Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE)
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Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE) Sentinel Lakes Program Ray Valley and Don Pereira. Talk Outline. The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

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Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE)

Sentinel Lakes Program

Ray Valley and Don Pereira


Talk outline
Talk Outline

  • The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program

  • The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection

  • The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

  • The So What - Lessons learned


Talk outline1
Talk Outline

  • The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program

  • The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection

  • The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

  • The So What - Lessons learned


Why focus on lakes
Why Focus on Lakes?

  • Minnesota is known for her lakes

  • Lakes don’t flush

  • Focal integrators of time and space


Why glacier like changes to landscape and climate
Why – Glacier-like changes to landscape and climate

  • Shoreline and nearshore transformations

  • Impervious surfaces

  • Hydrological transformations

  • Human accelerators of species spread

  • Climate change


  • Consequences on Resilience

  • Cumulative impacts of stressors

  • Stressors to watersheds

    • Ditching, draining, channeling,

    • Impervious surface

    • Withdrawing & damming

  • Alterations to lakes

    • Overharvest/Overstocking

    • Removal of structure

    • Disturbance from watercraft

  • Time Lags

  • Hysteresis – “can’t go back”

    • Positive feedbacks

Cumulative impacts of stressors

System “state”

Scheffer and Carpenter 2003


Reality Bites!

In a lot of systems there’s no “going back.” Our expectations and management approach for these systems should be different for systems largely “intact”


Enter slice informing expectations and appropriate mgt responses
Enter SLICE – informing expectations and appropriate mgt responses

We ask:

  • In highly altered systems, how can we realistically improve water quality and provide a self-sustaining recreational fishery?

  • In high integrity systems, what watershed and in-lake factors are contributing to their resilience, and how can we keep those resilience mechanisms intact?

  • Early Detection and Rapid Response indicators What indicators tell us “all is not well” and indicate whether our responses are making a difference?


Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE) responses

  • Program aims to:

    • Timely detect change to habitat conditions and species population communities

    • Understand and project what is/will come into our lakes (watershed modeling)

    • Understand and project the ultimate fate of external and internal loads (limnological modeling)

    • Facilitate structured decision-making and adaptive management


Talk outline2
Talk Outline responses

  • The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program

  • The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection

  • The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

  • The So What - Lessons learned


  • Phase 1 (Pilot; 2008-2011): responses

    • Pilot phase

    • Establish network of sentinel lakes

    • Partnership and infrastructure building

    • Independent research projects to assess specific questions

    • Indicator ID

  • Phase 2 (2012-2016)

    • Using lessons learned in Pilot to guide operational program

Eating the elephant one bite at a time!

chrisnierhaus.com


Adaptive Management Process responses

Phase 1: Oct – Jan 2006/2007

Phase 2 2013

Assess problem

Phase 1 Op plan

2012

Adjust

Design

May-Jun 2007

Evaluate

Implement

Monitor

2011-12

Apr. 2008

2008-2011


Planning and Decision Framework responses

Oversight

DNR Fisheries1

Project Coordination2

Ray Valley

1.

Information base

Recommendation of direction

Implementation

DNR Fisheries Implementation

Technical Advisory Team

Eco and Waters Implementation

Strategic Advisory Team

PCA Implementation

Analysis and Evaluation

MDH Implementation

PCA Water Monitoring Unit

Local trends

Analysis Teams

Syntheses of trends

Local Partners

DNR Area Staff

Local trends

Local Partners

Local trends

Citizen Volunteers

Public Information and Outreach

Ancillary Investigations



Three R’s of Statistical Study Design responses

  • Realism

  • Randomization

  • Representation

Population

Sample

Inference


Questions for us here to consider
Questions for us here to consider: responses

  • At what spatial scale do we want to draw inference?

  • How much of the state do we want to cover or how “representative” do we want to be?

  • How quickly do we want to detect change and “check in on status?”

