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Overview of Ecosystem Planning & Management Lecture # 1 Dr. Samuel Brody, TX, A&M University.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of Ecosystem Planning & Management Lecture # 1 Dr. Samuel Brody, TX, A&M University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of Ecosystem Planning & Management Lecture # 1 Dr. Samuel Brody, TX, A&M University

2 Traditional Resource Management Not Sufficient 75% of major fish stocks depleted from over fishing or fished to biological limit (Garcia and Deleiva, 2001). Logging and conversion have shrunk forest cover by as much as half (Bryant et al., 1997). 58% of coral reefs are threatened by human activities (Bryant et al., 1998). 65% of world cropland experience soil degradation (Wood et al., 2000).

3 Traditional Resource Management Approach Not Sufficient 85 percent of the endangered species examined were threatened by habitat degradation and loss (Wilcove et al. 1997). 45 percent of the original wetlands remain in the United States. 81 percent of fish communities are adversely affected by human development. less than 2 percent of streams are of high enough quality to be worthy of federal designation as wild or scenic rivers (Noss and Cooperrider, 1994).

4 Emergence of Ecosystem Management Term emerged in the late 1980's and has subsequently been widely embraced. At least 18 federal agencies have committed to the principles. Survey identified over 600 ecosystem management projects. Hailed as a “new paradigm” for Sustainable management.

5 Historical Development Credit given to Aldo Leopold in 1949. Ecological Society of America preceded Leopold. In the late 1970's, the grizzly bear and northern spotted owl controversies helped cause shift in thinking.

6 Definitions of Ecosystem Management "integrating scientific knowledge of ecological relationships within a complex sociopolitical and values framework toward the general goal of protecting native ecosystem integrity over the long term” (Grumbine, 1994). "a resource management system designed to maintain or enhance ecosystem health and productivity while producing essential commodities and other values to meet human needs and desires within the limits of socially, biologically, and economically acceptable risk” American Forest and Paper Association (1993).


8 Major Themes of Ecosystem Planning & Management Focused on maintaining ecosystem integrity via protection of critical habitats Incorporation of human values Inter-organizational Coordination Collaboration of multiple stakeholders Implementation of plans and planning tools

9 Chesapeake Bay Case Study

10 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Maryland Delaware New York District of Columbia Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania


12 Value of the Bay

13 Status and Trends in Nitrogen Concentrations in the Bay and its Tidal Rivers

14 Status and Trends in Phosphorus Concentrations in the Bay and its Tidal Rivers

15 Sources of Pollutants to the Bay Nonpoint Sources Run-off from farmland Run-off from lawns and paved areas Point Sources Industry Wastewater Treatment Plants

16 Stormwater and groundwater carry nutrients into rivers and the Bay from a variety of nonpoint sources.

17 The Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership Governor of MD EPA Administrator Governor of VA Governor of PA Executive Council Mayor of DC Chair of Chesapeake Bay Commission

18 Bay Cleanup Has Citizen Involvement CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee Citizen Advisory Committee representing the interests of : Business, Industry, Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, Local Governments, Developers, etc. CHESAPEAKE BAY CLEANUP ALLIANCE FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION WATERSHED ORGANIZATIONS LAND TRUSTS CONSERVATION GROUPS

19 Goal: 40% Reduction in Nutrient Pollution by the Year 2000

20 Nutrient Pollution Declining, but We Still Need to Do More Maintaining reduced nutrient loads will be a challenge due to expected population growth in the region. New goals will be established soon for additional reductions of nutrients, as well as sediment, to be achieved by 2010. Total Nutrient Loads Delivered to the Bay from All Bay Tributaries (MD, PA, VA, DC). Phosphorus Nitrogen Source: Chesapeake Bay Program Phase 4.3 Watershed Model. Data include total nutrient loads delivered to the Bay, from point and nonpoint sources, from Chesapeake Bay Agreement jurisdictions : MD, PA, VA and DC. Nitrogen Goal Phosphorus Goal

21 Monitoring data from major rivers entering tidal waters of Chesapeake Bay show that phosphorus concentrations are decreasing in portions of the Susquehanna River, in the Patuxent, Rappahannock and James rivers and in the Mattaponi (a tributary to the York). The Potomac River and the and Pamunkey (a tributary to the York) show increasing trends. Portions of the Susquehanna and the Appomattox (a tributary to the James) show no trend. 1980s – 2000 Decreasing No significant trend Increasing Phosphorus Levels Declining in Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers

22 1980s – 2000 Decreasing No significant trend Increasing Monitoring data from major rivers entering tidal waters of Chesapeake Bay show that nitrogen concentrations are decreasing in the Susquehanna, Potomac, Patuxent, Rappahannock, Mattaponi (a tributary to the York), and James rivers. The Pamunkey (a tributary to the York) shows an increasing trend. The Appomattox (a tributary to the James) shows no trend. Nitrogen Levels Declining in Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers

23 Forest Acreage Declining Forests provide critical habitat and help prevent pollutants and sediment from reaching the Bay and rivers. About 59% of the Bay basin is currently forested. The forest that regrew from the 19th to the mid-20th centuries is steadily declining. Current losses represent permanent conversions.

