Nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. Work at the intersection of conservation and economic development and for the past 21 years have focused on a place we call Salmon Nation that spans from Alaska to Northern California. Work across many disciplines: fisheries, forestry, food & farms, and water. We have GIS analysts, economists, computer programmers, policy analysts, and many other areas of expertise on our staff. Ecotrust’s mission is fostera natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.We believe that the well being of our communities and our economies are inextricably linked to the health of our natural resources. About EcotrustFor more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership in its work. Ecotrust is headquartered in Portland and is a unique hybrid organization; serving as: An incubator for social enterprise, designed to identify and test deep innovation;A vehicle for investment capital for promising innovations as proof of concept and scalability; and A growing constellation of public, private, for-profit and nonprofit organizations designed to inspire change around the world.Integrating public and private purpose, Ecotrust's many innovations include co-founding the world's first environmental bank, starting the world's first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food and farms and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. For more than 20 years, Ecotrust has generated over $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. Work from Alaska to California. Work across many disciplines: fisheries, forestry, food & farms, and water. We have GIS analysts, economists, computer programmers, policy analysts, and many other areas of expertise on our staff. And together we work to . . .Ecotrust’s mission is fostera natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.We believe that the well being of our communities and our economies are inextricably linked to the health of our natural resources.
Over the last decade, we have completed a number a number of projects that focus on ecosystem services and could lumped into 3 buckets: AnalysisQuantificationTransactions. Ecosystem Services are defined as all of nature’s direct and indirect contributions to human well-being.
Practices and frameworks for working with nature to enhance its flows of services include permaculture, agroecology, ecological forest management, ecological design and green infrastructure.For those of you who have seen or heard of the TV series Portlandia, you won’t find it hard to believe that there is a lot this type of work going on in and around the Portland area. But it hasn’t always been this way.
A quick overview of Portland
Portland-area efforts to manage for flows of ecosystem services include the work of numerous public and private individuals and organizations. These efforts are engaged at multiple geographic scales within and the Portland urban and peri-urban region. This is a photo of the Natural Capital Center, an old warehouse that Ecotrust redeveloped 11 years. It was the first historic building to receive USGBC’s “gold” rating.
Another example of the Grey to Green efforts in Portland, include the Intertwine. The Intertwine is the network of parks, open spaces, and trails in the greater Portland metropolitan region that includes portions of 5 counties in Oregon and Washington. The Intertwine Alliance is a growing public-private collaboration that is working to help people explore and steward the region’s green spaces. The Alliance is helping the region’s 2 million residents understand the natural benefits provided by this system.
And they are working to find new sources of investment in these five focus areas.
Ecotrust experienceHow can we add value and help bolster the greening efforts in Portland?There has been a great deal of ground-breaking research devoted to economic valuations of un-priced ecosystem services, which has enabled the incorporation of these values into cost-benefit analyses that inform public management decisions. Such analyses offer one way of making ecosystem benefits more tangible to decision makers, yet as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment director Walter Reid described in 2011: “We still don’t have enough examples where decision makers have used an ecosystem service analysis to come to a decision they wouldn’t have come to otherwise.
Based on an examination of the Grey to Green work in the Portland region and seeking to better understand the potential to bolster personal, social, and natural resilience through management for ecosystem services, we framed a set of scenario-based questions for exploring the region’s potential for three services: carbon sequestration, stormwater interception, and food production.
1. Stormwater interception What percentage of the city’s stormwater management commitments could be addressed via green infrastructure?2. Carbon sequestration What percentage of the region’s climate change commitments could be addressed through biological sequestration?3. Food production What percentage of the region’s food needs could be satisfied with regional production?
Based on plausible scenarios for working with nature, we developed these estimates:New carbon sequestration in the region’s riparian areas and urban forests could sequester nearly half a million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2050, which meets 2% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction targets on a per capita basis. (That’s a lot!)Stormwater interception by new urban forest canopy could meet 15% of Portland’s projected infrastructural needs by 2040. While we found no specific target for regional food production, we estimated that the region could supply current regional consumption for most crop categories, with the exception of meat products.
This graph shows the health of the Willamette River over time and the smaller insert represents the City’s population growth. The first sewer was constructed in the 1860s and the decision to build a combined sewer system came about twenty years later. In the early 1940s, when the river was essentially a big sewage drain, voters approved City sewer fees and slowly things started to get better.
