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Regional Risk Assessment Sites using the Relative Risk Model

Site Location
Size
Risk Assessment Endpoints
Methods
Uncertainty
Highlights
Lessons/ Improvements
Citation
Port Valdez, AK 94.5 mi2 (151.2 km2) Water quality, sediment quality, decrease in hatchery salmon returns, population declines of bottom fisheries, declines in wild populations of anadromous fish, decreased bird populations, decreased food for wildlife populations. RRM for risk assessment. Confirmation by comparing chemistry data to benchmarks and by using a predictive model to estimate toxicity due to 10 hydrocarbon compounds found in the sediments. Mapping using conventional techniques (not GIS). Detailed written description used to document uncertainty. Sensitivity analysis performed on the RRM. Random iterations performed on the ranks of sources and stressors to observe range of outcomes. Specific risks applied on a region by region basis. Area with highest risk (mudflats) had been overlooked in previous assessments. Development of the RRM, including methods of evaluating uncertainty and confirmation of the risk predictions. Landis and Wiegers 1997, Wiegers et al 1996, Wiegers et al 1998.
Willamette-McKenzie Watersheds, OR 1,351 mi2

Salmonids-spring Chinook, rainbow and cutthroat trout, summer steelhead. Other assessment endpoints identified and used to demonstrate conflicts with salmonid endpoints.

RRM for risk assessment. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps. Risk confirmation by comparing patterns of water quality and toxicity to that of the risk assessment.

Same as Port Valdez

The RRM predicted two general areas of relatively high risk, the uppermost segment and the mouth of the McKenzie River. Although the scores were similar, the underlying causes were very different.

Implemented the use of GIS into the development of the RRM. Used stakeholder documents as a means of setting assessment endpoints.

Luxon and Landis 2005, Luxon et al 1998, Landis, Bodensteiner and McLaughlin 1998.

Mountain River, Tasmania, Australia 190 km2

Water quality, maintenance of adequate stream flow, maintenance or increase of native streambank vegetation and reduction of weed density to less that 10 % of groundcover, maintenance of primary industries, landscape aesthetics and maintenance of a good residential environment.

RRM for risk assessment. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps.

Same as Port Valdez

Initial study on a broad agricultural area, first transfer of the RRM to an outside research group.

Improved use of GIS, created own computer database from scanned materials.

Walker et al 2001, 2005

PETAR, Brazil 1000 km2

Self-sustaining epigean (surface) and hypogean (cave) aquatic fauna.

RRM for risk assessment. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps. Introduction of the weighting system for stressor to account for differences in the amounts of stressors emitted from the various sources.

Same as Port Valdez. Incorporates upstream contribution to risk downstream.

Assessment of both above ground and below ground habitats by mapping geological regions favorable to cave formation. Applicability of results in the management of the natural reserve and in the guidance of site-specific investigations.

Inclusion of data collected on the site, first use in a rainforest site.

Moraes et al 2002, 2005

Codorus Creek, PA 719 km2 (278 mi2)

Water quality, water supply, self-sustaining native and non-native fish populations, adequate food supply for aquatic species, recreational land and water resources, stormwater control and treatment.

RRM for risk assessment. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps. Confirmation by multivariate analyses of fish and macroinvertebrate community structure.

Same as Port Valdez

Urbanization was the greatest risk factor within the watershed. Patterns of risk were confirmed by the field research and multivariate analysis.

Use of multivariate methods to evaluate risk predictions. Application of predictive modeling in order to present management options to the various decision makers in the watershed.

Obery and Landis 2002, Obery 1999. Obery, Thomas and Landis 2005

Squalicum Creek, WA 62 km2

Abiotic endpoints; flood control, adequate land and ecological attributes for recreational uses.

 

Biotic endpoints; viable non-migratory cold water fish populations, life cycle opportunities for salmonids, viable native terrestrial wildlife species populations, adequate wetland habitat to support wetland species populations

RRM for risk assessment. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps.

Same as Port Valdez

RRM was adapted for a small watershed in a rapidly urbanizing environment.

Application of the RRM in a very small and urbanized watershed. Direct cooperation with the planners and managers of Squalicum Creek.

Chen 2002, Chen and Landis 2005

Cherry Point, WA 715 km2

Cherry Point Pacific herring run for retrospective assessment.

Prospective assessment includes Coho salmon, juvenile English sole and surf smelt embryos, juvenile Dungeness crab, adult littleneck clam and Great Blue heron.

Retrospective and prospective risk assessment using the RRM approach. Arc View and Arc Info used to compile and compare environmental data and to produce maps.

Initial approach similar to Port Valdez. Monte Carlo techniques used to evaluate uncertainty and sensitivity. Examined the impact of different assumptions concerning the extent of habitat type and effect upon the assessment population in determining risk.

Retrospective study pointed to the influence of factors beyond the Cherry Point region as the cause of the herring decline. Other endpoints adopted as more relevant to the management of the area. A bird, the Great Blue heron, was shown to be most at risk for the area. Eventual development of a Weight of Evidence approach to the retrospective risk assessment with application of Monte Carlo techniques.

