South Sound Science: Paul Cereghino

Paul Cereghino, NOAA Restoration Center, on “Assessment of human/natural ecosystems for nearshore protection and restoration planning”:

Nearshore systems are physically dynamic.  Critical processes operate at large scales.  The best strategy is based upon the whole situation (social, economic, ecological).

Aims: Plan at the scale of physical systems.  Support quest for USACE Construction General.  Facilitiate regional project comparisons. Identifying high value sites without projects.  Begin integrating protection and restoration.

We want to invest in projects that will deliver in terms of ecosystem benefits/services to Puget Sound.

PSNERP data site is Landform-Based Framework:  river deltas (Nisqually and Deschutes); Coastal Inlets; Barrier Embayments, and beaches (1/3 of all Puget Sound)

As degradation increases, the risk of a threshold change of state, cost, and opportunities for regaining lost services increase as the reliability of restoration decreases.  Degradation differs according to landscapes, and varies in character.

As a site becomes larger, the more complex, quantity, diversity, and/or resilience of ecosystem services increases.

The best strategy might change according to where you fall along the two gradients of potential and degradation.

“Strategy loves opportunity”

South Sound has a shallow mosaic of inlets and embayments, with the shortest beaches in the Puget Sound.  A high percentage of South Sound watershed flows into inlet sites compared to Sound-wide.

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