Seminar Abstract

Ed Miles, Doug Canning, Tom Leschine

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Integrated Assessment of Coastal Resources: Toward Coastal Watershed Management

In the context of our five year plan for the period 2005-2010, we proposed to re-create the coastal zone sub-group and shift its focus from coastal hazards to coastal watershed management, thereby completing the plan to pursue the theme of horizontal integration across the four sectors we study. This shift in focus had three objectives: 1.) examine multiple pathway linkages between the combination of climate variability and human activities at watershed scale including land-use/land-cover change, changes in stream hydrology and conditions, and effects on riparian and in-stream habitats, salmon productivity and general estuarine ecology; 2.) analyze the implications for resource management for specific resource issues; and 3.) apply the findings to a growing institutional movement among some stakeholders for multidimensional resource management at the watershed level.

The advice we received from the panel of experts who conducted our review emphasized that we should start small and scale up over time; pay particular care to the choice of watersheds, spell out the methodology to be employed in detail; and link what we wished to do to the approach and findings of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Ecosystems Regional Study (PNCERS; and the Puget Sound Regional Synthesis Model (PRISM; We have taken this advice to heart and propose to begin by building on the PNCERS findings to investigate West-coast sites before dealing with Puget Sound. The seminar will begin by re-stating the design of the "big picture" (Miles & Canning); describe an approach to a project connecting the PNCERS findings to West coast sites as stated in a Letter of Intent to propose to the new NOAA/OGP SARP initiative (Leschine); and seek comments and advice from participants.

Speaker bios:

Ed Miles is the Co-Director of the JISAO Center for Science in the Earth System, and the Director of the Climate Impacts Group. Doug Canning is Senior Planner for the Washington State Department of Ecology. Tom Leschine is the Director of the University of Washington's School of Marine Affairs.