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Marine Ecosystems Services

and Human Health

Some Progress and Perspectives From EPA

Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine

Jonathan Garber

USEPA Office of Research and Development

November 13, 2012


Marine Ecosystems Services and Human Health

*Some Progress and Perspectives From EPA

•Enhancing and protecting ecosystems and human

health are explicitly central to EPA’s mission

•Supported by regulatory and science arms of the

agency

•Eco-Health connections areas of continuing and

increasing focus and investment

1 (* With all the usual disclaimers…)


2

Statutory Authorities for EPA’s Coastal and Marine Programs

•Clean Water Act (CWA)

•the management of the National Estuary (CWA, section 320)

•312(o) / 301(h) / 403 (c): the authority for regulating discharges

from recreational vessels

Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA)

•the control of dumping of dredged material (and other

materials) into ocean waters under section 103 of MPRSA

•Ocean Dumping Ban Act

•Shore Protection Act

Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act

•Title XIV: "Certain Alaskan Cruise Ship Operations"

•Executive Orders

•Clean Air, Superfund, and other contaminant-related statutes


Modified DPSR-Like Decision Framework for Optimizing Management Decisions

That Affect Production of Coastal Marine and Ocean Ecosystem Services

Stressors

On Marine Systems

•Temperature rise

•Acidification

•Eutrophication

•Contaminants

•HABs

•Habitat loss

•….etc

Management

Decisions and Points

Of Intervention

Harvest

The Question:

How do we

optimize the

interventions to

maximize

production of

services?

Dredging

Zoning

Protected

areas

Water Quality

…many

others

Production of

Ecosystem Services

Seafood

Production

Transportation

Storm

Protection

Pharmaceuticals

Recreation

…etc.

Desired

Outcome

Human

Well

Being


4

Making the Connections

Critical Path For Connecting Eco- Services to Human Health Outcomes

1. Establish inventories of baseline

eco and health conditions

2. Translate conditions to quantifiable

services

3. Link services to human health

outcomes

4. Model and predict impacts of

interventions and feedbacks

Progress

Scorecard


Making the Connections: Some Examples

National Coastal

Condition

Assessments

Stressors

On Marine Systems

•Temperature rise

•Acidification

•Eutrophication

•Contaminants

•HABs

•Habitat loss

•….etc

Management

Decisions and Points

Of Intervention

Harvest

The Question:

How do we

optimize the

interventions to

maximize

production of

services?

Dredging

Zoning

Protected

areas

Water Quality

…many

others

Production of

Ecosystem Services

Seafood

Production

Transportation

Storm

Protection

Pharmaceuticals

Recreation

…etc.

Eco Services

Atlas

Eco-Health

Browser

Desired

Outcome

Human

Well

Being


6

Establishing Conditions

National Coastal Assessments (2000-06)

•Created an integrated comprehensive coastal

monitoring program across all US coastal states to

assess the condition of estuaries at multiple scales

(state, regional, national).

•Transferred this technology to the states, tribes, EPA

Regions, EPA Office of Water and others

•to assist the States in meeting CWA§305(b) objectives and

•to enhance EPA’s ability to make scientifically sound

assessments of the condition of U.S. coastal waters.

•National Coastal Condition Assessment (2010) – part of

OW’s National Aquatic Resources Surveys (NARS)


7

National Coastal Condition Reports

• NCCR I (2001) - EMAP Data from 1990 - 1996

• NCCR II (2005) – NCA Data from 1997 – 2000

• NEP NCCR (2007) – NCA-NEP Data from 1997-2003

• NCCR III (2008) – NCA Data from 2001 to 2002 and trends

• NCCR IV (2011) – NCA Data from 2003-2006 and trends

• NCCR V (2013) – NCCA Data from 2010


8

NCCR IV Partners

•EPA – ORD

•EPA – OW

•NOAA – NOS

•NOAA – NMFS

•US FWS

•Coastal States


9

Data Contained in the NCCR IV

Describing Coastal Condition

• Coastal Monitoring Data – NCA, FWS’s National

WetIandsInventory, Great Lakes Data

Supplemental Information

• Offshore Fisheries Data –NOAA NMFS

• Coastal Ocean Data –NOAA NCCOS

• Assessment and Advisory Data –EPA OST Fish

Consumption Advisories and Beach Closures


10

What’s New in NCCR IV

• Includes NCA data from 3,144 sites sampled

between 2003-2006 and trends from 2000-2006

• Includes SE Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam,

and American Samoa, for the first time

• Coastal fisheries data for top commercial species

• Coastal ocean condition data for Mid-Atlantic Bight,

South Atlantic Bight, and the West Coast


11

Indicators of Coastal Condition

Water Quality Index:

• Water Clarity, DO, Chlorophyll a, DIN, DIP

Benthic Index:

• Community Diversity, Pollution

Tolerant/Sensitive Species

Sediment Quality Index:

• Toxicity, Contaminants, TOC

Fish Tissue Contaminant Index:

• Whole-Fish Contaminant Burden

Coastal Habitat Index:

• FWS National Wetlands Inventory Wetlands

Loss Rates


Overall condition for U.S.

coastal waters is rated fair.

