Starting this spring, I will be collaborating with researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center to assess the effectiveness of shoreline restoration projects for species and habitat beyond the beach and intertidal zones, including key species such as salmonids and Pacific herring.
The removal of hard armor from Puget Sound shorelines has become a high priority for the Puget Sound restoration program, with expected benefits for beach and intertidal communities, following reconnection of the terrestrial and marine habitats. However, connections between shoreline restoration and habitats and species deeper than intertidal habitats are presently largely ignored in monitoring efforts, even though beach-intertidal-subtidal processes are tightly linked. Restoring shorelines likely has impacts on multiple ecosystem endpoints found in deeper waters, including eelgrass, salmon, and herring.
In 2018 and 2019, we’ll be conducting monthly SCUBA, snorkel (even in March… brrr!), and seine surveys at existing armor removal sites, along with paired reference and armored sites, to monitor the effects of armor removal for subtidal habitats and species. This work is funded by a National Estuary Program-funded grant from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and conducted with in collaboration with Dr. Jameal Samhouri at NOAA.