we’ve been, and where we may be going. (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Scott Redman, Puget Sound Partnership
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Evolving from the first ‘annual” Puget Sound research meeting, convened in spring 1988, the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference has grown into a biennial gathering that is the centerpiece of transboundary collaboration to protect and restore the Salish Sea and its watersheds. Invited authors will explore how this event has been shaped by the region’s changing institutional arrangements and how this event can shape cross-system collaborations into the future. Milestones to highlight in this session will include: 1988 research agenda for Puget Sound, 1990’s marine science panel, early 2000’s transition to a transboundary conference, and adopting the Salish Sea name in 2010.
European green crab in the Salish Sea: Background, status, threats and controls (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Jeffrey Adams, Washington Sea Grant
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Aggressive, adaptable and highly invasive, the European green crab has established populations on the US and Canadian East and West Coasts with documented disruption of coastal habitats and shellfish harvests. Fisheries and Oceans Canada documented the first Salish Sea population int 2012, prompting renewed efforts for early detection in inland marine waters. The session will provide information on the species and its current status in the Salish Sea as well as experiences and analysis related to control and management on both sides of the border. The background will provide a foundation for substantive Panel Discussion on the future of trans boundary efforts to prevent the species’ spread within the Salish Sea.
Marine Protected Areas and Marine Spatial Planning: Challenges and opportunities for large-scale ecosystem protection and integrated management in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Alexandra Barron, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society- BC Chapter
Session Code : POLICY5
The Salish Sea is an area of outstanding biodiversity, productivity and ecological value. It is home to endangered killer whales, globally significant salmon and herring spawning runs, prehistoric glass sponge reefs, kelp forests and eelgrass meadows. The Salish Sea has long supported First Nations and Tribes, and coastal communities, providing food, cultural, spiritual and economic services, as well as a host of other ecosystem services. However the Salish Sea is at risk. Situated between the major municipalities and ports of Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle, the Salish Sea is under increasing pressure from industrial and commercial use and coastal development, on top of climate change and acidification. MPAs are a well-established conservation strategy, employed around the world to protect important marine species and ecosystems and support the recovery of declining populations. Canada has committed to substantially surpassing the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11 to protect 10% of its ocean by 2020. The USA has made similar commitments to MPA establishment. Marine spatial planning seeks to engage marine users and stakeholders in the development of integrated and comprehensive management plans for large ocean areas. MPAs are an important output of marine spatial planning but the broader goal is to prevent siloed resource management to ensure a well-managed, sustainably used ocean with high levels of stakeholder engagement and buy in. MPAs and MSP also raise the need to address co-management and co-governance with First Nations and Tribes to ensure equitable management of marine resources. Both Canada and the USA have taken measures to move beyond MPAs to establish strategic networks of MPAs and to begin MSP processes. This session will explore existing and proposed opportunities for MPAs and MSP in the Salish Sea, the challenges that these processes may face, and what can be learned from successful and unsuccessful processes elsewhere in Canada and the USA.
Toxic pollution cleanup, prevention, and public participation – the role of the Model Toxics Control Act in Puget Sound recovery
Session Chair : Darcy Nonemacher, Washington Environmental Council
Session Code : POLICY6
The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), approved by voters in 1988, cleans up toxic sites, prevents further toxic pollution, and supports communities by ensuring they have a voice in the process. Programs are funded by a tax on hazardous substances, including oil, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. For three decades, this highly successful program has cleaned up more than 6,000 toxic sites and prevented the release of dangerous chemicals through better practices. A majority of toxic sites and pollution sources addressed under MTCA are located in the Puget Sound region. However, these programs are at risk due the drop in oil prices and sweeping MTCA funds for other purposes in the state budget – resulting in many delayed projects to reduce pollution. This unprecedented crisis has pitted the purposes of the law against each other. Further, toxic sites are disproportionately located in communities of color and low-income communities. The goal of this session is to introduce MTCA as an important tool in Puget Sound recovery and to generate discussion on strengthening this program into the future.