•Poorest conditions:

-coastal habitat

-sediment quality

-benthic condition

•Best conditions:

-fish tissue

contaminants

-DO and DIN of water

quality index

12

NCCR IV Overall Condition


13

Regional Water Quality Condition


14

Coastal Ocean Condition


15

Offshore Fisheries


16

Fish Consumption Advisories


Making the Connections: Some Examples

National Coastal

Condition

Assessments

Stressors

On Marine Systems

•Temperature rise

•Acidification

•Eutrophication

•Contaminants

•HABs

•Habitat loss

•….etc

Management

Decisions and Points

Of Intervention

Harvest

The Question:

How do we

optimize the

interventions to

maximize

production of

services?

Dredging

Zoning

Protected

areas

Water Quality

…many

others

Production of

Ecosystem Services

Seafood

Production

Transportation

Storm

Protection

Pharmaceuticals

Recreation

…etc.

National

Services

Atlas

Eco-Health

Browser

Desired

Outcome

Human

Well

Being


18

EPA’s National Atlas For Sustainability

•web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application to view and analyze

multiple ecosystem services in a specific region.

•visual method for interpreting ecosystem services and understanding

how they can be conserved and enhanced for a sustainable future.

•Allows users to assess

•Clean and adequate water for drinking and domestic use

•Clean water for recreation and aquatic habitat

•Food, fuel and fiber

•Recreation, cultural and aesthetic amenities

•Climate regulation (e.g. carbon storage to off-set greenhouse gases)

•Protection from hazardous weather

•Habitat and the maintenance of biodiversity

•Clean air

•Goes live on EPA’s public website in 2013


Decision

Alternative

Δ Exposure to

Stressors

Δ Ecosystems

Δ Ecological

Functions

Δ Ecosystem

Services

Δ Human

Well Well-being being

EnviroAtlasScience Questions

• How can we effectively quantify and communicate the

productionof the goods and services we receive from

ecosystems?

• What is the supply of those services in relationship to the

demand and future demand?

• How do drivers of ecosystem services such as land use

change (e.g., road development), climate change, and

pollutant loads impact the delivery of ecosystem services?

• At a screening level, where does it make sense to invest or

prioritize land/water protection, restoration, conservation, or

use?

• If we invest in green space, can we reduce the costs of grey

infrastructure while also gaining other co-benefits?

• How can we promote the incorporation of this type of

information into decision-making?

• How can we demonstrate how these services explicitly relate

to human health and well-being?


Making the Connections: Some Examples

National Coastal

Condition

Assessments

Stressors

On Marine Systems

•Temperature rise

•Acidification

•Eutrophication

•Contaminants

•HABs

•Habitat loss

•….etc

Management

Decisions and Points

Of Intervention

Harvest

The Question:

How do we

optimize the

interventions to

maximize

production of

services?

Dredging

Zoning

Protected

areas

Water Quality

…many

others

Production of

Ecosystem Services

Seafood

Production

Transportation

Storm

Protection

Pharmaceuticals

Recreation

…etc.

National

Services

Atlas

Eco-Health

Browser

Desired

Outcome

Human

Well

Being


Office of Research and Development

National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory

http://www.epa.gov/research/healthscience/browser/introduction.html

Photo image area measures 2” H x 6.93” W and can be masked by a

collage strip of one, two or three images.

The photo image area is located 3.19” from left and 3.81” from top of page.

Each image used in collage should be reduced or cropped to a maximum of

2” high, stroked with a 1.5 pt white frame and positioned edge-to-edge with

accompanying images.


25

Making the Connections:

Critical Path For Linking Eco- Services to Human Health

Outcomes

1. Establish inventories of baseline

eco and health conditions

2. Translate conditions to quantifiable

services

3. Link services to human health

outcomes

4. Predict impacts of interventions and

feedbacks

Progress Scorecard

•Pretty good

•Making progress

•Needs work (a lot)

•Ditto


Questions?

Stressors

On Marine Systems

•Temperature rise

•Acidification

•Eutrophication

•Contaminants

•HABs

•Habitat loss

•….etc

Management

Decisions and Points

Of Intervention

Harvest

The Question:

How do we

optimize the

interventions to

maximize

production of

services?

Dredging

Zoning

Protected

areas

Water Quality

…many

others

Production of

Ecosystem Services

Seafood

Production

Transportation

Storm

Protection

Pharmaceuticals

Recreation

…etc.

Desired

Outcome

Human

Well

Being

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