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Title: An expert panel process to evaluate habitat restoration actions in the Columbia River estuary

Abstract

We describe a process for evaluating proposed ecosystem restoration projects intended to improve survival of juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1406712
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-123489
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4797; 453040310
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Management; Journal Volume: 188; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Krueger, Kirk L., Bottom, Daniel L., Hood, W. Gregory, Johnson, Gary E., Jones, Kim K., and Thom, Ronald M.. An expert panel process to evaluate habitat restoration actions in the Columbia River estuary. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.028.
Krueger, Kirk L., Bottom, Daniel L., Hood, W. Gregory, Johnson, Gary E., Jones, Kim K., & Thom, Ronald M.. An expert panel process to evaluate habitat restoration actions in the Columbia River estuary. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.028.
Krueger, Kirk L., Bottom, Daniel L., Hood, W. Gregory, Johnson, Gary E., Jones, Kim K., and Thom, Ronald M.. Wed . "An expert panel process to evaluate habitat restoration actions in the Columbia River estuary". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.028.
@article{osti_1406712,
title = {An expert panel process to evaluate habitat restoration actions in the Columbia River estuary},
author = {Krueger, Kirk L. and Bottom, Daniel L. and Hood, W. Gregory and Johnson, Gary E. and Jones, Kim K. and Thom, Ronald M.},
abstractNote = {We describe a process for evaluating proposed ecosystem restoration projects intended to improve survival of juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.028},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Management},
number = C,
volume = 188,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • This report describes the 2009 research conducted under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE or Corps) project EST-09-P-01, titled “Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary.” The research was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Marine Science Laboratory and Hydrology Group, in partnership with the University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Columbia Basin Research, and Earl Dawley (NOAA Fisheries, retired). This Columbia River Fish Mitigation Program project, referred to as “Salmonid Benefits,” was started in FY 2009 to evaluate themore » state-of-the science regarding the ability to quantify the benefits to listed salmonids1 of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary.« less
  • This report describes the 2010 research conducted under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project EST-P-09-1, titled Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, and known as the 'Salmon Benefits' study. The primary goal of the study is to establish scientific methods to quantify habitat restoration benefits to listed salmon and trout in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE) in three required areas: habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival (Figure ES.1). The general study approach was to first evaluate the statemore » of the science regarding the ability to quantify benefits to listed salmon and trout from habitat restoration actions in the LCRE in the 2009 project year, and then, if feasible, in subsequent project years to develop quantitative indices of habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival. Based on the 2009 literature review, the following definitions are used in this study. Habitat connectivity is defined as a landscape descriptor concerning the ability of organisms to move among habitat patches, including the spatial arrangement of habitats (structural connectivity) and how the perception and behavior of salmon affect the potential for movement among habitats (functional connectivity). Life history is defined as the combination of traits exhibited by an organism throughout its life cycle, and for the purposes of this investigation, a life history strategy refers to the body size and temporal patterns of estuarine usage exhibited by migrating juvenile salmon. Survival is defined as the probability of fish remaining alive over a defined amount of space and/or time. The objectives of the 4-year study are as follows: (1) develop and test a quantitative index of juvenile salmon habitat connectivity in the LCRE incorporating structural, functional, and hydrologic components; (2) develop and test a quantitative index of the early life history diversity of juvenile salmon in the LCRE; (3) assess and, if feasible, develop and test a quantitative index of the survival benefits of tidal wetland habitat restoration (hydrologic reconnection) in the LCRE; and (4) synthesize the results of investigations into the indices for habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival benefits.« less
  • Protocols for monitoring salmon habitat restoration projects are essential for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' environmental efforts in the Columbia River estuary. This manual provides state-of-the science data collection and analysis methods for landscape features, water quality, and fish species composition, among others.
