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The need for an integrated approach to information generation in coastal marine environmental management Watson, Iain Macfarlane 1994

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THE NEED FOR AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO INFORMATION GENERATION IN COASTAL MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT by IAIN MACFARLANE WATSON B.B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Interdisciplinary Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1994 © lain MacFarlane Watson, 1994 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Graduate Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies) The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada D a t e January 12, 1995 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Researchers and managers are becoming increasingly concerned about the ineffectiveness of the conventional approach to coastal marine environmental management. Faced with rapidly increasing demands on the coastal marine environment, they are recognizing that their ability to understand and to respond to the adverse effects of human activities in a timely and effective manner is undermined by the inappropriateness of the predominant approach to management. Environmental management agencies in the Fraser River Estuary of British Columbia are finding that their monitoring and research programs often fail to provide adequate information for decision making. Information generated by programs undertaken in the Boundary Bay watershed of the estuary over the fifteen year period up to 1992 has been variously perceived as: (i) providing only a fragmented and incomplete understanding of environmental health; and (ii) not being provided in a timely enough fashion to identify and effectively respond to environmental concerns. Because of the paucity of timely and relevant information available to managers, management responses have lacked cohesiveness, resulting in continued decline of environmental health in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the estuary. The purpose of this thesis is to establish a connection between information deficiencies and the management approach that has predominated in the Fraser River Estuary and to analyze the challenge of improving information generation in support of management through the adoption of an alternative approach to environmental management which provides the guidance to monitoring and research programs presently absent. Initially, a conceptual model for environmental management is introduced illustrating the relationship between information generated by various monitoring and research activities and the use of information by managers in decision making. Conventional and integrated approaches to management are then portrayed within the context of the conceptual model and the critical differentiating characteristics of the two approaches distinguished. Having established the relationship between information generation and its use in management, the implications of adopting an integrated approach for information generation are considered. Attention is given both to the scope and content of monitoring and research programs in support of management and the transfer of information generated by these programs to the management forum. Examples of monitoring and research activities and management initiatives undertaken in Boundary Bay are presented to provide insight into information deficiencies that occur within the conventional approach to management that predominates throughout the Fraser River Estuary. Ineffective linkages between managers and researchers and among researchers are found to contribute to fragmentation and incompleteness in information generation and the ineffectiveness of management responses to environmental concerns in the estuary. Inadequate cooperation and coordination among management agencies in determining complementarities in management objectives and collaborative monitoring and research in response to multiple-agency management objectives are apparent. Repercussions of the resulting information deficiencies include: generally ineffective management strategies resulting in continuing deterioration of water quality and loss of important fish and bird habitat; and inefficient use of scarce resources resulting from duplication and overlap occurring as management agencies undertake monitoring and research in response to single-agency information needs. Recommendations focus on the need for movement towards a more integrated approach to management in the Fraser River Estuary. Emphasis is given to the need to adopt a managerially directed approach to monitoring and research to ensure that information generated by these activities is relevant to managers and is provided in a timely manner. Recommendations include: (i) strengthening linkages between monitoring and research and management to ensure that information generated by monitoring and research is relevant from a management perspective; (ii) improving linkages among management agencies to ensure that monitoring and research programs reflect multiple-agency rather than single-agency management objectives; and (iii) ensuring that information products are effectively transferred to the management forum. Taken together these recommendations represent a cohesive package of changes needed to achieve integrated environmental management in the estuary. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTF1ACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS v UST OF TABLES ix U S T O F FIGURES x ACRONYMS xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x i i CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1 Problem Statement 1 Purpose 1 Research Questions 2 Methodology 5 Scope 8 Limitations 9 Organization 1 0 CHAPTER 2 - AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 1 2 Introduction 1 2 Setting the Scene for Integrated Environmental Management 1 3 Definitions 1 3 Identifying Weaknesses in the Conventional Approach to Environmental Management 1 6 Re-Thinking the Conventional Approach to Environmental Management 1 8 The Interface Between Monitoring and Research and Management 1 8 v Interaction Among Researchers in Determining Monitoring and Research Priorities 21 Information Transfer to Management 2 3 A Conceptual Framework for Environmental Management 2 6 Towards an Integrated Approach to Environmental Management 3 0 Conclusions 3 5 CHAPTER 3 - CASE STUDY DESCRIPTION 3 7 Introduction 3 7 The Boundary Bay Study Area 3 8 Background 3 8 Physical and Biological Oceanography 41 Aquatic Habitat and Utilization 4 2 Terrestrial Habitat and Utilization 4 3 Land Use in the Boundary Bay Watershed 4 5 Water Use in the Boundary Bay Watershed 4 6 Waste Discharges to Boundary Bay 4 7 The Legislative Setting for Environmental Management in the Fraser River Estuary 4 9 Jurisdictional Setting 51 Federal Environmental Legislation 5 2 Provincial Environmental Legislation 5 4 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Management 5 7 Fraser River Estuary Study 5 8 Fraser River Estuary Management Program 5 8 Conclusions 6 4 v i CHAPTER 4 - INFORMATION GENERATION IN BOUNDARY BAY 6 6 The Structure of Environmental Management in the Fraser River Estuary 6 7 Fisheries and Fish Habitat 6 7 Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat 6 9 Wafer Quality and Waste Management 71 Monitoring and Research Programs in Boundary Bay 7 6 Fisheries and Fish Habitat 7 7 Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat 7 8 Water Quality and Waste Management 8 0 The Understanding of Environmental Conditions in Boundary Bay 8 7 Fisheries and Fish Habitat 8 9 Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat 91 Water Quality Issues 9 5 Conclusions 1 04 CHAPTER 5 - EVALUATING INFORMATION GENERATION IN BOUNDARY BAY 1 0 8 Introduction 1 08 Waste and Water Quality Management in Boundary Bay 11 0 Example 1 - Development of Water Quality Objectives 111 Example 2 - Application of Water Quality Objectives 11 4 Example 3 - The Development of a Water Quality Plan and Monitoring Program 117 Fisheries and Wildfowl Management in Boundary Bay 1 24 Example 4 - Water Quality and Fisheries Management 1 25 Example 5 - Water Quality and Wildfowl Management 1 26 Example 6 - Fisheries and Wildfowl Habitat Management. 1 28 Conclusions 1 32 v i i CHAPTER 6 - TOWARDS INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 1 3 5 Introduction 1 35 Institutional Barriers to Environmental Management 136 Linking Monitoring and Research and Management 1 39 Identification of Management Goals and Objectives 1 41 Translation of Management Goals and Objectives 1 41 Design and Implementation of Monitoring and Research Programs 1 42 Reaching Consensus on the Appropriate Focus for Monitoring and Research 1 4 6 Information Transfer to the Management Forum 1 4 9 Conclusions 1 56 CHAPTER 7 - CONCLUSIONS 1 59 REFERENCES 1 62 APPENDIX - THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLVING 1 76 viii LIST OF TABLES Table 1 - Overview of Legislative Management Responsibilities i x USTOF FIGURES Figure 1 - Information Generation in the Conventional Approach 2 7 Figure 2 - Information Generation in the Integrated Approach 31 Figure 3a - Fraser River Estuary 3 9 Figure 3b - Boundary Bay 4 0 Figure 4 - FREMP Organizational Structure 5 9 Figure 5 - Revised FREMP Organizational Structure 6 3 x ACRONYMS ALR Agricultural Land Reserve ALC Agricultural Land Commission CEPA Canadian Environmental Protection Act CWA Critical Wildlife Area CWS Canadian Wildlife Service DFO Canada. Department of Fisheries and Oceans EE Environment Canada EP Environment Canada. Environmental Protection FREMP Fraser River Estuary Management Program FRES Fraser River Estuary Study FRHC Fraser River Harbour Commission GVRD Greater Vancouver Regional District GVS&DD Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District HAWG FREMP Habitat Activity Work Group IWD Environment Canada. Inland Waters Directorate MOE B.C. Ministry of Environment MOAF B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries MLP B.C. Ministry of Lands and Parks NFHC North Fraser Harbour Commission SCWQP FREMP Standing Committee on the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan WMA Wildlife Management Area WMAP FREMP Waste Management Activity Program Working Group x i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS "Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned, and however early a [person's] training begins, it is probably the last lesson that [one] learns thoroughly," Thomas Huxley. I would like to express my thanks to each of the members of my advisory committee, for their enthusiasm, encouragement, patience, and, finally, their expedition in reviewing this thesis. I am grateful to my supervisor Tony Dorcey for his assistance with the theoretical direction of my research and for providing concise and insightful editorial comments. Particular thanks go to Les Lavkulich for his foresight and unflagging enthusiasm for the Resource Management Science program at U.B.C. without which interdisciplinary research in my field would be very much more difficult. Finally, I would like to thank my friend Eva Gerencher for her advice, which if I had followed instead of her example would have enabled me to complete this thesis in half the time. xii CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION Problem Statement Increasingly researchers and managers are recognizing that changes are needed in their approach to coastal marine environmental management. Faced with rapidly increasing demands on the coastal marine environment, they are becoming concerned about their ability to understand and respond to the adverse effects of human activities in a timely and effective manner. Blame for the ineffectiveness of management efforts has focused in part on the failure of monitoring and research programs to provide useful and relevant information for decision-making. For example, "[djespite considerable effort and expenditures, monitoring programs have been criticized for failing not only to provide adequate information for environmental management decisions but also to resolve controversies related to specific waste discharges and to ensure environmental protection in the face of multiple impacts." (NRC, 1990). This thesis focuses on the problem of inadequate information generation - the reasons for it and possible remedies. Purpose This thesis deals with the linkages between monitoring and research and management. As in many coastal marine environmental management situations, despite considerable efforts in the Fraser River Estuary over the approximately 15 year period up to 1992, monitoring and research programs have generally failed to provide useful and relevant information to management in a timely manner. The purpose of this thesis 1 is to analyze the link between information deficiencies and the approach to management that has predominated in the estuary and to propose an alternative model for providing the guidance to monitoring and research