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Prairie-Desertification

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Prairie-Desertification Powered By Docstoc
					 The US Environmental Protection
  Agency’s Regional Vulnerability
      Assessment Program:
Using Existing Data and Models for
    Proactive Decision-making
           Elizabeth R. Smith, Ph.D.
     USEPA, Office of Research and Development
   National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research
                Triangle Park, NC, USA
               What I Will Cover Here
     Research Problem
     Background / Definitions
     ReVA Framework with Examples
      • Drivers of Change at Broad, Regional Scale
      • Trade-off Analysis at Finer, Local Scale
     Future Directions of EPA Ecological Research
      Program


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     Problem
    Given multiple stresses affecting multiple endpoints simultaneously, how
    can limited resources be targeted to maximize benefits and minimize
    problems? (Mid-Atlantic Pilot)
    How do we incorporate various perspectives to balance among competing
    priorities? (Sustainable Environment for Quality of Life (SEQL) Project)

      Clients
       EPA Regional Offices (enforce Clean Air Act, Clean Water
       Act, etc.)
       EPA Program Offices (Office of Water, Office of Air and
       Radiation, etc. – recommend regulatory standards)
       State and Local Decision-makers
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3         ....Anyone faced with this and no tools at hand to do it well...
    ReVA projects typically focus at EPA
              regional scale


                              Pilot work in Region 3,
                              Mid-Atlantic Region
                              Vulnerability of
                              Ecological Populations
                              to Air Toxics in Region
                              4, Southeastern Region
                              Future Midwestern
                              Landscapes in Regions
                              5, 7, and 8


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    ReVA’s Strategic Research Priorities

     Synthesize existing information
     Improve assessment capability for
      multiple stresses acting simultaneously
     Improve assessments and forecasts under
      alternative policy and management
      options

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                  Vulnerability versus Risk
        A threat [risk] is identifiable, often immediate, and
           requires an understandable response.

        A vulnerability is often only an indicator, often not clearly
           identifiable, often linked to a complex interdependence
           among related issues, and does not always suggest a
           correct or even adequate response.

        A number of vulnerability issues, if left unchecked over
           time, can take on significance that could easily impact
           effective governance and potentially lead to conflict. To
           be specific, vulnerabilities, if left unchecked over time,
           become threats.

    P.H. Liotta, "The Poseidon Prairie-Desertification, Environmental Stress and the Euro-Mediterranean Space"

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    How are Decisions Made to Reduce Risk
    for Vulnerable Ecosystems?

     • Multiple Criteria
        Stakeholder Input, Politics, Economics,
        Feasibility, Scientific Understanding

     • Evaluation of Trade-offs
        Costs/ Benefits of Alternatives
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      ReVA’s Integrated Assessment Framework Helps
      Organize Research Knowledge and Tools to Respond to
      Client Needs

             Data acquisition/preparation
             Extrapolation/interpolation
             Model development/forecasting
             Synthesis
    EDT      Scenario Analysis
             Visualization/Communication/Access to
              Information

    EDT = ReVA’s web-based Environmental Decision Toolkit

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    ReVA is estimating condition across the map using
    existing data




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 Evaluating Alternative Risk
 Management Options:Linking Nutrient
 Loadings with Restoration Potential
                                              Scenario with
                                              restoration
 Current
 Loadings

                                                              10% increase in
                                                              riparian forest

                                          Scenario with
                                          continued
                                          development




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                                                              10% decrease in
10   Jones, et al., 2000. Landscape Ecology                   riparian forest
     ReVA synthesizes environmental data and
     model results to inform decision-making
                                                       High Vulnerability




                                                       Low Vulnerability




       Why Integrate?
       1)   To “boil down” huge amounts of data for decision-makers
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       2)   When projecting future conditions, some things improve,
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            some worsen, need to know net effect
     Data Issues: Effects on Integration Methods
Method                  Discontinuity      Skewness           Imbalance       Interdependency

Quantiles               Not sensitive      Not sensitive      Sensitive       Sensitive

Simple Sum              Not sensitive      Not sensitive      Sensitive       Sensitive

AHP                     Not sensitive      Not sensitive      Not sensitive   Sensitive

PCA                     Sensitive          Sensitive          Not sensitive   Not sensitive

State Space             Sensitive          Sensitive          Not sensitive   Not sensitive

Criticality             Not sensitive      Not sensitive      Sensitive       Sensitive

Overlay                 Not sensitive      Not sensitive      Not sensitive   Not sensitive

Cluster                 Not sensitive      Sensitive          Sensitive       Sensitive

SOM                     Not sensitive      Sensitive          Sensitive       Sensitive


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12            Smith, Tran, and O’Neill. 2003. EPA/600/R/082
     Multiple Decision-Criteria Require
     Multiple Integration Methods
 • Ranking Methods (Condition)
     Quantiles, Sum of Ranks, AHP
 • Distance from Reference Point (Sustainability)
      PCA, State Space, Criticality
 • Overlay of stressors/resources (Value)
 • Grouping of Like Units (Feasibility)
     Cluster Analysis, Self-Organizing Maps
           Overlay




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     Future Scenarios:
     Projections of Major Drivers of
     Ecological Change (2020)
                      Despite compliance with environmental
                      regulations, biological populations are
                      declining.
                      Major drivers of change include:




                                                     }
                          Land use change
                                                         These
                          Resource extractions           drivers
                                                         projected
                                                         for the Mid-
                          Pollution and pollutants       Atlantic
                                                         Region
                          Exotic invasive species
                          Climate change
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Land use/    Giant Salvinia
land cover




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     Where will valued resources be subjected
     to additional stress?



