Tourism: Exploring Washington’s Baseline Conditions

Posted by & filed under Events, Reports, Washington Sea Grant.

Join the Surfrider Foundations’ Washington Policy Manager, Gus Gates, for a presentation of the results of the Surfrider and Point 97 project to collect a baseline characterization of coastal and ocean recreational use patterns.

What:

  • Learn about the coastal and ocean recreational activities along the Washington coast.
  • Discuss where speciic activities typically take place.
  • View maps of hotspots for activities and expenditures.
  • Ask Washington Sea Grant about the project.

Why:
The study is intended to provide high-quality spatial and economic information to inform the state’s marine spatial planning process and other relevant decision-making.

Who:
Washington Sea Grant, the Surfrider Foundation, the Long Beach Visitor Bureau, local government officials, and coastal community members that are interested in the project.

When/Where:

 
For more information, read the news post or Scope of Work.
 
 

Q&A: How does the adaptive management strategy work?

Posted by & filed under Questions and Answers.

Q:


How does the adaptive management strategy work?

A:

The marine spatial plan uses the best currently available data to make recommendations and guidelines. However, as new data and information about the marine environment and specific project proposals are available, these will need to be considered in marine planning decisions. Significant changes to information could prompt the state to revise and update the plan. The adaptive management strategy created in the plan will provide an ongoing process for considering new information and making adjustments to the plan, as needed (see RCW 43.372.040.6a).

 
 

Q&A: Why is there a significant focus on marine renewable energy?

Posted by & filed under Questions and Answers.

Q:


Why is there a significant focus on marine renewable energy?

Open Hydro Wave Technology
 

A:

Several years ago, developers interested in pursuing marine renewable energy began seeking permits and licenses for this activity for various areas in Washington’s marine waters and elsewhere in the nation. Stakeholders, agencies and others were concerned that there wasn’t process in place to guide this new use away from areas already highly used by other ocean uses or away from sensitive areas before a permit was issued. While many of these projects ultimately fell through, interest in this new use remains.

In 2010, the Washington State Legislature recognized the need to provide a more predictable and proactive way of addressing marine renewable energy and its potential conflicts by passing a state law that enabled the creation of marine spatial plans in Washington’s waters. While marine spatial plans can address other conflicts, Washington’s state law includes specific requirements to address marine renewable energy. Specifically, the law requires marine spatial plans in Washington to include:

“A framework for coordinating state agency and local government review of proposed renewable energy development uses…” (RCW 43.372.040f)

“A series of maps that, at a minimum, summarize available data on… appropriate locations with high potential for renewable energy production with minimal potential for conflicts with other existing uses or sensitive environments.” (RCW 43.372.040c)

For more information, see Washington’s state law, the marine renewable energy sector analysis, the marine renewable energy map series, or the National Ocean Policy.

Ecological Indicator Results Presentation

Posted by & filed under Events, Reports, Washington Sea Grant.

Join Washington Sea Grant and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center for a presentation on Washington’s ecological indicators. Fisheries research biologist, Kelly Andrews, will present on the methodology and development of ecological indicators.
NOAA IEA
What:

  • Ecological indicators provide a way to monitor the overall health of an ecosystem
  • The results of the project were a compilation of information from scientists and resource managers with expertise and interest in Washington’s coastal waters and estuaries.
  • Provide input on the suite of indicators that show the health of the ecosystem which make up Washington’s unique waters.
  • Ask Washington Sea Grant about the project.

Why:
The presentation provides detailed information about the models and suite of indicators that provide a way to monitor the overall health of Washington’s ecosystems.

 
Who:
This is a free event for all members of the public to attend. The event is hosted by Washington Sea Grant, the Northwest Fishereis Science Center, the Grays Harbor Coalition of Infrastructure, and Citizens for a Clean Harbor.

When/Where:
April 23 at the Furford Gathering Center in Aberdeen at 6pm.
 
More information about Washington’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment and the project Scope of Work.
 
 

Learn How Marine Spatial Planning Works

Posted by & filed under Events, MRC, Washington Sea Grant.

Our ocean is a busy place. Many users, from beach dwellers to shellfish growers, fishermen to shipping operators, share the marine waters and public access. Marine spatial planning balances these interests and anticipates potential new uses while protecting sustainable practices and preserving healthy ecosystems.

Photo by Rachel Aronson
 
Join Washington Sea Grant and the state’s natural resources agencies to learn more about marine spatial planning in your marine waters. This opportunity provides an open setting to learn about how the planning process brings science and the public together and can be used to gather information about the conflicts and competition over space. Participants can also find out what Sea Grant does to educate coastal communities and facilitate the sharing of information across Washington’s coastal and marine stakeholders. Admission is free.

When: Monday, April 20, 2015
3–6 p.m.

Where: Rotary Log Pavilion
1401 Sargent Bld.
Aberdeen, WA 98520

Social Indicators Workshops & Marine Resources Committee Meetings

Posted by & filed under MRC, Reports, Washington Sea Grant.

Join the Grays Harbor Marine Resources Committee meeting for a presentation from and discussion hosted by Washington Sea Grant’s social scientist, Melissa Poe.

When/Where:
April 14 at the Grays Harbor Marine Resources Committee Meeting at 3:30pm.

What:

  • Learn about the human well-being assessment project methods.
  • Discuss the draft conceptual model results for Grays Harbor County, which were built from an analysis of 2012-2013 stakeholder workshop notes.
  • Provide input on the suite of indicators that show the well-being on human conditions in coastal communities that rely on Washington’s waters.
  • Ask Washington Sea Grant about the project.