programs necessary to improve information generation for management. Research Questions The first, largely descriptive, task is to determine whether the information generated by monitoring and research programs in the Fraser River Estuary has been useful and relevant from a management perspective. This is done through a case study of the Boundary Bay watershed of the Fraser River Estuary by: (i) inventorying and characterizing the information generated by monitoring and research programs; (ii) describing how information is utilized by managers in decision-making; and (iii) critiquing available information with respect to its timeliness and relevance for management. The second task is to determine how legislative and institutional arrangements for environmental management in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary may have contributed to information deficiencies. The legislative and institutional structure for management in the estuary is complex with agency management responsibilities determined both by their legislative mandates and by institutional arrangements that influence how agencies carry out these responsibilities. Because of their complexity, legislative and institutional arrangements can profoundly influence information generation by limiting agency flexibility in carrying out their management responsibilities. The thesis analyzes how this inflexibility can lead to 2 uncoordinated monitoring and research programs that generate only fragmented information in support of management. The third task is to evaluate how successful management agencies have been in addressing information deficiencies within the predominant framework for management in the Fraser River Estuary. This involves analysis of the extent and persistence of information gaps and the progress made by management agencies in addressing them and responding to long-standing environmental concerns in the estuary. The thesis investigates whether the proliferation of well-intentioned inter-agency committees and coordinating bodies which have been formed to improve environmental management in the estuary have been successful in addressing problems with inadequate information generation and ineffective management responses to environmental concerns. Further, attention is given to whether more coordination and collaboration among management agencies and communication between researchers and managers have been achieved within the existing management framework. Specifically, the thesis examines whether recommendations for changes in the management framework in the estuary which had potential for bringing about the desired linkages among management agencies and between researchers and managers have been adopted. Dorcey and Hall's (1981) recommendations for establishing research priorities and structuring monitoring and research programs to improve information generation for management spoke directly to recognized information deficiencies and the structural deficiencies in the existing management framework which appear to have hindered information generation. The question is whether management agencies have embraced Dorcey and Hall's (1981) integrated management framework or whether they have instead attempted to address information deficiencies within the existing management framework. The penultimate task is to characterize the predominant approach to management in the estuary. The conventional approach is characteristically sectoral in that 3 management agencies tend to focus their attention on discrete environmental compartments. The conventional approach can be contrasted with an integrated approach where the management focus is much broader; extending beyond single environmental compartments to obtain a system-wide understanding of an environmental issue. The intent in contrasting the predominant, characteristically sectoral, approach to management in the Fraser River Estuary with an integrated approach is to distinguish critical differentiating characteristics of the two approaches and to consider the implications of these differences for information generation. From this comparison, I expect to identify underlying deficiencies with the predominant approach to management in the estuary that must be addressed if information generation is to improve. The last task is to consider the implications of adopting an integrated approach to information generation in the Fraser River Estuary. Specifically, the thesis describes the challenges faced by management agencies in moving towards a more integrated approach to management in the estuary and the potential for addressing information generation inherent in the predominant approach. Research questions can be summarized as follows: 1. Has timely and relevant information been generated in support of management? 2. How has the predominant approach to management in the estuary contributed to information deficiencies? 3. What are the prospects for improving information generation within the predominant approach to management? 4. Is there a viable alternative to the predominant approach that has the potential for improving information generation? 4 Methodology The analysis of information generation in the Fraser River Estuary utilizes review of the environmental management literature and written materials specific to the estuary. Interviews with representatives of management agencies supplement the available literature detailing environmental management efforts and monitoring and research programs in the estuary. The environmental management literature is examined to develop an understanding of both conventional and integrated approaches to management. Increasing attention has been given in the environmental management literature in the last decade to the need for more integrated approaches to management. The review is designed to: distinguish between conventional and integrated approaches highlight weaknesses associated with the conventional approach demonstrate how the integrated approach addresses these weaknesses. The central idea is that monitoring and research must be thought of as the sensory component of environmental management and that if monitoring and research programs are to generate the information needed for effective management they must be deliberately linked to the management process. For this reason, the review focuses on the integrated management literature dealing with the connection between institutional arrangements for management and information generation and the implications of integrated management for how environmental management is structured. The intent is to build an understanding of the implications of particular institutional arrangements for the scope and direction of monitoring and research programs undertaken by management agencies and information generation in support of management. 5 Less attention is given to the more technical implications of the integrated approach for the design and implementation of monitoring programs (e.g., number of sampling stations, frequency of sample collection). The decision to focus primarily on institutional arrangements rather than technical considerations reflects the belief that while focusing on monitoring and research program design and implementation will increase the technical quality of data and information it may not ensure that data gathered and information generated are relevant from a management perspective. Most recommendations for improving information generation focus on the need to have a much more scientifically-defensible and systematic approach to information generation. However, unless institutional reforms are also made to better integrate monitoring and research and management, information generated by monitoring and research programs will likely continue to fall short of management expectations. The case study combines review of available literature dealing with management in the Boundary Bay watershed and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary with interviews with representatives of management agencies to: (i) provide an understanding of the legislative setting and institutional arrangements; and (ii) determine how the framework for management has influenced information generation in Boundary Bay. The use of Boundary Bay as a case study allows exploration of specific examples where inadequate information is available to allow managers to respond to environmental concerns in a timely and effective manner. Boundary Bay is ideal as a case study because of the well-defined boundaries of the watershed and the importance of the habitat found in the watershed to fish and birds. Because Boundary Bay is contained within the Fraser River Estuary and is subject to the same environmental problems found throughout the estuary, the analysis of monitoring and research programs and information deficiencies in the bay is applicable to the entire estuary. In addition, the 6 institutional arrangements relevant to Boundary Bay are substantially the same as those relevant to the larger area of the whole estuary. The intent of the case study is to determine the extent to which the analysis of management frameworks developed through review of the literature can be applied to the Fraser River Estuary. Objectives of the case study are to: determine whether the existing framework for management in the estuary is characteristically sectoral evaluate the usefulness and appropriateness for management of information generation in the estuary determine whether information deficiencies identified are consistent with the conventional approach assess the effectiveness of efforts by management agencies to address persistent information deficiencies A partial understanding of the environmental management framework in Boundary Bay and in the Fraser River Estuary and the extent and persistence of information deficiencies can be obtained from the available literature. The literature, however, only provides part of the picture. Interviews with representatives of management agencies are used to supplement the understanding of environmental management in the estuary provided by the literature. In particular, interviews provide an understanding of: (i) the particular perspective that management agencies have of environmental problems in the estuary; and (ii) how this perspective determines their approach to managing these problems. Additional understanding of agency behavior is also obtained through scrutiny of their behavior and actions in responding to environmental problems and in working with other agencies. Recommendations focus on the need to adopt an integrated approach in the estuary to provide the cohesive framework for management that appears to be missing at 7 present. The recommendations made combine concepts derived from the environmental management literature with observations made in the case study. They examine how integrated management might be expected to actually work in practice in the Fraser River Estuary and identify the general implications for the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs and the transfer of information products to the management forum. Scope The thesis examines the state of information generation in Boundary Bay and environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary over the approximately 15 year period ending in 1992. The decision to examine information generation and environmental management over this period was determined by: (i) the pragmatic need for research purposes to have a definite cut-off point; and (ii) the cut-off point selected coincides with the end of Phase I of FREMP. Many of the monitoring and research activities and management initiatives started during Phase I (e.g., Water Quality Plan, Waste Management Plan, Recommendations of the Habitat Activity Work Group) were substantially completed by 1992. In addition, FREMP was coming under increasing scrutiny to determine whether it should be extended in its present form. The downside to cutting-off research at 1992 is that it is not possible to evaluate whether management initiatives and monitoring and research programs proposed as part of Phase II of FREMP (FREMP, 1992; 1991b) are having success in addressing information deficiencies and responding to environmental management concerns in the estuary. Indeed, some progress appears to have been made in the last few years in the generation of timely and relevant information for management. Further research could focus on whether 8 progress is actually being made and whether a more integrated approach, as recommended in this thesis, has been adopted and is contributing to progress or whether management agencies are still muddling through within the existing management framework. Limitations The goal in this thesis is to demonstrate that, in the absence of a cohesive framework for management in the Fraser River Estuary, information generated for management will continue to be inadequate. To this end, recommendations for improving information generation in support of management focus on the need to adopt a more integrated approach to management. Minimal