                                 Region 3 is now using
                                 the toolkit to prioritize
                                 the use of resources




                              Watersheds in blue are candidates for
                              use of Region 3’s discretionary funds
                              for water monitoring, continuing
                              existing projects, initiating new
                              projects, partnerships with local
                              communities for responsible
17                            development…..                  5/8/2010
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                                                                              Charlotte MSA

                                                                                     North Carolina
                                                                                 Mecklenburg
                                                                                  County

                                                                              Adjacent
                                                                              Counties


     Demonstrating Trade-offs                                            South Carolina




      What is SEQL?

          Sustainable Environment for Quality of Life
          Promotes integrated planning to protect the environment and quality of life
           while promoting economic win-wins
          Landmark regional partnership for integrated planning
          One of the first of its kind in the nation
          15-county region, encompassing approximately 10,000 square miles
          Federal, State, and Local Governments in partnership



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                  Alternative Scenarios of
                       Development




     Medium Density Development          Compact Centers Development

     •   Fewer Houses per Acre           •   More Houses per Acre
     •   More Land Consumption           •   Less Land Consumption 5/8/2010
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     •   Decentralized Employment        •   Centralized Employment
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     •   Growth Less Linked to Transit   •   Growth Linked to Transit
     Predicted Patterns of Land Consumption




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EXECUTIVE INDICES                              MANAGEMENT INDICES     INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES
                                                                      Riparian Cropping, Percent
                                                                      Agriculture, Percent Urban, Percent
                                                   Human Use          Agriculture on Slope, Road Density,
                                                                      Streams Crossing Roads, Percent
Landscape Quality                                                     Forest Edge, etc.
(Riparian Habitat + Overall Habitat - Human Use)

                                                                      Riparian Forest, Riparian Shrub,
                                                                      Riparian Grass, Stream Density,
                                                                      Percent Forest, Percent Wetland,
                                                   Riparian Habitat   Percent Shrub, Percent Native
                                                                      Grass, Percent Connectivity, Percent
                                                                      Transitional Forest, etc.

                                                                      Dissolved Phosphorus, Nitrate and
                                                                      Nitrite Nitrogen, Riparian Cropping,
Water Quality                                      Nutrients          Percent Agriculture, Road Density,
(Riparian Habitat - Nutrients - Sediment)                             Streams Crossing Roads, etc.

                                                                      Percent Barren, Riparian Agriculture,
                                                                      Riparian Cropping, Agriculture on
                                                                      Slope, Imperviousness, Streams
                                                   Sediment           Crossing Roads, etc.


                                                                      Percent Employed in Professional
                                                                      Occupation, Employment Diversity,
                                                                      Travel Time to Work, Change in
                                                                      Travel Time to Work, Violent Crimes,
Quality of Life                                    Quality of Life    Housing Affordability, Seasonal
                                                                      Housing Per Capita, Protected Areas
                                                                      Per Capita, etc.
     SEQL’s Regional Growth Decision Toolkit Contrasts
     the Alternative Future Scenarios




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                                     Annual revenues expected to be
                                     higher with Compact Centers
                                     development pattern




     Water Quality Index better in
     gold watersheds for Compact
     Centers development pattern                                5/8/2010
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     Data Exploration




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     New Directions in Ecological Research

      Ecosystem          “…until ecosystem services
                          cease to be perceived as
        Services,         free and limitless, and their
                          full value is taken into
      Economics,          account.”
      Human Health       The relationship to
     And Well-being       constituents of well-being
                          must be understood


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     STAGING                            MODELING             OUTPUTS
                                     Mapping tools
                                        Biodiversity
                                         Supporting
                                          Pollination
                                         Provisioning




                                                              Biophysical Outputs

                                                                                    Economic Outputs
     Stakeholder Input



                                          Agriculture
                         Scenarios


                                          Fresh Water
                                         Wood, Fiber

                                          Regulating
                                        Climate Regulation
                                        Flood Regulation

                                          Cultural
                                          Recreation
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                           Tool outputs
     Compare biophysical and economic status of:
          Pollination
          Carbon Sequestration
          Commodity Production
          Real Estate
          Biodiversity
          Water quality
          Water quantity and timing
          Recreation
27        Cultural and Non-use                    5/8/2010
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     Questions?
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                  http://epa.gov/reva
                                    5/8/2010
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