Integrating Human Wellbeing and Ecosystem Services into Near Term Action Planning in the Puget Sound

EPA Grant Number: RD836946
Title: Integrating Human Wellbeing and Ecosystem Services into Near Term Action Planning in the Puget Sound
Investigators: Biedenweg, Kelly
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2019
Project Amount: $399,831
RFA: Integrating Human Health and Well-Being with Ecosystem Services (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Human Health

Objective:

  1. Conduct community-engaged Cumulative Impacts Assessments with 5-9 communities. Summarize generalizable tools, lessons learned, and performance metrics for common strategies that could impact ecosystem services and human wellbeing.
  2. Test the factors under which communities are willing and able to use Cumulative Impact Assessments and existing data to include ecosystem service and human wellbeing considerations in natural resource planning. 

Approach:

Work with 5-9 community groups in the Puget Sound to develop conceptual models and cumulative impact assessments using one of four tools, existing social and ecological data, results from prior stressor assessments, and quantitative and qualitative interaction measures. Use participant observation, interviews and a survey with group participants to assess the factors that influenced group decisions to use existing data and integrate human wellbeing and ecosystem services into action planning.

Expected Results:

Expected Outputs

  • Conceptual models and cumulative impact assessments of Puget Sound Vital Signs that can be integrated into a Puget Sound Atlantis model
  • Best practices for integrating diverse types of data to assess cumulative impacts across ecological and human wellbeing objectives
  • Local Ecological Restoration plans for 5-9 regional groups that consider ecosystem services and human wellbeing in addition to ecological outcomes.
  • Identified tradeoffs and consequences of potential restoration strategies for both human and ecological health
  • Demonstrated psychological, social and institutional factors that support the engagement and use of data by communities, state agencies, and researchers

Expected Outcomes:

  • Strengthened multisector partnerships
  • Better understanding of the links between stressors, ecosystems, ecosystem services and human wellbeing for a variety of services
  • Greater use of existing ecological and social data in community-level decisions to reduce pollutants
  • Healthier, more equitable and liveable communities

Supplemental Keywords:

estuary, watershed, indicators, recovery, management plans, social science, ecology, decision support, Northwest