Enhancing transportation project delivery through watershed characterization
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Enhancing Transportation Project Delivery Through Watershed Characterization. Richard Gersib Watershed Program Manager Washington State Department of Transportation. Robert Bailey wrote:.

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Enhancing transportation project delivery through watershed characterization
Enhancing Transportation Project Delivery Through Watershed Characterization

Richard Gersib

Watershed Program Manager

Washington State Department of Transportation


Robert bailey wrote
Robert Bailey wrote: Characterization

“A spider web is analogous to an ecosystem. When the web is disturbed at one spot, other strands of the web are affected because of linkages.”

Disturbance

Source: Ecosystem Geography 1996 Springer-Verlag, New York


Increase Environmental Benefit Characterization

Reduce Cost

  • Assess project impacts (site)

  • Avoid/minimize impacts (site/landscape)

  • Assess condition of ecological processes (landscape)

  • Maximize benefits by identifying areas capable of matching #1 and #3 (landscape/site)

  • Target sites maximizing long-term environmental benefits (landscape)

  • Tell the story(site/landscape)


Mitigate project impacts, first and foremost Characterization

Focus on landscape recovery and ecosystem health


Target mitigation for maximum benefits
Target mitigation for maximum benefits Characterization

Target landscape, not artificial, storage and treatment

Engineered Flow Control

Example, stormwater detention pond

No benefits beyond water quality/quantity

Restoring Natural Control

Example: wetlands restoration

Many benefits beyond just water quality/quantity


Target mitigation where it’s most effective Characterization

<5% TIA

100%

5-10% TIA

>20% TIA

Environmental Function

Forested

Rural Residential

Suburban Residential

Urban

10

20

30

40

50

60

Total Impervious Area (TIA, %)


At landscape scales focus on ecological processes
At Landscape Scales, CharacterizationFocus on Ecological Processes

Movement

of Sediment

Movement

of Large Wood

Movement

of Water

Movement

of Nutrients, Bacteria,

Toxicants

Movement

of Heat


Characterize Condition of Characterization

Target Ecological Processes

Target Key Areas for Recovery

Translate landscape processes back to site functions

Translate site functions to landscape processes

Watershed-scale

Site-scale

=

Assess project impacts

type, area, function

Assess mitigation potential

type, area, function



Establish spatial scales for analysis and mitigation
Establish Spatial Scales for Analysis and Mitigation Characterization

Interstate 405, North Renton


Establish temporal scales
Establish Temporal Scales Characterization

2020 Buildout

Assess multiple temporal scales

Current

Pre-Development


Characterize condition of study area
Characterize CharacterizationCondition of Study Area

  • Water

  • Sediment

  • Pollutants

  • Wood

  • Heat

  • Aquatic Integrity

  • Upland Integrity



Develop potential riparian restoration site database

Potential riparian area Characterization

Not a potential riparian area

Develop Potential Riparian Restoration Site Database


Develop potential floodplain restoration site database
Develop Potential Floodplain Restoration Site Database Characterization

Potential floodplain mitigation area

Not a potential floodplain restoration area



May creek site locations
May Creek Site Locations Characterization


“We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities” [email protected]://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/watershed/technical_report.htm


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