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Appendix C— Background Material Examined To carry out this assessment, the committee examined Setting a New Course for U.S. Coastal Ocean Science (SUSCOS, 1993a,b), The Freshwater Imperative (Naiman et al., in press), various relevant National Research Council (NRC) reports, a number of agency program descriptions and plans, and other relevant research agendas developed by the scientific community from both national and regional perspectives (see References for full listing). The committee evaluated this documentation to determine how existing and developing programs can address the needs identified by the Water Subcommittee, to identify research needs not presently being addressed, and to aid in its development of scientific priorities relevant for the Water Subcommittee. Descriptions of the most important documents are given below because they provide a context for the Water Subcommittee's future activities and for discussions by the committee. SETTING A NEW COURSE FOR U.S. COASTAL OCEAN SCIENCE The fundamental goal of Setting a New Course for U.S. Coastal Ocean Science was ''to establish improved predictive capabilities for coastal ocean systems that link physical processes, biogeochemical cycles, and the interactions of living marine resources" (SUSCOS, 1993a). An inventory of federal programs and a strategic framework developed by SUSCOS were intended to encourage cooperation among federal agencies in coastal ocean and Great Lakes science so that federal resources can be used more effectively to understand coastal systems and human impacts on them. Phase I of the SUSCOS report (SUSCOS, 1993a) inventoried federal coastal
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ocean and Great Lakes science programs and estimated direct federal expenditures for all categories and agencies to be $227 million in FY1993. Contributing activities, either research involving coastal areas outside the United States or supporting observations critical to the direct research, accounted for another $199 million. The program and expenditure inventory was assembled as a three-way matrix of budget expenditures for coastal research according to science topics (physical processes, biogeochemical cycles, and biological interactions), environmental regimes of coastal waters (Great Lakes, shorelines, estuaries, and ocean margins), and national concerns (environmental quality, habitat conservation, living resources, nonliving resources, and protection of life and property). During FY1991-1993, 55 percent of the expenditures for scientific activities was related to environmental quality and habitat conservation (Figure 3), that is, the topics of direct importance to the Water Subcommittee. Programs and expenditures listed under other national concerns also contributed to issues related to water quality and ecosystem integrity. For example, the environmental studies program of the Minerals Management Service was listed under Nonliving Resources. Within the Environmental Quality and Habitat Conservation categories, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Science Foundation (NSF) were the most significant supporters of coastal science activities (Figure 1). Phase II of Setting a New Course for U.S. Coastal Ocean Science, the strategic framework, focused on four strategic priorities that would be most amenable to a coordinated multiagency approach (SUSCOS, 1993b). These are (1) restoring and protecting coastal ecosystems, (2) sustaining coastal resources, (3) protecting coastal life and property, and (4) ensuring national defense. The focus of the present report is primarily on the first priority issue because it relates most directly to the Water Subcommittee's goals; the latter three SUSCOS priority areas fall under the principal purview of other National Science and Technology Council committees and subcommittees. For each of the four strategic priorities, the SUSCOS Phase II document described four interdependent integrating approaches: prediction, information, observation, and research. The strategic framework identified several areas of process-oriented research that could be approached through multiagency efforts: comparative coastal, estuarine, and Great Lakes ecosystems analysis and prediction; terrestrial discharge processes; coastal ecosystem structure; cross-shelf exchange processes; processes coupling the benthic and pelagic zones; ocean and shoreline hazard reduction;
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atmospheric and air-sea interaction processes; environmental technology development; and effects of environmental change on coastal economic and social structures. THE FRESHWATER IMPERATIVE The Freshwater Imperative (Naiman, et al. in press) was written by a group of researchers; the effort was catalyzed and initiated by several concerned managers in federal agencies such as NSF, NOAA, EPA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The document describes the results of mismanagement of fresh water and freshwater habitats in the United States, the importance of fresh water to society, how mankind is degrading freshwater systems, and the effects of such degradation. The strategic goal of The Freshwater Imperative is "to ensure that water resource managers and policy-makers have adequate and timely scientific information to protect, utilize, and enhance the nation's water resources." It is essentially a research plan for the future of limnology, balancing and integrating management and science, and encouraging the conduct of studies with adequate duration to separate natural changes from human-induced ones and to allow the study of cumulative effects. The Freshwater Imperative focuses on regional-scale and integrated watershed management, assuming that research and management are most effective at this level. Finally, it integrates freshwater research priorities with human needs. The document focuses on three societal issues related to the U.S. freshwater resources: water availability, aquatic system integrity/ecological impoverishment, and human health and safety. Six scientific and management issues are directly related to these needs: (1) restoring and rehabilitating ecosystems, (2) maintaining biodiversity, (3) understanding the effects of modified hydrologic flow patterns, (4) describing the importance of ecosystem goods and services provided by freshwater ecosystems, (5) predictive management, and (6) solving future problems. For each of these issues, specific research topics are posed. The Freshwater Imperative proposes that the National Biological Survey serve as a vehicle to link science and management. It is estimated that full implementation of The Freshwater Imperative would cost $200 million annually. CENR PLANNING DOCUMENTS The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Research (CENR) Water Subcommittee provided working documents that relate its developing views of the science needed for providing reliable sources of clean water and ensuring the integrity of aquatic ecological systems and watersheds. These include (1) the Draft R&D Strategy for the Committee on Environment and Natu-
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ral Resources, which resulted from the National Forum (CENR, 1994a), and (2) A National R&D Strategy and Implementation Plan for Freshwater and Marine Environments (CENR, 1994c), which represented the Water Subcommittee's planning as of September 1994. The Water Subcommittee is in the process of developing this research strategy, including both freshwater and marine environments (CENR, 1994b). Input from the Committee to Identify High-Priority Science to Meet National Coastal Needs will contribute to this plan to complement the input from The Freshwater Imperative. The scientific goal of A National R&D Strategy for Freshwater and Marine Environments is "to provide essential data and gain a predictive understanding of the interactive physical, geological, chemical, biological, economic, and social processes required to ensure the health and integrity of aquatic ecosystems." The plan details the current state of information and research needs. Finally, it describes federal research priorities for FY1996. These are divided into priorities within several Geographically Focused Research "Laboratories" and five national priority research areas: Integrated Monitoring Water Availability and Flow Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Functions Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation Predictive Systems Management AGENCY AND SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY SCIENCE PLANS It was neither possible nor prudent given the time constraints of this assessment to conduct a broad survey or originate a new process for developing scientific community consensus on the priorities for coastal science. Rather, the committee sought to synthesize and build upon the large number of recent workshop reports, NRC studies, community planning efforts, and agency plans. Agency strategic and program plans include those for USGS's National Marine and Coastal Geology Program (USGS, 1994), NOAA's strategic plan (NOAA, 1993b), the Department of Energy's Ocean Margins Program (Jahnke et al., 1994), and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (CENR, 1994b). Research priorities have been articulated by the U.S. scientific community for basic research on the land-sea interface (ASLO/ERF/SAML, 1990), coastal ocean processes (Brink et al., 1992), and land-margin ecosystems (LMER Coordinating Committee, 1992) and by the international scientific community for land-ocean interactions in the coastal zone (Holligan and de Boois, 1993). Recommendations of a considerable number of NRC reports are also relevant, including reports on marine environmental monitoring (NRC, 1990), environmental studies related to oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf (NRC, 1990c, 1992a), managing wastewater in coastal urban areas (NRC, 1993a), coastal zone
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research issues (NRC, 1994a), and restoration of habitats and ecosystems (NRC, 1992c, 1994b). REGIONAL MARINE RESEARCH PROGRAM PLANS In addition to these national assessments, the committee reviewed the nine regional marine research plans that were recently completed under the authority of the Regional Marine Research Program (RMRP), authorized by the South Carolina Fish Hatchery Act of 1990 (PL 101-593). The research recommendations of these plans are summarized below. Alaska Region The board for the Alaska region brought together scientists and resource managers in a workshop setting to help identify important research needs for the region. Additionally, existing research plans were examined. From these the following program goals and specific research objectives were developed: " Distinguish between natural and human-induced changes in the marine ecosystem of the Alaska Region. Distinguish between natural and human-induced changes in water quality of the Alaska Region. Stimulate the development of a data gathering and sharing system which will serve scientists from government, academia, and the private sector in dealing with water quality and ecosystem health issues in the Region. Provide a forum for maintaining and enhancing communication between the marine scientific communities on issues related to maintaining the Region's water quality and ecosystem health."1 Greater New York Bight Region The goal of the Greater New York Bight RMRP is "to foster regional cooperation and planning in marine research and coastal management in order to enhance the values and uses of the marine environment."2 Planners for this region gathered information about research priorities through a questionnaire sent to more than 200 individuals and organizations in the region. Respondents were asked to identify and rank the three "most important regional marine re- 1 Alaska Regional Marine Research Program, 1993, Alaska Regional Marine Research Plan, 1992-1996, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, pp. 13-14. 2 Greater New York Bight Regional Marine Research Program, 1994, Research Plan, 1993-1996, Volume I, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, p. 50.
