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Is The Whole Less Than The Sum Of The Parts? J. R. Schubel AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA Monitoring of San Francisco Bay.

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Presentation on theme: "Is The Whole Less Than The Sum Of The Parts? J. R. Schubel AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA Monitoring of San Francisco Bay."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is The Whole Less Than The Sum Of The Parts? J. R. Schubel AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA Monitoring of San Francisco Bay

2 San Francisco Bay Area

3 Urbanization of San Francisco Bay Area

4 Urban Extent Tidal Wetlands Major Earthquakes San Francisco Bay Area

5 Monitoring of San Francisco Bay Diagnostic? More than a chronicle of what has happened?

6 Topics I will Cover: What is monitoring? Why do we do it? What monitoring programs currently exist? What did we learn from the SFO runway reconfiguration assessment experience? What are the characteristics of a good program? How many of those characteristics do we find in the San Francisco Bay programs? Some closing observations.

7 Topics I will not Cover: Compliance monitoring programs in the Bay. Comprehensive, in-depth, descriptions of the Big 3 Bay Monitoring Programs: –RMP (Regional Monitoring Program) –USGS-RMP (U.S. Geological Survey-Regional Monitoring Program Partnership) –IEP (Interagency Ecological Program)

8 What Is Monitoring? Monitoring means to watch, to observe, or check for a special purpose. Environmental monitoring… … is generally intended to produce information about three broad categories of problems: (1) compliance, to ensure that activities are carried out in accordance with regulations and permit requirements; (2) model verification, to check the validity of assumptions and predictions used as the basis for sampling design or permitting and for evaluation of management alternatives; and (3) trend monitoring to quantify longer-term environmental changes anticipated (hypothesized) as possible consequences of human activities. – NRC: Managing Troubled Waters

9 Why Do We Monitor? The ultimate goal of environmental monitoring of all kindscompliance, model validation and verification, and trendsis protection of the environment, living resources, and human health. – NRC: Managing Troubled Waters But despite these considerable efforts and expenditures, most environmental monitoring programs fail to provide the information needed to understand the condition of the marine environment or to assess the effects of human activity on it. – NRC: Managing Troubled Waters

10 San Francisco Bay Area

11 Current major Environmental Monitoring Programs: Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) Bay Contaminants Monitoring U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bay Water Quality Monitoring Program USGS-RMP Joint Monitoring Suspended Sediments Nutrients and Phytoplankton Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) Fish Invertebrates Water Quality

12 Geographic Range RMP: SF Bay USGS: SF Bay to Rio Vista on Sacramento River historically (Now working in the Delta) IEP: Bay, Delta, and Upstream

13 Goals, Objectives & Driving Questions RMP Water quality objectives compliance Contaminant spatial and temporal trends Contaminant sources and loading Contaminant effects Synthesis of the sources, distribution, fates, and effects of contaminants in the estuary ecosystem USGS Understanding how coastal ecosystems function and how those functions are altered by human disturbances

14 Goals/Objectives/ Driving Questions IEP Mission: To provide information on the factors that affect ecological resources in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary that allows for more efficient (sic) management of the estuary. IEP Goals Understand factors in the Sacramento-San Joaquin estuary controlling the distribution and abundance of selected fish and wildlife resources. Comply with permit terms requiring ecological monitoring in the estuary. Identify impacts of human activities on the fish and wildlife resources. Ensure compliance with Delta water quality objectives. Make recommendations for water project operation.

15 Parameters Measured RMP –Contaminants in water, sediment, bivalves, fish, bird eggs, bird muscle –Contaminant loads from rivers and atmosphere –Toxicity in water and sediment –Toxic effects on birds, fish, seals, benthos USGS –Nutrients, light, plankton, DO, temperature, and salinity –Sediment dynamics –Hydrodynamics –Pesticides in water IEP –Fish populations –Zooplankton –Macro-invertebrates –Nutrients, phytoplankton, DO, Salinity

16 Measurement Frequency RMP: – Annual (long-term trends), episodic (toxicity, loading) USGS: –Sedimentsongoing –Nutrients and basic water quality parametersweekly to monthly IEP: –Fish Populationsmonthly, annual monitoring –Water Qualitydaily, monthly

17 Clients for San Francisco Bays Monitoring Programs RMP –Steering Committee –Regional Board –Wastewater & Stormwater Dischargers/Dredgers USGS –Regulators –Resource Managers IEP –Regulators –Resource Managers –Water Contractors All –Scientists –Public