attention is given to explaining why the existing approach to management is characteristically sectoral and why such an approach has persisted despite the wide recognition of its inherent weaknesses. The explanation for the highly sectoral organization of monitoring and research undertaken by management agencies focuses on structural deficiencies introduced by the legislative and institutional setting for management in the estuary. Little consideration is given to the role that management agencies have in perpetuating these structural deficiencies. The possibility that the manner in which management agencies conceptualize and respond to environmental problems might limit or impede information generation is explored in the Appendix. Here I suggest that shortcomings identified with respect to the characteristically sectoral approach to management in the estuary can be traced back to patterns of behavior that are prevalent in the scientific community. If this hypothesis is correct, the structural changes implied by shifting towards an integrated approach 9 would have fundamental implications for the way that scientists conceptualize environmental management problems and attempt their solution. Organization The thesis is organized into three sections. The first section, comprising Chapter 2, provides the theoretical context for the thesis. It examines the predominant, characteristically sectoral, approach to environmental management to reveal structural deficiencies in the management framework which appear to contribute to the absence of linkages between monitoring and research and management resulting in inadequate information generation in support of management. It continues by examining the differences between conventional and integrated approaches to management. The intent is to demonstrate how the conceptual framework provided by the integrated approach establishes linkages among management agencies and between researchers and managers than are conspicuously absent in the conventional approach. It concludes by highlighting the potential of integrated environmental management to address weaknesses in the conventional approach and the resulting improvements in information generation that would be expected. The second section, comprising Chapters 3 and 4, provides the background for understanding environmental management in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary. Chapter 3 provides both an understanding of the bio-physical attributes of Boundary Bay and an overview of the legislative setting and institutional arrangements for management in the estuary. Chapter 4 builds on Chapter 3 by examining how the environmental framework for management in the estuary has influenced monitoring and research undertaken in Boundary Bay. Chapter 4 concludes 1 0 with a description of the present understanding of environmental conditions in Boundary Bay. The third section, comprising Chapters 5 and 6, uses the understanding of conceptual frameworks for environmental management developed in Chapter 2 to evaluate the effectiveness of the predominant approach to environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary. Chapter 5 analyses the success of monitoring and research efforts in Boundary Bay in providing information needed by managers. Drawing from examples of information deficiencies identified in Boundary Bay, the chapter summarizes aspects Of the predominant approach to management that appear to undermine effective information generation. This sets the stage for Chapter 6 where proposals are made for the design of integrated environmental management to address problems with the approach to management that has predominated. The implications of such an approach for how monitoring and research and management is structured and the improvements in information generation that might be expected are elaborated. 1 1 CHAPTER 2 - AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Introduction Timely and effective management responses to environmental concerns depend in large part on the availability to managers of relevant and useful information. In turn, successful information generation is profoundly influenced by the level of interaction between researchers and managers in determining and refining information needs and among agencies responsible for undertaking monitoring and research to provide information for management. Unfortunately, the lack of appropriate linkages between monitoring, research and management in the conventional approach to management has meant that information available to managers is generally inadequate. Consequently, persistent information deficiencies undermine management responses to environmental concerns resulting in continuing degradation of environmental health. This chapter explores an emerging vision of integrated coastal marine environmental management which addresses many of the inadequacies with the conventional approach to management. The conceptual framework provided by the integrated approach to management directly responds to the lack of appropriate linkages found at present. It represents a fundamentally different way of conceptualizing environmental problems and, consequently, has profound implications for what monitoring, research and management can be expected to accomplish, and, more importantly, how. 1 2 Setting the Scene for Integrated Environmental Management Definitions Before beginning examination of the integrated model for management it is necessary to clarify what is meant by information, monitoring, research, management, managers and researchers. Unambiguous usage of these terms is important because they are often contrasted in this and following chapters to illustrate an example. Information is best defined in relation to data. Although the distinction between data and information is crucial it is often not well understood. "A data file is a collection of numeric and/or alpha-numeric points which may or may not contain information." (Perry era/., 1987) In contrast, information is data endowed with relevance and purpose (Drucker, 1988). Data are individual facts whereas information is data that has been processed, synthesized, and organized for a specific purpose (NRC, 1990). Data that has been collected and interpreted in response to clearly defined management objectives results in information that can help managers decide whether regulatory, environmental quality, and human health objectives are being met. When data are gathered and converted to information in this manner, they generally provide appropriate support for specific management actions (NRC, 1990). Monitoring and research are activities that can generate data and information in support of management. The words monitoring and research broadly capture the two sides of the data gathering and information generation spectrum (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). Monitoring involves inventory of environmental attributes and routine monitoring of environmental conditions. Monitoring includes sampling and measurement over spatial and temporal scales of variables that describe the distribution and abundance of biological resources, the distribution and concentrations of physical, geological and chemical properties, or the location and rates of important processes. 1 3 Biological resources include fish and shellfish, wildfowl, and wildlife species which are important in the food web Physical, geological and chemical properties include temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, suspended solids and contaminants present. Processes include photosynthesis, decomposition, circulation of water, sedimentation, and freshwater flow (NRC, 1990; O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). Research involves the use of investigatory techniques such as desk analysis, experimental management, or experimental research to provide a deeper understanding of environmental conditions or processes than is possible through just monitoring (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). Typically, research involves the collection and analysis of experimental and/or observational data to test a hypothesis. For example, research might involve collection of data to determine whether a cause-effect relationship can be established between a specific contaminant discharge and adverse biological effects in the immediate receiving environment. The critical distinction between monitoring and research is that monitoring involves just measurement whereas research involves a process of hypothesis framing and testing designed to express the probable cause of an measurement. Although monitoring and research are distinct activities, they are usually closely interrelated. While monitoring is inherently a descriptive status report on an integral of time and space, when coupled with research it is possible to predict and anticipate problems. Similarly, measurements from monitoring are frequently the basis for the formulation and testing of hypotheses, which subsequently can influence the design of monitoring programs (O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). Monitoring and research should therefore be considered as parts of a package. The word management has many meanings. In the general sense, management involves the use of information generated through monitoring and research to balance regulatory, environmental quality, and human health objectives. The management process encompasses recognition, formulation, regulation and evaluation. The process 1 4 begins with the recognition phase where monitoring provides information about emerging environmental problems. The formulation phase involves research to determine the full extent of the problem and establish cause-effect relationship between human activities and the problem. The regulation phase involves establishing management objectives and devising appropriate regulatory responses to achieve these objectives. The evaluation phase involves monitoring and research to determine the effectiveness of the regulatory responses in resolving the problem. The distinction made between managers and researchers is an artificial construct for the purposes of this thesis. Management and research functions are generally compressed together with management agencies being responsible for both the generation of information through monitoring and research and its use for regulatory purposes. Broad research and management policy and decision making on environmental issues is primarily concentrated at higher levels of government and by politicians. However, the scope and direction of monitoring and research programs and specific regulatory activities are left to management agencies. Within management agencies a variety of activities occur, ranging from monitoring and research to management. Collection of descriptive data through inventorying and monitoring are undertaken by technicians and research assistants. Research scientists are responsible for experimental research involving collection and analysis of observational or experimental data to test hypotheses. Research scientists also have responsibility for interpreting the data and information generated by inventorying, monitoring and experimental research and making management decisions in response to observed environmental problems. Senior research scientists may also serve on inter-agency committees to address broader management concerns. This is where the distinction between researchers and managers becomes more obvious. At the single agency level, research scientists, or more simply researchers, focus their monitoring and research efforts towards generating 1 5 information needed to address priority management concerns within their own agency. Researchers will be well aware of agency management objectives and the specific information needs to properly respond to these objectives. At the multiple agency level, research and management are less intertwined, with researchers having to use information generated by their own agencies and other agencies to make broader management decisions. Here the researcher and manager roles are quite separate, with less well defined linkages existing between the generation of information through monitoring and research and the use of this information in management. Identifying Weaknesses in the Conventional Approach to Environmental Management There is growing dissatisfaction with the conventional approach to environmental management. Criticism in the environmental management literature has focused on the lack of well-defined linkages between monitoring and research and management considered crucial to ensuring that useful and relevant information is generated for management in a timely manner. Fish (1989) states that the objectives of monitoring and research are to: understand environmental processes; determine the impact of human activities on these processes; and apply these understandings to achieve effective and efficient management of the environment. Unfortunately, because of the ill-defined and ambiguous nature of linkages between monitoring and research