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Title: Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005

Abstract

This report is the second annual report of a six-year project to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration projects in the Columbia River Estuary, conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Marine Sciences Laboratory, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Pt. Adams Biological Field Station, and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce for the US Army Corps of Engineers. In 2005, baseline data were collected on two restoration sites and two associated reference sites in the Columbia River estuary. The sites represent two habitat types of the estuary--brackish marsh and freshwater swamp--that have sustained substantial losses in area and that may play important roles for salmonids. Baseline data collected included vegetation and elevation surveys, above and below-ground biomass, water depth and temperature, nutrient flux, fish species composition, and channel geometry. Following baseline data collection, three kinds of restoration actions for hydrological reconnection were implemented in several locations on the sites: tidegate replacements (2) at Vera Slough, near the city of Astoria in Oregon State, and culvert replacements (2) and dike breaches (3) at Kandoll Farm in the Grays River watershed in Washington State. Limited post-restoration data were collected: photo points, nutrient flux, water depth and temperature, and channel cross-sections. In subsequentmore » work, this and additional post-restoration data will be used in conjunction with data from other sites to estimate net effects of hydrological reconnection restoration projects throughout the estuary. This project is establishing methods for evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects and a framework for assessing estuary-wide cumulative effects including a protocol manual for monitoring restoration and reference sites.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
900212
Report Number(s):
PNNL-15934
400403209; TRN: US200709%%575
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BIOMASS; COLUMBIA RIVER; CROSS SECTIONS; ECOSYSTEMS; FISHERIES; GEOMETRY; HABITAT; MONITORING; NUTRIENTS; PLANTS; RIVERS; US CORPS OF ENGINEERS; WATERSHEDS; Columbia River Estuary; US Army Corps of Engineers; salmon; hydroelectric power; habitat restoration