18 Monitoring Products: Transforming Data Into Information RMP –Technical Reports –Newsletters –Pulse of the Estuary –Journal Publications –Website USGS –Newsletters –Pulse of the Estuary –Journal Publications –Website with data in real time IEP –Technical Reports –IEP Newsletter –Journal Publications –Website with data in real time

19 State of the Bay Using Monitoring Data Professional Meetings –San Francisco Estuary Project State of the Estuary Conference (Biennial) –CALFED Science Conferences (Biennial) –IEP Workshop (Annual) General Publications –IEP Newsletter (Quarterly) and Annual Trends Issue (Annual) –S.F. Estuary Project Newsletter (Bi-monthly) –RMP Pulse of the Estuary (Annual) TBI/SFEI/CEMAR Indicators

20 RMPs Niche Nearly Exclusive –Systematic monitoring of spatial patterns and long-term trends of contaminants (Some overlap with NOAA Status and Trends and EMAP) Significant Overlap With Other Programs –Contaminant effects (USGS, USFWL, CALFED) –Contaminant loads (CEP) –Fate modeling (CEP)

21 This completes a brief overview of the major environmental monitoring programs we have in San Francisco Bay.

22 Topics I will Cover: What is monitoring? Why do we do it? What monitoring programs currently exist? What did we learn from the SFO expansion assessment experience? What are the characteristics of a good program? How many of those characteristics do we find in the San Francisco Bay programs? Some closing observations.

23 Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience More detailed (temporal and spatial) sampling of water quality in the South Bay, which is the segment of the Bay that would be most likely to be impacted by SFO expansion. A long-term record of annual sampling of resident demersal fishes and analysis for persistent toxicants and selected histopathological disorders.

24 Bay-wide monitoring of nutrients on a monthly basis. Bay-wide monitoring of zooplankton on a monthly basis. Bay-wide monitoring of benthic or epibenthic invertebrates. Bay-wide monitoring of any ecosystem process, such as primary production, oxygen consumption, system metabolism, sulfate reduction or de-nitrification Bay-wide monitoring of microbial communities or functions, either in the water column or sediments. Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience

25 Annual sampling of surficial sediments and analysis for chemical concentrations, toxicity in laboratory tests, and composition of the infaunal benthos. Annual sampling of the sea surface micro-layer several times during a three-month period each year for chemical concentrations, toxicity in laboratory tests, and populations of zooplankton. Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience

26 Bay-wide monitoring on an annual basis quantitative surveys of resident and migratory birdsabundance, distribution, and health. Bay-wide monitoring on an annual basis of marine mammals with special emphasis on harbor seals (abundance, distribution, haul-out sites, marine foraging sites, etc). Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience

27 Documentation of historical shoreline changes. A record of sediment bed dynamics: how it responds to different physical forcing functions. A long-term record of fluxes across sub-basin boundaries of water, salt, sediment, chlorophyll, etc. Documentation of the effects of wetland restoration projects on the Bay. Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience

28 More frequent (every 10 years) bathymetric surveys of the Bay. Documentation of historical changes in wetland conditions: area, elevation, vegetation, salinity, etc. Inputs of water and sediment from the smaller tributaries. Historical records of water quality in tidal creeks and sloughs. Whats Missing? Lessons Learned From The SFO Experience

29 Lessons Learned from SFO Long-Term Monitoring A Program that has a statistically valid and spatially comprehensive sampling strategy that allows scientists and managers to quantitatively track changes in the estuary over the long term A Program built, at least in part, upon the foundation of existing long- term data collection programs A Program that includes a suite of publicly understandable and meaningful indicators or performance measures that can be used to demonstrate the effects of specific human interventions (individual stressors as well as restoration activities) on species and ecological functions of interest.

30 A Program that includes indicators of the trophic levels (e.g., phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos) that are important to species of concern (fish and wildlife) A Program that includes indicators of important physical characteristics such as sediment inputs and changes in bay margins (i.e., trends of erosion/accretion) in each region of the bay-delta system A Program that tracks changes in acres/hectares of specific habitat types in each region of the estuary Lessons Learned from SFO Long-Term Monitoring

31 A Program that includes measures of critical contaminants (Se, Hg, PCBs, PAHs, pesticides) in suspended and bottom sediments and in species of concern such as fish, ducks and marine mammals A Program that includes a requirement of regular reporting of findings/trends to both the resource managers, to scientists, and to the public Lessons Learned from SFO Long-Term Monitoring

32 A Program that transforms on a timely basis data into informational products tailored to the needs of different user groups. A Program that includes a requirement of regular reporting of findings/trends to both the resource managers, to scientists, and to the public Lessons Learned from SFO Long-Term Monitoring

33 A Program that has a stable financial base. A Program that maintains consistent and appropriate methods of sampling that are well documented. A Program that ensures that species selected for sampling include a broad array of forms likely to be sensitive to perturbations, and once this array has been established, it does not change without serious evaluation. Lessons Learned from SFO Long-Term Monitoring

34 What Are The Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Environmental Monitoring Program?

35 Clear goals and objectives stated as questions or hypotheses… questions are better. Clear, unambiguous identification of the clients primary and secondary. Sufficient and stable funding. Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

36 A measurement program designed to meet the goals and objectives. Mechanisms to transform the data into a portfolio of informational products designed to answer the questions and appropriate for the clients needs. Scientific community and the public are partners. Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

37 Periodic peer review. A chroniclea running accountof how the data and resulting information are used in making environmental decisions and how the data are used by the scientific community Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

38 Answer questions/test hypotheses Provide on-line accounting Provide early warning Provide information to decision makers Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

39 Clients--Know who your clients are and what they need. - Managers - The Public - Scientists - Other Deliver! Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

40 Long-term To be long-term, it must - Be sustainable financially - Have a dedicated revenue stream - Take a minimalist approach to the core - Produce relevant results Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

41 Emphasize synthesis/integration Transform data into information Be Timely Tell the evolving story in engaging ways Characteristics Of A Good, Effective Monitoring Program…

42 A Few Of The Major Reasons Why Environmental Monitoring Programs Fail: They produce answers in search of questions, i.e. they produce data and not information! They fail to produce data or information on a timely basis. They have no constituency. There is no coupling to managers and their needs. There is no stable base of sustained financial support.

43 What is monitoring? Why do we do it? What monitoring programs currently exist? What did we learn from the SFO expansion assessment experience? What are the characteristics of a good program? How many of those characteristics do we find in the San Francisco Bay programs? Some closing observations. Topics I will Cover:

44 Now, Its Your Turn

45 SubjectABCDF Clear goals and objectives the general public can understand. A carefully crafted architecture of questions the program is designed to answer coherent with these goals and objectives. Technical design that is based on the current understanding of the San Francisco Bay system linkages and processes. Stability of financial support. An identified set of clients. A Monitoring Report Card For The RMP

46 SubjectABCDF A public education program which involves the public in understanding the importance of the monitoring program, how its results are used, and how they can be involved. Integration into the decision-making system. (Can you point to specific environmental decisions that were made in response to environmental monitoring data?) Coupling of results to research and modeling programs designed to support integrated decision-making. Development of informational products tailored to the primary and secondary clients. The public must be included on this list. A Monitoring Report Card For The RMP

47 SubjectABCDF Timely synthesis of results and integration with other relevant data and information to create informational products useful to environmental decision-makers. Flexibility of program as evidenced by changes in sampling protocols, development of new informational products, etc. in response to changing client/user needs. Frequency and quality of peer-reviews of the program and responsiveness of the program to those reviews. An on-going forum of stakeholders to ensure a continuing dialogue. Integration of the three major San Francisco Bay monitoring programs. Appropriate allocation of resources to achieve the items above. A Monitoring Report Card For The RMP

48 Is The Whole Less Than The Sum Of The Parts? Monitoring of San Francisco Bay

49 The Power of Simplicity Simplicity is needed at every stage of a regional monitoring program - Design - Execution - Reporting I wouldnt give a whit for simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my right arm for simplicity the other side of complexity. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

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51 A Few Personal Observations San Francisco Bay is… –Beautiful. –Defines the sense of place of the Bay Region. –Important primarily for its recreational and aesthetic value. –Perhaps the most highly altered large coastal system in the United States. –An estuary for which we need a bold, compelling vision. –Bridges, airport(s) expansions, Cargill Salt Pond reclamation…

52 A Few Personal Observations Lets take a lesson from Wayne Gretzky… Scenarios Victor Hugo Will and Ariel Durant

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55 Thank You!


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