and management in the conventional approach, these objectives are rarely fully achieved with problems being experienced both in the generation of information about environmental processes and in the transfer of information generated to the managers. Reilly (1990) observed that in the absence of well-defined links, monitoring and research and management can proceed in many different and often unrelated 1 6 directions. This certainly appears to be the case in the conventional approach where limited interaction occurs both among management agencies and between researchers and managers. Adriaanse era/. (1989) attribute the inadequate linkages among management agencies to the highly sectoral nature of the conventional approach to environmental management. The sectoral approach is characterized by a situation where monitoring and research are undertaken separately for different compartments and aspects of the environment (e.g., waste and water quality management, fisheries, wildfowl, etc.). Researchers generally focus their attention on priority concerns within discrete environmental compartments while devoting considerably less attention to environmental management concerns that encompass several compartments (e.g., water quality conditions as they relate to the health of bird populations). Consequently, information generated by monitoring and research tends to be highly specific and inappropriate to management needs for information about broad environmental issues or it does not address specific issues of concern to management. Jakimchuk (1990) explains the lack of linkages between researchers and managers by noting the reluctance among researchers to have managers determine the content and direction of monitoring and research programs. O'Connor and Flemer (1987) add that monitoring and research and management are largely the purview of researchers and managers, respectively, and that researchers and managers form "uneasy alliances." Consequently, monitoring and research programs are designed and implemented primarily in response to the priorities of researchers. "On the question of research needs ... often when I hear scientists talking of research needs, I get the feeling that the needs of researchers, as distinct from the needs of research users, seem to be the major concern." (Fish, 1989) Unfortunately, little attention is given to the relevance or appropriateness for management of the information generated by 1 7 monitoring and research programs with managers being expected to utilize available information. Not surprisingly, information generated by monitoring and research that focus on priorities of researchers is unlikely to be meaningful and relevant to managers. Re-Thinking the Conventional Approach to Environmental Management Weaknesses resulting from the inadequate linkages among management agencies and between researchers and managers in the conventional approach to management include: (i) poor interface between monitoring and research and management; (ii) inadequate linkages among agencies; and (iii) ineffective information transfer. Closer examination of these weaknesses suggests the need for changes in the way that environmental management is structured if improvements in information generation in support of management are to be achieved. The Interface Between Monitoring and Research and Management Ward era/. (1986) argue that the interface between monitoring and research and management should receive far more attention if effective monitoring and research strategies are to be formulated. The paucity of useful and relevant information available to managers highlights the critical need for clear linkages between the generation of information and its use in management. Although it is widely recognized that the generation of useful and relevant information is indispensable to management, there is not widespread agreement on exactly how monitoring and research should support management and, conversely, how management should be linked with monitoring and research. Shaw (1982) emphasizes the importance of understanding exactly what we expect monitoring and research to 1 8 accomplish. NRC (1990) adds that the ultimate goal of monitoring and research in the environmental management context should be to generate the information necessary to make management decisions. While it is straightforward to conceptualize the link between monitoring and research and management in this way, it is more difficult to envisage a management framework that provides for the necessary linkages between monitoring and research and management. Most recommendations to improve information generation focus on the monitoring and research side of the equation in the belief that information deficiencies can be resolved by striving for higher technical quality of information generated by monitoring and research programs. Although the technical quality of information is obviously important, focusing on the technical aspects of monitoring and research is unlikely by itself to improve information generation significantly. Dorcey and Rueggeberg (1987) suggest that monitoring and research can be judged in two ways. First, the quality of the monitoring and research itself; the quality of data gathered by monitoring and research programs is critical, necessitating that these programs be scientifically defensible and incorporate rigorous quality assurance and quality control. Second, the usefulness of the monitoring and research in achieving management goals and priorities; we should not be concerned just with data quality but also with how readily the data can be translated into information for decision-making. Dorcey and Rueggeberg (1987) conclude that attention must be given both to ensuring that information generated is of the highest technical quality and that information generated is appropriate to management information needs. Their conclusion suggests that recommendations for improving information must encompass both sides of the monitoring and research and management equation to ensure that information generated is appropriate to management concerns. In the absence of such a balancing of attention, 1 9 information generated by monitoring and research programs will likely continue to fall short of management expectations. Dorcey and Rueggeberg's (1987) conclusion that researchers must ensure that monitoring and research generate information that is appropriate to management concerns implies the need to devote much more attention to how monitoring and research and management might fit together as a package. There is increasing consensus in the environmental management literature that monitoring and research should be considered as an integral part of environmental management (Bernstein and Dorsey,1991; Dorcey and Hall, 1981; NRC, 1990; Zoeteman and Langeweg, 1988). Monitoring and research provide input into specific management and regulatory decisions, as well as the development of broader policies by furnishing information about environmental quality and the impacts of specific human activities. In addition, information generated by monitoring and research provides feedback that can be used to adapt and modify management strategies (Holling, 1978). For these reasons, monitoring and research might be characterized as the "sensory" component of environmental management, enabling managers to evaluate and respond effectively to environmental problems (NRC, 1990). Envisioning monitoring and research as the sensory component of management provides the conceptual leap needed to improve information generation. If monitoring and research programs are to generate the information needed by managers they must be deliberately linked to the management process. Indeed, as Craig (1986) observes, effectiveness in ensuring that information obtained from monitoring and research programs is effectively transferred to managers relies on the "deliberate" linking of information gathering to the users of information. 20 Interaction Among Researchers in Determining Monitoring and Research Priorities Adriaanse et al. (1989) argue that linkages among researchers must be strengthened if monitoring and research are to satisfy management information requirements. The conventional approach to environmental management has been faulted for being highly sectoral (Adriaanse era/., 1989; Dorcey, 1987; O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). The conventional approach is characteristically sectoral in that monitoring and research strategies are largely developed separately for different compartments and aspects of the environment. The legislative setting for environmental management is largely to blame for the sectoral nature of monitoring and research undertaken with regulations and environmental policies generally developed in response to particular environmental compartments or aspects of management. For example, in British Columbia there is environmental legislation pertaining to management of fisheries, wildfowl, waste, and water at both federal and provincial government levels. As a result, agencies responsible for implementing environmental legislation tend to adopt a sectoral approach to monitoring and research where monitoring and research priorities are determined in response to information demands particular to discrete environmental compartments. Management agencies in the Fraser River Estuary have largely confined their attention to single environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management (e.g., waste, water quality, fisheries, wildfowl, etc.). Consequently, monitoring and research objectives have generally corresponded to the management objectives of a single agency, with inadequate attention given to determining complementarities of monitoring and research and similarities in management objectives among agencies. Unfortunately, by focusing monitoring and research exclusively on particular compartments, the need for information about environmental problems that transcend single environmental compartments is not addressed. Adriaanse et al. (1989) observe that environmental problems (e.g., contaminant discharges 21 causing water pollution) may affect more than one compartment and different receptors (e.g., humans, fish, birds) directly or indirectly. They continue by noting that a lack of an integrated approach in responding to a pollution problem may result in transferring pollutants from one compartment into another, sooner or later giving rise to new environmental problems. The highly sectoral nature of the conventional approach to environmental management effectively preempts extensive linkages among management agencies. Agencies faced with scarce resources to respond to their management responsibilities will tend to limit their monitoring and research to a single compartment. Not surprisingly in these circumstances priorities for monitoring and research tend to be overwhelmingly proprietary. By itself the tendency for agencies to determine priorities based on their management responsibilities is not undesirable. Unfortunately, when all agencies behave in this manner, management priorities that fall outside of well-defined environmental compartments are virtually ignored (Adriaanse era/ . , 1989). Consequently, managers are left "scrambling" to find the information needed to address their concerns (Dorcey, 1987). Dorcey (1987) observes that without any rigorous process for evaluating monitoring and research priorities, monitoring and research undertaken reflect single-agency priorities. He continues by suggesting that while single agency priorities are not unimportant, they cannot be assumed to be the only and most important priorities. The paucity of information generated in response to management priorities in the conventional approach highlights the need for better integration of management with monitoring and research. This implies the need to adopt managerially directed approaches to monitoring and research to ensure a broadening of focus to include multi-sectoral or multi-compartmental management concerns. Because of the interrelations between environmental compartments and aspects of the environment, management 22 agencies must cooperate in determining overall monitoring and research priorities and in deciding how scarce resources should be allocated among competing priorities (Dorcey, 1987). By means of better linkages among management agencies it may be possible to provide needed information to managers. Information Transfer to Management Linking management and monitoring and research implies the need for effective communication between researchers and managers. The absence of such a link in the conventional approach to management has clearly undermined the usefulness to managers of information generated by monitoring and research. Researchers are often unable to answer apparently simple questions such as: Is the water quality in a certain area getting better or worse? and What factors are contributing to degradation of water quality in a certain area? Their inability to immediately provide accurate answers to management