• Overview of the Model Toxics Control Act, and its role in Puget Sound recovery – Darcy Nonemacher
• Racial impacts study and disproportionality of toxic sites – Deric Gruen
• The role of MTCA in Duwamish River, Bellingham Bay, Commencement Bay cleanup – Karlee Deatherage and others to be determined
• Role of MTCA grants to local communities and changes made in 2017 – to be determined
• The business case for MTCA – to be determined
• The future of the Model Toxics Control Act – policy, funding, and reducing toxic threats – moderated discussion
Species & Food Webs
Advances in the understanding of drivers of change and potential conservation actions for Pacific herring in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Tessa Francis, Univ of Washington Tacoma
Session Code : SPECIES1
Pacific herring are a foundational species in the Salish Sea ecosystem, with broad connections throughout the food web. Evidence suggests that some herring are resident in the southern Salish Sea (Puget Sound – PS), though tagging studies also support an oceanic component to the life cycle for many stocks. In the northern Salish Sea (British Columbia – BC), spawning and young-of-year herring are supported locally while later growth and maturation largely occurs offshore. Overall, herring represent a significant annual influx of energy to the Salish Sea, providing energy to the food web across all of their life phases (eggs, larvae, juveniles and adults). Salish Sea herring are also a culturally important species for native Tribes and First Nations, and are economically valuable to commercial fisheries in BC and a limited fishery in PS. While Salish Sea herring populations are near record highs in BC, most of the stocks in PS have declined, with the greatest reductions occurring in the Cherry Point stock, once the most numerous in U.S. waters. Despite their importance, herring have received relatively little research emphasis, and coordination between the various stakeholders and across international boundaries has flagged in recent years, preventing a concerted effort to develop a coherent management strategy. Meaningful, intelligent, effective action to recover the Salish Sea must be informed by the best available science; awareness of the programmatic, policy and management context within which recovery actions can occur; and the acknowledgement of interactions between ecological, economic, and social components of the ecosystem. In this session, we invite contributions that present recent findings about the drivers of change in Salish Sea Pacific herring; advances in understanding about herring dynamics; and research related to the social, ecological, and economic benefits of herring.
The impacts of open net pen salmon farming on wild salmon and the implications for local communities
Session Chair : Dylan Shea, University of Toronto
Session Code : SPECIES2
As the productivity of Pacific Salmon fisheries has plateaued, open net pen salmon farming has been proposed as a solution to subsidize wild salmon fisheries. However, there is evidence that open net pen salmon farming is directly contributing to declines in wild Pacific salmon populations by acting as a reservoir for pathogenic organisms.
Under natural conditions, the temporal separation of juvenile and adult salmon migrations prevents disease transmission to juvenile Pacific salmon from their adult counterparts. The placement of high densities of adult Atlantic salmon along Pacific migration routes provides a reservoir in which pathogens, spilled over from wild adult salmon, can persist and proliferate and subsequently spill back to infect migrating juveniles.
British Columbian Pacific salmon populations represent an irreplaceable ecological, economic, and cultural resource in the region. Furthermore, similar expansions to net pen salmon farming have been proposed in Washington, potentially threatening the health of other wild salmon populations. Therefore, it is crucial that we evaluate the impact of open net pen farming not only on the health of wild salmon populations, but also on the stakeholders, which rely on them for their physical, social, and economic well-being. This session seeks to explore the proximate impacts of open net pen salmon farming on wild salmon populations as well as the ultimate consequences for the ecosystems and communities, which rely on them. Furthermore, we hope to explore viable solutions to address the risks posed by open net pen salmon farming that incorporate the insights and values of the local first nations and communities, which have been most severely affected.
