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Extramural Research

Integrating Salmon Habitat Restoration and Flood Hazard Initiatives: Societal/Biophysical Estimators for the Cedar River and Implications for Regional Rivers

EPA Grant Number: R827149
Title: Integrating Salmon Habitat Restoration and Flood Hazard Initiatives: Societal/Biophysical Estimators for the Cedar River and Implications for Regional Rivers
Investigators: Wissmar, Robert C. , Fluharty, David L. , Leschine, Thomas M.
Current Investigators: Wissmar, Robert C. , Fluharty, David L. , Leschine, Thomas M. , Montgomery, Melissa , Timm, Raymond K.
Institution: University of Washington - Seattle
EPA Project Officer: Stelz, Bill
Project Period: February 1, 1999 through January 31, 2002 (Extended to January 31, 2003)
Project Amount: $749,991
RFA: Water and Watersheds (1998)
Research Category: Water and Watersheds

Description:

The proposed biophysical (physical and ecological) and human systems research will evaluate how river channel-floodplain ecosystems, fish habitats, spawning salmon, and human systems respond to the implementation of the Cedar River Basin and Nonpoint Pollution Action Plan, King County,WA (King County 1996). The research will assess the Plan's priority habitat restoration-flood reduction initiatives, which are coupled plans that intend to restore fish habitats while reducing flood hazards in the lower Cedar River channel and floodplains. We propose to develop integrated approaches that improve the understanding and management of interactions between humans and river-floodplain ecosystems.

Integrated objectives of the proposed research are to: a) develop an understanding, retrospective and contemporary, of societal, institutional and policy forces that have shaped current environmental conditions in the lower Cedar River basin; b) develop the ability to assess and anticipate biophysical and human systems responses; and c) formulate and examine the acceptability of policies aimed at restoring and rehabilitating damaged river and floodplain ecosystems.

Approach:

Biophysical and human systems approaches are jointly designed so that each major project element of each study has a corresponding element in the other. Taken together, corresponding study elements act to "close the feedback loop" that connects policy and management interventions to the stressors and to human and environmental conditions that they are intended to address. The central question is how both biophysical and human systems are likely to respond in the face of policy changes (the Plan's) that promote habitat restoration and flood hazard reduction.

    Goal
  • Evaluate how river channel-floodplain ecosystems, aquatic and riparian habitats, and human systems respond to King County's coupled habitat restoration-flood reduction initiatives in the lower Cedar River channel and floodplains.

    General Objectives
  • Develop an understanding, retrospective and contemporary, of societal, institutional and policy forces that have shaped current environmental conditions in the lower Cedar River basin;
  • Develop the ability to assess and anticipate biophysical and human systems responses; and
  • Formulate and examine the acceptability of policies aimed at restoring and rehabilitating damaged river and floodplain ecosystems.

Biophysical and Human Studies
The human systems research includes a broad scale assessment designed to produce estimators of stakeholder perceptions and preferences (e.g., descriptive statements of stakeholder preferences for restoration-flood reduction approaches). The biophysical systems research involves studies of river reaches targeted for the Plan's priority initiatives to identify and evaluate estimators (biophysical responses, fish use of habitats and expert judgments of outcomes) of restoration-flood reduction opportunities.

Specific biophysical and human studies include:

    Biophysical
  • Assess retrospective changes in channel-floodplain ecosystems (e.g., channel networks, habitat distribution, fish use) to provide biophysical data for identifying opportunities for habitat restoration and flood reduction;
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities for habitat restoration-flood reduction by assessing actual and predicted responses of biophysical systems to the King Co Action Plans implemented and planned initiatives; and
  • Develop expert judgments (estimate probabilities) of possible consequences (intended and unintended) of biophysical responses to the King Co Action Plans implemented and planned initiatives.

    Human Systems
  • Identify river and floodplain restoration-flood reduction and management policies that promote ecosystem recovery and sustainability in the Cedar River Basin;
  • Assess the acceptability of such policies to the principal constituencies affected by policy change within the Basin; and
  • Identify ways to increase the acceptability of restoration-flood reduction policies that are perceived to impose costs on human communities.

    Societal Concerns
  • Restoring and protecting riparian and channel habitats for salmon and other wildlife
  • Losses in complexity and connectivity between river and floodplain habitats to which aquatic and riparian communities have adapted
  • Improving the management of flood hazards Urban growth and development in floodplains
  • Conservation: Status of Pacific salmon and several resident fish species as part of the U. S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 33 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 7 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

watersheds, risk, restoration, decision making, ecology, Northwest., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Water & Watershed, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Restoration, State, Wet Weather Flows, Ecology and Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Watersheds, risk assessment, aquatic ecosystem, riparian zone conditions, environmental restoration, fllod hazard initiatives, floodplain ecosystems, fish habitat, suburban watersheds, flood control, salmon habitat restoration, floodplain ecosystem, conservation, Washington (WA), restoration strategies, ecological recovery, urban development, urban stream rehabilitation, aquatic ecosystems, public policy, wildlife habitat, riparian habitat, riparian ecosystem integrity, flood hazard initiatives, restoration planning, watershed restoration, river ecosystems

Relevant Websites:

http://www.fish.washington.edu/people/wissmar Exit EPA icon
http://www.sma.washington.edu/ Exit EPA icon
http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/watershed/cedar/hcp/default.htm Exit EPA icon
http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/esa/index.htm Exit EPA icon

Progress and Final Reports:
1999 Progress Report
2000 Progress Report
2001 Progress Report
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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