Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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Project Summary

Project 2007-026-00 - Historic Changes in Organic Nutrient Sources and Productivity Proxies in the Columbia River Estuary in Relation to Juvenile Salmon Habitat Restoration
Project Number:
2007-026-00
Title:
Historic Changes in Organic Nutrient Sources and Productivity Proxies in the Columbia River Estuary in Relation to Juvenile Salmon Habitat Restoration
Summary:
We propose to establish the historical trends of organic nutrient sources and productivity proxies in existing sediment cores from the Columbia River Estuary to prioritize habitat restoration opportunities for salmon survival.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Govt - Federal)
Starting FY:
2007
Ending FY:
2011
BPA PM:
None
Stage:
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia River Estuary Columbia Estuary 100.00%
Purpose:
Programmatic
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Tags:
None
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

No photos have been uploaded yet for this project.

Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2007-026-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-026-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 2 - May be reasonable
Comment: Nutrient research, fishery managers, others authorized/required.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-026-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-026-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-026-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-026-00 - Historic Changes in Organic Nutrient Sources and Productivity Proxies in the Columbia River Estuary in Relation to Juvenile Salmon Habitat Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The initial proposal was fraught with specialized jargon, but the detailed response made it much easier for the ISRP to review this innovative proposal. There is no doubt the work proposed would provide worthwhile research data on the historical changes in the productivity proxies chosen (total carbon, organic carbon, organic nitrogen, delta C13 and delta N15). The investigators are well qualified to do this kind of research and are leaders in their fields.

The ISRP asked the proponents to explain how the historical data would relate to current indicators of ecosystem health. The proponent's response did not specify how their broad geochemical approach would account for important dynamic aspects of food web ecology in the Columbia River estuary. Published research has shown that factors such as living space, temperature, flow, and others, interact with productivity to determine salmon survival. Based on current scientific knowledge, the assumption of a direct relationship between carbon production in the estuary and salmon is not defensible.

Comparison of carbon production in the Columbia River estuary with Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay would be an interesting research question. However, extrapolation from the latter two areas to the Columbia River estuary is problematic because the latter two estuaries have had different sorts of histories and perturbations. Historical baselines of the three estuaries are likely not directly comparable.

The application of the data to management actions was queried by the ISRP. This aspect remains a weak point and is a primary reason why the project is not fundable. While the proponents have good working relationships with researchers in the estuary, collaboration with LCREP and other restoration-oriented management agencies is not as evident. For example there is no mention of the present project in the LCREP's proposal 200301100, and in fact this group has a different conceptual model that they are using to plan restoration. Historically, a mosaic of habitats existed in the estuary (including marshes, mudflats, riparian, and others) at different elevations with characteristic vegetation units. It is difficult to see how the core information from the limited number of sites mentioned in the proposal would help plan the restoration of these complexes.

The ISRP appreciated the detailed answer to the question of how the core data would be controlled to accurately document historical changes.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-026-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-026-00 - Historic Changes in Organic Nutrient Sources and Productivity Proxies in the Columbia River Estuary in Relation to Juvenile Salmon Habitat Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Do Not Fund
Comments:

Project Relationships: None