As co-lead for the The Nature Conservancy’s first ever marine spatial planning initiative in Washington state, I worked to build local community and tribal support to advance multi-objective planning for conservation, renewable energy and fisheries. To support marine planning, The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon and Washington Chapters produced a marine ecoregional assessment for the northern portion of the California Current Ecosystem from 2007-2011. Using Marxan and more than 300 marine data sets, spatially-explicit solution sets were developed to identify areas of high conservation priority and for ecologically and commercially valuable species.
In 2009, marine spatial planning was making its introduction into regional ocean planning and I contributed to Washington Substitute Senate Bill 6350 (Publication #: 10-01-012) concerning marine waters management, including marine spatial planning.
From 2009-2011, I conducted a gap analysis with Allison Bailey (Sound GIS) to assess conservation management status for all marine protected areas in Washington state and federal waters. This research was done in collaboration with the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife’s MPA Work Group to inform science and policy discussions for marine protected area network design strategy in Puget Sound and the outer coast.
This work supported the Pacific County, WA and other Marine Resource Committees (MRC) on the outer coast of Washington. A manuscript for the gap analysis is in preparation and a summary report is available from The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter. The Pacific Northwest Marine Ecoregional Assessment is available from The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon Chapter. All of this work has been presented at scientific conferences, community and MRC meetings, and scientific workshops.