New Habitat Framework Products Available

Posted by & filed under News, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The Hoh, Makah, Quileute Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation, in collaboration with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and NOAA Fisheries, recently released several products in support of their ongoing Habitat Framework Initiative.

This project aims to improve the understanding and management of marine resources and ecosystems off Washington’s coast through the application of a standardized habitat classification system (the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard, or CMECS). The resulting tools and maps build on existing habitat data, including seafloor data used in the Washington Marine Spatial Planning process, to provide a more comprehensive picture of the resources within the Tribes’ Usual and Accustomed fishing areas and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, as well as other areas off the Pacific coast.

For an overview of the project, view this story map on the NWIFC website, or access the project report for more detail. Click here to explore the map tool.

MSP Preliminary Draft Documents Available

Posted by & filed under News, WCMAC.

The Preliminary Draft Marine Spatial Plan is now available!

These preliminary documents are intended to provide key stakeholders and tribes an opportunity to conduct an early review of the plan and provide feedback to state agencies on plan content. A formal draft is currently expected to be released for public comment in May.

The preliminary plan is provided in five documents:

1. Introduction: Section 1 provides basic background information on topics including the planning process, goals, and tribal treaty rights.

2. Baseline Information: Current Conditions and Future Trends Section 2 gives information about current conditions and existing uses in the study area. It also includes discussions of potential new uses and climate change.

3. Spatial Analyses: Section 3 provides an overview of the data, methods, and results of three spatial analyses done to support the Marine Spatial Planning Process.

4. Management Framework: Section 4 describes information related to the implementation of the Marine Spatial Plan.

Appendices: This section provides additional information including maps referenced in the plan and a full list of WCMAC recommendations.

These sections are also available in one combined file. Please visit the Resources page to view or download the preliminary plan files.

Member Spotlight: Alla Weinstein

Posted by & filed under WCMAC.

Alla Weinstein
WCMAC Energy Industry Seat
Alla is a renewable energy entrepreneur. She is also a founder of Trident Winds, LLC, a project development company works to provide deep-water offshore wind solutions. Alla is a former Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Principle Power Inc, a deep water offshore wind technology company. She successfully developed a wave energy conversion technology with AquaEnergy Group Ltd. Alla brings over thirty five years of international industry experience and is an excellent representative of the energy industry for the WCMAC. She is a frequent speaker in the US. and Europe on renewable energy development and served as the first President of the European Ocean Energy Association.

What does marine spatial planning mean to you?
Development of renewable energy projects in the marine environment requires extensive work with others that use the same space. Marine Spatial Planning is the first step in identifying such uses and the respective stakeholders. We live in an interconnected world, and as such, have to negotiate co-existance between various parties.

How did you get involved and why are you involved in the planning process?
I was appointed by Governor Inslee and with the founding of Trident Winds and the subsequent initiation of the Morro Bay Offshore project development, I find myself implementing Marine Spatial Planning in real time by negotiating project site with user groups around the globe.

What do you hope the WCMAC can accomplish with the Washington Marine Spatial Plan?
WCMAC can prepare a plan that would define the most viable use of the Washington coastline based on the existing constrains. Such plan also can recommended changes to the existing constrains to achieve the best benefits for the state.

Anything else interesting about you?
Oceans and the marine life are the first that are being impacted by the climate change as the heat trapped in the atmosphere heats up the ocean waters. Any planning has to take into account that we the humans are responsible to the climate change and as such have to increase the use of clean, renewable energy. Oceans provide the most amount of that energy on the planet. It is up to us how best we use the available resources in a sustainable way.

Member Spotlight: Sally Toteff

Posted by & filed under WCMAC.

Sally Toteff
WCMAC Ecology Seat
Sally is the regional director for the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Southwest and Olympic Peninsula Region. She grew up on the lower Columbia River and has spent her career working on environmental and natural resource issues in local and state governments as well as the private sector. Sally has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Western Washington University. She currently works on community, tribal, economic, and policy issues throughout Washington State.

Sally Toteff

How did you get involved and why are you involved in the planning process?
Seeds of respect for our natural and working shorelines were planted long ago — and are a strong base for my participation in the marine planning process of today. Four generations ago, my family built their home along the shores of the lower Columbia River. I grew up in the commercial fishing family business that my granddad began. I learned about hard work, taking care of what you have, and the meaning of a handshake.

Today I have a career devoted to promoting environmental quality and healthy watersheds, and it’s an incredible opportunity to be part of the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council. In my role as the regional director of Department of Ecology’s Southwest region, which includes the Washington coast and entire Olympic peninsula, I am able to represent broad expertise and knowledge about coastal communities and shoreline uses, coastal ecosystems, and regulatory processes that would apply to new proposals. I look forward to a plan that is based on strong science, best available data, community input, and one that is implementable.
 

Member Spotlight: David Fluharty

Posted by & filed under WCMAC.

