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Patrick J. Crist, Lynn Scharf (NatureServe)

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Placeways. A land-sea toolkit: NatureServe Vista, CommunityViz, and N-SPECT Track A Land Sea Session Coastal-Marine Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Training for South Pacific Practitioners. Patrick J. Crist, Lynn Scharf (NatureServe) Ken Dutton, Sally Morehead, Kiersten Madden (MANERR)

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A land-sea toolkit: NatureServe Vista, CommunityViz, and N-SPECTTrack A Land Sea SessionCoastal-Marine Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Training for South Pacific Practitioners

Patrick J. Crist, Lynn Scharf (NatureServe)

Ken Dutton, Sally Morehead, Kiersten Madden (MANERR)

Dave Eslinger (NOAA)

Doug Walker (Placeways)

land sea integration challenges
Land-sea Integration Challenges
  • Problem 1: Land use & resource management planning/policy are not typically integrated.
  • Problem 2: conservation planning is typically segregated by ecosystem divisions (terrestrial, freshwater, marine)
  • Results in:
    • (At best) inefficiency by failing to leverage conservation actions that can serve multiple objectives
    • (Typically) failure to identify threats outside the ecosystem and continuing habitat loss
the vision
The Vision

A planner (land use, infrastructure, conservation, etc.) proposes a future scenario and readily obtains…

An assessment of the ramifications on terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems/biodiversity, allowing…

Directed scenario modification/mitigation that maximizes/leverages conservation impact at least cost across ecosystems

project concepts
Project Concepts

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • Three tools can be operated in support of specific sectoral missions (land use, conservation, water quality)
  • But they can be interoperated to facilitate integrated planning
  • Which can assist cooperative planning partnerships

Socioeconomic & Human Use

Biological/ Species & Ecosystems


Conservation Tools

Evaluation and Prioritization for Terrestrial, Freshwater, Marine Ecosystems

e.g., Vista w/MARXAN

Land Use Tools

Scenario Development

e.g., CViz

Geophysical Tools:

Freshwater pollution & sedimentation Analysis

e.g., NSPECT

Decision entry & monitoring data feedback

Geophysical Tools:

Marine Plume Model

e.g., MIKE21

Integrated Conservation & Land Use Plan Across Ecosystems

Adapted from Dorfman 2007

project objectives
Project Objectives

Study area: 217,211 ha

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • Demonstrate the linkage of 3 EBM tools to address integrated land-sea planning
  • Create a documented methodology for the integration and interoperability of these tools
  • Assist Aransas County with analyses to demonstrate the need for increased land use planning authority
the tools


The Tools

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Integration through interoperation of three tools:

  • CommunityViz: land use planning tool and integrator of tool indicators
  • NatureServe Vista: conservation planning & ecological indicators tool
  • N-SPECT: water quality modeling & assessment tool
step 1 map land use scenarios w communityviz
Step 1: Map Land Use Scenarios w/CommunityViz

Traditional development growth model

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • CommunityViz is used to map, visualize, and characterize indicators in a variety of scenarios for land use planning purposes
  • Model trends in scenarios
  • Guide development of alternative future scenarios
step 2 define scenarios for assessment
Step 2: Define Scenarios for Assessment

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • Scenarios are imported from CViz and augmented with other data in Vista
  • Scenarios are used to assess conservation goal achievement
  • Scenarios can be:
    • Current situation
    • Plan/policy based future scenario
    • Trend future scenario
    • Alternative plans, proposals, mitigations
step 3 map characterize conservation elements

Live Oak

Seagrass beds

Step 3: Map & Characterize Conservation Elements


Photo courtesy of Ken Dunton

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Element information in Vista is comprised of spatial occurrence data, expert-derived parameters, and values such as importance weights

Coastal Live Oak – Redbay series

Photo courtesy of Sally Morehead

step 4 evaluate scenarios with vista
Step 4: Evaluate Scenarios with Vista

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • Evaluations quantify and map impacts relative to element goal achievement
  • Compatibility conflict maps shows locations and richness of elements that have not met retention goals & are in conflict with the scenario
vista scenario evaluation terrestrial
Vista scenario evaluation: terrestrial

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Reports quantify goal achievement, new and cumulative impacts, and effects on viability

step 5 incorporate water quality using n spect
Step 5: Incorporate Water Quality using N-SPECT

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

n spect outputs
N-SPECT Outputs

Sediment concentration

Accumulated sediment





MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Water quality outputs from N-SPECT comparing baseline & traditional scenarios

step 6 water quality ecological assessment
Step 6: Water Quality Ecological Assessment
  • N-SPECT freshwater outputs are imported into the Vista scenario definition.
  • Estuary sedimentation levels modeled in ArcView (under development)
  • Compatibility or condition-based evaluation can be conducted

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

step 7 scenario evaluation with aquatic impacts
Step 7: Scenario Evaluation with Aquatic Impacts
  • Growth model predicts improved quality (as a factor of mitigating agricultural runoff) but big impacts on terrestrial biodiversity

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Land based threats (sedimentation) can then be assessed for impact on aquatic resources (e.g., sea grass beds)

step 8 assessing results identifying opportunities
Step 8: Assessing Results, Identifying Opportunities

Site scenario results

Selected site

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Site Explorer (Vista) provides context for site to determine mitigation need and opportunity

But need to mentally connect aquatic features to terrestrial impacts

step 9 creating alternative scenarios site mitigations
Step 9: Creating Alternative Scenarios & Site Mitigations

Predicted increase in goal achievement w/land use change

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Specify alternative uses for the site & view immediate results. Save results to create alternative scenario

step 10 integrate and re analyze in communityviz
Step 10: Integrate and Re-analyze in CommunityViz

Area of mitigated land use from Vista mitigation

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Site mitigation from Vista in new CommunityViz scenario with indicators.

step 11 integrate re analyze in n spect
Step 11: Integrate & Re-Analyze in N-SPECT

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

step 12 re analyze in vista
Step 12: Re-Analyze in Vista

Traditional Development Conflicts

Mitigated Scenario Conflicts

Conflicts partially mitigated

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

thoughts on implementation
Thoughts on Implementation

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

  • We demonstrated that one GIS analyst can learn and interoperate the tools
  • However, what they do with each tool is often specific to different institutions’ missions
  • This suggests different partnership models:
    • First where each institution operates the appropriate tools under agreements of overriding goals and information exchange
    • Second where institutions jointly support a center of analyses that manages data and operates the tools on their behalf
implementation continued
Implementation Continued

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning

Regardless of partnership structure, this type of planning must be dynamic

Periodic updates won’t work as the sectors will evolve on independent timeframes

A strong partnership to ensure dynamic information exchange and real-time analyses and adaptive planning is required

Permanent working groups especially with scientific participation is very useful

questions acknowledgments


David & Lucille Packard Foundation for MANERR Project Funding

EBM Tools Program for Conference Support

MANERR Integrated Land Sea Planning