24 Wetland Loss Continues In the 1980s we were still losing estuarine wetlands, like tidal marshes, but loss rates were significantly reduced. Loss rates were down from 547 acres/year during the 1950s - 1970s, to 5 acres/year during the 1980s. However, freshwater wetlands, like forested swamps, were lost at an increasing rate. Loss rates were up from 2,373 acres/year during the 1950s - 1970s, to 2,807 acres/year during the 1980s.

25 Patterns of Land Use and Consumption of Natural Resources Threaten Our Progress Low density, single-use development, often called sprawl, tends to use "resource lands", such as forests, farms and wetlands. This impacts the water quality of local waterways and the Bay, as well as the region's economy and heritage. These development trends also have resulted in people driving farther to reach jobs and services, leading to increases in vehicle miles traveled.

26 In sum, the Bay watershed has lost half its forests, 60 percent of its wetlands, almost 90 percent of its underwater grasses, and nearly 98 percent of its oysters. The result is that we have stripped the Bay of its natural habitats on the land and in the water, as well as stripping it of its ability to filter out pollution. Summary of Impacts

27 Bay 2000 Agreement By 2010, develop and implement locally supported watershed management plans in two- thirds of the Bay watershed covered by this Agreement. By 2010, achieve a net resource gain by restoring 25,000 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands. By 2002, ensure that measures are in place to meet our riparian forest buffer restoration goal of 2,010 miles by 2010.

28 Bay 2000 Agreement (Cont.) By 2010, correct the nutrient- and sediment- related problems sufficiently to remove the Bay and the tidal portions of its tributaries from the list of impaired waters under the Clean Water Act. Permanently preserve from development 20 percent of the land area in the watershed by 2010. By 2012, reduce the rate of harmful sprawl development of forest and agricultural land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 30 percent.

29 Acres of Bay Grasses *Note – Hatched area of bar includes estimated additional acreage. No survey in 1988. Source: Chesapeake Bay Program. GOAL: 185,000 acres by 2010. STATUS: Total acreage in 2003 is estimated to be 64,709. The decrease appears to be the result of substantial reductions in widgeongrass in the lower and mid-bay regions. In addition, major declines in freshwater species occurred in the upper portion the Potomac River and Susquehanna region likely due to persistent turbidity resulting from rain occurring throughout the spring and summer that may have contributed to a very early decline, well before Hurricane Isabel affected Chesapeake Bay. Restoration Goal (185,000 acres by 2010)

30 Wetlands Protection, Restoration, and Enhancement GOAL: Achieve a net resource gain by restoring 25,000 acres by 2010 in the Wetlands Restoration Program. In addition, the states’ regulatory programs will achieve a No-net loss of wetlands. STATUS: Since 1998, 14,317 acres were restored. In order to achieve the goal, 10,683 additional acres need to be restored by 2010. During this time, an additional 1,312 acres were gained in the regulatory programs. Source: Chesapeake Bay Program. Regulatory Program data: MD, 1998-2003; PA,1998-2002; VA, 2000-2003. Restoration Program data: MD, 1998-2003 (2003 partial); PA, 1998-2001; VA 2001-2003 (2002-2003 partial). Restoration totals include: restoration, enhancement, and creation of tidal and non- tidal wetlands in the Wetlands Restoration Program Wetlands Restoration Program Achievement MD Goal: 15,000 acres Restored: 12,593 acres Percent Achievement: 84% VA Goal: 6,000 acres Restored: 794 acres Percent Achievement: 13% PA Goal: 4,000 acres Restored: 930 acres Percent Achievement: 23% Total Restored 57% Total Remaining 43%

31 Stream Miles Opened to Migratory Fish GOAL: To restore access to historical spawning grounds for migratory fish. STATUS: The removal of stream blockages and construction of fish passages in 2004 reopened 352 miles of historic spawning habitat to migratory fish. Total miles made available to migratory fish since 1988 is 1,570. The 1,357 mile goal has been achieved. An additional 238 miles have been made available to resident fish. Source: Chesapeake Bay Program Office 1998 Goal (731 miles) 2003 Goal (1,357 miles)

