Wednesday, August 10, 2016: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
315, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Brook Herman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Jeff Trulick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Ecosystem conservation and restoration in heavily altered landscapes, such as urban areas, are beset by extraordinary challenges including: altered landscape processes, non-native species, altered species interactions and continuing human influence. Restoration and conservation projects in these altered areas are largely designed and implemented by a consensus process that integrates environmental constraints, wildlife needs and human values. A novel ecosystem, which is defined as a system that has no current or historical analog, will emerge as a result of trade-offs between competing and/or contrasting human vs. environmental needs. Trade-offs can include: leaving invasive species in place, actively encouraging non-native species, reduced height of restored native vegetation because of safety concerns, incorporation of neighborhood volunteers in the restoration process, inclusion of recreation and public use features, working with urban storm water runoff, beneficial reuse of dredged material, etc. The anticipated result of addressing environmental problems in altered areas is no longer a historical condition, but a more desirable condition that supports both human values, such as ecosystem goods and services, as well as an improved ecosystem structure and function. This session will focus on how novel systems emerge as a result of how historical, cultural, and ecological challenges and opportunities are addressed and integrated by collaboration between diverse project partners. Presentations will cover case studies and research from across the nation, from Baltimore to the San Francisco Bay. Although the majority of presentations will focus on projects in urban areas, other highly modified areas, such as reservoirs, will also be presented. The session will be able to present a comprehensive picture of human values vs. environmental trade-offs and emergent novel systems. The goal of this session is to present projects that are national in scope, demonstrate how environmental needs and human values can be successfully integrated and that the benefits (e.g., ecosystem services) of the emergent novel systems justify investment in ecosystem conservation and restoration.