Quinn by wanghonghx

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 32

									An Environmental Overview of
 the Puget Sound Ecosystem

              Timothy Quinn
    Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife
   Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel
Salish Sea Ecosystem
1 of 200 priority ecoregions
for worldwide biodiversity,
by virtue of its globally
outstanding “ecological
phenomena” (WWF)

Significant national
biodiversity hotspot (Center
for Biological Diversity)
 Outstanding ecological phenomena
• Part of the world‟s largest remaining temperate rainforest
   Extremely productive lowland forest

• Large estuary with unique assemblage of marine biota
  relative to the Pacific Ocean

• High salmon productivity
   high species richness + large populations

• Second largest oyster producer in the US

• Largest clam producer on west coast
                         1792




Captain Vancouver arrives in 1792, names Puget Sound after
his Lieutenant (Peter) and claims the area for Great Britain
1810-1840
Logging begins in the
1850‟s (horse and ax)

Logging fueled by California
Gold Rush in 1870‟s

Harvest activity focused
along waterways to facilitate
the movement of timber and
to open up shipping ports.
 1863




First dikes are constructed in Puget Sound to support
agriculture
       1874




Depletion of the
Olympia oyster led to
introductions of Pacific
oyster
Railroads are              1890’s
constructed along
Puget Sound shorelines and river basins to
access timber
1890‟s




By 1890, Washington was one of the top five timber
producers in the US and had increased salmon
landings by 2000 percent over catches two decades
earlier
  A Frontier Governance Model
Washington becomes a state in 1889: State constitution
  encourages self reliance and entrepreneurship…

       Limited state gov. and empowered local gov.

       …belief in private property ownership in combination
       with untapped natural resources as the economic
       engine of the region

       1st legislature allowed the state to „dispose‟ of state
       owned tidal lands – largely to encourage commerce
The Current State of the
Puget Sound Ecosystem
 The State of the Puget Sound Ecosystem
             – Natural System
• 60 – 90% of old forests harvested
       23% of forestland converted to other uses

• 52% of marine shoreline modified

• ~81% of tidal wetlands lost

• 25% of watersheds have been over-appropriated

• 285 spp. critically imperiled, 4 globally extinct

• 25% of plants spp. threatened by invasives
Orca listed as endangered November 16, 2005
Increased frequency and severity of dead
zones in Hood Canal
   Contaminated
    Sediments
~1500 sites representing
1,600 hectares, concentrated
in urban bays
Main chemicals include heavy
metals, PAHs, and PCBs
“…a surprising amount of human debris: including more than
20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweat pants,
plastic pieces, duct tape, and….”
The State of the Puget Sound Ecosystem
            – Human System
             2006 Survey of 825 residents

• Public largely unaware of ecosystem service
  decline

• 73% rate environmental health of PS as pretty
  good or excellent

• Transportation top regional issue
  Human System (on the other hand)

• 68% rate population growth and development as threats

• 84% believe we cannot restore PS, but also believe in doing
  what is necessary to prevent further degradation

• Best cited reasons for improving PS include:
       1) responsibility to future generations
       2) need to protect fish and wildlife and human health
       3) it’s good for the economy
       What’s New in the
Effort to Restore Puget Sound
 Who has jurisdiction in protecting and
restoring the Puget Sound Ecosystem?
                            2 countries
                            100 cities
                            12 counties
                            12 conserv. districts
        Puget               12 health authorities
        Sound               28 port districts
                            3 regional gov. bodies
                            22 tribes
                            14 state agencies
                            9 federal agencies
                            28 port districts
   The Puget Sound Partnership
              (2007)
A community effort of citizens, governments,
  tribes, scientists and businesses working
  together to restore and protect Puget
  Sound

…to oversee the restoration of
 environmental health of Puget Sound by
 2020
  PSP Founded on 3 Beliefs
• Puget Sound ecosystem is a national treasure

• In serious decline and likely will worsen through
  time

• Current activities to protect and restore the
  ecosystem are fragmented, uncoordinated, and
  mostly ineffective
    Puget Sound Partnership‟s
           Six Goals

•   Healthy human population
•   Quality of human life
•   Native species
•   Native habitat
•   Water quality
•   Water quantity
What‟s new with PSP Restoration
• Comprehensive approach (snow caps to white
  caps)

• Consideration of coupled human and natural
  systems; analyses of tradeoffs in ecosystem
  goods and services
  Identifying Important Ecosystem
    Services: key tradeoffs (WRI)
• Competition for land and shoreline resources

• Public access to forests, shorelines, and marine environments
 Multiple Uses for Scarce Land (WRI)
• Forested land provides multiple ecosystem services:
timber, water regulation, water purification and waste
treatment, carbon sequestration, biomass fuel, wild foods,
genetic resources, erosion regulation, recreation, F&W
habitat, aesthetic values, etc.

• Housing and commercial development provides few
ecosystem services, which have to be designed and
engineered into the development
    Take home messages
Humans benefit from ecosystem good and services and have
  increasingly affected capacity of the ecosystem to sustain
  levels of those goods and services

Many of these changes have historic roots and are relatively
  invisible to the public

Authority to affect protection and restoration is diffuse and
  localized

Recovery may be less about natural than social science

								
To top