Changes in marine mammal occurrence in the Salish Sea (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research
Session Code : Closed for Submission
In recent years, there have been dramatic changes in the occurrence of a number marine mammal species in the Salish Sea. Harbor porpoise have returned to Puget Sound in large numbers, an area they occurred historically but had only rarely been seen in the last 50 years. Similarly, humpback whales, which were hunted and apparently wiped out from the Salish Sea by whaling in the early part of the 20th century, are being increasingly encountered further in the Salish Sea and have even become an increasing focus of whale watch operations. A number of other species including some not known to occur this far north, such as common dolphins and Bryde’s whales have also been documented in the Salish Sea in recent years.
In this session, talks will document these new changes and potential causes as well as the potential implications both for these species and possible ecosystem impacts. The proposed format will be a series of talks on specific studies documenting these changes and then a panel at the end to facilitate a discussion of these findings and broader implications.
Recovery and monitoring for ESA-listed rockfish and habitats in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Jamey Selleck, NOAA
Session Code : SPECIES3
Rockfish are a long-lived species group that provide an important function for the food web dynamics in the Salish Sea, as both a mid-level trophic predator and important prey source, and they hold cultural significance to the region. Rockfish are comprised of over 25 different species locally, and over 60 species from California to Alaska. Many species experienced declines since the 1980’s, and two species are listed in the Salish Sea under ESA as threatened (yelloweye) or endangered (Bocaccio). Different species occupy a range of habitat types, from deep-water rock piles and hard bottom substrate, to nearshore kelp forests and eelgrass beds. As individuals grow their habitat associations change, such that protection and conservation efforts require a broad understanding of individual species and life history needs. State and federal agencies have conducted monitoring surveys for decades, and recovery efforts are currently being developed to improve habitats and resources for rockfish. A majority of research has focused on sub-adult and adult rockfish, but recent efforts study the distribution, settlement, and habitat use of young-of-the-year (YOY) and juvenile rockfish. Due to the paucity of government resources, the contributions of citizen scientists are expected to play a valuable role.
Our session will include a review of survey methods and techniques that target a suite of rockfish species, habitats, and life history stages. The objective is to bring together researchers from the US and Canada in an effort to connect resources and discuss opportunities for collaborative projects for recovery of these iconic species. We propose topics including methods and challenges to surveying benthic and midwater rockfish species, YOY volunteer monitoring and data analysis, kelp habitat recovery, and policy and management. Our list of proposed oral presenters and posters includes transboundary relations. Interested presenters include NOAA, WDFW, DFO, and NGO and Tribal representatives.
The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project – Key Findings of Transboundary Research on Salmon Survival in the Salish Sea
Session Chair : Brian Riddell, Pacific Salmon Foundation
Session Code : SPECIES4
Over the past 30-40 years, marine survival of Chinook, coho, and steelhead populations in the Salish Sea has declined precipitously, and total abundance today remains well below 1970s-1980s abundances. Historically, our understanding of what drives salmon and steelhead survival in saltwater has been limited. In response to this need, Long Live the Kings (U.S.) and the Pacific Salmon Foundation (Canada) developed a comprehensive transboundary approach to determine the primary factors affecting salmon and steelhead survival in the Salish Sea.
The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP; www.marinesurvivalproject.org) brings together multidisciplinary international expertise from over 60 Federal and State agencies, Tribes and First Nations, academia, and nonprofit organizations. The project’s integrated, ecosystem-based research framework incorporates coordinated data collection and standardization, information sharing, and international collaboration to better understand population dynamics within the Salish Sea ecosystem, improve forecasting and management, and aid recovery. Since its launch in 2012, SSMSP researchers have developed novel sampling and management approaches and initiated ecosystem-based analyses benefitting forecasting and recovery. The research phase of the Project is 2014-2018; it culminates with a focus on converting research results into conclusions and management actions.
We request a suite of four full sessions where 24 scientists will describe the Project’s progress and results to date. Session topics may include:
1) key results from field studies and experiments;
2) modeling the Salish Sea ecosystem and developing indicators of ecosystem function;
3) novel approaches to sampling, analysis, and management strategies; and
4) coordination, communication, and data management in a U.S.-Canada context.
