Ecosystem Services Research In Communities Willamette River Basin Study - PDF by EPADocs




Issue:                                 Understanding these interactions
EPA’s Ecological Research              will help local decision makers
Program (ERP) in the Office of         understand the ecological costs
Research and Development               and benefits of existing and
(ORD) is focused on the study of       proposed land management and
ecosystem services and the             growth policies. The study will
benefits to human well-being           focus particularly on maintaining
provided by ecological systems.        and improving river conditions
                                       with targeted work on the area’s
As part of this research effort, the   riparian forests.
Willamette River Basin project                                               •	 Quantify linkages and trade-offs
will identify and characterize the     The goals of the initiative are to:      among bundles of ecosystem
ecosystem services in the area.                                                 services in response to land use,
The river basin, located in Oregon     •	 Identify critical knowledge gaps      climate and other variables
between the Coast Range and the           in the ecological processes
Cascase Range, is highly                  underlying ecosystem services      •	 Model the future responses of
agricultural and has a growing                                                  ecosystem services to probable
population. There is considerable      •	 Map ecosystem services in the         future conditions
local interest in sustainable             river basin based on current
economic growth.                          conditions and available data      •	 Determine the value of changes
                                                                                in ecosystem services affected
Science Objective:                     •	 Quantify the response of              by changes in Nr loads
                                          ecosystem services to current
The research in the Willamette
                                          and projected conditions and       Application and Impact:
River Basin will strive to quantify
                                          stressors                          EPA scientists will develop
the area’s ecosystem services and
understand the effect man-made                                               ecosystem services maps, models,
stressors have on those services.                                            and decision support tools to help
                                                                             decision makers in the Willamette

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River Basin apply the information                Costanza, R.; d’Arge, R. R.; de Groot, R.; Farber,
                                                 S.; Grasso, M.; Hannon, B; Limburg, K.; Naeem,
and methods developed by this                    S.; O’Neill, R.V.; Paruelo, J.; Raskin, R.G.; Sutton,
project. Using these tools,                      P.; van den Belt, M. The value of the world's
                                                 ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature.
decision makers can implement                    1997, 387:253-260.
proactive policy and management                  Hulse, D.; Gregory, S.; Baker, J. Willamette River
decisions over time and at                       Basin Planning Atlas: Trajectories of
multiple scales. These decisions                 Environmental and Ecological Change. 2002,
                                                 Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon,
will help ensure human well­                     178 p.
being by conserving and
enhancing ecosystem services.                    CONTACT:
                                                 Dixon Landers, Ph.D., EPA’s Office of Research
                                                 and Development, 541-754-4427,
The most direct client will be the     
U.S. EPA Region 10 office in
Seattle, Washington, which has                   OCTOBER 2007
regulatory authority in the
Willamette River Basin. The
research also will be integrated
with other community-based
ecosystems research being
conducted in order to create a
transferable suite of methods and
tools for evaluating ecosystem
services. This research will be
applicable across other EPA
regions and national program

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems
and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press,
Washington, D.C. 2005,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan.

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