Fourth Annual Report: 2007 Pre-Construction Eelgrass Monitoring and Propagation for King County Outfall Mitigation

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King County proposes to build a new sewer outfall discharging to Puget Sound near Point Wells, Washington. Construction is scheduled for 2008. The Point Wells site was selected to minimize effects on the nearshore marine environment, but unavoidable impacts to eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds are anticipated during construction. To mitigate these impacts and prepare for post-construction restoration, King County began implementing a multiyear eelgrass monitoring and restoration program in 2004, with the primary goal of returning intertidal and shallow subtidal habitat and eelgrass to pre-construction conditions. Major program elements related to eelgrass are (a) pre-construction monitoring, i.e., documenting initial eelgrass ... continued below

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Woodruff, Dana L.; Kohn, Nancy P.; Cullinan, Valerie I.; Southard, Susan S. & Vavrinec, John October 4, 2007.

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King County proposes to build a new sewer outfall discharging to Puget Sound near Point Wells, Washington. Construction is scheduled for 2008. The Point Wells site was selected to minimize effects on the nearshore marine environment, but unavoidable impacts to eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds are anticipated during construction. To mitigate these impacts and prepare for post-construction restoration, King County began implementing a multiyear eelgrass monitoring and restoration program in 2004, with the primary goal of returning intertidal and shallow subtidal habitat and eelgrass to pre-construction conditions. Major program elements related to eelgrass are (a) pre-construction monitoring, i.e., documenting initial eelgrass conditions and degree of fluctuation over 5 years prior to construction, (b) eelgrass transplanting, including harvesting, offsite propagating, and stockpiling of local plants for post-construction planting, and (c) post-construction planting and subsequent monitoring. The program is detailed in the Eelgrass Restoration and Biological Resources Implementation Workplan (King County 2006). This report describes calendar year 2007 pre-construction activities conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for King County. Activities included continued propagation of eelgrass shoots at the PNNL Marine Sciences Laboratory (MSL) in Sequim, Washington, and monitoring of the experimental harvest plots in the marine outfall corridor area to evaluate recovery rates relative to harvest rates. In addition, 490 eelgrass shoots were also harvested from the Marine Outfall Corridor in July 2007 to supplement the plants in the propagation tank at the MSL, bringing the total number of shoots to 1464. Eelgrass densities were monitored in four of five experimental harvest plots established in the Marine Outfall Corridor. Changes in eelgrass density were evaluated in year-to-year comparisons with initial harvest rates. A net increase in eelgrass density from 2004 post-harvest to 2007 was observed in all plots, despite density decreases observed in 2006 in all plots and at most harvest rates. Eelgrass densities within individual subplots were highly variable from year to year, and the change in density in any interannual period was not related to initial 2004 harvest rate. Harvest rates of neighboring subplots did not appear to affect subplot eelgrass density (Woodruff et al. 2007). Three years post-harvest, eelgrass shoot densities were not significantly different from pre-harvest shoot densities at any harvest level. Additional plans are being discussed with King County to harvest all eelgrass from the construction corridor and hold in the propagation tanks at the MSL for post-construction planting. Under this plan, plants that would have been lost to construction will be held offsite until construction is completed. This strategy reduces and possibly eliminates the need to harvest eelgrass from donor beds located south of the construction area, allowing them to remain undisturbed. However, if eelgrass is harvested from donor beds, the monitoring of eelgrass growth at different harvest rates should help determine an optimum harvest rate that supports rapid recovery of donor eelgrass beds.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-15678-4
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1031442 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1031442
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831952

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  • October 4, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 4:17 p.m.

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Woodruff, Dana L.; Kohn, Nancy P.; Cullinan, Valerie I.; Southard, Susan S. & Vavrinec, John. Fourth Annual Report: 2007 Pre-Construction Eelgrass Monitoring and Propagation for King County Outfall Mitigation, report, October 4, 2007; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831952/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.