First retrospective use of the RRM. Marked the first use of Monte Carlo techniques in evaluating uncertainty in the RRM.

Markiewicz et al 2002,  Markiewicz 2005, Landis et al 2001, 2002, Hart Hayes et al 2004, Landis et al 2004
Leaf River, MS 5766 km2 (3575 mi2)

Fish, macroinvertebrates, water quality, water quantity, recreational uses, wastewater treatment, channel modifications

Prospective risk assessment using the RRM approach at a very large scale in a watershed very different than the other studies. Used field data to test the risk hypotheses. Also incorporated predictive modeling in an examination of risk management schemes.

Added pathway analysis to examine the sensitivity of assumptions about linkages in exposure and effects pathways to the final risk estimates.

Incorporates all 10 steps in a clear fashion. Hypotheses tested using an analysis of community structure.

Included analysis of the sensitivity of the models to the pathways, broad scale risk assessment.

Thomas 2003

Loa Watershed, Chile 33,570 km2

Aquatic life in rivers and saltpans (shallow lagoons of water rich in salts)

 

Same as Port Valdez

Largest scale assessment to date. Assessment in a mining area in northern Chile using the RRM approach at a very large scale in desert conditions.

Applicability of the model in a large area but high uncertainty due to large distances between sources and habitats and possible uncompleted pathways of exposure

Hamamé 2002

 

Citations

Chen, J. C., Landis W. G. 2005. Chapter 10. Using the Relative Risk Model for a Regional-Scale Ecological Risk Assessment of the Squalicum Creek Watershed.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 195-230

Hamame’, M. 2002. Regional Risk Assessment in Northern Chile Report 2002. 1. Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden.

Hart Hayes, E. and Landis W. G.. 2004. Regional ecological risk assessment of a nearshore marine environment: Cherry Point, WA. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 10: 299-325.

Hart Hayes, E., Landis W. G. 2005. Chapter 13. The Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model and Incorporating a Monte Carlo Uncertainty Analysis. In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 257-290

Landis W. G, Bodensteiner LR,  Obery AM and Thomas JF 2004. Ecological risk assessment as  the framework for the prediction, confirmation and management of the Codorus Creek watershed. Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Environmental Fate and Effects Conference Proceedings 2003 pp 232-245.

Landis W. G., Hart Hayes, E., Markiewicz, A. M.  2005. Chapter 12. Retrospective Regional Risk Assessment Predictions and the Application of a Monte Carlo Analysis for the Decline of the Cherry Point Herring Stock.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 245-256.

Landis W. G., Wiegers, J. K. 2005. Chapter 2: Introduction to the regional risk assessment using the relative risk model.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 11-36.

Landis, W. G, P. B. Duncan, E. Hart Hayes, A. J. Markiewicz, J. F. Thomas. 2004 . A regional assessment of the potential stressors causing the decline of the Cherry Point Pacific herring run and alternative management endpoints for the Cherry Point Reserve (Washington, USA). Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 10: 271-297

Landis, W. G.  2005. Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 286. Edited Book.

Landis, W. G. and J. A. Wiegers. 1997. Design considerations and a suggested approach for regional and comparative ecological risk assessment. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 3:287-297.

Luxon, M., Landis W. G. 2005. Chapter 5 Application of the Relative Risk Model to the Upper Willamette River and Lower McKenzie River, Oregon.   In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 91-118.

Markiewicz, A. J. 2005. Chapter 11.  Introduction to the Management of the Marine Resources in the Cherry Point Region of Northwest Washington, USA. In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp.231-243

Moraes, R., Landis, W. G.,  and Molander, S.  2005. Chapter 9 Establishing Conservation Priorities in a Rain Forest Reserve in Brazil: An Application of the Regional Risk Assessment Method.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 179-194.

Obery, A. M., Thomas, J. F., Landis W. G.2005. Chapter 6 Codorus Creek Watershed: A Regional Ecological Risk Assessment with Field Confirmation of the Risk Patterns.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 119-142.

Thomas, J. F. 2005. Chapter 7. Use of the Relative Risk Model Ecological Risk Assessment as a Predictive Model for Decision-Making. In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp.143-158.

Walker, R. Landis, W G. Brown, P.  2005. Chapter 8 Developing a Regional Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study of a Tasmanian Agricultural Catchment.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 159-178.

Walker, R., W. G. Landis and P. Brown.  2001.  Developing a regional ecological risk assessment: A case study of a Tasmanian agricultural catchment.  Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 7:417-439.

Wiegers, J. K., H. M. Feder, L. S. Mortensen, D. G. Shaw, V. J. Wilson and W. G. Landis. 1998. A regional multiple stressor rank-based ecological risk assessment for the fjord of Port Valdez, AK. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 4:1125-1173

Wiegers, J. K., Landis W. G. 2005. Chapter 4 Application of the Relative Risk Model to the Fjord of Port Valdez, Alaska.  In W. G. Landis editor Regional Scale Ecological Risk Assessment Using the Relative Risk Model. CRC Press Boca Raton pp 53-90.

 

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