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search and information needs for the coming decade. From this list the regional board chose two issues on which to focus its attention: (1) nutrients and eutrophication and (2) contaminated sediments. Further, the program's primary objectives are "(1) to design and conduct research programs to address the priority issues and (2) to integrate existing scientific research into a framework for regional management." Gulf of Maine Region Using input from a variety of recent workshops and several regional science and policy bodies, the Gulf of Maine Regional Marine Research Board formed four scientific questions that are of primary importance in their region. "What are the sources, pathways, fates, and effects on living marine resources of contaminants in the Gulf of Maine?" "What are the causes and effects of noxious and/or excessive phytoplankton concentrations?" "What is the relative importance of natural and human-induced changes to the physical environment on ecosystem structure and function?" "How susceptible are various parts of the Gulf [of Maine] to dissolved oxygen depletion?"3 Gulf of Mexico Region Planners for the Gulf of Mexico region divided it into three subregions—eastern (primarily the west coast of Florida), central (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi), and western (primarily Texas)—because of the diversity of systems around the Gulf of Mexico. A workshop was held in each of the three regions to discuss and prioritize a list of 13 research topics identified by the regional board. Priorities identified in regional workshops were combined to obtain a Gulf-wide priority list. " Habitat use, assessment, loss, restoration, and enhancement. To include but not limited to wetlands, seagrass beds, natural and artificial reefs, mangrove swamps, hyper- and hyposaline bays, estuaries, and nurseries. Nutrient enrichment and cycling. Freshwater input (riverine and watershed). Modifiers such as nonpoint source contaminants (including nutrients), transport mechanisms, rates of discharge, dispersion, transformation, and fates. 3 Gulf of Maine Regional Marine Research Program, 1992, Gulf of Maine Research Plan, The Land Grant University and Sea Grant College of Maine, Orono, p. 25.
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Population stability of marine organisms including factors such as predator-prey relationships and reproductive and colonization success. Trophic dynamics. Physical modifications including dredging, sediment dumping and alterations of freshwater input, current patterns, or habitats. Toxic materials, anthropogenic and natural. Coastal erosion, sediment transfer and loss. Saltwater intrusion. Catastrophic events (e.g., storms, spills, red and brown tides, etc.). Global change. Nuisance/exotic species."4 Insular Pacific Region Research priorities for the Insular Pacific region were reviewed through a series of three workshops, covering (1) Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, (2) American Samoa, and (3) Hawaii. One conclusion of this process is that there is little regional activity and coordination for research on marine water quality and ecosystem health. Research was defined as including "goal-oriented, cost effective sampling which is conducted for a defined period of time in order to contribute to long-term trend analyses,"5 referred to as monitoring in the plan. Broad research priorities and topics were developed, although there is no prioritization within this list. " Assessment and Monitoring Development of Integrated Water Quality and Ecosystem Health Assessment and Monitoring Programs Assessment and Monitoring of Nearshore Physical Oceanographic Processes Assessment and Monitoring of Nearshore Marine Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring of Nearshore Marine Species and Communities Assessment and Monitoring of Nearshore Marine Habitats Assessment and Monitoring of Coastal Development and Resource Use Sources, Transport, Fate, and Effects of Contaminants Effects of Coastal Development and Resource Use Analysis and Application of Research Results."6 4 Gulf of Mexico Regional Marine Research Program, 1993, Gulf of Mexico Marine Research Plan 1992-1996, Corpus Christi, Texas, p. 60 5 Insular Pacific Regional Marine Research Program, 1993, Marine Research Plan, 1992-1996, University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, Honolulu, p. 47. 6 Ibid., p. 47.
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Mid-Atlantic Region The Mid-Atlantic region identified priority information needs and research priorities to meet these information needs: " Data management, synthesis, and interpretation Ecosystem modeling and comparative studies Presentation and application of regional research to regional management Economic and social considerations."7 To gather the information necessary to meet these information needs, the board identified the following research priorities: " Historical and contemporary effects of land use on living resources in the context of ecosystem structure and function Eutrophication, algal blooms and anoxia Fishery yields, recruitment, and trophodynamics of the Mid-Atlantic Bight Parameters of material (including nutrients, sediments and contaminants) and biotic exchanges between estuaries and the coastal ocean Coastal erosion and climatic effects."8 Pacific Northwest Region The Pacific Northwest region used an interview process to compile its list of possible research priorities, followed by elimination of those topics that were judged to be inappropriate for the region. Thirty-three research and information needs were obtained; all except two information needs were categorized into three priority research areas: " Investigating the natural system in order to detect and understand ecosystem change," including studies of "(a) baseline conditions and natural processes and (b) effects of perturbations on the natural system. Alteration of marine and estuarine habitats due to anthropogenic activities and natural phenomena. Fate, effects, and transport of contaminants."9 7 Mid-Atlantic Regional Marine Research Program, 1994, Mid-Atlantic Research Plan, University of Maryland, College Park, p. 21. 8 Ibid., p. 25. 9 Pacific Northwest Regional Marine Research Program, 1993, Research Plan, 1992-1996, Volume I, University of Washington, Seattle, pp. 54, 58.
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South Atlantic and Caribbean Region This region's goal is "to promote regional interdisciplinary research that will help to identify, characterize, and quantify the relationships between human population and human activities associated with coastal development and habitat structure and function."10 Program planners separated the region into two subregions, the Caribbean Sea and the South Atlantic Bight and focused on human and ecosystem health. They started by identifying two ecosystems of greatest concern: (1) coral reefs and (2) estuaries and embayments. After these two ecosystems were identified, program planners elicited information from workshop participants and other experts in the region to select a small number of research needs and questions for each ecosystem. Thus, for the coral reef ecosystem, the following specific research needs were selected: " Determine the mechanisms, causes, and effects of coral decline as manifest by coral disease, low coral recruitment, and decreased growth rates of individual species. Determine, thereby, factors affecting reef recovery and reef succession Determine economic and sociological ramifications of reef decline Develop (in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) tropical water quality standards and classifications for the maintenance of reef health."11 For estuaries and embayments the regional board recommended research to: " Evaluate complete estuarine systems (including estuaries, embayments, marshes, and mangroves)—i.e., characterize (and classify, if appropriate) based on function and functional status Create numerical ocean circulation models [Include] Stand-alone socioeconomic and policy-oriented research needs."12 Southwest Region The Southwest region is unique among the nine regions in explicitly including foreign coastal waters, the Pacific coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California. This was done because relevant ecosystems (particularly the California Current) extend south of the border and because the North American Free 10 South Atlantic and Caribbean Regional Marine Research Program, 1994, South Atlantic and Caribbean Regional Marine Research Plan, North Carolina Sea Grant College, Raleigh, p. 61. 11 Ibid., p. 72. 12 Ibid., p. 75.
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Trade Agreement makes new arrangements possible. According to this plan, several areas of research could benefit from joint U.S.-Mexico cooperation, including biodiversity, human health and safety, transboundary water quality, fisheries management, restoration of aquatic habitats, and freshwater uses. This region will focus on three research priorities: (1) natural variability, cumulative impacts, and thresholds in biological systems; (2) habitat protection and management; and (3) restoration of coastal marine habitats. Each of these priorities was discussed in a separate workshop, to develop the research priorities in greater detail. These workshops involved participants (representatives from academic, government, and user groups) from the United States and Mexico.
Representative terms from entire chapter: