Research Items (17)
Urban waterfronts are rarely designed to support biodiversity and other ecosystem services, yet have the potential to provide these services. New approaches that integrate ecological research into the design of docks and seawalls provide opportunities to mitigate the environmental impacts of urbanization and recover ecosystem function in urban waterfronts. A review of current examples of ecological design in temperate cities informs suggestions for future action. Conventional infrastructures have significant and diverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. The impacts of conventional infrastructure are reduced where ecological designs have been implemented, particularly by projects adding microhabitat, creating more shallow water habitat, and reconstructing missing or altered rocky benthic habitats. Opportunities for future research include expanding current research into additional ecosystems , examining ecological processes and emergent properties to better address ecosystem function in ecological design, and addressing the impact of and best practices for continuing maintenance. Planned ecological infrastructure to replace aging and obsolete structures will benefit from design feedback derived from carefully executed in situ pilot studies.
- Nov 2010
The history of Korean tidal flat management and the process for designating Coastal Wetland Protected Areas (CWPAs) are described. Korean coastal wetlands have a long history of intensive use through reclamation for agricultural and industrial uses in the 20th century. Recently, the management policy is shifting away from intensive use towards the conservation of wetlands. This shift is caused by increasing public awareness of the value of wetlands and strong institutional support from the government. Since the Wetlands Conservation Act was passed in 1999, a total of twelve CWPAs have been designated through both top-down and bottom-up processes. Three designation paths are classified based on the relevant drivers, namely government-driven designations (seven CWPAs), local community driven designations (three CWPAs), and conflict resolution (trade-offs) driven designation (two CWPAs). The lessons learned from the designation of Korean CWPAs is that diversification of designation process could facilitate voluntary participation of local stakeholders and thereby enhance the chance of successful implementation of wise use strategy of tidal flats.Research highlights►Korean wetland management policy shift in the mid of 1990s. ►Twelve Coastal Wetland Protected Areas have been designated. ►Three designation paths are observed in Korean wetland management. ►Diversification of designation process could enhance MPA success.
Visitor spending in the recreational razor clam fishery positively impacts the coastal economies of Grays Harbor and Pacific counties in Washington State. Since 1991 the fishery has frequently closed due to harmful algal blooms (HABs). These events reduce or eliminate recreational clam-related visitor spending. We develop an economic impact model, based on recreationists’ spending, to estimate the economic impacts of these closures. To estimate visitor expenditure patterns, questionnaires were distributed in April of 2008 to an on-site sample of clammers at four beaches on Washington's Pacific coast: Mocrocks, Copalis, Twin Harbors, and Long Beach. Based upon responses from 240 parties, the average expenditure per party ranged from $268.77 at Mocrocks beach to $412.67 at Long Beach. Overall expenditures for the 2007–2008 season were estimated at $24.4 million. A regional input–output model was used to estimate that the fishery had the local economic impact of supporting 404 full-time equivalent jobs and $12.6 million in labor income. To estimate negative impacts of HAB closures, expected visitor expenditures are adjusted to account for visitors’ stated intentions when razor clamming is unavailable. For a full year closure of all four beaches, the estimated negative economic impact is a loss of support from the razor clam fishery impacting 339 full-time equivalent jobs and $10.6 million of labor income in the two counties. Further, impacts were calculated for beach closures ranging from a single (2–5 days) season opening to a full year, for individual beaches and combinations of beaches. As expected, the closing of a single opening at one beach had the smallest economic impacts, while whole season closures at multiple beaches had the largest impact.
- Jan 2011
This report proposes a method for assessing resilience-building components in coastal social-ecological systems. Using the proposed model, the preferences of experts in Masan Bay (South Korea) and Puget Sound (USA) are compared. A total of 30 management objectives were determined and used to build a hierarchic tree designed using the principles of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Surveys were performed with 35 Puget Sound experts using face-to-face interviews and with 28 Masan Bay experts by mail. The results demonstrate that the legal objective, which enables legislation, was the highest preferred component in both regions. The knowledge translation variable was also given a high preference score in both regions. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the Puget Sound experts significantly favored attention to education, habitat restoration and species protection objectives in comparison to the Masan Bay experts. The Masan Bay experts placed greater emphasis on legislation and the type of institutional design than did the Puget Sound experts. Using cluster analysis, four distinct groups of respondents were independently identified in Puget Sound and three groups were identified in Masan Bay. One unique subgroup in the Puget Sound experts group, which was characterized by its high preferences for habitat restoration and species protection, was not observed in Masan Bay. Demographic variables (length of career and role in coastal issue) failed to account for the differences in groupings and preferences in either region, except for the variable 'favoring information source' in the Puget Sound group. This finding implies that the demographic information was not related to differences in group opinions in both regions. The analysis framework presented here was effective in identifying expert preferences regarding the overall structure and emphasis in coastal management programs. Thus, this framework can be applied towards coastal policy development.
Private property makes up a large proportion of urban green space and differs from public greenspace in ecologically important ways. While including private property in urban landscape research is necessary, ecologists are frequently unprepared to work on private property and thus often exclude private land from empirical studies. To address this gap and encourage research on private property, we ask: “What lessons have urban ecologists learned from designing their research and completing their fieldwork that are relevant to researchers new to private property?” We present ten common methodological and practical challenges faced by urban ecologists, with solutions synthesized from semi-structured interviews with 24 urban ecologists from 7 countries, along with public health researchers and police officers. The compiled advice addresses all stages of research, including research design, sample design, gaining access to study sites, collecting data on study sites, and sharing results. Ecologists reported that their research and sampling design were shaped by the need to work with property owners, found communicating honestly and respectfully with property owners for the duration of the research influenced success, and emphasized practicing good field safety and preparing for both routine and stressful in-person encounters. Further research and collaboration among ecologists and private property owners is necessary to improve our understanding and management of urban ecosystems given the proportion of urban greenspace that is on private property. We hope that our suggestions will help guide the next generation of urban ecologists to take up this challenge.
- Jan 2018
Private property makes up a large proportion of urban green space, which differs from public greenspace in ecologically important ways. While including private property in urban landscape research is necessary, ecologists are frequently unprepared to work on private property and often exclude private land from empirical studies. We provide lessons learned for ecologists and others considering research on private property to help prepare future scientists for the challenges of balancing study design and scientific merit with respect for the property owners that are allowing access. To compile these lessons learned, we interviewed urban ecologists and social scientists from 7 countries, along with public health researchers and police officers using the 'expert' interview technique, then synthesized their experiences and advice. The compiled advice addresses all stages of research, including research design, sample design, gaining access to study sites, collecting data on study sites, and sharing results via post-study communication. Overall, we find that researchers must adapt their methodological approaches to the limitations imposed by private property, communicate honestly and respectfully with property owners for the duration of the research, and be prepared to adapt to unusual and unexpected challenges during fieldwork unique to urban environments. The approach we present is centered around balancing scientific merit, safety, and respect for property owners. We want to encourage scientists to expand their research to private property to better study the heterogeneous urban landscape. PeerJ Preprints | https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.26457v1 | CC BY 4.0 Open Access | rec
Characteristics of buildings and land cover surrounding buildings influence the number of bird-window collisions, yet little is known about whether bird-window collisions are associated with urbanization at large spatial scales. We initiated a continent-wide study in North America to assess how bird-window collision mortality is influenced by building characteristics, landscaping around buildings, and regional urbanization. In autumn 2014, researchers at 40 sites (N = 281 buildings) used standardized protocols to document collision mortality of birds, evaluate building characteristics, and measure local land cover and regional urbanization. Overall, 324 bird carcasses were observed (range = 0–34 per site) representing 71 species. Consistent with previous studies, we found that building size had a strong positive effect on bird-window collision mortality, but the strength of the effect on mortality depended on regional urbanization. The positive relationship between collision mortality and building size was greatest at large buildings in regions of low urbanization, locally extensive lawns, and low-density structures. Collision mortality was consistently low for small buildings, regardless of large-scale urbanization. The mechanisms shaping broad-scale variation in collision mortality during seasonal migration may be related to habitat selection at a hierarchy of scales and behavioral divergence between urban and rural bird populations. These results suggest that collision prevention measures should be prioritized at large buildings in regions of low urbanization throughout North America.
- Aug 2016
Waterfront cities worldwide have begun the process of regenerating and developing their formerly industrial waterfronts into land uses that reflect a post-industrial economic vision of mixed urban uses supporting a diverse economy and wide range of infrastructure. These revitalization projects require distinct planning and management tactics to determine project-defined successes inclusive of economic, ecological, and human well-being perspectives. While empirically developed templates for economic and ecological measures exist, the multi-dimensionality and subjective nature of human well-being is more difficult to assess. Through an extensive review of indicator frameworks and expert interviews, our research proposes an organizational, yet adaptable, human well-being indicators framework for the management and development of urban waterfront revitalization projects. We analyze the framework through the lens of two waterfront projects in the Puget Sound region of the United States and identify several key factors necessary to developing project-specific human well-being indicator frameworks for urban waterfront revitalization projects. These factors include: initially specify goals and objectives of a given project, acknowledge contextual conditions including prospective land uses and projected users, identify the stage of development or management to use appropriate indicators for that stage, and develop and utilize data sources that are at a similar scale to the size of the project.
One challenge facing birds living in urban areas is mortality from bird-window collisions. However, we know relatively little about the factors influencing these collisions. Recently, a team of researchers at the University of Washington participated in a national study of bird-window strike mortality. Along with 41 other collaborators from across the United States and Canada, we gathered data to test the hypothesis that the magnitude of bird-window collisions in urban areas reflects landscape structure and functional connectivity (Hager and Cosentino, project PIs). During the study period, we observed very low levels of bird-window strike mortality, in stark contrast to the relatively high mortality observed in the Midwest and Southeast. In this presentation, we will discuss our results, and place them in context using both national data from this study and the results of other regional studies. We will also explore the possible reasons for and implications of our results and share some lessons learned for other potential collaborators.
Climate change on the Washington coast will trigger significant physical and chemical stressors: (a) inundation of low-lying areas by high tides as sea level rises; (b) flooding of coasts during major storm events, especially near river mouths; (c) accelerated erosion of coastal bluffs; (d) shifting of beach profiles, moving the position of the Mean High Water line landward; (e) saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwater aquifers; and (f) increased ocean temperature and acidity. Similar forces will be working everywhere, but shore areas will respond differently depending upon substrate (sand versus bedrock), slope (shallow versus steep cliffs), and the surrounding conditions (exposed versus sheltered from storms). We expect substantial impacts on coastal systems from bluff erosion, shifting beach berms, shoreline armoring, and inundation of coastal lands. Further, increased ocean temperatures and acidity will negatively impact shellfish aquaculture. As beaches adjust to sea level rise, coastal property lines and intertidal aquaculture leases will need to be carefully defined through modified property laws. We anticipate relatively minor impacts on coastal freshwater aquifers. Additional research is needed to develop a more comprehensive assessment of climate impacts on all coastal features in the state. 1
- Aug 2012
- 97th ESA Annual Convention 2012
Background/Question/Methods Bird community composition varies across urban gradients as defined by key social and environmental variables. Previous studies have identified social and economic variables including income, race, and ethnicity, as particularly important determinants of bird community composition, largely because these variables dictate plant communities in urban areas. Population density, building density, vegetation cover, and the proportion of impervious surfaces also vary across the urban gradient and influence bird community composition. The goal of this study is to examine if bird abundance data collected by citizen scientists can be used to detect changes in bird community composition along the urban gradient in Seattle, WA. Bird abundance data (2002-2010) was downloaded from eBird, an online portal operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society that allows professional and recreational birders to report their observations for use by the scientific community. Key socioeconomic and landscape