questions can be explained in part by the underlying complexity of environmental problems and the associated difficulty in providing straightforward answers. Providing answers to such management questions may require long-term monitoring of background conditions followed by site-specific monitoring of contaminant discharges to determine whether a particular discharge or level of discharge is contributing to decreasing water quality. The argument that researchers must be given sufficient time and resources to undertake monitoring and research to generate information in response to management questions is only partly persuasive. There is considerable attention given in the environmental management literature to the inability of researchers to answer management questions despite considerable data gathering. Ward et al. (1986) characterize the situation where despite the availability of large amounts of data there is a paucity of relevant and useful information for management as the "data-rich but 23 information-poor syndrome." They explain that although monitoring and research programs generally gather vast quantities of data, the data gathered often cannot be translated into information required by managers. Perry era/ . (1987) add that difficulties encountered in converting data to information are generally attributable to the lack of attention given to clearly defining management information needs prior to undertaking monitoring and research to ensure that data gathered can be translated to produce useful and appropriate information for managers. The distinction between data collection and information generation can be illustrated by comparing the data and information provided by compliance and trend monitoring programs. Compliance monitoring undertaken to determine whether contaminant discharges are in accordance with regulations or permit requirements can be contrasted with trend monitoring intended to identify and quantify longer-term changes in environmental conditions. Although compliance and trend monitoring are different activities, conducted for different purposes, their intent is often confused. Trend monitoring programs are generally intended to provide information about changes in environmental conditions over a period of years allowing managers to assess the overall effectiveness of management strategies. In contrast, compliance monitoring programs are intended to provide information about site-specific contaminant levels to provide information needed for day-to-day management. Perry et al. (1987) distinguish between the two monitoring approaches by noting that trend monitoring can be carried out in the absence of specific management objectives while compliance monitoring only exists in light of well-defined objectives (i.e., comparison of observed contaminant levels in the receiving environment with desired levels of water quality or regulatory criteria). The differences between the information generated by trend and compliance monitoring are not always recognized. Although both compliance and trend monitoring involve the collection of physical, chemical and/or biological data, both data 24 type and quantity may differ. Trend monitoring programs generally produce large amounts of data. Unfortunately, it is often mistakenly assumed that the data and information provided by trend monitoring programs will be useful for day-to-day management. However, unless these programs are designed specifically to supplement (i.e., provide feedback on) compliance monitoring programs, the resulting data are unlikely to be directly relevant for day-to-day management purposes. "Although trend data have been successfully used in environmental management, this success can be attributed to the fortuitous circumstance of having an excess of data which allows identification of a useful subset." (Perry et al., 1987) Indeed, as Robinson (1989) points out, the generation of massive amounts of data that is not directly relevant to the environmental problem of immediate concern may just be confusing to managers. The preceding example illustrates the critical need for clarity of purpose in data gathering and information generation. Attaining clarity of purpose necessitates a deliberate linking of researchers and managers to facilitate effective communication. Two obvious advantages of improved communication between researchers and managers can be identified. First, managers must have the opportunity to relate their information needs to researchers to ensure that the scope and content of monitoring and research programs are appropriate and that they generate relevant and useful information for management. Too often, researchers wrongly assume that their monitoring and research programs will automatically provide information that is useful to managers. Second, researchers must have the opportunity to provide feedback to managers. Perry et al. (1987) observe that managers are often unclear with respect to precisely what problems monitoring and research programs are being asked to address. This implies that it is essential to ensure that monitoring and research objectives follow from unambiguous statements about what constitutes useful information for management. "Just as the creation of useful information depends on clear monitoring objectives, these 25 objectives depend on unambiguous statements about what constitutes useful management information." (NRC, 1990). Improving linkages between researchers and managers should ensure that monitoring and research programs are capable of generating the information needed by managers. Without such linkages researchers are unable to provide feedback to managers on the appropriateness of management expectations. A Conceptual Framework for Environmental Management Responding to the inadequate linkages in the conventional approach to management requires a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between monitoring and research and management. Dorcey and Hall's (1981) model of information generation in support of management provides just such a framework. This model incorporates the elements of research, monitoring and management into a functional whole (Figure 1). The nature of information (knowledge spectrum) and how it relates to different levels of policy formulation, management integration, and implementation is made clear (O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). The model distinguishes between two categories of knowledge that can be used in management. Descriptive knowledge is essentially data gathered on biological or physical properties or processes. For example, in the context of the Fraser River Estuary, descriptive knowledge includes data on the distribution of juvenile salmon among the marshes, the size and type of different waterfowl populations using the estuary, the distribution of different marsh plants, and the flow and quality characteristics of stormwater runoff (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). Functional knowledge goes beyond merely describing ecosystem properties or processes to specify the cause-and-effect relationships between them through hypothesis framing and testing 2 6 uoneno63N pue 6uiuie6jeg to CD <D > CO 4-> o o — CD ro C D O CD 5 o cz CO tz ro ZS X 3 CD CL o Z CD CD CD a a Q ZJ 3 ZJ z z z 4U9W96euew [E4U3UUU3dX3 " [e;u9uuuadx3' sisA[euv >isea' 6UUO4 LUOU PU9J1" 6 U I J O 4 I U O U 9 3 u e i [ d u j o 3 ' 6 U U 0 4 1 U O U I 9U(i9seg ' AJ01U9AUI 6uiuue[d }U3 UUSS9SSV <L> i ? cr Q . ^ "EL 2. •n J ! ^ o > C D TZ> CD o CD CD CZ — I— Q N^ CD > <D C D Cl CD b i cn o CD cz CD C D T 3 CL> 3 o CZ Cl 0 1 ,~ o cj <2 i_--.ro ZJ - Q <L> CL O Z CLi CL> <L> C D C D C D <z tz tz 5 ^ CO E Z J CD ^ _ o .— ro CD O C d a. < 0 0 •o 4—> CZ ro o C D <n CD ro - Q Z C D tz 2* 4J E d 1-' — CO 2 >-Z c o > ^ C D cj cn <= ro < > -C D ? — TO COO cz C J 0 C D 0 CO tz _r 0 _z •0 CD ro < Q Z E ZJ O CD CD Q . Q LO (Z o II CD p Q . E o ca E — CD ^ C L CD o> E E CD •i= O) ca co i=. cz w ca .2 E __ ^ s E cn CD ca c?o £ °> fc CO o e ^ 00 2 o 2 c a -o _ = ._: co ca CD T 3 CZ C o o ca ~ | £ E o _. _. _ o o ex-es CD o ca o E o •a •2 o CD C w « l * f § -g -2. > cn CD o c o E CO CD o c o 'co o CD CD CO cn ^  CD cr <o c o ca 0 -s o P 15 1 co g> >» CO Q. 5 to 2 ca .E o E i— cz uciaei;o69N pue 6uiuie6jeg CD t_ ZJ O I LL. 27 Dorcey and Hall, 1981; O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). Examples of functional knowledge in the Fraser River Estuary context include: understanding the relationship between numbers of salmon returning to spawn and decreasing amounts of sidechannel marsh habitat; explaining how the numbers of wintering waterfowl are affected by decreasing wetland habitats; and determining the effects of deteriorating water quality on the health of salmon populations (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). Dorcey and Hall (1981) differentiate among five investigatory activities -inventorying, monitoring, desk analysis, experimental management and experimental research that can be used to develop new knowledge. Inventorying involves the collection of spatial data at a point in time. Monitoring, in contrast, involves collection of temporal data for a specific data point. For example, in the context of the Fraser River Estuary, inventorying would determine the spatial distribution of different types of wildfowl habitat in a particular year whereas monitoring would determine decreases in habitat over subsequent years. Inventorying and monitoring are both descriptive activities in that they just provide descriptive knowledge about environment health. Desk analysis, experimental management and experimental research are activities that build on descriptive knowledge to provide an understanding of the importance of observed changes in environmental health and contributing factors. In contrast to descriptive knowledge, functional knowledge can only be developed through exploration of an explicit hypothesis involving a specific experimental design. Hypothesis testing can involve desk analysis, experimental research or experimental management. Desk analysis generally utilizes available data to test a preliminary hypothesis in order to refine hypotheses and guide experimental design. Experimental research involves the collection of new data through experimental field work or laboratory experiments to test a hypothesis. Experimental management involves designing an experiment to test a hypothesis through the implementation of a management decision (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). 28 The positions of inventorying, monitoring, desk analysis, experimental research and experimental management on the knowledge spectrum in the upper portion of Figure 1 represent their usefulness with respect to the information generated in support of management. Activities to the left of the knowledge spectrum are generally less powerful tools while activities to the right are more powerful tools. The importance of the relative positions of different investigatory activities becomes apparent in the middle and lower portions of the figure. The policy analysis spectrum illustrates the comprehensiveness of various policy instruments. On the left are single purpose, single objective and single means analyses while at the right are multiple purpose, multiple objective and multiple means analyses. The comprehensiveness of policy analysis is directly related to the availability of relevant and appropriate information. For example, relatively straightforward tasks such as impact assessment can be accomplished using descriptive information generated by inventorying and monitoring. In contrast, more sophisticated tasks such as planning require functional information generated by desk analysis, experimental research and experimental management. The decision spectrum illustrates types of decision-making processes corresponding to the policy instruments shown on the policy analysis spectrum. On the left is ad hoc decision making where management decisions are made by single agencies on a case-by-case basis. Moving to the right, greater integration of decision making among management agencies is involved. Coordination and cooperation among management agencies is necessitated by the broader implications of planning initiatives involved towards the right of the policy analysis spectrum (Dorcey and Hall, 1981). The central concept emphasized in the Dorcey and Hall (1981) model is that improved management is contingent on the growth of functional knowledge to better inform the decision-making process. In addition, policies and institutional arrangements must be supported by, and made congruent with, the development of 29 functional information (O'Connor and Flemer, 1987). Figure 2 portrays this idea by showing more powerful investigative activities clustered to the right of the knowledge spectrum. The growth of functional knowledge might be expected to facilitate the use of more sophisticated policy instruments and correspondingly more integrated decision making and management strategies. Increased emphasis on these activities will result in the generation of both descriptive and functional knowledge in contrast to the overwhelmingly descriptive knowledge available in the conventional approach. Towards an Integrated Approach to Environmental Management Dorcey (1987) recognized that improvements in environmental management "depend on researchers and managers becoming more intimately involved in each other's work." He argued that "structural changes will be needed to encourage researchers and managers to work more closely together." Adding that this implies much greater emphasis on structuring the interactions between researchers and managers. Adriaanse era/. (1989) and Zoeteman and Langeweg's (1988) experiences with environmental management in the Netherlands reinforce arguments for fundamental re-structuring of the conventional management framework. They argue that effective environmental management requires the adoption of a "holistic" perspective of environmental management found in the integrated approach. Adriaanse et al. (1989) observe that the characteristically sectoral approach to management in the Netherlands which predominated up to the late 1960's resulted in inefficient and ineffective responses to environmental problems due to lack of collaboration among research agencies and coordination between research and management agencies. In response, the Dutch government moved to integrate (i.e., through legislative change) the policies of 30 u o i + e n o 6 e N pue 6 u i u t e 6 j e g o o C L CD cn c "O o c CD CD 0) 4 ) Q . 