Science Sprints to Support Regulation

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How do we organize evolving scientific evidence to support the protection of public trust resources?

This cross agency collaboration aims to rapidly summarize available evidence on a specific topic to support regulatory processes, particularly the quantification of ecosystem services. The effort was initiated as part of continuous process improvement to support the National Marine Fisheries Service's Puget Sound Nearshore Calculator, which uses Habitat Equivalency Analysis to quantify impacts to Puget Sound Chinook Salmon in Beaches and Embayments.

Project Deliverables

The project is currently operating with Puget Sound Partnership and EPA funding to support WDFW staff to work with NOAA and will generate the following outputs before May 2023.

  1. Two Science Sprints - each of which will prototype a process and generate two synthesis documents summarizing two topics to add value to regulatory processes,
  2. HEA Strategy - a framework for using HEA for ecosystem services currency development,
  3. Science Sprint Methods - a framework for organizing and publishing evidence to continuously improve decision support for regulatory groups,
  4. Estuary Services HEA Model - A draft service value model for natal and non-natal tidal floodplains to describe habitat value for juvenile chinook in Puget Sound, including likely topics for future science sprints, and
  5. Wiki Upgrade - Enhancement and collaborative management of the Salish Sea Restoration Wiki.

Project Status

  • March 2022 - The project team is currently consulting with regulatory teams to identify an initial science sprint topic.

Supporting and Related Materials and Topics

The Topic List

The following topics are being considered by the Science Sprint Team, but are unfunded. Topics are selected because, 1) there is a body of emerging scientific evidence to be organized, 2) there is diversity of opinions within the public and agency communities and 3) the topic affects consequential regulatory decisions. Due to NOAA quantification of shoreline habitat services in initial sprint topics are focused on the Puget Sound Nearshore.

Contribute a Candidate Topic (Links to Google Form)

Funded Sprints

  • Beach Nourishment (2022) - How does placement of sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. alter beach ecosystem services and what is the duration and extent of effects?
  • TBD - We are currently examining a variety of topics for our second science sprint.

Candidate Sprint Topics

The following sprints are seeking funding, with highest priority topics marked with an asterisk.

  • Shoreline Vegetation* - How does the structure composition and width of shoreline vegetation affect shoreline ecological functions?
  • Pocket Estuary Services* - What evidence describes how shorelines with shallow, protected, fine-textured, and vegetated areas with and without freshwater inputs (embayment shoreforms) provide higher habitat functions for juvenile salmon?
  • Benthic Macroalgae Vulnerability - How does shoreline development effect macro-algae?
  • Benthic Macroalgae Value - How do benthic macroalgaethe precise term for seaweed including kelps. provide ecosystem services compared to eelgrass?
  • Sediment Input Evaluation - What is the value of sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. input from coastal bluffs for ecosystem services in different settings?
  • Softshore Armoring - How does "softshore armoring" result in gains and losses of ecosystem services?

The Current Sprint Team

  • Paul Cereghino, NOAA Restoration Center
  • Max Lambert, WDFW Habitat Science
  • Josh Chamberlin, NW Fisheries Science Center
  • Stephanie Ehinger, NMFS West Coast Region Protected Resources


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