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Rob Brumbaugh & Mike Beck The Nature Conservancy Global Marine Initiative www.nature.org/marine The Nature Conservancy’s Shellfish Restoration Network:

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Presentation on theme: "Rob Brumbaugh & Mike Beck The Nature Conservancy Global Marine Initiative www.nature.org/marine The Nature Conservancy’s Shellfish Restoration Network:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rob Brumbaugh & Mike Beck The Nature Conservancy Global Marine Initiative The Nature Conservancy’s Shellfish Restoration Network: Lessons from a National Perspective

2 Acknowledgements TNC staff leading shellfish restoration projects in 11 U.S. states: Anne Birch, Marci Bortman, Cindy Brown, Rafael Calderon, Chris Clapp, Jeff DeBlieu, Mark Dumesnil, Patrick Ertel, Jared Laing, Carl LoBue, Betsy Lyons, Wayne Grothe, Aaron McCall, Jay Odell, Adam Starke, Barry Truitt, Dick Vander Schaaf, Nicole Vickey, Jacques White; National Partnership with NOAA’s Community-based Restoration Program; Many partners in public management agencies, conservation organizations and academic research institutions who contribute to the Shellfish Restoration Network;

3 Outline Shellfish Restoration Network – history, purpose, initial outcomes Current activities Progress Challenges Next Steps and Hope for the Future

4 Shellfish Restoration Network - early steps First suggested by Mike Beck at ICSR in 2004; Purpose:  improve cohesion and communication among projects  sharpen the focus on ecosystem services as outcome Initial meeting with TNC and few partners in 2004 and a workshop focused on project design in 2005; Early outcomes:  communications tools (quarterly E-newsletter “Clamor”)  guidance on design of projects  development of new projects  workspace on

5 “Restoration Clamor”

6 Initial Products Brumbaugh, R.D., M.W. Beck, L.D. Coen, L. Craig and P. Hicks The Nature Conservancy, Arlington VA. 28 pp. New handbook summarizes lessons learned and provides advice on:  The case for restoration  Identifying target species  Site selection  Monitoring approaches  Forming effective partnerships

7 TNC’s Shellfish Network Sites Olympia oyster Eastern oyster Bay scallop Hard Clam Blue mussel  Partnership based  Testing restoration strategies  Multiple sites are leased or owned  Multi-species approach  Focus on Ecosystem Services

8 From Assessments to Action Graphic provided by NC Division of Marine Fisheries 2 – 3 m 2 m Sanctuary reefs in NC: Class B rip-rap Limestone marl 150 – 300 tons per reef 5 – 1 0 m

9 Monitoring is integral part of projects Using similar metrics (oyster density, size frequency, etc) Adaptive management

10 Restoration Progress State-managed program for sanctuary-based restoration Spawner sanctuaries guard against recruitment failure 3-Dimensional reefs mimic historic reef habitat

11 Restoration Progress Increase filtration with clams Improve ecosystem function and resilience Shellfish restoration spurs ecosystem-based management plans

12 Olympia oyster restoration gaining momentum along Pacific coast TNC is combining restoration with field test of new state-wide conservation leasing policy in Washington state Restoration Progress Puget Sound, Olympia oyster restoration on leased bottom

13 Scales of projects Small Medium Large But, mostly, working around the margins…

14 Sunlight Healthy System Eutrophic System Balanced Algae Growth Minimal Nutrient Inputs Excessive Nutrient Inputs Healthy Bay Grasses Reduced Bay Grasses Algae Die-off Algae Decomposition Adequate Oxygen No / Low Oxygen Algal Bloom Adapted from Chesapeake Bay Program Much more progress is needed Abundant oysters Depleted oysters

15 Lotze et al 2006, SCIENCE Condition of Common Estuarine Taxa in 12 Systems around the Globe

16 Challenges Remain Fisheries a higher priority than other ecosystem services Regulatory constraints  restoration in closed waters  habitat enhancement Ecosystem services not valued ($) Insufficient restoration funding to return ecosystem services at large scales ($)

17 Next Steps – Engage the Network Address key issues through working groups: 1)Ecosystem Services - what is a healthy oyster reef actually worth ($) in terms of filtration, nutrient removal, shoreline protection, and ‘productivity’ of fish and shellfish? 2)Regulatory issues surrounding restoration in closed waters 3)Global assessment: “Shellfish Reefs at Risk”

18 Ecosystem Services Provisioning – shellfish landings Regulating – erosion control, fish habitat Peterson et al (2003): 2.6kg/m 2 /yr fish production in SE estuaries Cultural – tourism, recreation Supporting - nutrient cycling Newell et al (2005): $314,836/yr N removal in Choptank River Framework from Millennium Assessment, 2006 Need this to justify scaling up

19 Restoration in Closed Waters: attractive solution or attractive nuisance? Lynnhaven River Sub-Watershed Area: 166 km 2 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Area: 166,000 km 2

20 A ten year restoration effort

21 Impetus for water quality improvement Lynnhaven River 2007

22 Low Medium High Coral Reefs at Risk An impetus for research, conservation, improved management Bryant et al, 1998

23 Low Risk-- Intact Shellfish Reefs & Beds  No synthesis of distribution, condition or threats (risk)  No compelling case for action Temperate Northern Hemisphere Looking Globally… Shellfish Reefs at Risk

24 Seeking data: Spatial distribution, abundance, condition & threats

25 Conclusions A lot of progress - new and innovative partnerships have elevated restoration and enhanced monitoring; Need to sharpen focus on ecosystem services to make ecological restoration more mainstream and large scale; Shellfish Restoration Network should help to fill in gaps, provide support for enhanced and expanded restoration; Seeking your involvement: Rob Brumbaugh

26 Our challenge “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.” - Theodore Roosevelt


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