Healthy Coastal Ecosystems Virtual Oral Abstracts
Dec 02, 2020 02:45 PM - Dec 31, 2020 04:15 PM(America/Chicago)
20201202T1445 20201202T1615 America/Chicago Healthy Coastal Ecosystems - Ecosystem Management (Oral)

Development, resource extraction, climate change and other anthropogenic stressors on coastal ecosystems are issues of management concern. Scientists and stakeholders are attempting to understand such impacts and find integrative coastal management strategies. The seascape changes that may occur to coastal habitats because of these stressors can be dire. For example, changes in the hydrogeomorphology of a landscape combined impacts of subsidence, sea level rise and alterations in freshwater flow may have negative impacts on coastal habitats. They may also have cascading impacts on the many species residing in these habitats. The focus of this track is to present research, policy and educational opportunities and tools that have been used to improve our understanding of habitat vulnerability. This track is intended to provide a venue for scientists and managers to share their insights about habitat protection, conservation and restoration in light of the inevitable changes to our coasts. 

Virtual 2020 Bays and Bayous Symposium melissa.schneider@usm.edu
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logoMobile Bay National Estuary Program logoMississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium logoThe University of Southern Mississippi  logoDauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation logoAlabama State Port Authority logoMississippi Commercial Fisheries United logoGulf of Mexico Alliance logoHydro, LLC logoGeosyntec  logoNorthern Gulf Institute logoGoodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc. logoNeel-Schaffer, inc. logoHeadwaters LLC logoStantec Consulting Services Inc. logoDog River Clearwater Revival logoEnvironmental Science Associates (ESA) logoThompson Engineering logo

Development, resource extraction, climate change and other anthropogenic stressors on coastal ecosystems are issues of management concern. Scientists and stakeholders are attempting to understand such impacts and find integrative coastal management strategies. The seascape changes that may occur to coastal habitats because of these stressors can be dire. For example, changes in the hydrogeomorphology of a landscape combined impacts of subsidence, sea level rise and alterations in freshwater flow may have negative impacts on coastal habitats. They may also have cascading impacts on the many species residing in these habitats. The focus of this track is to present research, policy and educational opportunities and tools that have been used to improve our understanding of habitat vulnerability. This track is intended to provide a venue for scientists and managers to share their insights about habitat protection, conservation and restoration in light of the inevitable changes to our coasts. 

Historical Land Cover Change at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – Forest-Marsh DynamicsView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 02:45 PM - 03:00 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 20:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 21:00:00 UTC
Coastal marshes, which provide a number of ecosystem services including flood control, nutrient regulation, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat, have been experiencing extensive loss due to sea level rise (SLR) in addition to other natural and anthropogenic factors. One way in which coastal marshes can respond to SLR is through landward migration when suitable habitat is available. The objective of this research is to assess whether the landward migration of marshes was occurring at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) in southeastern Mississippi over two ~30-year intervals, 1955-1988 and 1988-2015. More specifically, we aim to identify land cover types with the greatest change over time and those that contributed to the replacement of upland forests and marshes. We applied the Land Change Modeler in TerrSet 2020 to evaluate land cover change based on the National Wetland Inventory (1955 and 1988) and WorldView-2 based classification (2015). We found that (1) forest experienced the greatest net change followed by agricultural land and marsh from 1955-1988 while marsh experienced the largest net change, followed by non-vegetated type and forest from 1988-2015; (2) forest-marsh dynamics were dominated by forest replacing marshes and the replacement rate declined in the second 30-year time window; and (3) upland forests were replaced by marshes in the northern GBNERR from 1988-2015 at low elevations but those losses were largely negated by forest replacement of marshes elsewhere. Prescribed fire used to restore upland pine savannas may slow forest expansion and provide opportunities for marsh transgression. This research is important for the development of a mechanistic model to simulate forest-marsh dynamics and will contribute to more informed ecosystem management at the GBNERR.
Presenters
DJ
Devin Jen
The University Of Southern Mississippi
Co-authors
WW
Wei Wu
University Of Southern Mississippi, Division Of Coastal Sciences
LB
Loretta Battaglia
Southern Illinois University
PB
Patrick Biber
The University Of Southern Missisippi
Effects of Coastal Urbanization on Tidal Creeks and Fringing Salt Marsh Ecosystems along the Northern Gulf of Mexico View Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 03:00 PM - 03:15 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 21:00:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 21:15:00 UTC
Tidal creek ecosystems along the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are experiencing increasing development pressure as populations continue to grow in coastal counties. These creeks serve as important linkages between watersheds and coastal waters and include fringing salt marshes that are valuable habitats for economically important fish species. Because of urban growth along the GoM, there are concerns about altered watershed drainage and other impacts to tidal creek habitats. To better understand how coastal development impacts tidal creek ecosystems, 12 creeks (2nd-3rd order) were selected to represent a range of urban watershed development along the Alabama and west-Florida coast. Using salinity loggers (installed in each creek in June 2019), mean daily salinities have ranged from 5.5-14.1 ppt and salinity flashiness (modified Richard-Baker index) ranged from 0.19-2.62. Salinity was flashier in high development (1.72±0.39) streams than in medium (1.15±0.35) and low (0.64±0.45) development streams, though the difference was not significant (P=0.24). In October 2019 and August 2020, 12 minnow-traps were deployed along each creek to sample fish. Mean total abundance of Fundulus grandis (the most common marsh fish species) ranged from 0.1-19.3 per trap and increased with percent wetland land cover in the watershed. Diets of a subset of F. grandis from each creek (n=20-74) from 2019 were quantified and we found that diet composition did not differ with urban land use class. Interestingly, the frequency of fish in F. grandis stomachs was particularly high (52±6%) and the percentage of fish with empty stomachs was much lower (8±3%) than reported from other comparable studies. We continue to synthesize hydrologic, physiochemical, and biotic data from these creeks to characterize how watershed development may alter marsh fish assemblages and tidal creek habitats.
Presenters Sam Bickley
Auburn University
Co-authors
CA
Christopher Anderson
Auburn University
LK
Latif Kalin
DD
Dennis Devries
Underwater Magnetic Release SystemView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 03:15 PM - 03:30 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 21:15:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 21:30:00 UTC
The Underwater Magnetic Release (UMR) System is a device developed by Jackson State University research team that can be programmed to release a float at a future point in time, which can be from a minute to many months. Although this device can work in all environments, it was designed primarily for underwater use. The idea is that if an arbitrary device is to be deployed underwater for future retrieval, a float is generally used to mark the location of the device. So, rather than having this float on the surface for all the time, the float is sunk attached to the UMR device, which is programmed to release it at a certain time. This UMR should be of interest for scientists that run underwater experiments. The equipment and float are completely concealed underwater until the time of their retrieval, which minimizes the risk of theft and/or vandalism. The UMR device is attached to the underwater apparatus where a float is attached to the UMR. Prior to underwater deployment, a smart device app is used to program the release time of the UMR. At the programmed time, the UMR releases the float. The release mechanism of the UMR remains in a locked state through the attraction of a metal disc to a permanent electro-magnet (PEM). At the pre-programmed time, a microcontroller issues a signal to activate a relay, which allows the appropriate current to energize the PEM. Once energized, the PEM releases the metal disc, which is attached to the float, allowing the float to surface.
Presenters
JA
James Addy
Jackson State University Department Of Electrical, Computer Engineering And Computer Science
Co-authors
AA
Ali Abu-El Humos
Jackson State University
KA
Kamal Ali
Jackson State University
MH
Md Hasan
Jackson Stat University
MC
Michael Cameron
Jackson State University
OA
Oluwaseun Akintade
Jackson State University
STRATEGIC CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT TOOL SUITE: SCIENCE-BASED DATA-DRIVEN LAND CONSERVATION TOOLS FOR THE US GULF OF MEXICO REGIONView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 03:30 PM - 03:45 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 21:30:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 21:45:00 UTC
In this work, we demonstrate a suite of conservation tools for conservation prioritization and visualization that enables integration of 1) openly available peer-reviewed data from federal and state agencies, 2) the priorities and values identified in local and regional plans with those identified by stakeholders representing local and regional agencies and organizations, and 3) a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) based optimization framework for assessing potential conservation projects. The framework developed as part of this work is implemented as geospatial webtools. The tools were developed and tested with goals proposed by the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Restore Council. The goals are 1. Restore and Conserve Habitat, 2 Restore Water Quality, 3. Replenish and Protect Living and Marine Resources, 4. Enhance Community Resilience, and 5. Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy. The tool suite consists of three tools, 1) conservation planning inventory tool (CIT), 2) conservation prioritization tool (CPT) and 3) conservation visualization (CVT). The CIT is the first large-scale regional assessment of conservation planning efforts across governmental and non-governmental organizations encompassing all ecosystem types in the GoM. This comprehensive inventory tool is vital to understand the key factors that may drive existing conservation efforts, as well as identify potential gaps in conservation planning efforts. The CPT uses existing data with the MCDA to provide decision support to search for the project or ranking of all the alternatives based on decision-makers' preferences and organizational priorities. The CVT is developed to enable the users to explore the data behind CPT to identify potential regions using MCDA for conservation in the GoM. The CVT does not require potential project footprints to perform CPT like analysis rather it is performed on small hexagon parcels of 1 square km size spread across GoM.
Presenters
KE
Kristine Evans
Mississippi State University
Co-authors
AL
Anna Linhoss
Mississippi State University
SATHISHKUMAR SAMIAPPAN
Mississippi State University
AS
Andrew Shamaskin
Mississippi State University
JL
Jiangdong Liu
Mississippi State University
AS
Amanda Sesser
21sustainability LLC
Preserving the Mobile Bay Estuary Through Headwater ProtectionView Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 03:45 PM - 04:00 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 21:45:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 22:00:00 UTC
The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) was awarded an EPA Healthy Watershed Grant in 2018 to advance the strategic protection of healthy headwater habitats located within the Mobile Bay watershed. The Mobile Bay watershed contains 75% of the first and second order stream catchments that eventually drain into Mobile Bay, which are important headwater habitats that have large effects on the water quality and ecological health of the entire bay, estuary, and coastal Alabama waters. This presentation provides a video overview of the Accelerating Headwater Land Protection in the Mobile Bay Basin project and its achievements to date.
Presenters Meg Goecker
Moffatt & Nichol
GSSHA Modeling Mobile Bay Subwatersheds View Abstract Watch Recording
Oral Presentation 04:00 PM - 04:15 PM (America/Chicago) 2020/12/02 22:00:00 UTC - 2020/12/31 22:15:00 UTC
Hydrologic models were developed and calibrated for multiple watersheds in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The models have been calibrated to real time events using weather stations and stream gauges with telemetry installed at strategic locations within the basins. These models can be used for storm water management on a watershed level. The watersheds modeled include Bayou La Batre, West Fowl, Dog River, multiple basins on the west side of the Tensaw River, multiple basins on the east side of the Tensaw River, Bon Secour and Wolf Bay watersheds.
Presenters John Curry
Hydro, LLC
The University of Southern Mississippi
Auburn University
Jackson State University Department of Electrical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Mississippi State University
Moffatt & Nichol
+ 1 more speakers. View All
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Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Inc.
Dewberry Engineers Inc.
USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
University of Southern Mississippi
+53 more attendees. View All

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