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National Fish Habitat Action Plan

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  1. The National Fish Habitat Action Plan Science and Data Strategy National Fish Habitat Action Plan Presented to: Midwest National Fish Habitat Workshop June 3, 2008 By: Gary E. Whelan

  2. Overview • National Fish Habitat Science and Data Strategy – Framework • Philosophy • Components • National Fish Habitat Assessment • Broad Conceptual Overview • Other Key Science and Data Concepts

  3. Historic View of “Habitat” National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  4. Key Tenets • Must address the problems underlying habitat issues, not the symptoms • Must address system process level issues • Must work with a range of others to address these complex issues • Must show real progress in improving aquatic habitat that leads to improved fish populations • Must make strategic investments in habitat • Protect intact healthy systems • Rehabilitate degraded systems • Improve engineered systems

  5. Framework Report Components • What is habitat? • What is the problem? • The Assessment Tool • Classification • Condition • Priorities, priorities… - Helping our partners be more effective • Did we really do anything? The Evaluation Process • The nuts and bolts – The hardware and software to do the job National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  6. Assessment Basis • Systems are nested and hierarchical • Systems can be classified • Processes and their key component/impairments can be classified • Processes are nested and hierarchical • Impairments • Inland and coastal systems must be connected

  7. Classification Horizontal and Vertical Data Summaries

  8. Condition Focus on Key Processes(Emergent Properties) • Connectivity • Hydrology • Channel and Bottom Form • Material Recruitment • Water Quality • Energy Flow in Aquatic Communities National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  9. Condition Model National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  10. Condition Analysis • Build a Habitat Index based on layered (hierarchal) Individual Habitat Variables that can be improved. • Scores within each level averaged • Score each Classified Unit against others in the Classification. • Two Scale Scores Best Theoretical Possible 0 100 Best Currently Available Series of sub-scores that can be improved on

  11. National Assessment Update Cape Fear River - Piedmont National Fish Habitat Action Plan WWF Ecoregions Appalachian Piedmont

  12. WWF Freshwater Ecoregions TNC Ecological Drainage Units (EDUs) National Hydrography Dataset plus (NHD+) Ecologically Sound Framework National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  13. NFH Assessment Spatial Hierarchy- Vertical Summary Reaches/watersheds (2,592,348) WWF Freshwater Ecoregions (45) TNC EDUs (244)

  14. NFH Assessment Basic Units (NHD+) • Available nationwide • Reach definition • Watershed boundary • Local vs network watershed • Watershed characteristics National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  15. Horizontal Summary Prototype - Stratifying Streams Based on Size Strategy for stream size stratification: Drainage area (km2) • Headwaters: ≤ 10 • Creeks: 10 ~ 100 • Small Rivers: 100 ~ 1,000 • Medium Rivers: 1,000 ~ 10,000 • Large Rivers: 10,000 ~ 25,000 • Great Rivers: > 25,000 National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  16. Number and % of Reaches in Each Stratum 58% 26% 10% 4% 1% 1%

  17. Criteria for Selecting Data • Covering all or most of conterminous U.S. • Consistently collected or developed • Meaningful for assessing fish habitat National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  18. Active Mines - USGS 2001 Forest Canopy Road Density - NOAA SPARROW Nutrients - USGS National Inventory of Dams 2001 Impervious Surfaces 2001 National Land Cover STATSGO Soil data - USDA 1992 National Land Cover 2000 Water Use Estimates EPA 303d 2000 Population Density – NOAA 2002 Agriculture Census of U.S Toxic Release Inventory – EPA Impaired and Threatened Waters – EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System – EPA Treatment, Storage, Disposal facilities - EPA Fish Passage Decision Systems - US FWS NFH Assessment Environmental Databases

  19. NFH Assessment Fish Data NAWQA data - USGS EMAP and REMAP data – EPA Total 2329 samples Other resources National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  20. How Done? Assigning Attributes to Local Watersheds • GIS programming • 17 databases and 80 attributes • Processing units: regions National Fish Habitat Action Plan 1 2 3

  21. EDU Summary of Human Disturbances - Cape Fear River National Fish Habitat Action Plan • Urban • Cattle • Mine • Agriculture • Population • Road density • Total P yield • Imperviousness

  22. Human Disturbances by EDUs • Urban • Cattle • Mine • Agriculture • Population • Road density • Total P yield • Imperviousness National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  23. Human Disturbances by Ecoregions National Fish Habitat Action Plan • Urban • Cattle • Mine • Agriculture • Population • Road density • Total P yield • Imperviousness

  24. National Fish Habitat Assessment • On target – Oct Deliverables • Prototype – Rivers model in lower 48 states • 14 datasets • Only complete datasets • Plan – Lakes, Coastal, HI, AK • Others and prioritization • Scoring issues with lakes • Assessment improvement • Partial databases incorporation • Maps

