Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Washington
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Washington Project

Regional Program Development and Large Scale Restoration Planning, Interdepartmental science team participation, ecosystem restoration modeling, planning and ecological research (FY 09-10)

October 2008 - September 2010


Participating Agencies

  • U.S. Army

In 2004, a research work order that was created and used to provide funding for the NST expired. The expired RWO included NST participation as well as specific technical products produced with significant contributions of NST members from the UW. Following this initial proposal, a second RWO for the period covering fiscal years 2007 and 2008, which is set to expire this year, was created. This current proposed RWO is a follow-on effort that supports NST participation, studies, analyses, and other contributions by the University of Washington professors, students and supporting University staff on the NST for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the current planning horizon for the PSNERP feasibility study. The PSNERP study is expected to prepare a draft feasibility study within FY 2010. Under this proposal, the University of Washington is providing research support through personnel and labor to the Nearshore Science Team's development of a Puget Sound Restoration Program. UW effort includes development of related documents and products. It is an interdepartmental UW effort. The Research Professor Charles Simenstad (UW) will act as Principal Investigator and be responsible for coordination of UW participants and for product submittals. Additional UW personnel will be funded under the direction of Prof. Simenstad to participate on the NST and work on method development. This group includes other faculty and graduate students. Research Objectives: Research and development of ecosystem scale restoration models and products is the primary purpose of the NST. However, the NSTs interdepartmental makeup and the evolving nature of PSNERP research needs makes it necessary to maintain proper forums for scientific discussion and research dissemination. 1. Maintain a forum and process to advance scientific guidance, and provide analyses and products for nearshore Puget Sound ecology and restoration discussions and planning under PSNERP, and the WDFW, which serves as the Local Sponsor. The UW NST members will contribute their expertise and analytical skill toward the completion of the PSNERP restoration program by conducting studies, analyses and planning guidance in support of the COE feasibility study and furthering Puget Sound restoration science. 2. Participation by the University of Washington in Nearshore Science Team activities and as a cooperator with other agency representatives in selected NST working groups. 3. Conduct research and analyses on nearshore ecosystem restoration strategies and methods and prepare NST publications, reports and other work products, and conduct workshops and other science exchanges on selected PSNERP tasks in support of Objective 1. Research Goals: Specific research tasks in support of these general tasks will be provided through modifications to this agreement. These modifications will outline specific research objectives, products, graduate student responsibilities, staff time commitments and other costs, and any other coordination, equipment or travel needs. General tasks require both academic and applied research applications including: 1. Development and application of on-going PSNERP/NST research and analyses to inform PSNERP restoration planning research efforts on strategic restoration products, such as: a. Strategic Needs Assessment, UW shall provide faculty and graduate student support to development of regional analysis required for general understanding of appropriate restoration approaches at the Puget Sound scale. The SNA provides for discussion on overall restoration strategies for Puget Sound taking into account UW interdepartmental research on oceanographic conditions (Hood Canal) and aquatic sciences research to best implement an ecosystem scale restoration program. b. Future With and Without Project Conditions Analyses, Information systems research needed to assess benefits of Puget Sound restoration using scalable approach. Expand existing graduate student classroom experiences to develop methodology for forecasting Puget Sound changes without a system wide restoration programs. Results will be used to justify Federal funding expenditure and serve as key component of the Strategic Needs Assessment. c. Geospatial Database Research and Restoration Planning Complete GIS and information technology research following development of a large geospatial database on current, historic and future landscape changes. UW faculty and graduate students will work with other departments and outside agencies to establish analytical methods that can be used at the Puget Sound scale by multiple groups so that effective conclusions can be drawn. Results will be analyzed and integrated into the Strategic needs Assessment as part of the PNSER program. d. External Peer Review Develop and implement a peer review process for the Nearshore GI Study utilizing outside researchers and experts to fulfill Water Resources Development Act requirements. e. Strategic Science Support System Create and develop decision making tools for analyzing and selecting restoration projects and for larger restoration project portfolios. Develop comprehensive science plan for the Nearshore GI and ongoing nearshore studies to continue after GI authorization. Research includes adaptive management studies for inclusion into restoration project planning. Identify and develop demonstration projects to assess benefits of emerging project types. Develop long term research development program to support Nearshore GI and local partner research efforts. 2. Provide opportunity and guidance for graduate student thesis research participation in NST/PSNERP restoration planning activities; a. Graduate student research has been integrated into PSNER/NST product development including support to research needs outlined under research goal 1. Specifically, graduate students supported by the PSNER program are conducting research on policy and political administration of restoration programs while others are researching the use of information technology into large restoration programs. 3. Attend NST meetings and associated NST working group meetings; and, participate in a series of conferences or workshops to be scheduled as mutually agreed upon. Purpose is to disseminate results of NST research and obtain regional input on PSNER/NST guidance and strategic work products.