In the 1970’s, an estimated 10 B gallons of stormwater and sewage overflowed into the Willamette River and Columbia Slough each year. Community protests, federal laws and court rulings created the urgency needed to catalyze restorative actions. (the picture here shows early Portland protesters with signs that say, “Demand Clean Rivers.”By 2011, with the completion of the $1.4 B “big pipe” suite of projects, this overflow had been reduced to minimal levels and green infrastructure in the combined sewer area intercepted a third of the stormwater runoff. Meanwhile, infrastructure costs have contributed to escalating water bills, and the stormwater utility user fee for a typical Portland household has gone up an average 11% annually since the late 1970s and now hovers around $20/month.
We analyzed the amount of stormwater interception possible if we were to expand the tree canopy by 27%. Focus on riparian tree plantings in the peri-urban area and expansion of Portland’s urban canopyDid not analyze the potential for new stormwater infiltration through bioswales, ecoroofs, downspout disconnections or rain gardens. The assumptions we made about numbers and species of trees, riparian widths, and growth rates were based on the experiences actual tree planting programs in the area.
Calculated the current carbon stock in the urban and peri-urban canopy and then used accepted methodologies for growing the canopy forward- assuming a tree planting schedule distributed evenly over the next 20 years to meet stated targets.
Our conservative estimates found that by accomplishing regional tree-planting goals, we can meet 2% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction targets on a per person basis.The State estimated that all urban areas have the potential to sequester maybe half of that through municipal street tree and riparian planting programs.Our findings show how we are underestimating the potential to work with nature to enhance the production of ecosystem services in and around urban areas.
Tri-County areaLand: 265,869 acres zoned for agriculture in three-county areaDemand: 1.6 million people, national food consumption averagesProductivity: 10 broad crop categories, average crop yield estimates, soil type, additional production capacity
Don’t give up on urban areasSo much room for improvement and many ways that we can work with nature to vastly increase the production of ecosystem services and improve the quality of life for urban residents.
Oregon Sustainability Center(Portland) / New Bullitt Foundation building (Seattle)How can we design buildings and urban areas as living ecosystems and drive technological change in ways that work with natureChallenging enough to finance new green building and infrastructure. We see a need for new investment and financing mechanisms to retrofit the current stock of buildings and urban districts that need to be greened.We also see an opportunity to advance the technological tools for planners so they can more easily visualize how to transition to green infrastructure and compare and contrast the costs and benefits.
Partners with nature v3
Partners with NatureBrent DaviesVice President of Forests and Ecosystem ServicesEcotrustPresentation for Consultative Group on Biological Diversity Annual MeetingJune 4, 2012Scenarios for Ecosystem Services and Resilience in the Greater Portland Region
EcotrustEcotrust’s mission is to foster a naturalmodel of development that creates moreresilient communities, economies, andecosystems here and around the world.
Ecosystem Services• 2001: The Natural Capital Center• 2002: Salmon Habitat Bank Feasibility Analysis, Col. River• 2005: Katoomba Conference• 2005- present: Ecosystem Service Software Tools• 2008: FSC Landowner Forest Carbon Aggregation• 2010: Sooes Forest Carbon Transaction• 2010: Oregon Tribe: 10,000-ac FC Feasibility Analysis• 2011: Elliott State Forest FC Analysis• 2009-present: Yurok Forest Carbon Transaction• 2011-12: Partners with Nature
Research Influences“Voters were far more receptive to methodsof calculating the benefits of nature that relyon the number of people benefited, theamounts of beneficial materials generated(like clean air and water), orthe number of jobs created.”- 2010 voter survey on ecosystem servicesThe Nature Conservancy
supported by:The Bullitt Foundationavailable for download:www.ecotrust.org/forestsExplore potential to meet social goals through managementfor ecosystem servicesPartners with Nature: Purpose
Partners with NatureStormwaterinterceptionCarbonsequestrationFoodproduction