Why:
The workshop provides an opportunity for coastal communities to identify social indicator data gaps and provide input to a very important project.

 
Who:
Washington Sea Grant, the Grays Harbor County, local government officials, and coastal community members that are interested in the project.

If you are more interested in the suite of indicators that were developed for the North coast, join the North Coast Marine Resources Committee Meeting on May 19 at 4pm.
 
 

Social Indicators Workshops & Marine Resources Committee Meetings

Posted by & filed under Events, MRC, Washington Sea Grant.

Join the coastal Marine Resources Committees for a presentation from and discussion hosted by Washington Sea Grant’s social scientist, Melissa Poe.

What:

  • Learn about the human well-being assessment project methods.
  • Discuss the draft conceptual model results, which were built from an analysis of 2012-2013 stakeholder workshop notes.
  • Provide input on the suite of indicators that show the well-being on human conditions in coastal communities that rely on Washington’s waters.
  • Ask Washington Sea Grant about the project.

Why:
The workshop provides an opportunity for coastal communities to identify social indicator data gaps and provide feedback on the results of a very important project.

Human Well-Being
 
Who:
Washington Sea Grant, the Pacific County, Grays Harbor County, and North Coast Marine Resources Committees, local government officials, and coastal community members that are interested in the project.

When/Where:

 
 

How Much Money do Washington Residents Spend on Recreation?

Posted by & filed under Events.

The Surfrider Foundations’ Washington Policy Manager, Gus Gates, will present the results of the Surfrider and Point 97 project to collect a baseline characterization of coastal and ocean recreational use patterns. The recreational use survey polled coastal and ocean recreation users to summarize the intensity of specific recreational activities along the Washington coast. The results will indicate where specific activities typically take place, show weighted averages of ocean use statistics including the number of days people recreated in the last year and how much money was spent per trip. The presentation is intended for the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau and anyone interested in the results of the Marine Spatial Planning project.

For more information, read Surfrider’s blog about the recreational use survey, read the project Scope of Work or project page.

 
 

Q & A: What are some of the lessons learned from other planning processes?

Posted by & filed under News, Questions and Answers.

Q:

What are some of the lessons learned from other planning processes?

A:

In 2009, an international workshop hosted by The Nature Conservancy documented the best practices for healthy ocean planning. Since then, many more lessons have been learned within different regions of the country.

Ocean planning best practices include:

  • Using existing boundaries that cover the locations of human activities and important ecological features.
    • In Washington, the planning boundary extends offshore to the 700 fathoms (1200 meters) depth which encompasses the major areas of human activities such as fishing, shipping, and recreation, and important ecological features such as rocky habitats, corals, upwelling zones, and submarine canyons that occur off Washington’s Pacific Coast.

  • Developing planning objectives and data needs early in the development phase.
    • In Washington, goals and objectives were developed through collaborative working sessions in the pre-planning phase of the process. Data gaps were then identified, prioritized, and when appropriate, funded.

  • Recognizing that data comes in visual and contextual forms.
    • Several projects map visual data while others gather new information on current or future uses in Washington’s marine waters. For example, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife turned logbook information into visual data while the sector analyses gathered contextual information on several coastal and marine uses.

  • Focusing on obtaining habitat data to accomplish ecological objectives.
    • The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is combining and analyzing detailed habitat data to create visual information on Ecologically Important Areas, which will assist in identifying sensitive ecological areas that new uses should avoid.

  • Keeping data in a format that is easily transferable.
    • The MSP website provides access to all publically available information, including spatial data in an online GIS viewer and downloadable formats through the MSP data catalog, and all data can connect to other applications with ease through unique web links called Web Services.

  • Developing an integrated plan that addresses multiple management objectives.
    • The plan will address multiple goals and objectives, which were established by the Washington State Legislature and refined through a collaborative process with stakeholders, and federal, tribal, and local government representatives. The plan’s action items rely on existing policies, regulations, and programs to implement the plan and it’s guidelines. For example, an aquatic land lease issued by the State Department of Natural Resources will use the marine spatial plan to guide aquatic land management decisions.

 
For more details on the lessons learned workshop, read the TNC workshop report. Additionally, read the Rhode Island SAMP Practitioner’s Guide for best practices.

 
 

Q & A: It seems like there should be other fishing data available on the map viewer. Why don’t I see it there?

Posted by & filed under Department of Fish and Wildlife, News, Questions and Answers.

Q:

It seems like there should be other fishing data available on the map viewer. Why don’t I see it there?

A:

To protect the livelihood of commercial fishers providing the information.

  • Washington State Law exempts some commercial fishing data from public disclosure if the release of the data would result in an unfair disadvantage to the commercial fisher providing the data. Federal law designates regional Fishery Management Plans to manage fish stocks in United States waters and limit the sharing of confidential information.
  • Not all fisheries have logbook requirements (such as salmon troll and sablefish fisheries) in Washington’s marine waters, so there is no information to display.

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) releases exempted commercial fishing catch location data in an aggregated, summarized form and explores alternative ways of displaying information to protect data confidentiality.
 
Salmon
 
On the MSP data viewer:
Fishing intensity maps give the public a general sense of where different non-tribal commercial and recreational fishing activities take place. The data are aggregated to protect confidentiality and comply with federal and state laws.

For the plan’s analysis:
All available data at the highest resolution possible will be used to characterize the status of the fishing industry and the economic contribution of fisheries to the coastal economy. The plan will also address trade-offs between potential impacts from and benefits of potential new uses.
 

For more information: