The Columbia River Estuary Conference
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2012 Columbia River Estuary Conference:
New Scientific Findings and their Management Implications:
May 15-17, 2012 at the Liberty Theater in Astoria, Oregon

Highlighting new findings and perspectives from research and monitoring efforts and the resulting implications for ecosystem restoration and recovery of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed species in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE).

To register go to: CREC 2012 Registration

Session Topics

  1. ESA listed species recovery: What is the latest research telling us and why is it important? What are the greatest uncertainties to properly design and justify projects to increase ESA listed species survival/fitness and the quality of the ecosystem? How can the survival or ecological benefits of a given restoration action be projected beforehand and measured afterward? What are the management implications of this?
  2. Lessons from ecological restoration projects: Habitat restoration in the LCRE has been a regional priority for over a decade, and is included in many regional plans. What do we know now that we did not know five years ago about restoration in the LCRE? How do we provide quality assurance checks for individual projects or on a landscape scale and how do we incorporate these lessons as individual organizations and as a region? Which habitat types are the highest priority for restoration and why? What are the best locations for projects and what are our assumptions for this? What are the biggest risks?
  3. New understanding of the lower Columbia River ecosystem: As an example, net ecosystem metabolism, the balance between primary production and respiration, which can be a useful indicator of an estuary's trophic condition as changes to it can reflect changes to the pathways of energy flow, is a relatively recent research topic in the LCRE. What are new findings to provide us with a better basic understanding of the LCRE? What are changes from historic conditions and can we mitigate for these changes, if necessary? How does this information help us in designing ecosystem restoration or ESA listed species recovery actions?
  4. Innovative, new methods for understanding and predicting changes to the lower Columbia River ecosystem: Two examples of new data sources include the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction's real-time data collection of physical and biogeochemical data in the Columbia River estuary and Oregon and Washington coasts and the Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification, which provides a hierarchical characterization of lower Columbia River habitats into six scales. These and other tools provide innovative new methods for fundamental understanding of the lower river and predicting changes from future changes such as those that arise from climatic shifts. What are other innovative technologies or data products and how have they been applied to research and monitoring in the LCRE? What specific findings result from these new data products and how do these compare to our historic monitoring methods or improve our understanding? What are preliminary findings of climate change impacts throughout the LCRE on aquatic organisms or ecosystem processes? How does this information help us in designing ecosystem restoration, research and monitoring projects or ESA listed species recovery actions? How can we start to proactively protect tomorrow's wetlands? What are the preliminary findings along west coast estuaries from decreasing pH and carbonate ion availability on individual aquatic organisms or ecosystem processes? What steps can we take in the LCRE in anticipation of these impacts?

Conference Format: Two and a half day event with invited and contributed presentations. Audience participation is encouraged. There are poster sessions during evening events on May 15 & 16th.

Previous Themes in the Conference Series: The 2012 conference will be the seventh in a series. Previous themes were Biological Integrity (1999), Habitat Conservation and Restoration (2001), Research Needs (2003), Estuarine and Ocean Ecology of Juvenile Salmonids (2006), Ecosystem Restoration (2008) and Adaptive Management (2010).

Sponsors: Bonneville Power Administration, Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce, Lewis & Clark National Historic Park, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Steering Committee: Bernadette Graham-Hudson (LCFRB), Ben Zelinsky (BPA), Blaine Ebberts (USACE), Catherine Corbett (LCREP), Cindy Studebaker (USACE), Curtis Roegner (NMFS), Gary Johnson (PNNL), Jeff Johnson (USFWS), Jennifer Morace (USGS), Marcy Foster (BPA), Patty O'Toole (NPCC), Micah Russell (CREST) and Tom Murtagh (ODFW).

Last Updated: March 18, 2012 | Security & Privacy