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Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable EPAs Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program – the Western Incarnation. EMAP-West Roger Blair, Technical Director,

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable EPAs Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program – the Western Incarnation. EMAP-West Roger Blair, Technical Director,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable EPAs Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program – the Western Incarnation. EMAP-West Roger Blair, Technical Director, EMAP-W

2 Agenda Informational Describe EPAs research on monitoring aquatic system - EMAP State/Regional focus Design (statistical basis) and analysis Indicators of condition Reference condition Explore Relationship to SSR Similarities of objectives-regional basis? Opportunities for collaboration

3 ORD and Regional/State Partnerships Other Federal Agencies U.S. Environmental Protection Agency The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program

4 Information How can it be used? How do we get it?

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8 Landon Over Roosevelt by a Landslide! Powerful Information Can Shape History... Literary Digest Predicts Outcome from Club Members!

9 …but it has to be representative! Roosevelt New President! Gallup Predicts Election True Outcome and Literary Digest Error with New Technique! New Technique Uses 50,000 People Rather than 2,000,000!!!!

10 Impetus for EMAP What do you mean you dont know how many acid lakes there are? William Ruckelshaus - EPA Administrator - early 1980s Good News - Based on my years in the environmental movement, I think the Agency does an exemplary job of protecting the nations public health and quality of the environment. Bad News - I cant prove it. William Reilly - EPA Administrator

11 GAO found that the Water Quality Inventory does not accurately portray water quality conditions nationwide. Consequently, the information in the Inventory cannot be meaningfully compared nationwide. Water Quality: Key EPA and State Decisions Limited by Inconsistent and Incomplete Data GAO/RCED March, 2000 Old Questions Continue to Plague EPA and its Promulgation of the CWA

12 Importance of Indicators & Survey Design Delaware Stream Reporting Traditional 305(b) Report Chemical Evidence Aggregation of Existing Data New Report Chemical Evidence Probability Survey New Report Biological Evidence Probability Survey

13 Importance of Monitoring Survey Design Oregon Coastal Coho Salmon Historic long term monitoring of spawning suggests minimal problem Historic survey biased Salmon populations continue to decline Survey results more accurately reflect populations State program modified based on probability design

14 Questions About Our Missions Are We Making Progress? Are we meeting GPRA goals? Where Can We Make a Difference? (Resource Allocation) Strategic Planning Restoration/Ecosystem Targeting - Community Based Protection Ranking of Stressors

15 Similar Questions Can Be Asked of Any Resouce What is the status of rangeland resources? Can we make statements of condition on a regional basis? With known confidence? Can we rank stressors by showing associations with condition – again on a regional basis? Targeting restoration $. Are stakeholders brought into discussions that are based on statistically sound data?

16 EMAP Objectives Estimate current status of and trends in selected indicators of condition …on a regional basis with known confidence Estimate geographic coverage and extent Seek associations between indicators and stresses Provide (the tools to allow) annual statistical summaries and periodic assessments

17 Oregon Coho Salmon Coastal Survey

18 Reading the Cumulative Distribution Function 20 or fewer spawning coho are found in about 82% of the stream length with a 95% confidence interval of about 76% to 90%.

19 Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program - EMAP Develop and demonstrate the tools Tools: Bioindicators Sampling Design In the Western Pilot, EMAP tackling both problems together.

20 STATES IN EMAP-W

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23 The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Assessment: Ecological Condition of Small Streams

24 Northern Apps Central Apps Western Apps Valley and Ridge Blue Ridge The Mid-Atlantic Highlands

25 Goals of EMAP Surface Waters in MAHA Provide an unbiased assessment of the ecological condition of streams in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands estimate the condition of biological assemblages (e.g., fish and stream insects) in representative small streams produce a relative ranking of the major stressors that affect stream bio-integrity in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands describe the associations between ecological condition and stressor measurements (a first step toward determining cause and effect)

26 EMAP Tools: Probability Surveys

27 EMAP Tools: Biological Indicators Fish Community Structure (IBI) v Macroinvertebrate Community Structure (IBI) v Periphyton Community Structure v Physical Habitat (in-stream and near-stream) v Ambient Chemistry (nutrients, major ions) v Fish Tissue (mercury, some organic contaminants) v Sediment Toxicity Tests v Sediment Metabolism v Watershed Characteristics