Where applicable, results will be compared and contrasted internationally, and between species of salmon. Presentations will represent the collaborative, transboundary nature of the Project’s research.
This suite of sessions will be co-led by Michael Schmidt of Long Live the Kings and Dr. Brian Riddell of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding eutrophication and over-enrichment of nutrients in Puget Sound and effects on marine species
Session Chair : Chris Harvey, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Session Code : SPECIES5
Over the past several decades, water quality monitoring and observations of Puget Sound has been showing signs of eutrophication. Eutrophication is influenced by a combination of ocean and regional human sources of nutrients as well as climate change impacts on water temperature and changes in watershed hydrology that affect water circulation in Puget Sound and the greater Salish Sea. In order to best understand how these complex physical and chemical processes affect the marine species in the Salish Sea we must take an interdisciplinary approach.
This session is intended to attract researchers and academics to share work they are doing to understand the mechanisms of eutrophication in Puget Sound and the effects on its different aspects including: ocean acidification impacts to marine species, potential changes in the marine food web, changes in fate and transport of nutrients in the water column, impacts on nearshore habitats, planktonic and macro algae blooms, effects on benthic marine invertebrate assemblages, and the survival of important salmonid and forage fish species.
We want to explore how nutrients play a role in eutrophication and better understand the chemical and biological responses to eutrophication so that we can use that scientific understanding to inform policy and management actions that may be needed to mitigate and manage human impacts now and into the future.
Transboundary Management & Policy
British Columbia / Washington State Collaboration on Transboundary Water Quality: FCBs in the Nooksack River
Session Chair : Carley Coccola, BC Ministry of Environment, Canada
Session Code : BOUNDARY1
Under the BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) British Columbia and Washington representatives have been developing common understandings of current water quality issues, data, and conditions related to fecal coliform bacteria (FCBs) in transboundary waters and tributaries to the Nooksack River and Portage Bay in Washington State, as well as legislative, policy and best practices, and other opportunities to support reducing non-point sources of FCB pollution in each jurisdiction. Recent shellfish bed closures in Portage Bay are linked to increased FCB counts on in the Nooksack River from sources on both sides of the border; both WA and BC are interested in working together to understand the nonpoint sources of FCB pollution and sharing best practices to reduce these sources and improve water quality in Portage Bay. This session will bring together policy and program leads, researchers and stakeholders working in the Nooksack to provide an overview of the policy, science, monitoring and program information and resources that are being used to understand and work to reduce FCB in the Nooksack on both sides of the border.
Federal Initiatives: Puget Sound Federal Task Force
Session Chair : Gina Bonifacino, US EPA
Session Code : BOUNDARY2
This session focuses on the Puget Sound Federal Task Force, which was established by MOU in 2016, and the Puget Sound Federal Action Plan that was developed by the Task Force in 2017.
This session will include 4-5 presentations
• An overview presentation of the Task Force, the MOU, our structures,
• A presentation on the Action Plan,
• Presentations on specific elements within the Action Plan (e.g. highlight EPA, NOAA, NRCS coordination to fund riparian protection or vessel traffic)
Federal Initiatives: Oceans Protection Plan (OPP)
Session Chair : Lorraine Gill, Transport Canada
Session Code : BOUNDARY3
The Oceans Protection Plan highlights the Canadian Government’s new direction on marine safety and shipping, one dedicated to ensuring marine shipping takes place in a manner that protects our environment while generating economic growth. It is backed by the largest investment ever made in our oceans – $1.5 billion dollars, and will focus on four priority areas:
• A world-leading marine safety system
• Preservation and restoration of marine ecosystems
• A stronger evidence base built upon science and local knowledge
• Indigenous partnerships
The implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan will involve a whole-of-government strategy led by five federal departments. These federal departments will be working collaboratively with the marine industry, local communities, indigenous groups and other stakeholders.
