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MANAGING NUTRIENTS IN A CHANGING WORLD

Convened by: Martha Sutula (marthas@sccwrp.org), Jim Hagy (hagy.jim@epa.gov) and Suzanne Bricker

This 90-minute plenary session will feature two keynote speakers. The first will address the challenges in establishing water quality goals for nutrients within the constraints in existing regulatory structures and uncertainty in science. The second will provide perspectives of how water quality goals must evolve to improve our ability to adaptively manage ecosystems through a discussion of biologically based water quality goals, estuarine tipping points and restoration trajectories.

Plenary Session

Daniel Conley, Professor GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden

Daniel Conley is a Professor in Biogeochemistry at the GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Department of Geology at Lund University, Sweden. His research focuses on perturbation of nutrient cycles by human activities and the responses of marine ecosystems to changes in human impact and climate. Conley’s personal and professional goals are to provide managers with a sound scientific basis for developing policies, measures and practices to protect the marine environment. Daniel holds a Ph.D. from University of Michigan, a M.Sc. from University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and a B.S. from Tulane University. He held a European Union Marie Curie Chair (2007-2009) at Lund University and is currently both a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow and a Wallenberg Scholar.

Ephraim S. King, U.S. EPA-Retired

Ephraim King is a national expert on the development of public policy and regulatory requirements under the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts. He has over 32 years experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in working with scientists, state leaders, and stakeholders across the country in applying peer-reviewed research, cutting edge technology, quantitative assessment, economic analysis, and national environmental data to support state and national water program implementation.

As the Director of the Office of Science and Technology (2005-2011) Mr. King led the development of water quality policy, technical guidance, science-based water quality criteria, best management practices, technology-based effluent guidelines, and drinking water public health criteria. Prior to OST, he was a Division Director and Branch Chief in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (years?) and Chief of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) State Programs Branch (1987 to 1996). He also served in the Administrator's office and General Counsel's office (1979 to 1986).

Mr. King holds a B.A. degree from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. He now provides policy and program implementation advice in the areas of regulatory and non-regulatory tools, water quality, fracking, and nutrients.

Special Sessions

SCI-001 Bridging the Gap Between Eutrophication Assessment Frameworks and Nutrient Water Quality Criteria
Convened by: Martha Sutula (marthas@sccwrp.org), Jim Hagy (hagy.jim@epa.gov), Suzanne Bricker (suzanne.bricker@noaa.gov) and Tiffany Crawford (Crawford.tiffany@epa.gov)


Over the past decade, standardized assessment frameworks have been developed using ecological response indicators to assess eutrophication in estuaries. Concurrently, scientific efforts have supported development of numeric nutrient criteria as a first step toward regulatory management of nutrient pollution. This session consists of invited and contributed talks to explore how these two enterprises are being developed around the world, highlighting commonalities in the science supporting these efforts, including: (a) developing quantitative response measures to represent water quality goals, (b) modeling to link response indicators to nutrient criteria or targets, (c) addressing spatio-temporal variability of nutrient and response indicators, and (d) use of multiple lines of evidence to arrive at scientifically-defensible conclusions. The session will conclude with panel discussion presenting a debate by invited speakers to highlight the case for opposing viewpoints on controversial topics on how this science should be translated to management.

SCI-002 Comparative Understanding of Estuarine Eutrophication Tipping Points and Restoration Trajectories
Convened by: Daniel Conley (Daniel.conley@geol.lu.se), Jacob Carstensen (jac@dmu.dk) and Holly Greening (hgreening@tbep.org)

A tremendous amount of uncertainty exists in the selection of chemical or biologically-based water quality goals, how achieving these goals may relate to human activities, and the nature of environmental degradation and recovery trajectories within the context of global change. The concept that ecological effects involve "tipping points," beyond which the consequences of nutrient enrichment become more severe and perhaps less reversible, is appealing to many as motivation for action to limit nutrient enrichment. The converse argument, that short of such tipping points nutrient enrichment is acceptable and without significant consequence, is equally tempting. These complex questions highlight the formidable challenge facing the science and management communities in address the complex causes and consequences of nutrient pollution. This session would focus on effectiveness and uncertainties of water quality goals and nutrient management in addressing the effects of nutrient pollution through an exploration of case studies on estuarine tipping points, and the effects of load reductions on restoration trajectories in a variety of settings.

SCI-004 Alternative Nutrient Management Strategies: Creative Solutions to a Complex Problem
Convened by: Julie Rose (rose.julie@epa.gov) and Suzanne Bricker (suzanne.bricker@noaa.gov)

As coastal populations continue to expand, nutrient management becomes an ever-changing and increasingly important issue.  Many watershed management programs have embarked on successful campaigns to upgrade wastewater treatment plants and implement agricultural and stormwater best management practices, addressing several major sources of point- and nonpoint source nutrients.  However, a wider range of tools could be beneficial to resource managers challenged with meeting water quality standards in highly eutrophic water bodies in the face of diminishing returns on investment in traditional management measures.  This session will address new and innovative approaches to nutrient reduction, including but not limited to topics such as shellfish and seaweed aquaculture, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, shellfish restoration, wetland restoration and algal turf scrubbers.  Discussions related to science, implementation, issues of scaling and economics are encouraged.

SCI-005 Nutrient Fluxes and Nutrient Accounting in Coastal Catchments and Water Bodies: Methods and Applications
Convened by: Dennis Swaney (dps1@cornell.edu)

Methods for modeling, accounting or otherwise estimating the contributions of nutrients from various sources in watersheds can be useful in managing nutrient loads to coastal waters from watersheds. This session discusses such methods, the responses of coastal waters, and their potential management implications, including the implications of uncertainty & variability, scale, and integration of alternative methods.

SCI-006 Efficient Watershed Management: Tracking, Trading, and Exchanges in the Chesapeake and Other Coastal Systems
Convened by: Lewis Linker (llinker@chesapeakebay.net), Gary Shenk (shenk.gary@epa.gov), Richard Batiuk (batiuk.richard@epa.gov) and Lisa Wainger (wainger@cbl.umces.edu)

The Chesapeake Bay Program is committed to taking an adaptive management approach to the Bay TMDL and expects that new or increased loadings of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from growth in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be offset by loading reductions and credits generated by other sources under programs that are credible, transparent, and consistent with achieving and maintaining the Bay’s nutrient goals. Tracking and exchanges of nitrogen and phosphorus between basins, sources, and airshed to watershed are key elements of efficient management of implementation measures to restore the Chesapeake water quality and living resources. Other coastal systems engaged in nutrient trades and exchanges will also be examined.

SCI-007 Translational Science: The Complexities of Watershed and Estuarine Restoration Efforts
Convened by: Mike Allen (mallen@mdsg.umd.edu), Amanda Rockler (arockler@umd.edu), Tammy Newcomer (newcomer@umd.edu) and Fredrika Moser (moser@mdsg.umd.edu)

Nutrient and sediment runoff from urban and agricultural land and land use change/habitat destruction are recognized contributors to water quality and habitat degradation in coastal ecosystems. While restoration measures have long been studied and implemented, estuaries and watersheds continue to experience the consequences of these stressors. In this session, we seek submissions on the science of coastal watershed restoration and management practices. In particular, we seek contributions that examine the science underlying nutrient reduction actions, case studies exploring successes and challenges underlying restoration efforts, studies involving scientist-citizen partnerships, and the effects of management and restoration actions on the surrounding ecosystem.