  • Habitat restoration in the Columbia River estuary (CRE) is an important off-site mitigation action in the 2000 Biological Opinion (BiOp), an operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System. The CRE, defined as the tidally influenced stretch of river from the mouth to Bonneville Dam 146 miles upstream, is part of the migration pathway for anadromous fish in the Columbia Basin, including salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Salmon in various stages of life, from fry to adults, use tidal channels and wetlands in the CRE to feed, find refuge from predators, and transition physiologically from freshwater tomore » saltwater. Over the last 100 years, however, the area of some wetland habitats has decreased by as much as 70% because of dike and levee building, flow regulation, and other activities. In response to the decline in available habitat, the BiOp's Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) included mandates to 'develop a plan addressing the habitat needs of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the estuary' (RPA Action 159) and 'develop and implement an estuary restoration program with a goal of protecting and enhancing 10,000 acres of tidal wetlands and other key habitats' (RPA Action 160). To meet Action 159 and support Action 160, this document develops a science-based approach designed to improve ecosystem functions through habitat restoration activities in the CRE. The CRE habitat restoration program's goal and principles focus on habitat restoration projects in an ecosystem context. Since restoration of an entire ecosystem is not generally practical, individual habitat restoration projects have the greatest likelihood of success when they are implemented with an ecosystem perspective. The program's goal is: Implementation of well-coordinated, scientifically sound projects designed to enhance, protect, conserve, restore, and create 10,000 acres of tidal wetlands and other key habitats to aid rebuilding of ESA-listed salmon populations and native species using the CRE. The program's underlying principles are: (1) projects are founded on the best available ecological restoration science, implemented in an ecosystem context, and developed with the intent to restore relevant ecological processes; (2) projects incorporate adaptive management practices with testable hypotheses to track ecological responses to a given restoration effort; and (3) projects are implemented in a coordinated, open process and scientific results from monitoring and evaluation are communicated widely and readily accessible. With this goal and these principles in mind, we developed an approach for CRE habitat restoration. The intent of this document is to provide a scientific basis and implementation guidelines for a habitat restoration program designed to improve ecosystem functions and enhance juvenile salmonid survival in the CRE. The stepwise approach to CRE habitat restoration outlined is somewhat general and broad because the available scientific information is incomplete, e.g., juvenile salmon usage of various CRE wetland habitats. As new data become available, a more specific, detailed plan than was possible here can be produced as an outgrowth of this document. In conclusion, this document provides a scientific basis and implementation guidelines for a habitat restoration program designed to improve ecosystem functions and enhance juvenile salmonid survival in the CRE. As more experience is gained with CRE habitat restoration and scientific uncertainties are resolved, this document should be used as a basis for a detailed habitat restoration plan that specifically addresses (1) which habitat types offer the greatest ecological benefit to salmon, (2) the location of potential sites that if restored would likely provide these habitat types, and (3) how and when the restoration work should be done. This document supports the use of adaptive management so that all elements of salmonid habitat restoration actions in the CRE are under continual evaluation and revision at both the project and program levels. Lessons learned from current and proposed habitat restoration projects need to be applied to all future work, such as the Estuary Partnership's habitat restoration program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers General Investigation Study for the CRE, to ensure the most effective use of resources and the best possible long term environment for salmonid growth and survival in the CRE.« less
  • The inventories of /sup 239/ /sup 240/Pu, /sup 241/Am, /sup 137/Cs, and /sup 60/Co in sediments of the lower Columbia River and its estuary have been estimated from the measured activities of these radionuclides in 50 cores raised in 1977-1978. Cobalt-60 activities are attributed to the operation of the now inoperative plutonium production reactors located on the Hanford Reservation in Washington State; the majority of the /sup 239/ /sup 240/Pu and /sup 137/Cs activities and all of the /sup 241/Am activity are derived from global fallout. At the time of sampling, the operation of the Trojan nuclear power plant nearmore » St. Helens, OR, had not introduced detectable amounts of these radionuclides to the sandy sediments downstream from the plant location. Despite the substantial, past addition of artificial radioactivity to the river from the Hanford reactors, present inventories of artificial radioactivity are small. Erosional processes within the river's drainage basin remove negligible quantities of fallout radionuclides to the ocean. 31 references.« less