variables, including land cover type, race and ethnicity as a percentage of total population were derived from publically available data sources. These variables were associated with individual bird abundance observations based on location using ArcGIS. The resulting dataset was analyzed in R using the Bray-Curtis distance matrix and PERMANOVA. Results/Conclusions Our results suggest that bird abundance data collected by citizen scientists does not detect the same changes in bird community composition along the urban gradient found in other peer-reviewed papers. We found that the season in which data was collected was an important indicator of bird community composition, while year, time, and effort spent were not significant. After accounting for the effects of season, the only significant social or environmental variable was the percent of Asians living in the census block. This contrasts with published studies. For example at least three studies, including one from Vancouver from 2005, found positive correlation between bird community composition and family income. Other studies have found increased number of plant species with higher income and lower with percent Hispanic. This supports the published results as urban birds are highly reliant on vegetation structure. Further research is needed to understand why data collected by citizen scientists detected different changes in bird community composition along the urban gradient than those reported in the literature. It is important to resolve these concerns, since involving urban citizens with nature promotes successful biodiversity conservation in both urban and wilderness areas.
Local rates of sea level rise (SLR) depend on both global and local factors. The expected range of global sea level rise by 2100 is 7- 23 inches (IPCC 2007). Locally, changes in atmospheric circulation patterns and vertical land movements will affect the amount of relative sea level rise. Based on our understanding of these factors to date, sea level rise in the Puget Sound region is expected to closely match the changes in global sea level. Very little relative SLR is expected in the northwest Olympic peninsula due to rates of tectonic uplift that exceed projected rates of SLR. Due to limitations in available data, we cannot characterize the uplift characteristics of the central and southern coasts; however, the few data points available suggest that uplift in this region is lower than that observed to the north. Uncertainties in both the climate system and in human response to climate change will make exact predictions difficult. The future climate will depend upon the future rate of greenhouse gas emissions, which is subject to policy initiatives and economic incentives. Future sea level rise also depends on uncertain rates of ice sheet melting in Greenland and Antarctica. Recently observed higher rates of ice sheet melting make 48 inches of sea level rise by 2100 within the range of possibility. It is well established that physical impacts of climate change and sea level rise will manifest
2. Future Scenarios and Climate Projections a. Background...........................................................:...........................................5
Abstract Climate change on the Washington coast will trigger significant physical and chemical stressors: (a) inundation of low-lying areas by high tides as sea level rises; (b) flooding of coasts during major storm events, especially near river mouths; (c) accelerated erosion of coastal bluffs; (d) shifting of beach profiles, moving the position of the Mean High Water line landward; (e) saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwater aquifers; and (f) increased ocean temperature and acidity. Similar forces will be working everywhere, but shore areas will respond differently depending upon substrate (sand versus bedrock), slope (shallow versus steep cliffs), and the surrounding conditions (exposed versus sheltered from storms). We expect substantial impacts on coastal systems from bluff erosion, shifting beach berms, shoreline armoring, and inundation of coastal lands. Further, increased ocean temperatures and acidity will negatively impact shellfish aquaculture. As beaches adjust to sea level rise, coastal property lines and intertidal aquaculture leases will need to be carefullydefined through modifiedproperty laws. We anticipate relatively minor impacts on coastal freshwater aquifers. Additional research is needed to develop a more comprehensive,assessment of climate impacts on all coastal features in the state. FINAL (3.3.09) – Page 3 1.,Introduction Washington State has more than 5000 km (3085 miles)of coastline (Table 1) with very diverse characteristics.The coastline can be divided into five regions: (1) the Pacific coast south of Point Grenville, (2) the Pacific coast north of Point Grenville, (3) the coast along the north shore of the Olympic peninsula and east through the Strait of Juan deFuca, (4) the Puget Sound region,