For issues that transcend national boundaries, such as the many vessels that use our shared Salish Sea, including some vessels that serve the Port of Vancouver, we recognize the need for partnership and collaboration with our American partners. Where appropriate, we look forward to working together as we deliver over 50 initiatives as part of the Oceans Protection Plan that will deal with issues such as anchorages, cumulative effects, regional response planning, southern resident killer whales and more.
The session will contain 5-6 presentations, beginning with an overview presentation of the Oceans Protection Plan led by Transport Canada, and followed by presentations on initiatives concerning the Salish Sea and transboundary cooperation (abandoned vessels, cumulative effects of marine shipping, southern resident killer whales, etc).
Managing the Salish Sea for the seventh generation: balancing economic prosperity and ecological integrity in the context of the Coast Salish homeland (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Debra Lekanof, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Session Code : Closed for Submission
The efforts to address future uses of the Salish Sea roughly fall into two separate categories: expanded economic prosperity through development of ports and urban development in watersheds; and science-based ecological restoration of degraded habitat largely caused by the growth that has already occurred. These two discussions rarely intersect. Our region lacks a metric for Salish Sea “capacity.” This panel discussion will present the Coast Salish world view on the sea as habitat and home, a living organism that modern science has a hard time describing. This panel makes a proposal to provide a new transboundary path forward that redefines our tools for measuring impacts of growth, including indigenous metrics for cultural and cumulative environmental criteria in the decision-making process. Speakers to include: Ray Harris (cultural grounding), Brian Cladoosby (political landscape), a well-regarded Salish Sea scientist (to be invited), Katherine O’Neill (legal/policy), Tom Ehrlichman (attorney/expert on vessel traffic impacts), and Ian Campbell (proposing a new path forward). Moderated by Debra Lekanof and sponsored by the Coast Salish Gathering.
Vessel Traffic: Risk & Impacts
Perspectives on changing vessel traffic in the Salish Sea (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Scott Ferguson, Washington State Department of Ecology
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Shipping has always been characterized by change. These changes include shifts in business models, customer demand, technologies, volumes, traffic patterns, regulations, and industry practices, as well as developments in our understanding of the current and potential future impacts of vessel traffic. Within the Salish Sea, new energy and cargo terminals are proposed which could result in increases in vessel traffic, and changes to the types and numbers of vessels transiting through our region. This panel seeks to present a range of perspectives on changing vessel traffic, oil spill risks, and spill prevention. Washington State Department of Ecology will present information from the 2015 Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment (VTRA) and the 2016 Salish Sea Oil Spill Risk Mitigation Workshop. Ecology is soliciting presentations from tribes and stakeholders to discuss potential oil spill risks, current and pending industry and government prevention practices, and tribal and stakeholder views on the changing traffic environment. Ecology encourages abstracts from tribes, First Nations, industry, government agencies, and environmental organizations who have an interest in the movement of oil, both as cargo and as marine fuel, across the Salish Sea. The goal of the panel is to identify areas for further discussion and collaboration.
Background on Ecology’s risk assessment work. The 2015 VTRA report, published in January 2017, describes potential impacts from planned developments as well as potential benefits from a variety of spill prevention measures. The assessment was conducted by principal investigators from George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A workgroup with representatives from government, tribal, industry, and environmental organizations provided input and guidance. The 2015 VTRA report provides an information source to help answer complex and location-specific risk management questions. In October 2016, Ecology sponsored the Salish Sea Workshop: Vessel Oil Spill Risk Assessment and Management workshop. Nearly 100 participants from Washington and British Columbia attended, representing industry, state agencies, Tribes and First Nations, Canadian and US federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Workshop participants reviewed and prioritized potential risk reduction measures, and developed implementation templates for the 9 highest priority actions. The results of the 2015 VTRA and the 2016 Salish Sea workshop are informing on-going oil spill prevention activities. Ecology remains engaged with US and Canadian partners to explore opportunities for trans-boundary oil spill prevention discussions and activities.
