Priorities for Coastal Ecosystem Science

Committee to Identify High-Priority Science to Meet National Coastal Needs

Ocean Studies Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1994



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Priorities for Coastal Ecosystem Science Committee to Identify High-Priority Science to Meet National Coastal Needs Ocean Studies Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994

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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2010 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This is a report of work supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of Energy. Cover art was provided by Eileen Kiliman, a native of White Plains, New York, now living in Front Royal, Virginia. She earned a B.B.A. in marketing and a certificate in commercial art from Pace University. After eight years of representing a graphics design firm, she has made her lifetime love of art a full-time profession, receiving a variety of commissions. Her style projects childhood observations combined with adult introspection. Library of Congress Catalog No. 94-74048 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05096-0 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B-512 Copyright © 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, January 1995 Second Printing, August 1996 Third Printing, December 1996

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COMMITTEE TO IDENTIFY HIGH-PRIORITY SCIENCE TO MEET NATIONAL COASTAL NEEDS DONALD F. BOESCH, Chair, University of Maryland, Cambridge MARY G. ALTALO, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California DAVID L. CORRELL, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, Maryland MICHAEL J. DAGG, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin JOHN MARK DEAN, University of South Carolina, Columbia JOHN W. FARRINGTON, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts EDWARD D. GOLDBERG, University of California, San Diego ROBERT W. HOWARTH, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York MICHAEL N. JOSSELYN, San Francisco State University, Tiburon, California WILLIAM MICHAEL KEMP, University of Maryland, Cambridge JOAN OLTMAN-SHAY, Northwest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington THOMAS C. ROYER, University of Alaska, Fairbanks Staff EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Study Director LaVONCYÉ MALLORY, Project Assistant CURTIS TAYLOR, Project Assistant

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OCEAN STUDIES BOARD WILLIAM MERRELL, Chair, Texas A&M University, Galveston ROBERT A. BERNER, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut DONALD F. BOESCH, University of Maryland, Cambridge GERALD CANN, Independent Consultant, Rockville, Maryland ROBERT CANNON, Stanford University, California WILLIAM CURRY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts ELLEN DRUFFEL, University of California, Irvine RANA FINE, University of Miami, Florida JOHN E. FLIPSE, Consultant MICHAEL FREILICH, Oregon State University, Corvallis GORDON GREVE, Consultant SUSAN HANNA, Oregon State University, Corvallis ROBERT KNOX, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California JOHN MAGNUSON, University of Wisconsin, Madison ARTHUR R. M. NOWELL, University of Washington, Seattle BARRY RALEIGH, University of Hawaii, Honolulu PETER RHINES, University of Washington, Seattle FRANK RICHTER, University of Chicago, Illinois BRIAN ROTHSCHILD, University of Maryland, Solomons THOMAS ROYER, University of Alaska, Fairbanks LYNDA SHAPIRO, University of Oregon, Charleston SHARON SMITH, University of Miami, Florida PAUL STOFFA, University of Texas, Austin Staff MARY HOPE KATSOUROS, Director EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Staff Officer ROBIN PEUSER, Research Associate MARY PECHACEK, Administrative Associate ROBIN ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant LaVONCYÉ MALLORY, Senior Secretary CURTIS TAYLOR, Office Assistant

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, California S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada THOMAS A. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN SILBERGELD, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. STEVEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is the president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   9 2   MAJOR COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES   17     Eutrophication   18     Habitat Modification   21     Hydrologic and Hydrodynamic Disruption   21     Exploitation of Resources   23     Toxic Effects   24     Introduction of Nonindigenous Species   25     Global Climate Change and Variability   26     Shoreline Erosion and Hazardous Storms   26     Pathogens and Toxins Affecting Human Health   27     The Ecosystem Perspective   28 3   SCIENCE PRIORITIES RELEVANT TO THE WATER SUBCOMMITTEE   29     Integrated Monitoring   30     Water Availability and Flow   36     Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Functions   42     Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation   48     Predictive Systems Management   53

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4   RELATIONSHIP OF REGIONAL, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS   59     Regional Marine Research Priorities   59     Relationship to the Priorities of The Freshwater Imperative   64     Geographically Targeted Strategic Research   64     Regional Coordination   67     International Roles   67 5   INTERFACES WITH OTHER NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND SUBCOMMITTEES   71     Global Change   71     Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics   72     Resource Use and Management   73     Natural Disasters   73     Social and Economic Sciences   74     National Security   74     Health, Safety, and Food   74     Fundamental Science   75     Overall Coordination of Coastal Ocean Science   75 6   SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   77     REFERENCES   81     APPENDIXES         A - Letter of Request   91     B - Biographies of Committee Members   93     C - Background Material Examined   97

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Priorities for Coastal Ecosystem

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