  • The answers to these questions will guide the appropriate statistical design


Objective of slice annual inference of status and trends in lake indicators at the landscape scale
Objective of SLICE: responsesAnnual inference of status and trends in lake indicators at the Landscape Scale



Sentinel Lake Selection responses

Stratified Approach

1. Landtype x 4

2. Mixing x 2

3. P-Concentration x 3


Other considerations with final candidate pool
Other considerations with final candidate pool responses

  • PCA “reference” lake

  • Other historical datasets

    • Paleolimnology

    • Rich lake survey history

  • Unique partnership opportunities

    • Active local water monitoring programs




Panel 1: Sentinel Lakes (2008 - ) Design

  • Stratified sampling design

  • Figurative Approach: “6-in wide, 1 mile deep”

  • Monitoring system-wide changes at a fine temporal resolution in a small number of systems spread across the state

  • Synchronous trends - are things behaving similarly across large scales?

  • Cause-effect inference

  • Forecast modeling w/ cont. verification

Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

= The network of sentinel lakes


Panel 2: “Random” surveys (2013 - ) Design

  • Approach: “1 Mile-wide 6” deep”

  • Focus is on maximizing lakes sampled, minimal time spent at each one.

  • Combination with Sentinel panel is powerful for robust inference of status across time and space

  • Will focus on utilizing datasets from other ongoing monitoring programs

Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

= Group of Lakes



Sentinel Lake watershed sizes are skewed Design

Median = 9

Median = 31 km2

Are these watersheds representative of other Minnesota lake watersheds??



Median = 12km Design2


Median = 10 Design


Sentinel Lake watershed sizes are representative! Design

Median = 9

Median = 31 km2


Talk outline3
Talk Outline Design

  • The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program

  • The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection

  • The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

  • The So What - Lessons learned


Question what data do we need and who s going to collect it
Question: DesignWhat data do we need and who’s going to collect it?



Right partners for the right job
Right partners for the right job Design

  • PCA, DNR, SNF, Citizen Volunteers, local units of govt, researchers efficiently deployed

  • Research staff evaluating:

    • Indicator “vetting” – signal:noise

    • Appropriate lake and watershed models

    • Reconstructing past conditions

    • Efficient sampling methodology

  • Reporting and data management structures in place.

  • Leveraging multiple funding sources


If you build it they will come
“If you build it, they will come” Design

  • A platform for interdisciplinary study of lakes

  • Independent “off-shoot” projects focused on:

    • Cold-water fish and habitat

    • Historical reconstructions of water quality and zooplankton

    • Zooplankton patterns

    • Groundwater-surface water interactions

  • “Free” Analysis off of our “Free” data

  • Projects, investigators, lakes involved, and contact info is being tracked on SLICE web page


Talk outline4
Talk Outline Design

  • The Why - History, motivations, and aims of program

  • The What - Program design and sentinel lake selection

  • The How - Data collection activities and partnerships

  • The So What - Lessons learned


Lessons learned successes
Lessons Learned – Successes Design

  • Eating an elephant one bite at a time

  • Right partners doing the right job

  • We built it and now they are coming

  • Structured-decision making and adaptive learning process


Lessons learned mulligans
Lessons Learned – DesignMulligans

Take logistics as seriously as strategy


Designating a project program coordinator is a no brainer and something the state does well

Designating a project/program “Coordinator” is a no-brainer and something the state does well


The logistics of who they are coordinating is another matter entirely that rarely receives sufficient attention


  • Getting dozens of staff to be all doing the same thing is not easy!


Other admin issues to consider
Other Admin Issues to consider entirely that rarely receives sufficient attention

  • Data QA/QC

  • Data management and dissemination

  • Appropriate staffing for the workloads

  • Communication plan


Departing thoughts… entirely that rarely receives sufficient attention

  • Stressors are slowly wearing away the resilience of our water and fisheries resources

  • Greater urgency with lakes – they are our legacy and they don’t flush.

  • Most MN lake watersheds are small – good from a management standpoint.

  • The interdisciplinary partnerships are the backbone of SLICE

  • Advice for sentinel watershed planning – give logistic operations of carrying out a program its due during the planning process.


Funding and partners

Funding and Partners entirely that rarely receives sufficient attention


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