Collaborating to reduce impacts of underwater noise from vessels with a focus on southern resident killer whales: Biological impacts of underwater noise from vessels.
Session Chair : Kathy Heise, Coastal Ocean Research Institute
Session Code : VESSEL1
Vessel activities in the Salish Sea are increasing in areas that overlap with southern resident killer whale critical habitat. Both Canadian and U.S. Recovery Plans for southern resident killer whales (SRKW’s) include underwater noise as a key threat to recovery. The purpose of the session is to bring together researchers, environmental managers, industry, whale-watchers, First Nations and other interested parties to describe the collaborative approach taken by regional groups to better understand and reduce the impacts of shipping on endangered southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea.
We are proposing three sessions to address this issue. Part A will include presentations on the results of recent research on vessel noise and its impacts on whales, including:
• insights into killer whale foraging behavior gleaned from DTag and behavioural response studies,
• monitoring vessels (both AIS and non-AIS equipped) and whales in the Salish Sea,
• the results of two transnational workshops on approaches to quantifying and mitigating underwater noise specifically for the benefit of SRKW.
Suggested presenters include Brianna Wright (DFO), Marla Holt (NOAA), Val Veirs (BeamReach), Jason Wood (SMRU Consulting US), Norma Serra (UVIC), David Hannay (JASCO) and Kathy Heise (CORI). The second session will build on the topics covered in this session and is being proposed by Orla Robinson (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO program).
Part B will provide opportunity for various marine industry, port and Government representatives to speak to a range of collaborative research projects and initiatives which have been advanced to better understand underwater noise from vessels and efforts to reduce vessel noise.
Finally, in Part C, the panel discussion will invite select speakers from Parts A & B sessions to more deeply explore how recent collaborative efforts through the ECHO Program could be used as a case study to address other complex, cumulative transboundary issues.
Collaborating to reduce impacts of underwater noise from vessels on southern resident killer whales: Understanding and managing underwater noise from vessel activities.
Session Chair : Orla Robinson, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Session Code : VESSEL2
Vessel activities in the Salish Sea are increasing in areas that overlap with southern resident killer whale critical habitat. Both Canadian and U.S. species at risk recovery plans for southern resident killer whales (SRKW’s) include underwater noise as a key threat to recovery.
The purpose of the session is to bring together researchers, environmental managers, industry, First Nations and other interested parties to describe the collaborative approach taken by regional groups to better understand and reduce the impacts of shipping on endangered southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea.
In the three part session, Part A will examine the biological impacts of underwater noise from vessels, reveal research findings of recent field studies and share outcomes from a recent underwater noise reduction metrics workshop hosted by DFO and the Vancouver Aquarium. (Separate application submitted by Kathy Heise, Vancouver Aquarium)
Part B will provide opportunity for various marine industry, port and Government representatives to speak to a range of collaborative research projects and initiatives which have been advanced to better understand underwater noise from vessels and efforts to reduce vessel noise.
Presentations for Part B could be solicited from organizations such as BC Ferries and Washington State Ferries, UBC Naval Architects, Transport Canada, Chamber of Shipping or Shipping Federation of Canada, NEMES, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Pacific Whale Watch Association, along with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO Program and their research scientists.
Finally, in Part C, the panel discussion will invite select speakers from Part A & B sessions to more deeply explore how recent collaborative efforts through the ECHO Program could be used as a case study to address other complex, cumulative transboundary issues. (Separate application submitted by Orla Robinson, ECHO program manager.)
Collaborating to reduce impacts of underwater noise from vessels on southern resident killer whales: Utilizing a regional collaborative approach to address cumulative transboundary issues: Case Studies from the Salish Sea (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Krista Trounce, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Canada
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Vessel activities in the Salish Sea are increasing in areas that overlap with southern resident killer whale critical habitat. Both Canadian and U.S. species at risk recovery plans for southern resident killer whales (SRKW’s) include underwater noise as a key threat to recovery.
