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Ecosystem goods and services case studies and models support community decision making using the EnviroAtlas and the Eco-Health Relationship Browser.
Bolgrien, Dave, T. Angradi, J. Bousquin, Tim Canfield, Ted DeWitt, R. Fulford, M. Harwell, J. Hoffman, T. Hollenhorst, JohnM Johnston, J. Launspach, J. Lovette, Bob Mckane, T. Newcomer-Johnson, M. Russell, L. Sharpe, A. Tashie, K. Williams, AND S. Yee. Ecosystem goods and services case studies and models support community decision making using the EnviroAtlas and the Eco-Health Relationship Browser. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-18/167, 2018.
This report summarizes multiple lines of evidence, analytical tools, models, and data for using ecosystems goods and services (EGS) in community decision making. Particular emphasis is put on using EPA’s public and web-based EnviroAtlas and Eco-Health Relationship Browser to access EGS data at national and community scales. The tools in this report use these data in a wide variety of decision and geographic contexts. Information in the report will help decision makers, stakeholders, and the public use EGS concepts and data to select, translate, and apply data and models for community-specific purposes. The case studies presented in this report demonstrate how the EnviroAtlas and the Eco-Health Relationship Browser serve as gateways between scientific data and decision makers. Successful community problem solving depends on such gateways that facilitate effective communication among partners and make data accessible to establish robust and mutually understandable decisions.
This report presents multiple lines of inquiry focused on improving the public’s use of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) concepts, data, and tools for addressing environmental, social, and economic problems. The case studies and data tools and models in the report highlight the broad use of the EnviroAtlas and Eco-Health Relationship Browser as data and communication platforms of EPA’s translational EGS research. The reciprocal translation of scientific information and community-derived decision contexts is key to effective problem solving. When coupled with data in the EnviroAtlas, EGS tools can be applied at multiple spatial scales and across diverse decision contexts. Case studies showed that EGS indicators from the EnviroAtlas complement community engagement strategies, such as document analysis, surveys, and public meetings. The Eco-Health Relationship Browser similarly was used to help stakeholders use EGS to connect land use and infrastructure policies to social fairness and public health outcomes. The report presents numerous EGS tools and data models that interface with the EnviroAtlas and Eco-Health Relationship Browser. Their collective goal was to make EGS concepts and data practical, relevant, and accessible so that more and increasingly diverse stakeholder groups can make better decisions. Translational tools, predictive models, and indicators for identifying or predicting changes in the quantities or distributions of EGS are important practical strategies for decision support. These tools, aided by the flexibility of the EnviroAtlas, allow stakeholders to explore, and in some cases, quantify, changes in human well-being. The report, also, provides information on how EGS models and EnviroAtlas data can be translated and adapted for use in new places and for novel decision contexts. The report summaries current strategies for using ecosystem goods and services case studies and models to support community decision making using the EnviroAtlas and Eco-Health Relationship Browser but it also presents paths forward for translational EGS research and applications at EPA.