3 3 3 E Z 51 6u l - C l L U O N puaji" 4U3LU36eueui_ leiuaiujedxB" S ' . s A i e u v >isaa" 6uiJ04iuoui. e o u e i i d u j o o ' 6UIJO4IUOUI e u i i a s e g ' AjoiueAUi • ( 5 <b ° ^ rs tn o CD CD 3 ( C C D o * CD o > o i CD CD a _ I— D V CD CD 2 5 o O CD C Q . LO co E — 3 , 1/1 L <-> — O , TO ( D O C CL a. < co CD c <rj o C O LO CD C O a r c o Q LO c CD E 3 J C DI i CD « J «.9-o CO ^ CO c "a — CC T -cn— . c M = '•5 5 « 2 .2 X w " -a => ;= c = .2 co *z x: >» c «- a> t o CD CD Q o i - g u 2 '> E ca 2 o E O T3 CO ** a> r w a o .2 co £ > co > CD o o ** OJ-Q C 4= O o CO co » c O £ CD Q.~ E O.T3 aj, ca CD cn co c: ca E •a « CD .y CO CO U O l o a- CD c co ca — t_ 9; »- CD sz o ~ - S o ~ ca o co £ a. <5 « % S 5 = •B «> .2 ca x: co E rap 3 E 0 0 0 £ £ = C\J CD 31 agencies responsible for different aspects of environment management. Consequently, research and management agencies in the Netherlands were obliged to revise their perspective on environmental problems and their approach to environmental management by virtue of the integrated approach's focus on the entire environmental management process (Adriaanse era/., 1989; De Groot, 1989; Lowgren and Segrell, 1991; Zoeteman and Langeweg, 1988). Dorcey and Hall's (1981) model of the roles of research and monitoring in the management context illustrates the re-structuring of the conventional approach necessary to improve information generation in support of management. The entire model depicts the holistic perspective of environmental management called for by Adriaanse era/. (1989) and Zoeteman and Langeweg (1988). The shaded area in Figure 2 indicates where fundamental structural changes are required to achieve more integrated management. Both horizontal and vertical movement within the shaded area is implied by the move towards more integrated management. Integrated management necessitates increased attention both to the types of information generation activities undertaken and to the use of information generated in the management process. Movement from left to right along the knowledge spectrum is crucial. Because the integrated approach encompasses the entire life-cycle of an environmental problem, a wide range of information will be needed in support of management. Management information needs will be different for each phase of an environmental problem necessitating appropriately focused monitoring and research programs (Adriaanse et al., 1989; De Groot, 1989; Zoeteman and Langeweg, 1988). Initially, during the recognition phase, aggregated information is needed to fulfill an indicator function for management. Managers will require information about overall environmental health and changes in health over a period of time generated through inventorying and monitoring. 32 Next, moving through the formulation and regulation phases, managers will require more specific information linking particular contaminant sources with observed environmental problems. This necessitates a shift in the focus of monitoring and research programs towards desk analysis and experimental research to provide information about causal relationships. Later, during the evaluation phase, information fulfils a feedback function to evaluate the effectiveness of management regulatory responses to environmental problems. Monitoring and research undertaken during the evaluation phase involves a combination of experimental management and trend monitoring. Experimental management is needed to determine the potential of alternative management responses whereas trend monitoring is required to evaluate the effectiveness of management responses in addressing environmental problems. Importantly, the manner in which investigatory activities are utilized changes through the management process. For example, monitoring undertaken during the recognition phase involves both baseline and trend monitoring to determine background environmental conditions at a particular time and to distinguish changes in conditions over a period of time, respectively. In contrast, during the evaluation phase, trend monitoring is undertaken to assess the effectiveness of management responses by examining the changes in environmental conditions over time. Movement from left to right along the policy analysis spectrum and decision spectrum corresponding to the knowledge spectrum is also important. The generation of functional knowledge in support of management necessitates both: (i) the extension of investigatory activities to include desk analysis, experimental research and experimental management in addition to inventory and monitoring; and (ii) a considerably broader focus for investigatory activities. On the left side of the policy 33 analysis spectrum, attention is predominantly focused on single purpose, objective, and means. Moving towards the right, the focus broadens to include multiple purpose, objectives and means. The conventional approach to management would be situated to the left of the shaded area in Figure 2. Conventional, characteristically sectoral, approaches are characterized by their narrow focus on single environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management. For example, monitoring and research would be focused on the effects of contaminant discharges on single environmental compartments or on selected populations. In contrast, an integrated approach would consider the adverse effects of contaminant discharges in multiple compartments in an effort to properly understand the direct and indirect effects of contaminant discharges in the receiving environment (Levin era/.,1984; Malone and Bell, 1991). The focus of investigatory activities and the information generated has important implications for decision making. Case-by-case decision making involving permitting or licensing of a waste discharge may only require data and information about discharge characteristics and assessment of site-specific receiving water quality. In this situation, the information generated may just have to satisfy the needs of a single management agency responsible for issuing permits and licenses. In contrast, management decisions that involve several agencies because of the potential for adverse impacts in many environmental compartments necessitate the generation of information that satisfies the needs of a much broader group of users (i.e., investigatory activities must provide an understanding of contaminant effects both within a particular compartment and throughout all affected compartments). 34 Conclusions The Dorcey and Hall (1981) model suggests that information generation in support of environmental management can be significantly strengthened by adopting a more integrated approach to management. The shift towards a more integrated approach is represented as movement from the left to the right through the shaded area shown in Figure 2. Horizontal movement emphasizes the generation of functional knowledge in support of management. Horizontal integration means that monitoring and research programs must not only respond to management information needs during each phase of the management process but there must be clear link between the information generated through each phase of the management process. The lack of horizontal integration is readily apparent in the conventional approach with monitoring and research programs not corresponding well with management information needs. The absence of linkages between researchers and managers in the conventional approach has meant that management information needs have not been clearly articulated with the result that the information generated has generally not corresponded with management information needs. Vertical movement emphasizes changes in management policies and institutional arrangements corresponding to the growth of functional knowledge. Vertical integration involves a broadening of management focus from predominantly single agency objectives to multiple agency objectives to ensure that information generated examines environmental problems both with respect to individual environmental compartments or aspects of the environment and as they affect multiple compartments. The lack of 35 vertical integration is also apparent in the conventional approach with monitoring and research being highly sectoral - corresponding to individual environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management. The lack of linkages among management agencies in the conventional approach means that agencies have generally not collaborated or cooperated extensively with the result that information generated has predominantly responded to single agency information needs while neglecting information required to address broader environmental concerns. 36 CHAPTER 3 - CASE STUDY DESCRIPTION Introduction This chapter provides background material necessary to understand environmental management in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary. Such an understanding is crucial to following the analysis of information generation found in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. The chapter is divided into three sections. First, I describe the bio-phyiscal attributes of Boundary Bay as it is located within the Fraser River Estuary. Human activities occurring within the Boundary Bay watershed are also detailed. Second, the legislative setting for environmental management in Boundary Bay and the Fraser River Estuary is summarized. This section provides an overview of federal and provincial environmental legislation and the corresponding roles of management agencies in the estuary. Third, institutional arrangements for environmental management in the estuary are explained. Here I provide an overview of the inter-agency arrangements that have been created to facilitate management efforts in the estuary. Some explanation is needed for the decision to initially collapse the case study to look at Boundary Bay rather than looking at the entire Fraser River Estuary. The reasons are entirely pragmatic. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the connection between the existing framework for management in the estuary and deficiencies in information generation in support of managers. Because Boundary Bay comprises a well-defined section of the Fraser River Estuary it provides a platform for understanding examples of environmental management problems found throughout the estuary and analyzing the usefulness and timeliness of information generated by 3 7 monitoring and research activities in response to management problems. Due to its proximity to Vancouver, Boundary Bay is subject to the rapidly increasing urban expansion felt throughout the estuary, with land uses shifting from largely agricultural to residential. In addition, Boundary Bay contains important fish habitat and is internationally recognized as providing crucial habitat for migratory birds. For these reasons, Boundary Bay provides examples of pressing environmental problems faced by managers in the estuary. Because the same environmental management framework extends throughout the Fraser River Estuary, conclusions and recommendations reached with regard to monitoring and research and management activities and the adequacy of information generated in support of management in Boundary Bay apply equally in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the estuary. Considerable, largely descriptive, information is available on Boundary Bay and the legislative and institutional setting for management in the Fraser River Estuary (Roseland era/., 1991). The overview of bio-physical characteristics and human activities in Boundary Bay and legislative and institutional arrangements for management in the estuary is largely drawn from this literature. Where necessary, representatives of management agencies were consulted to provide additional information or confirmation and clarification of details found in the literature. The Boundary Bav Study Area Background Boundary Bay is located approximately 19 km south of Vancouver and comprises part of the Fraser River delta facing southwest onto the Strait of Georgia (Figures 3a,b). Including its northeasterly extension of Mud Bay and its eastern extension of 38 39 4 0 Semiahmoo Bay, Boundary Bay is 15 km long and 4 km wide, covering an area of 6,090 hectares. The Boundary Bay watershed includes three rivers: the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and the Little Campbell. The Little Campbell River is approximately 30 km in length and drains 65 k m 2 of uplands into Semiahmoo Bay. The Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers drain a valley extending eastward from Mud Bay. The Serpentine River, approximately 34 km in length, includes Anderson and Murray Creeks within its 149 k m 2 drainage basin. The Nicomekl River, approximately 35 km in length, includes Latimer, Mahood, and Hyland Creeks within its approximately 116 k m 2 drainage basin (FRES, 1978a; Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Although hydrologically separate, the Boundary Bay watershed is considered part of the Fraser River Estuary because historically the flat-bottomed valley of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers, now floored by peat beds, was an embayment of the sea leading to the inactive portion of the Fraser River delta, or southern delta-front, comprising the tidal flats extending from the Point Roberts Peninsula to Mud Bay (FRES, 1978b; Hoos and Packman, 1974; Kellerhals and Murray, 1969). Physical and Biological Oceanography The physical oceanography of Boundary Bay is characterized by surface currents moving in a counter-clockwise gyre from Semiahmoo Bay into Boundary Bay. Water entering Boundary Bay comes from Puget Sound, Drayton Harbour and the Blaine area, as well as the Strait of Georgia (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Water movement within Boundary Bay is driven by mainly diurnal tidal currents (daily in October and from January to June and twice-daily for the remainder of the year), with much of the foreshore area becoming exposed at low tide. Ebb tides are more concentrated on the western side of the bay, while flood tides are concentrated on the eastern side. 41 Consequently, Mud Bay and the southeasterly portion of Boundary Bay are relatively poorly flushed by these surface and tidal currents (Thomson, 1981; Waldichuk, 1957). The dominant feature of the biological oceanography of Boundary Bay is the high phytoplankton productivity. In contrast to other areas of the estuary where the high turbidity of the Fraser River plume reduces primary production through light attenuation, Boundary Bay remains unaffected because of the Point Roberts peninsula which acts as a physical barrier (Harrison et al., 1983). Other important biological oceanographical features of Boundary Bay are the freshwater and brackish water zones resulting from freshwater flows from the Serpentine, Nicomekl and Little Campbell Rivers (FRES, 1978b; Hoos and Packman, 1974). Aquatic Habitat and Utilization Boundary Bay features important foreshore, intertidal and shallow subtidal zones which support a high diversity of aquatic organisms. Foreshore habitat includes significant marsh communities in Mud Bay and between the Nicomekl and Serpentine Rivers. An extensive eelgrass zone, comprising both Zostera marina and Zostera americana, covers most of the lower tidal flats with an algal mat covering much of the unvegetated upper tidal flats (Forbes, 1972; Hoos and Packman, 1974; Shepperd, 1981; Swinbanks, 1979). Kellerhals and Murray (1969), Swinbanks (1979) and Swinbanks and Murray (1981) reported abundant macrobenthos in the upper and lower tidal zones, including bivalves, decapods, gastropods and polychaetes. Dominant fauna in the lower tidal zone are polychaetes and sand dollars (Burd et al., 1987; Levings et al., 1983; McEwan and Gordon, 1985). The eelgrass zone, which supports very productive and diverse invertebrate communities, provides spawning and feeding habitat for Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi) and nursery and feeding habitat for juvenile and adult salmonids (Hoos and Packman, 1974). Colodey (1986) reported that surf smelt, 42 eulachon, juvenile sculpins and flatfish, and gunnels are abundant in parts of Boundary Bay. Boundary Bay has previously supported extensive oyster populations, most notably Pacific oyster (Crassostera gigas), which were harvested commercially prior to 1962 (Quayle, 1964). Populations of cockle, manila and butter clam, and native and eastern oyster are found in parts of Boundary Bay. Crabs (particularly Cancer magister) are abundant in Semiahmoo Bay and parts of Boundary Bay and are harvested commercially. Harbour seals regularly use parts of Boundary Bay as a haul-out and feeding area (Bigg, 1 969) . Elsewhere in the watershed, the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell Rivers support populations of salmon, trout, lamprey, brown bullhead, peamouth chub, crayfish and frogs. Although the lower sections have little suitable habitat, tributaries in the middle and upper reaches of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers provide important spawning habitat for coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kitusch) and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) (Farrell et al., 1987; FRES, 1978b; Hancock and Marshall, 1985; Marshall et al., 1979). Spawning of coho and chum salmon occurs throughout tributaries in the lower and upper reaches of the Little Campbell River, respectively. In addition, steelhead and cutthroat trout make extensive use of the Little Campbell River system, with this system ranking fifth or sixth in steelhead angling importance in the Greater Vancouver region (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Terrestrial Habitat and Utilization Terrestrial vegetation in Boundary Bay can be categorized into dyked upland areas forming prime agricultural land and foreshore vegetation consisting primarily of salt marsh in the western portion of Boundary Bay and both salt marsh and brackish water marsh in Mud Bay (Forbes, 1972; Hoos and Packman, 1974). Prior to dyking 43 and the proliferation of agriculture in the late 1890's, floodplain vegetation consisted of extensive areas of salt and freshwater marsh, grassland, mixed scrubland, swamp and bog, deciduous woodlands, and deciduous-coniferous forest (Butler and Campbell, 1987; FRES, 1978b; North and Teversham, 1984). Remaining terrestrial vegetation includes marshland immediately adjacent to the dyke surrounding Boundary Bay. This is separated from the extensive agricultural lands by a belt of grassland and mixed scrubland. The remaining woodlands are concentrated in the upland areas adjacent to Mud and Semiahmoo Bays. Both terrestrial and benthic habitat in Boundary Bay are used extensively by resident and migratory waterbirds, shorebirds and raptors. The Fraser River delta supports on average half a million birds each year, with up to 1.4 million birds using the delta during peak migration periods. The importance of the salt marshes, eelgrass beds and beaches in Fraser River delta as a link in a chain of vital bird habitats between breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska and eastern Russia and wintering areas in southern USA and Central and South America has led to the delta being proposed as a protected area under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention of 1971) (van Hees, 1983). Boundary Bay is considered the most important coastal bay for shorebirds and waterfowl on the coast of British Columbia, providing intertidal, subtidal and offshore habitat. The intertidal zone is frequented by 29 species of shorebirds, including Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Greater Blue Herons, Glaucous-winged and Mew Gulls, Bald Eagles, Snowy and Common-barn Owls, and Merlin and Peregrine Falcons. The shallow subtidal zone is frequented by Canada Geese, Brant, and dabbling ducks (e.g., American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Mallard and Green-winged Teal). The deeper waters offshore are frequented by diving ducks, including Greater Scaup, Surf Scooter, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck, and Western Grebs 44 and Pacific Loons (Butler and Cannings, 1989; Butler and Campbell, 1987; Vermeer and Butler, 1989). Terrestrial habitat such as woodlands and agricultural land is also considered extremely important. Tall trees provide nest sites for Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons and Great Horned Owls. Pastures and planted fields are extensively utilized by dabbling ducks and geese while the abundant wildlife (e.g., Townsend vole) represent an important food source for raptors and herons (Butler and Cannings, 1989; Butler and Campbell, 1987; Vermeer and Butler, 1989). Butler era/ . (1990) found that the distribution of many bird species in the Boundary Bay watershed is closely associated with the distribution of suitable farmland habitats near Boundary and Mud Bays. Land Use in the Boundary Bay Watershed The primary land uses within the Boundary Bay watershed are agricultural, residential, and transportation. Secondary land uses include recreation and industrial. The predominant land use in the watershed is agricultural, with 279.7 k m 2 of land designated as Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) under the Agricultural Land Commission Act (FRES, 1978c; FREMP, 1990a). Intensive crop agriculture occurs mostly in the lowland areas around the Serpentine River. Less intensive crop agriculture occurs elsewhere in the watershed, where most land is planted in pasture, vegetable crops (e.g., potatoes, corn, leafy vegetables, pumpkins) or left fallow. Dairy, beef, hog, and sheep farms are mainly located in the Little Campbell River drainage basin and in the upper reaches of the Nicomekl River (FREMP, 1990a; GVRD, 1987). Residential land use is mostly concentrated in the communities of Boundary Bay and Beach Grove in the western part of the watershed, and the communities of Crescent Beach, Ocean Park and White Rock overlooking Mud Bay and Semiahmoo Bay. 45 Transportation routes and facilities comprise a relatively large land area in the watershed. The greatest linear area is where the Great Northern Railway follows the eastern foreshore of Boundary, Mud and Semiahmoo Bays. In addition, 457.5 hectares of federal land in the western part of the watershed are taken up by the Boundary Bay Airport (FRES, 1978c). The most important recreational use of Boundary Bay is bird watching which is concentrated along the dyke and within several parks and wildlife reserves located in the watershed. Additional uses are seasonal swimming at Boundary Bay Beach, Centennial Beach, Crescent Beach, near White Rock, and at one location in the Little Campbell River; boat moorage, with three boat marinas being located near and at the mouth of the Nicomekl River; and golfing, with four golf courses currently being located within the watershed and several more proposed for fallow agricultural land in the watershed (GVRD, 1987; 1988a; Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Industrial land use in the watershed is confined to land adjacent to the Mahood and Hyland tributaries of the Serpentine River and along the Nicomekl River. Industries include plastics, paint and concrete manufacturing, petroleum storage, and iron foundaries. In addition, several closed landfills are located in the Nicomekl River drainage basin (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Limited exploratory drilling has taken place at one site immediately adjacent to Boundary Bay to assess hydrocarbon producing and natural gas storage potential (Anderson, 1991). Water Use in the Boundary Bay Watershed In addition to the aforementioned uses of water and aquatic habitat by fish and birds, there are several important anthropogenic water uses in the Boundary Bay watershed. Irrigation is the major consumptive use of water in the watershed. Tidal gates located near the mouths of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers prevent salt water 46 intrusion and preserve fresh water in the lower reaches for irrigation purposes. Additional withdrawals include agricultural stock watering, industrial (mostly for golf course irrigation), and domestic use (FREMP, 1990a; Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Waste Discharges to Boundary Bay Waste discharges to receiving waters in the watershed constitute an important anthropogenic water use. These discharges comprise three major categories: agricultural sources; urban stormwater run-off, and permitted discharges. The most significant category of waste discharge, in terms of the overall