  25. National Fish Habitat Assessment • Coastal Component • Logically can be done • CAF bridge • CMEC – Hierarchical and can be used in Great Lakes • NatureServe/NOAA System • Focus on inshore systems not 3D systems • Need resources • Strategy correct National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  26. Other Assessment Science Updates • Reporting scale issues • National vs. Partnership Report • Can not go down in scale with data • Will provide table of where data is available and usable • AK • Databases • Prioritization • SWAP objectives need to be into FONS • Project • Monitoring data • Surrogates Variables • Preferred variables - data not available • Committee agreed with surrogate variables in assessment • Link variables to fish • EBKT Joint Venture approach is a possibility National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  27. Other Assessment Science Updates • Modeled data • Stressor analysis • Plans to Stressor Planning Meeting – Spring 2008 • Request for data partnerships • USCOE, NRCS, NOAA– River Forecast Center, Snow Data • Fish distribution databases • Reporting Scales for Assessment • EDUs • State • Congressional Districts • Physiographic Units • Federally Owned Lands • Future Assessment – 2015 • Need to put structures to conduct future assessments and needed improvements • Care and feeding funding National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  28. Assessment Budget Concern • Need to fully act on budget • Concern with losing institutional knowledge • Critical to act to ensure completion by 2010 • Decreased credibility • Data loss • Momentum loss • Behind because of delayed budgeting • Interim support from USFWS and USGS • Request to AFWA for state support • Suggested $12,000 per state National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  29. Other Science and Data Concepts Cape Fear River - Piedmont National Fish Habitat Action Plan WWF Ecoregions Appalachian Piedmont

  30. Priorities, Priorities, Priorities…….. • Many, many already exist in a myriad of places but none can be found • Web-accessible GIS Database will be designed but there will be a time lag • Data Sources • State Wildlife Action Plans • Recovery Plans • River Planning Documents • Other Priorities • State • Federal agencies • Tribal agencies

  31. Prioritization Tool • Map all priorities – Web accessible • Two Scoring Approaches • Individual Project • System score • Times a priority • Likely investment return • State fisheries agency priority • Classified Unit • Unit score • Number of priorities • Number of groups • Total investment return • Number of state fisheries agency priorities • Take both tools through a final index • Likelihood of success • Approach – Protection, Rehabilitation or Re-engineering • Socioeconomic National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  32. Did we really do anything? The Evaluation Component • Since 1990, $14-15 billion spent on habitat project and only 10% evaluated • Lost many opportunities to improve • Key is to use evaluation as a learning tool • Critical to have a layered evaluation and quality control program • One size does not fit all • Different roles at different scales • How to best accomplish

  33. Scaled Evaluation Approach • Key Scale Components • Local - Project Effectiveness – Scored against Regional Partnership Goals for habitat and species • Regional - Cumulative within Region • Develop Regional Goals using threat, situation and viability data • Scored against classified unit scores – Did we move the habitat ball? • Summed Species Success • Each project identifies target species • Did they go up or down vs. baseline National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  34. Scaled Evaluation Approach • Key Components • National • National Goals and Targets • Coordinate tracking and metrics among Regional Partnerships • Synthesize all evaluations and scores from Regional Partners • National Fish Habitat Assessment

  35. Nuts and Bolts • Four Data Systems • State of Fish Habitat Reporting System • Progress toward NFHI Goals Tracking System • NFHI Habitat Projects Priorities Data System • NFHI Restoration Projects Data System • Interactive Web-based GIS System • Critical to have a single entity responsible for database hardware and software • Oversight board for system development and operation with initial issues • Data transfer and dealing with distributed data • Web services • Scaling issues • Integration of regional data National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  36. Science and Data Committee Roles Cape Fear River - Piedmont National Fish Habitat Action Plan WWF Ecoregions Appalachian Piedmont

  37. Future Committee Roles • Develop guidance for Partnerships • Use of assessment • Data guidance • Monitoring – Critical component • Assist in Partnership Selection Process • Assist in development of improved guidelines • Boundary development • Project selection process National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  38. Future Committee Roles • Develop guidance for Partnerships • Use of assessment • Data guidance • Monitoring – Critical component • Assist in Partnership Selection Process • Assist in development of improved guidelines • Boundary development • Project selection process National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  39. Future Committee Roles • Develop guidance for Partnerships • Use of assessment • Data guidance • Monitoring – Critical component • Assist in Partnership Selection Process • Assist in development of improved guidelines • Boundary development • Project selection process National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  40. Future Committee Roles • Develop guidance for Partnerships • Use of assessment • Data guidance • Monitoring – Critical component • Assist in Partnership Selection Process • Assist in development of improved guidelines • Boundary development • Project selection process National Fish Habitat Action Plan

  41. Thank You! Visit www.fishhabitat.orgfor more information Gary E. Whelan Michigan DNR whelang@michigan.gov 517-373-6948 National Fish Habitat Action Plan