This panel discussion is intended to be Part C of the three part series about collaborations to reduce the impacts of underwater noise from vessels, and other key threats, on southern resident killer whales. The panel will invite select speakers from Part A & B, and other relevant interests, to more deeply explore the effectiveness of collaboration in solving complex, cumulative transboundary issues including the impact of vessel traffic on SRKW. Case studies, such as the ECHO Program, will be highlighted and discussed through the panel. This session will bring together researchers, environmental managers, industry, First Nations and other interested parties to share their perspectives on effective collaborations and lessons learned which could be applied to other regional issues affecting the Salish Sea.
Panel participants will likely include speakers from each of the Part A and B special sessions such as NOAA, SMRU Consulting, CORI (Ocean Wise), Transport Canada, Chamber of Shipping or Shipping Federation of Canada, BC Ferries and representatives from Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO Program. Other panelist may also include individuals from First Nations or other organizations with demonstrated effective transboundary collaborations.
Tribal and First Nations leadership on trans-boundary shipping safety and cultural resource protection (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Chad Bowechop, Makah Indian Tribe Office of Marine Affairs
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Existing levels of vessel traffic carrying oil and hazardous materials, including crude oil and diluted bitumen, through the Salish Sea region carry a potential risk for a catastrophic oil spill. As traffic increases, so do the associated risks. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments, State of Washington, Province of British Columbia, Washington State Treaty Tribes, and Canadian First Nations share a mutual responsibility as resource trustees, traditional stewards, and regulators to cooperatively govern the areas of oil spill prevention, preparedness and response as well as marine environmental management. For the past decade, Tribes and First Nations have provided increasing leadership to protect their cultural, resources, health, safety and the shared environment by working to ensure coordinated, efficient, and effective support of the federal, state, tribal, local, and international prevention and response measures to oil and hazardous substance shipments within the Pacific Northwest.
This General Session will address the various means and processes through which Tribal and First Nations have formulated and presented their interests and concerns in regards to existing and future levels of vessel traffic in the Canadian/US Pacific NW Transboundary Region. It will explore the various paths forward that have been identified by the Treaty Tribes and First Nations to be leaders in working together with government and non-profit organization partners to strengthen formal working relationships, information sharing, and strategic actions to ensure Tribes and First Nations in the U.S. and Canada are fully engaged in effective oil spill prevention, preparedness and response discussions, and in regulatory and rule making processes in order to represent and protect their cultural and marine resource interests.
Finally, this General Session will provide a compelling discussion of the numerous regulatory processes underway that impact the Salish Sea ecosystem, including Treaty Rights at Risk and National Ocean Policy, Canadian Oceans Protection Plan, US Coast Guard Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment.
Anchorage Trends in the Salish Sea (PANEL – Closed for submissions)
Session Chair : Stephanie Buffum, Friends of the San Juans
Session Code : Closed for Submission
Shipping is vitally important to the economy of the Salish Sea and all of Canada and Washington State. Because of its unique ecosystem, its notable history and its scenic beauty that brings in millions of tourists annually. As US and Canada update anchorage areas in the Salish Sea, social, political, ecological and cultural issues area creating a complex management scheme for decision makers to navigate. This panel will discuss how anchorage areas are codified, regulated for accident, pilotage, and oil spill; habitat types impacted by anchorages; and environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts associated with anchorage areas for ocean going deep draft vessels and articulated tug and barges in the Salish Sea.
• Lovel Pratt, former San Juan County Council members, consultant for Friends of the San Juans,
• Brian Young, Canadian Pilotage Authority
• Christine Sullivan, US Coast Guard
• US Tribal – Leonard Forsman, Suquamish Nation
• Canadian Tribal – Lorne Underwood, Tsawout Nation