Management activity Estimated primary benefitsCO2 sequestration in newIntertwine-region riparian growthand new Portland urban canopy2.1% of Oregon’s 2050 greenhouse gasreduction target, on a current per capitabasisStormwater interception by newPortland urban canopy6.3–14.8% of projected infrastructuralneeds by 2040Regional food production to meetregional demandSatisfaction of demand for most cropcategories, with the exception of meatproductsFindings Overview
Important Notes• Conservative estimates• Exploratory in nature: provoked as manyquestions as they answered• Place-based scenario development can supportthe deliberation on shared goals & cultivatepractices for working with nature and bolsteringresilience• Methods drawn from Portland experiences
Portland History:Stormwater InterceptionGraphic courtesy of Dan Vizzini, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Stormwater InterceptionBackground• 37” rainfall/year in Portland• Combined sewer system drains 8.6-8.9 billion gallons stormwater/year(34% of city land area)• Green infrastructure approaches:bioswales, ecoroofs, rain gardens,downspout disconnection and treeplanting• Green infrastructure in combinedsewer area intercepted andinfiltrated 31-37% of 2011stormwater runoff
Stormwater InterceptionFraming QuestionWhat percentage of the city’s stormwater managementcommitments could be addressed via green infrastructure?Credit:D_ClayFlickrCreativeCommons
Additional stormwater interceptionAssuming proportional increase(of trees outside-inside)Assuming weighted increase(75% of new trees inside)Assuming572 gals./36 sq. m.per treeAssuming572 gals./31.4 sq.m. per treeAssuming1162 gals./36 sq. m.per treeAssuming1162 gals./31.4 sq.m. per treeAssuming572 gals./36 sq. m.per treeAssuming572 gals./31.4 sq.m. per treeAssuming1162 gals./36 sq. m.per treeAssuming1162 gals./31.4 sq.m. per treeOutsidecombinedsewer (milliongals.) 327.8 375.8 665.9 763.4 116.9 134.0 237.4 272.2Insidecombinedsewer (milliongals.) 139.7 160.2 283.8 325.4 350.6 401.9 712.2 816.5Total(million gals.) 467.4 536.0 949.7 1,088.8 467.4 535.9 949.6 1,088.7As apercentage of2040 target 6.3% 7.3% 12.9% 14.8% 15.9% 18.3% 32.4% 37.1%Stormwater InterceptionFindingsEstimated additional stormwater interception in 2040 through canopy expansion
Carbon SequestrationFraming QuestionWhat percentage of the region’s climate changecommitments could be addressed through biologicalsequestration?Credit:SamBeebeEcotrust
Carbon SequestrationSocial Goals• Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions (2004)– By 2050, reduce emissions to 75% below 1990 levels• Washington Climate Change Framework (2008)– By 2050, reduce emissions to 50% below 1990 levels• Portland/Multnomah County Climate Action Plan (2009)– By 2050, reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels• Portland Urban Forestry Management Plan (2007, 2010)– Increase urban canopy from 26% to 33%, from 24,118 to 30,566 acres
Carbon SequestrationSpatial ExtentCurrent riparian and urban canopies in the Intertwine and Portland areas
Riparian acres (Intertwine region riparian growth) 254,220New urban trees (Portland plantings) 831,337Riparian CO2 sequestration in growth of current stock(tCO2e in 2050)236,985Riparian CO2 sequestration in new plantings (tCO2e in 2050) 196,374Urban forest new CO2 sequestration (tCO2e in 2050) 52,113Total CO2 sequestration in new riparian growth and newurban canopy (tCO2e in 2050)485,472Normalized per person in relation to target of 75% belowOre. 1990 emissions2.1%Carbon SequestrationFindingsEstimated carbon sequestration potential
Carbon SequestrationCo-benefits• Improved air quality• Reduced respiratory illness• Reduced summer temperatures• Reduced energy demand• Increased home values• Stormwater interceptionCredit:PortlandStateUniversityFlickrCreativeCommons
Food ProductionFraming QuestionWhat percentage of the region’s food needs could besatisfied with regional production?Credit:AllisonJones
Food ProductionBackground & Social Goals• Rural-urban food connections effort emerged in 1990’s• Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council (2002)• Multnomah Food Initiative and Action Plan (2010)• visionPDX: “Demand for (local food and urbanagricultural) services is outstripping current supply.”(2009)
Management activity Estimated primary benefitsCO2 sequestration in newIntertwine-region riparian growthand new Portland urban canopy2.1% of Oregon’s 2050 greenhouse gasreduction target, on a current per capitabasisStormwater interception by newPortland urban canopy6.3–14.8% of projected infrastructuralneeds by 2040Regional food production to meetregional demandSatisfaction of demand for most cropcategories, with the exception of meatproductsConclusionsKey findings
Looking AheadRenderings of Oregon Sustainability Center and The Bullitt Foundationfrom Portland Development Center and The Bullitt Foundation