David Fluharty
Education institution

Dave is an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA). He has spent a lifetime researching marine issues, educating future marine professionals, and committing himself to public service. Dave teaches specialized courses in marine protected area management, marine spatial planning, U.S. fisheries management and core courses in marine policy analysis and marine affairs.

Recently, Dave served as the Chair of NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (2006-2010) and continues to serve as Co-Chair of the Ecosystem Science and Management Working Group to advise NOAA scientists on topics including integrated ecosystem assessments, marine spatial planning, ecosystem-based fishery management, ecosystem services valuation, and indigenous and local ecological knowledge.

In earlier work, Dave was a member of the original “citizen” Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, the Murray-Metcalf Northwest Straits Commission, and was a Washington representative on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (1994-2003). Dave was recognized with the Outstanding Public Service Award in 2013 by the UW College of the Environment.
 
David Fluharty
 
What does marine spatial planning mean to you?
I tend to view ocean management holistically. The state and federal government have a legacy of management approaches that evolved in an ad hoc manner. Thus, while policy for one sector might be effective it is sometimes not sufficient in dealing with other issues. First, and foremost, Marine Spatial Planning offers an initial framework to identify and protect existing uses. MSP can also be a forum used to set the conditions for how the government considers new uses. In order to do that, MSP first called for inventory and documentation of existing uses to understand what is happening in the marine environment in a holistic manner. Unlike other states, the Washington MSP process is fortunate to not have proposals for ocean energy, natural gas import/export terminals, or siting of offshore aquaculture driving the process. Thus, we can focus on developing (and improving) our own management approach and preparing for other changes due to sea level rise, increasing ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification. MSP helps us set priorities for current uses and protect the ecosystem services that sustain all people of the state.

How did you get involved and why are you involved in the planning process?
The short story is that I track many marine resource management issues in Washington to use in my teaching and research. I submitted my name and qualifications for the Educational Institution seat on the WCAMC and was appointed to serve. I wanted to share my experience with MSP more generally and have found it extremely rewarding to work with others on the WCMAC to learn how their experience informs the process.

What do you hope the WCMAC can accomplish with the Washington Marine Spatial Plan?
As a first generation plan, I think doing an inventory of ocean uses and documenting their value to coastal communities and to Washington more generally is a huge benefit. This will help to improve management and protection of the things we value. Further, to the extent that the plan can set forth direction that assists in review and assessment of potential new uses, whatever they might be, this will be a valuable contribution to holistic environmental management.

Anything else interesting about you?

  • I really am a mountain person in terms of recreation and have spent a lot of time and effort trying to protect Wilderness lands in the Washington Cascades.
  • As a high school athlete I focused on the decathlon and likely still hold the record for running from Paradise Inn’s veranda on Mt. Rainier to the top of Pinnacle Peak in the Tatoosh Range (45 minutes).
  • I am fluent in English and Swedish, and can even speak a passable version of Vietnamese (at one point my life depended on it).

 
 

Marxan Workshop Materials

Posted by & filed under Department of Fish and Wildlife, Reports, Washington Sea Grant, WCMAC.

Thanks to many of you who were able to join the Spatial Analysis Workshop. If you were unable to attend or are looking for more information about what was discussed, some materials are available here for you.

Marxan Overview
Marxan Presentation
Renewable Energy Examples
Small Group Handout
Full Video

Additionally, the PNNL report was referenced several times in the workshop. For you convenience, the PNNL energy suitability report is available here. And the data products are available on the MSP mapping application under “Energy Suitability”.

The next spatial analysis workshop will take place in Montesano on June 13.
Keep an eye on the MSP calendar for more information.
As a reminder, the next WCMAC meeting is June 15 at the Port of Grays Harbor.

 
 

Graduate student completes a spatial analysis for Washington’s waters

Posted by & filed under Reports.

Mikaela Freeman, a graduate from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington recently published an article in Marine Policy. The study creates a marine potential conflict index to assess potential conflicts between current marine uses. It also identifies the marine uses that have the highest potential conflict with one another due to the fact that the uses intensely occupy the same space at similar times of the year. Combining factors of space, time, and intensity in a Marine Potential Conflict Index is a novel approach to identify the potential conflict between current ocean uses.

Read the full article here.

Olympic Coast Survey and Data Collection for Multiple Uses

Posted by & filed under News, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Read NOAA Coast Survey’s blog post about how the seafloor and water column data from the coast of Washington is now being collected by NOAA’s Ship Rainier high priority data areas. These areas were selected in a seafloor mapping prioritization exercise in 2014. A group of state and federal managers, tribal governments, and academia delineated the areas and stated that they need a better understanding of canyon depths, seafloor, and habitat.

Read more about the project and where else the Rainier will go here: https://noaacoastsurvey.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/olympic-coast-survey-provides-data-for-multiple-uses/
More information about the seafloor prioritization process

Member Spotlight: Dale Beasley

Posted by & filed under WCMAC.

