Identifying potential wetland restoration sites for estuary-wide restoration planning in Oregon : A pilot project in the Coos Estuary Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/nv935742j

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  • Oregon's estuaries have been significantly altered by human activity, so that many former tidal wetlands no longer provide the functions, such as fish and wildlife habitat, erosion protection from storms, and water quality maintenance, that preserve the integrity of estuarine ecosystems. Oregon has been a leader in wetland protection and has used ecological restoration in the pursuit of its goal of "no net loss" of wetlands. Local mitigation site inventories serve as the primary planning instrument for restoration in many estuaries. Recent emphasis has been placed on non-regulatory wetland restoration, but there is little information about sites for non-regulatory restoration. While wetland mitigation planning has traditionally been site-specific with the interests of development in mind, there is a growing need for landscape-scale restoration planning, encompassing both mitigation and non-regulatory restoration, that focuses on ecological values. The goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate a landscape-scale geographic information system-based methodology for (1) identifying and (2) screening potential estuary wetland restoration sites with updated, ecological information. This work builds on other efforts and is designed to guide forthcoming projects to identify potential wetland restoration sites all along the Oregon coast. This pilot project resulted in a GIS database consisting of 89 potential wetland restoration sites for the Coos estuary. The database may be searched to yield possible site choices for specific mitigation or non-regulatory restoration projects. By creating the Coos estuary database, a methodology was developed for identifying potential wetland restoration sites and establishing a supporting GIS database. By employing this report's methodology, local groups can plan a vision of the restored conditions of the estuary.
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