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RMP NOV 08 Improving Benthic Assessment Tools for the San Francisco Estuary Aroon Melwani, Sarah Lowe, and Bruce Thompson RMP Exposure and Effects Workgroup.

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Presentation on theme: "RMP NOV 08 Improving Benthic Assessment Tools for the San Francisco Estuary Aroon Melwani, Sarah Lowe, and Bruce Thompson RMP Exposure and Effects Workgroup."— Presentation transcript:

1 RMP NOV 08 Improving Benthic Assessment Tools for the San Francisco Estuary Aroon Melwani, Sarah Lowe, and Bruce Thompson RMP Exposure and Effects Workgroup March 11 th 2010, Oakland, California

2 Benthic Workshops Workshops held June 3 rd and August 24 th, 2009 Collaboration with SQO Phase II in the Delta Long Term Goal: revise/develop benthic assessment methods for several SF Estuary and Delta assemblages Immediate Goals: –Review spatial and temporal extent of benthic assemblages in the SF Estuary –Develop BPJ and update mesohaline benthic index

3 Applicable RMP Management Questions MQ 1. Are chemical concentrations in the Estuary potentially at levels of concern and are associated impacts likely? Specific Benthos Question from 5 Year Plan: Are the toxicity tests, benthic community assessment approaches, and the overall SQO assessment framework we are using reliable indicators of impacts on benthic biota?

4 2009 – Assemblage Classification Identified benthic assemblages in San Francisco Estuary –Updated/standardized SF Estuary benthic data and habitat data –Classification analysis conducted by SCCWRP General agreement by WG on benthic assemblage classification in the Estuary Classification analysis did not reveal any major surprises Based on these results, samples were selected for BPJ Classification analysis incomplete (Draft technical report coming in next few months) Would be good to adjust the spacing between paragraphs so it is less and you can fit all bullets with consistent spacing

5 Best Professional Judgment BPJ conducted to identify benthic response gradients, to support index validation in two Estuary assemblages –Collaboration with the SQO Delta – also performed limnetic BJP –8 experts reviewed mesohaline benthic data –7 experts reviewed limnetic benthic data Results to be discussed with the expert panel in late-March –Preliminary results suggest agreement among experts not as close as for polyhaline habitats –Some experts were outliers Draft technical report 85% done –Will be distributed in April after panel discussion A bjp typo here

6 2010 – Index Development Continued Participation in SQO assessments for the SF Estuary ($30K) Task 1 : Revision of mesohaline index for San Francisco Estuary –Use BPJ gradient –Examine existing indices and combination of common benthic metrics –Guidance from BPJ experts and Benthic Workgroup Task 2 : Two benthic workgroup meetings will be held: April 2010 and summer 2010 Task 3 : Develop RMP capabilities to perform SQO assessments Deliverables: 1) A technical report will be drafted on the mesohaline index work; 2) A status report on Benthic WG progress “participation” sounds passive – aren’t we leading?

7 QUESTIONS

8 RMP NOV 08 Developing a Multi-Year Plan for Evaluating Effects on Benthos Aroon Melwani, Sarah Lowe, and Bruce Thompson RMP Exposure and Effects Workgroup March 11 th 2010, Oakland, California

9 Multi-Year Planning Process Study Development by RMP Staff  RMP Benthic Workgroup  Exposure and Effects Workgroup  Technical Review Committee  Steering Committee

10 Causes of Sediment Toxicity Causes of Benthic Impacts SQO Triad Understanding and Interpretation RMP Management Questions 1 and 2 ECOLOGICAL CONDITION OF SAN FRANCISCO BAY SEDIMENTS Amphipod Dose Response Experiments Amphipod TIE’s For Organics Identifying San Francisco Bay Benthic Assemblages Factors Related to Benthic Impacts Bivalve TIE’s For Metals RMP Sediment Effects Studies Sediment Quality Triad at Toxic Sites Further Development of TIE’s for Toxic Sites Identify Toxicity and Benthic Gradients Multi-Year Plan Framework for Evaluating the Ecological Condition of San Francisco Bay Uncolored = information sought through this framework Green = previous or current work Blue = future plans

11 Potential New Studies 2011 –Improving tool development for SQOs Chemistry Score Index (CSI) Refining SQO assessments for SF Estuary –Benthic workgroup to develop strategy for identifying causes of benthic impacts Discuss current knowledge and data gaps Develop hypotheses for benthic impact studies in support of SQOs Opportunity for interactions with RMP Sed Tox WG Goal: A 2012 study proposal with input from expert scientists in the region

12 Potential New Studies 2012 and Beyond –Causes of Benthic Impacts (in-situ, benthic mesocosm studies) SQO assessments categorize sites by relative sediment impact but do not identify causes –Sediment Quality Assessment of targeted toxic hot spots previously identified in San Francisco Bay by BPTCP –Benthic Taxonomy Standards and Outreach Taxonomic resource to SQO efforts in SF Estuary Develop online tools in support of local taxonomy needs Would be good to bring it back to the multi-year budget table at the end. I’ll attach a copy of the Word file that you can play with.


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