32 Trends in Finfish: Striped Bass GOAL: Sustain the fishery. STATUS: Moratoriums in Maryland and Virginia followed by conservative harvest limits allowed the stock to rebound. The stock was declared restored in January 1995 by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Note: Differences in data treatment by MD and VA mean these graphs are not directly comparable. Source for Maryland index data: Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Source for Virginia index data: Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. Maryland Virginia Moratorium 1985 - 1990 Moratorium 1989 - 1990

33 Striped Bass Spawning Stock Source: Advisory and Summary Reports on the Status of the Atlantic Striped Bass, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Striped Bass Technical Committee GOAL: The goal for a recovered fishery was a spawning stock biomass (SSB) equal to the average SSBs recorded during 1960 - 1972. STATUS: Successful management measures led to decreased harvest pressure. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared the stock restored as of January 1, 1995. Fishing moratoria: MD & DE: 1985-1990 VA: 1989-1990 Baywide Female Spawning Stock Biomass

34 American Shad: Population Trends GOAL: Restore shad populations in the upper Chesapeake Bay. STATUS: Stocking efforts, a moratorium on shad fishing, and fish passage development on the Susquehanna River have helped to increase the number of shad returning to Conowingo Dam from several hundred per year in the early 1980s to an average 114,165 per year in 2002- 2004. In 2004, 109,360 shad returned. In spite of these improvements, Susquehanna populations are far below the restoration program goal of 2 million fish. Source: PA Fish and Boat Commission

35 Trends in Blue Crab: Commercial Harvest GOAL: Manage blue crabs to conserve the Baywide stock, protect its ecological value and optimize the long- term use of the resource. STATUS: The 2003 harvest of approximately 48 million pounds is below the long term average and near historic lows. The 2003 fishing mortality rate did not exceed the overfishing threshold but is above the target. Sources: Landings - National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA.. Fishing Mortality Rate - Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee (CBSAC), unweighted average of 4 surveys. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Landings Average Fishing Mortality Rate Threshold: Not to be exceeded Target: Safe Harvest Level 2003

36 Trends in Blue Crab: Mature Females GOAL: To protect the health of the blue crab stock and maintain the spawning stock at a sustainable level. STATUS: Mature female abundance has trended upwards for the past three years after hitting an historic low in 2000, but has been below the long-term average for six straight years and ten of the past twelve years. Sources: MD Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Academy of Natural Science, NOAA CBSAC. Spawning Stock Abundance Average VIMS Trawl & Calvert Cliffs VIMS Trawl, Calvert Cliffs & MD Trawl VIMS Trawl, Calvert Cliffs, MD Trawl & Winter Dredge 2003

37 Trends in Shellfish: Oyster Harvest Source: NMFS Fisheries Statistics of the U.S.; calendar year data. Oyster harvests in the Bay have declined due to overharvesting, disease, pollution and loss of oyster reef habitat. Two diseases, discovered in the 1950s and caused by the parasites MSX and Dermo, have been a major cause of the oyster’s decline during recent times. Maryland and Virginia Commercial Landings Recent Trends (millions of lbs.)

38 Trends in Shellfish: Oyster Spat GOAL: Enhance production of oysters by restoring habitat, controlling fishing mortality, promoting aquaculture and continuing repletion programs. STATUS: Oyster reproduction has continued to show strong annual variability, even during recent decades, but survival to harvestable size is severely compromised by MSX and Dermo. Source: MD Department of Natural Resources. Maryland Spat Set Average Based on 53 Key Bars in MD 2003

39 Bald Eagle Populations on the Rebound ! Actions to control chemical contaminants have led to improved conditions in the Bay. Bald eagles are no longer endangered due to the ban on the pesticide DDT and subsequent habitat improvements.

40 Trends in Waterfowl: Black Duck and Mallard GOAL: Restore populations and habitats to 1970s levels by the year 2000. STATUS: The goal for black ducks has not been reached, while the goal for mallards has been achieved. Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Black Duck Mallard goal 2004 goal 2004

41 Trends in Diving Ducks GOAL: Restore populations and habitats to 1970s levels by the year 2000. STATUS: Overall, diving ducks are doing well, however, redheads and canvasbacks are below goal levels. Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. goal Redheads Canvasbacks Total Diving DucksOther Diving Ducks* (*Scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck) 2004

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