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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Prioritizing Mitigation Sites Across North Carolina Using an Ecosystem Functions Approach

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Dean Urban, Lydia Olander – Duke University; Lawrence Band, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; John Fay, Duke University; Jonathan Duncan, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The Division of Mitigation Services at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in North Carolina is tasked with prioritizing sites for Department of Transportation mitigation activities. Their goal is to concentrate these activities in areas that will provide the best functional uplift in terms of species habitat, water quality, and water quantity to riparian, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems throughout the state. A team of researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has devised a new prioritization process with an ecosystem functional approach at its core. It embeds existing data and models (e.g., StreamStats, SPARROW) and species distribution or habitat modeling tools (e.g., GLMs) into an online tool that enables users to calculate the uplift potential of mitigation practices on four ecosystem functions: hydrology, water quality, geomorphology/hydraulics, and habitat. The tool will also offer users the opportunity to assign weights to each of these ecosystem functions and thus adjust their overall importance to the calculation. This revised prioritization process will result in a more transparent understanding of mitigation opportunities at a landscape scale, focusing efforts in areas with the greatest potential ecosystem benefits while also highlighting potential tradeoffs between ecosystem functions. These outcomes are demonstrated with results from two pilot studies conducted in the Catawba and Tar-Pamlico river basins.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
Ballroom Salon B

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