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Nisqually Forest and Water Adaptation Plan


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Morgan Greene of Nisqually River Foundation summarizes climate impacts in the Nisqually Watershed.

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Nisqually Forest and Water Adaptation Plan

  1. 1. Nisqually Forest and Water Adaptation Plan Summer Teacher Institute June 27, 2016
  2. 2. Background  Climate adaptation planning process completed in 2014  In partnership with the Model Forest Policy Program’s Climate Solutions University  Focused on climate impacts and adaptation solutions in Nisqually Watershed  Forests  Freshwater  Estuary
  3. 3. Nisqually Watershed
  4. 4. Forest Impacts • 300,000 acres (61%) under forest cover • Earth Economics estimates Nisqually Forests provide $1.9 million-$226 billion in benefits each year. Current stressors: • 20,000+ people by 2020s • Forest management practices Climate Impacts: • Drought stress •Wildland fire & disease • Shifting species compositions Candra Grimm
  5. 5. Freshwater Impacts  Supports salmon, provides drinking water, generates hydroelectricity  Current stressors:  Water quantity – competing uses and more people on the way  Water quality – 5 areas fail EPA water quality standards  Climate impacts:  Glacial melt – 1 meter every 10 days  Shifting hydrology  Warmer water temperatures Roger Andrascik Susan Rosebrough
  6. 6. Nisqually Delta & Estuary  BFJNNWR was set aside to “conserve, manage, restore and enhance native habitats and associated plants and wildlife species representative of the Puget Sound lowlands with a special emphasis on migratory birds and salmonids.”1  2004 Comprehensive Conservation Plan  Preferred Alternative: Maximum estuary restoration; removal of 4.5 miles of dike  Option provided the maximum benefits for ESA listed Chinook salmon & other estuarine species2  The largest estuary restoration project in Puget Sound 1Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan, 2004. 2Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Estuary Restoration Project, 2013.
  7. 7. Sediment Budget  Land subsided ~1m after years of tidal exclusion  Sediment-rich glacial melt is trapped by Alder Dam; remaining sediment washes off-shore  ~0.12 mm/year1 1 Ellings, C.S. 2009. Monitoring and Adaptive Management of the Nisqually Delta after Tidal Marsh Restoration: Restoring Ecosystem Function for Salmon. Nisqually Indian Tribe. Olympia, Washington.
  8. 8. Nisqually Delta & Sea Level Rise  Projected sea level rise is greater than sediment accumulation rates  Local predictions: ~2-3.5 mm/year1  By 2110, predicted sea level rise ranges from 12 cm, 63 cm and 142 cm1 What does that mean for the Delta?  Loss of high- and mid- marsh habitat types, potentially leaving mostly mudflat1  Ripple effects:  Macroinvertebrates tied to plant cover on land  Salmon & migratory birds feed on insects 1Thorne, K.M., Dugger, B.D., Takekawa, J.Y. 2015. Marshes to Mudflats: Climate change effects along a latitudinal gradient in the Pacific Northwest.
  9. 9. Ocean Acidification  Nisqually Delta provides habitat to geoduck clam, Dungeness crab, oysters and other shellfish  Nisqually Tribe tied culturally and economically to shellfish & species that eat them  National Fish & Oyster Company  Recreational shellfishing  As Puget Sound becomes more acidic they are less habitable to shellfish; larger food chain
  10. 10. Questions?