Citation Formats

Diefenderfer, Heida L., Thom, Ronald M., Borde, Amy B., Roegner, G. C., Whiting, Allan H., Johnson, Gary E., Dawley, Earl, Skalski, John R., Vavrinec, John, and Ebberts, Blaine D.. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/900212.
Diefenderfer, Heida L., Thom, Ronald M., Borde, Amy B., Roegner, G. C., Whiting, Allan H., Johnson, Gary E., Dawley, Earl, Skalski, John R., Vavrinec, John, & Ebberts, Blaine D.. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005. United States. doi:10.2172/900212.
Diefenderfer, Heida L., Thom, Ronald M., Borde, Amy B., Roegner, G. C., Whiting, Allan H., Johnson, Gary E., Dawley, Earl, Skalski, John R., Vavrinec, John, and Ebberts, Blaine D.. Wed . "Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005". United States. doi:10.2172/900212. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/900212.
@article{osti_900212,
title = {Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005},
author = {Diefenderfer, Heida L. and Thom, Ronald M. and Borde, Amy B. and Roegner, G. C. and Whiting, Allan H. and Johnson, Gary E. and Dawley, Earl and Skalski, John R. and Vavrinec, John and Ebberts, Blaine D.},
abstractNote = {This report is the second annual report of a six-year project to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration projects in the Columbia River Estuary, conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Marine Sciences Laboratory, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Pt. Adams Biological Field Station, and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce for the US Army Corps of Engineers. In 2005, baseline data were collected on two restoration sites and two associated reference sites in the Columbia River estuary. The sites represent two habitat types of the estuary--brackish marsh and freshwater swamp--that have sustained substantial losses in area and that may play important roles for salmonids. Baseline data collected included vegetation and elevation surveys, above and below-ground biomass, water depth and temperature, nutrient flux, fish species composition, and channel geometry. Following baseline data collection, three kinds of restoration actions for hydrological reconnection were implemented in several locations on the sites: tidegate replacements (2) at Vera Slough, near the city of Astoria in Oregon State, and culvert replacements (2) and dike breaches (3) at Kandoll Farm in the Grays River watershed in Washington State. Limited post-restoration data were collected: photo points, nutrient flux, water depth and temperature, and channel cross-sections. In subsequent work, this and additional post-restoration data will be used in conjunction with data from other sites to estimate net effects of hydrological reconnection restoration projects throughout the estuary. This project is establishing methods for evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects and a framework for assessing estuary-wide cumulative effects including a protocol manual for monitoring restoration and reference sites.},
doi = {10.2172/900212},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The restoration of wetland salmon habitat in the tidal portion of the Columbia River is occurring at an accelerating pace and is anticipated to improve habitat quality and effect hydrological reconnection between existing and restored habitats. Currently multiple groups are applying a variety of restoration strategies in an attempt to emulate historic estuarine processes. However, the region lacks both a standardized means of evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects as well as methods for determining the cumulative effects of all restoration projects on a regional scale. This project is working to establish a framework to evaluate individual and cumulative ecosystemmore » responses to restoration activities in order to validate the effectiveness of habitat restoration activities designed to benefit salmon through improvements to habitat quality and habitat opportunity (i.e. access) in the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the ocean. The review and synthesis of approaches to measure the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects focused on defining methods and metrics of relevance to the CRE, and, in particular, juvenile salmon use of this system. An extensive literature review found no previous study assessing the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects on the fundamental processes and functions of a large estuarine system, although studies are underway in other large land-margin ecosystems including the Florida Everglades and the Louisiana coastal wetlands. Literature from a variety of scientific disciplines was consulted to identify the ways that effects can accumulate (e.g., delayed effects, cross-boundary effects, compounding effects, indirect effects, triggers and thresholds) as well as standard and innovative tools and methods utilized in cumulative effects analyses: conceptual models, matrices, checklists, modeling, trends analysis, geographic information systems, carrying capacity analysis, and ecosystem analysis. Potential indicators for detecting a signal in the estuarine system resulting from the multiple projects were also reviewed, i.e. organic matter production, nutrient cycling, sedimentation, food webs, biodiversity, salmon habitat usage, habitat opportunity, and allometry. In subsequent work, this information will be used to calculate the over net effect on the ecosystem. To evaluate the effectiveness of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary, a priority of this study has been to develop a set of minimum ecosystem monitoring protocols based on metrics important for the CRE. The metrics include a suite of physical measurements designed to evaluate changes in hydrological and topographic features, as well as biological metrics that will quantify vegetation and fish community structure. These basic measurements, intended to be conducted at all restoration sites in the CRE, will be used to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of various restoration procedures on target metrics, and (2) provide the data to determine the cumulative effects of many restoration projects on the overall system. A protocol manual is being developed for managers, professional researchers, and informed volunteers, and is intended to be a practical technical guide for the design and implementation of monitoring for the effects of restoration activities. The guidelines are intended to standardize the collection of data critical for analyzing the anticipated ecological change resulting from restoration treatments. Field studies in 2005 are planned to initiate the testing and evaluation of these monitoring metrics and protocols and initiate the evaluation of higher order metrics for cumulative effects.« less
  • This report is the third annual report of a six-year project to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration action in the Columbia River Estuary (CRE). The project is being conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) by the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Pt. Adams Biological Field Station of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce. Measurement of the cumulative effects of ecological restoration projects in the Columbia River estuary is a formidable task because of the size and complexity of the estuarine landscape and the meta-populationsmore » of salmonids in the Columbia River basin. Despite the challenges presented by this system, developing and implementing appropriate indicators and methods to measure cumulative effects is the best way to enable estuary managers to track the overall effectiveness of investments in estuarine restoration projects. This project is developing methods to quantify the cumulative effects of multiple restoration activities in the CRE. The overall objectives of the 2006 study were to continue to develop techniques to assess cumulative effects, refine the standard monitoring protocols, and initiate development of an adaptive management system for Corps of Engineers’ habitat restoration monitoring efforts in the CRE. (The adaptive management effort will be reported at a later date.) Field studies during 2006 were conducted in tidal freshwater at Kandoll Farm on the lower Grays River and tidal brackish water at Vera Slough on Youngs Bay. Within each of area, we sampled one natural reference site and one restoration site. We addressed the overall objectives with field work in 2006 that, coupled with previous field data, had specific objectives and resulted in some important findings that are summarized here by chapter in this report. Each chapter of the report contains data on particular monitored variables for pre- and post-restoration conditions at both the Kandoll and Vera study areas.« less
  • The goal of this multi-year study (2004-2010) is to develop a methodology to evaluate the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects intended to benefit ecosystems supporting juvenile salmonids in the lower Columbia River and estuary. Literature review in 2004 revealed no existing methods for such an evaluation and suggested that cumulative effects could be additive or synergistic. Field research in 2005, 2006, and 2007 involved intensive, comparative studies paired by habitat type (tidal swamp vs. marsh), trajectory (restoration vs. reference site), and restoration action (tide gate vs. culvert vs. dike breach). The field work established two kinds of monitoringmore » indicators for eventual cumulative effects analysis: core and higher-order indicators. Management implications of limitations and applications of site-specific effectiveness monitoring and cumulative effects analysis were identified.« less
  • Draft annual report for the Cumulative Effects Study for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
  • This is the sixth annual report of a seven-year project (2004 through 2010) to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE). The project, called the Cumulative Effects Study, is being conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District (USACE) by the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Pt. Adams Biological Field Station of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST), and the University of Washington. The goal of the Cumulative Effects Study is to develop a methodology tomore » evaluate the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects intended to benefit ecosystems supporting juvenile salmonids in the 235-km-long LCRE. Literature review in 2004 revealed no existing methods for such an evaluation and suggested that cumulative effects could be additive or synergistic. From 2005 through 2009, annual field research involved intensive, comparative studies paired by habitat type (tidal swamp versus marsh), trajectory (restoration versus reference site), and restoration action (tidegate replacement vs. culvert replacement vs. dike breach).« less