28 MAHA Results: Fish Index of Biotic Integrity Regional Patterns Western Appalachians Valleys North-Central Appalachians Ridge and Blue Ridge

29 MAHA Results: Stressor Ranking

30 EMAP-WEST Objectives Assess the condition of estuaries and inland waters and landscape characteristics Rank the relative importance of stressors on these resources Build partnerships with States and Tribes for more effective monitoring and assessment

31 EMAP-WEST Surface Waters Objectives Develop monitoring tools to produce unbiased estimates of the ecological condition of surface waters across a 12-state area in the West Demonstrate those tools in a large scale assessment Determine the relative risk to potential stressors

32 Indicator Approach What can we (realistically) measure in a sample survey? How can we best measure it? How responsive is it? How variable is it? How do we score it (reference condition)? Indicator Criteria

33 RIPARIAN Producer: woody plants 1° Consumer: birds 2° Consumer: birds Decomposers Producer: woody plants 1° Consumer: birds 2° Consumer: birds Decomposers BENTHIC Producer: algae 1° Consumer: benthos 2° Consumer: benthos, herptiles, fish Decomposers: microbes Producer: algae 1° Consumer: benthos 2° Consumer: benthos, herptiles, fish Decomposers: microbes WATER COLUMN Producer: macrophytes 1° Consumer: fish 2° Consumers: herptiles, fish Decomposers Producer: macrophytes 1° Consumer: fish 2° Consumers: herptiles, fish Decomposers Stressor Sources Movement of Materials Indicator Approach What we can measure? LAND USE ATMOSPHERE STREAM, LAKE, WETLAND USE WATER TABLE

34 Stream Length (Channel Width Units) Fish Species Richness (% of Maximum) Indicator Approach How do we measure?

35 Indicator Approach How responsive is it?

36 Indicator Approach Variability is it? Signal:Noise Ratio (ratio of between-site variance/within-site variance)

37 Reference Condition Definitions Reference Condition: the status of the resource under minimal contemporary human influence Reference Sites: least-disturbed sites (reference sites) most-disturbed sites (test sites)

38 Why reference condition? For Establishing Basis for: CWA objectives Determining good vs.bad condition For Ecosystem Management: provide target (direction) for improving ecosystem condition

39 Indicator Approach Reference Condition: Where are we now? Historical distribution Current distribution (some reference remnant remaining) ? Current distribution (no reference remaining) ?

40 Indicator Approach Reference Condition: Threshold delineation

41 Core Indicators Fish assemblages Macroinvertebrate assemblages Periphyton assemblages Quantitative physical habitat Water chemistry - all major ions, pH, total N and P, suspended solids, Se, Zn Watershed stressors

42 Riparian condition Toxics including fish tissue, sediment chemistry, water column chemistry, biomarkers Potential additional indicators

43 Design and Analysis Develop sample survey designs for aquatic systems Establish rigor in how an assessment question is asked; e.g., the explicit definition of a stream Define target population

44 Survey Design Research Spatially-balanced survey design: RTS Applies to Discrete, linear, extensive resources Solves problem of having sample reflect spatial pattern of resource Enhancements allow Unequal probability weighting Multiple densities Nested subsampling Explicit stratification Panels for surveys over time Oversamples Better precision: 0-40% better than SRS

45 Aquatic Sample Frames National Hydrologic Database is primary source for sample frames: lakes, streams Constructing sample frames for lakes, streams/rivers, and coastal systems Needed to get consistency across the US Frames are not perfect

46 Data Management Full and open sharing of data Sustainable and continuously updated system that support environmental assessments Consistent data bases ready to accept data from coastal, surface water and landscape components across the country STORET to be archival system

47 Landscapes Data gathered wall-to-wall as opposed to sampling Based on Multi-Resource Land Classification (MRLC) data Will focus on relationship of landscape pattern to water quality

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49 What is next Determine level of interest in potential cooperators A range of options None or just allowing sampling on property Coordinating existing monitoring efforts Intensification of sampling grid Sampling – 2000 to 03 Analysis and reporting 2004

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52 Path of the sun at Winter Solstice Path of the sun At summer solstice

53 Direct light below canopy – June 21 Time of Day


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