Puget Sound Ecosystem Planning
Planning is an essential component of ecosystem management, and requires a spatially explicit understanding of the landscape and its dynamics, as well as to goals of stakeholders. Ecosystem planning is complex, and can rapidly exceed the ability of stakeholders the understand and embrace planning outcomes. Different authorities will embrace different planning approches for different purposes. Until recently, with development of interoperable web-based spatial data services, access to the spatial details of ecosystem plans has been limited. As a result, Puget Sound is awash in a variety of overlapping plans, that reflect a variety of different information sources and purposes. This page is intended to explore the potential for creative order amid planning chaos.
There are three four current spatial frameworks at a local watershed scale:
- Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project - PSNERP first delineates shorelines based on beach drift processes, and and then defined watershed units upward using Finlayson 2006 topobathymetry.
- Puget Sound Characterization Project -- Washington State Department of Ecology's watershed characterization used aggregations of SSHIAP watershed polygons to develop relatively evenly sized watershed units.
- Floodplains by design USGS working with TNC used lidar and river flow estimates to define floodplain units.
- National Hydrologic Dataset - WDFW has recently been pushing to update its FishDist layer to be consistent with a new national hydrologic data product that better defines the waters of the US.
Human System Boundaries
The Overlap Issue
One fundmental issue is that ecosystem boundaries are not precise. While each study may nest assessment units differently based on political or ecological goals