Dale Beasley
WCMAC Commercial Fishing Seat
Dale is the President of the Coalition of Coastal Fisheries and of the Columbia River Crab Fishermen’s Association. He is an active member of the Pacific County Marine Resources Committee, sits on the Advisory Committee for the Pacific County Shoreline Management Program, and is an advisory member to the WDFW Crab Advisory Group. Fishing was Dale’s livelihood for over forty-five years until he retired in 2010. He also was the Ilwaco Fire Department captain for thirty-six years. Now his passion is traveling with his family and representing his community’s local values. He does this by accepting positions like a Tristate Washington Representative, a member of the Water Protection Network and a member of the Lower Columbia Solutions Group Technical Committee. Dale is an experienced commercial fisherman and one of the two fishing representatives on the WCMAC.

Dale

What does Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) mean to you?
MSP is a fight for freedom. What I mean by that is, Southwest Washington is the fourth most fish dependent community in the nation. My hope is that the Washington MSP allows the sustainable fishing communities and future generations of Washington fishermen to thrive. Commercial fishing should be independent businesses with good family wage jobs (rather than a corporate workforce). True freedom is working and recreating on the ocean, as I have been able to do, and I fight for future generations to have that freedom.

How did you get involved and why are you involved in the planning process?
Washington Marine Spatial Planning is a direct response to keep from permitting new uses along the Washington coast which may interfere with fishing activities. My involvement began in 2008 when a private applicant attempted to use taxpayer money to install an ocean energy facility off of Grays Harbor. If permitted, the proposal would have displaced all commercial fishing between Grays Harbor and the Columbia River.

In 2010, the Coalition of Coastal Fisheries approached the Washington State Legislature in order to protect and preserve the coastal fisheries from proposals like that one. We were concerned about ocean energy applications which could restrict public access and fishing activities in marine waters. The legislature responded by passing Senate Bill 5603 to create an advisory board which recommends guidelines to protect and preserve fishing and all sustainable coastal uses. I am President of the Coalition and strongly believe in protecting existing marine uses. I am now a member of the WCMAC so I can be part of something that protects and preserves public trust freedoms of fishing, navigation, recreation, commerce, aesthetics, conservation, and public access.

What do you hope the WCMAC can accomplish with the Washington Marine Spatial Plan?
I believe the WCMAC can make sure the Washington Marine Spatial Plan includes vital information for protecting and preserving Washington coastal and marine waters. This includes understanding the footprint and impacts of new use before a permit is issued.
I define success as restricting new uses that conflict with existing uses in our marine waters, keeping coastal fishing jobs economically healthy or even thriving, and sustaining the well-being of fishing communities. I fear the pain of losing our precious coastal freedoms, and will remain passionately involved until our freedoms are secure.

Member Spotlight: Charles Costanzo

Posted by & filed under WCMAC.

Charles Costanzo
WCMAC Shipping Seat
Charlie is the Vice President of the American Waterways Operators Pacific Region. He advocates on behalf of the U.S. tugboat, towboat, and barge industry throughout the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii. His primary areas of focus include Jones Act trade, oil spill prevention and response, air and water quality regulation, and waterways infrastructure. Before relocating to Washington in 2010, Charlie worked as an attorney in New York City, practicing land use, oil spill, and navigation law. He loves spending time with his family and, with his two children, has participated in the construction of numerous driftwood and seaweed forts throughout Puget Sound.

What does marine spatial planning mean to you?
Marine spatial planning is another means of carefully protecting a valuable resource. In this case, the resource is access to shoreline and waterways. Almost all forms of property law involve balancing the needs of stakeholders with interests in using the land or water. Sometimes these needs or interests are in competition or conflict, and ideally, marine spatial planning provides a means of anticipating those competing needs and resolving those conflicts. It’s a problem solving tool or a framework to anticipate and resolve problems before they arise.

How did you get involved and why are you involved in the planning process?
I became involved in the planning process because I represent vessel operators that engage in coastwide trade throughout the US west coast. My role is to preserve and protect the marine highways that provide the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally-sustainable means of transporting freight – waterways.

What do you hope the WCMAC can accomplish with the Washington Marine Spatial Plan?
I think the best thing that we can do is provide a voice to coastal communities and, by bringing stakeholders together, lower the negotiating costs of marine resource stewardship. I think the oceans face many challenges from all of the people on the planet. We need to be supremely careful about how we manage our marine resources because they are both vulnerable and non-renewable. The challenges are profound. The WCMAC provides just one avenue to bring people together to understand those challenges and manage competing interests as effectively as possible for this little strip of land that borders an impossibly huge ocean.

Anything else interesting about you?
It may be surprising, but when I was a little kid, I didn’t want to be a tugboat lobbyist when I grew up. In fact, it was only long after I had grown up, that I learned that a tugboat lobbyist was a thing. It’s actually a really fun thing to be.