effect on water quality in the watershed, comes from agricultural sources. These sources contribute almost the entire contaminant load from non-point sources (which also includes leachate from septic tanks and closed landfills, sewage treatment plant effluent, and discharges associated with marinas)(GVRD, 1988b). Diffuse, or indirect, agricultural run-off is of particular concern in the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell River drainage areas. In contrast, direct discharges from land pump stations are of most concern in Boundary Bay (Higgs, 1989). These pump stations, at five locations around Boundary Bay, are required to lift mainly agricultural run-off to drainage ditches over the dyke (Swain and Alexander, 1981; Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Agricultural source contaminants include fecal coliform bacteria, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), nutrients (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural fertilizers), sediments, metals, and pesticide residues (herbicides, fungacides, miticides, and insecticides) (FREMP, 1990b; Moody, 1989). Fecal coliform bacteria, mainly from dairy agricultural run-off, have been the contaminant of most concern in Boundary Bay and Mud Bay. Following bacteriological surveys which indicated excess fecal coliform levels, these areas were closed for commercial oyster harvesting in 1962 4 7 (prior to this date Boundary Bay and Mud Bay were major oyster producing areas, accounting for over 60% of the British Columbia total yearly harvest). These areas remain closed to both commercial and recreational harvesting because of continued elevated bacterial levels in Boundary Bay, Mud Bay and near Crescent Beach (Ferguson and Kay, 1978; Kay, 1976). Depressed dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and potential toxicity of pesticides have been an increasing concern in the Nicomekl and Serpentine Rivers (FREMP, 1990b). Contaminant loadings from residential, and associated commercial, sources are of increasing concern in the watershed. Urban source contaminants from residential and commercial lands, highways, and related construction activities are collected by storm sewers and ditches and discharged untreated to various waterbodies in the watershed. Total annual stormwater flows are approximately 53% of total flows into the Boundary Bay watershed (FREMP, 1990a; GVRD, 1988b). Contaminants consistently found in urban run-off in varying amounts include suspended solids, temperature, pH, BOD, oil and grease, nutrients, and fecal coliform bacteria. Less commonly found, but of increasing concern, are more diverse and complex contaminants such as: metals and other inorganics, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons, halogenated ethers, monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalate esters, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) (GVRD, 1988b; Swain, 1983). Contaminant loadings from urban and agricultural sources are of most significance in the Serpentine River and the least importance in the Nicomekl and Little Campbell Rivers (GVRD, 1988a,b; Halstead, 1978). The relative importance of contaminant loadings depends largely on the percentage of land in different uses, annual stream flows, and the season. For example, urban run-off contributes 20-30% of the total summer nutrient loadings to the Little Campbell and Nicomekl Rivers, and 60% to the Serpentine River, while in winter urban run-off contributes 40%, 50%, and 75% 48 of the total nutrient loadings to the Little Campbell, Nicomekl, and Serpentine Rivers, respectively. These percentages reflect both the higher proportion of residential land use in the Serpentine River drainage area and the higher rate of run-off during wet weather (GVRD, 1989). Compared to agricultural and urban contaminant discharges, permitted contaminant discharges to the Boundary Bay watershed are minimal. Contaminant loadings include quantities of coarse and fine solids, oil and grease, BOD, temperature, pH, nutrients, metals and inorganics, and organics (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b; Swain and Alexander, 1981). In addition to permitted industrial discharges, there have been infrequent non-permitted effluent discharges to the Boundary Bay watershed (e.g., in 1986 a tetra/pentachlorophenate spill into the Hyland Creek tributary of the Serpentine River caused a large fish kill) (Colodey, 1986). The Legislative Setting for Environmental Management in the Fraser River Estuarv This section examines federal and provincial legislation and how these influence environmental management in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary The purpose of the discussion sections is to provide a brief summary of the jurisdictional and legislative setting for environmental management in the estuary and to identify legislation which has important implications for how management has evolved in the estuary. This overview was written in the early part of 1993 and as such provides a snapshot of relevant legislation and its application up to the end of 1992. Greater detail of the jurisdiction, legislation and management responsibilities of federal and provincial government agencies, regional districts, harbour authorities, and municipal governments in the Fraser River Estuary is provided in Table 1. 49 T O P I C R E L E V A N T PRINCIPAL L E G I S L A T I O N Joint Basin Agreements Canada Water Act Environmental Impact Assessment Environment and Land Use Act (B.C.) Formulation of Water Quality Objectives Ministry of Environment Act (B.C.) Canadian Environmental Protection Act Boundary Waters Treaty Regulation of Waste Discharges Waste Manaaement Act (B.C.) Fisheries Act Health Act (B.C.) Review of Potentially Dangerous Substances Canadian Environmental Protection Act Pest Control Products Act Pesticide Control Act (B.C.) Protection of Fish and Fish Habitat Fisheries Act Protection of Water Quality Water Act Municipal Act (B.C.) Fisheries Act Canadian Environmental Protection Act Waste Manaaement Act (B.C.) Canada Water Act Ministrv of Environment Act (B.C.) Environmental Management Act (B.C.) Collection and Treatment of Sewage and Drainage Waste Management Act (B.C.) GVS&DD Act (B.C.) Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat Canadian Wildlife Act Miaratorv Birds Convention Act Wildlife Act (B.C.) Land Use Agricultural Land Commission Act (B.C.) Municipal Act (B.C.) Land Act (B.C.) Ministrv of Forests and Lands Act (B.C.) Table 1 - Overview of legislation applicable to environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary as of the end of 1992 50 Jurisdictional Setting In Canada there are both proprietary and regulatory aspects of federal and provincial government jurisdiction over natural resources. Federal proprietary powers are limited to their rights as property owners in a province, whereas provincial proprietary powers are those gained through allocation of natural resources in legislation. Federal regulatory powers include those gained through ownership and those specifically allocated in legislation. In contrast, provincial regulatory powers are just those gained through their proprietary powers (Alexander, 1982; Dunn, 1978). The jurisdictional authority of federal and provincial governments is set out in the Constitution Act (formerly the British North America Act ). S.91 and s.92 of the Act set out the responsibilities of the federal and provincial governments while s.108 and s.109 of the Act divide the ownership of public lands and resources between the federal and provincial governments. The division of powers between federal and provincial governments under the Act has led to overlapping jurisdictions in certain environmental matters. For example, the federal government is responsible for fisheries management and protection of fish habitat and pollution prevention with respect to fisheries (as defined by the Fisheries Act) but does not actually own the fisheries resource (i.e., under s.109 of the Constitution Act, the provinces own natural resources including fisheries within their boundaries and have legislative powers over them). Another example is the residual powers of the federal government to make laws for the "peace, order and good government" of Canada in relation to all matters not expressly assigned to the provinces. These, so-called, POGG powers may justify federal environmental legislation of a type which coordinates or supplements provincial legislation. (FREMP, 1991a; L. Heustis, Lecture Notes; Ince and Edwards, 1984; Thompson and Eddy, 1973; Thompson and Rueggeberg, 1989). 51 Federal Environmental Legislation To-date the Fisheries Act has been the most significant federal environmental legislation. This Act, which is administered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) with a supporting role played by Environment Canada (EC), provides for the protection of fish habitat and the prevention of unauthorized contaminant discharges that might harm fish. Under the terms of a 1985 Memorandum of Understanding, DFO is responsible for all sections of the Act and directly administers s.35 which prohibits any destruction or disruption of fish habitat except where authorized. EC administers s.36(3) which prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish unless exempted under the Act. Important definitions in the Act are: fish includes shellfish, crustaceans, marine animals and the eggs, spawn, spat and juvenile stages of fish, crustaceans and marine animals; fish habitat means spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes; deposit means any discharging, spraying, releasing, spilling, leaking, seeping, pouring, emitting, emptying, throwing, dumping or placing; deleterious substance means (a) any substance that, if added to any water, would degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of water so that it is rendered or is likely to be rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water; or (b) any water that contains a substance in such a quantity or concentration, or that has been so treated, processed or changed, by heat or other means, from a natural state that it would, if added to any other water, degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of that water so that it is rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water (FREMP, 1990a; Ince and Edwards, 1984; Lidstone era/., 1989). 52 The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) is an increasingly important piece of federal environmental legislation. C E P A incorporated provisions from existing federal statutes, including the Environmental Contaminants Act, the Ocean Dumping Control Act, the Canada Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Department of the Environment Act, and added significantly to those provisions. CEPA is a comprehensive exercise of the federal government's power to protect the environment, and is an attempt to establish a complete system of regulation governing the creation, importation, handling and disposal of toxic substances, including their release into the environment. CEPA, which is administered by E C , includes provisions relating to federal government responsibilities with respect to the collection and publication of environmental data and the formulation of environmental quality objectives and guidelines for the release of substances into the environment and the control of toxic substances throughout their entire life cycle and regulates their importation, manufacture, transport, distribution, storage, use, disposal and release into the environment. S.11 of the Act defines a substance as "toxic" if it meets any. of the following criteria: (a) it has or may have immediate or long term harmful effect on the environment; (b) it constitutes or may constitute a danger to the environment on which human life depends; or (c) it constitutes or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health. S.34 empowers Cabinet to make regulations dealing with substances considered toxic, including: (i) the quantity or concentration of the substance that may be released into the environment; (ii) places or areas where the substance may be released; (iii) conditions on release of the substance. To date, the List of Toxic Substances includes lead, mercury, asbestos, chlorobiphenyls, dodecachloropentacyclodecane, polybrominated biphenyls, chlorofluorocarbon and polychlorinated terphenyls (L. Heustis, Lecture Notes; Lidstone era/.,1989). The Canada Water Act, administered by EC, provides the legislative framework for water resource management in Canada. The Act provides for comprehensive water 53 resource management through joint, federal/provincial basin management agreements. One such agreement was instrumental in the formation of the Fraser River Estuary Study (FRES) agreement between the federal and provincial Ministries of Environment. The Fraser River Estuary Management Program (FREMP) is a subsequent agreement under the Act involving EC and the B.C. Ministry of Environment (MOE), DFO, the North Fraser Harbour Commission (NFHC) and the Fraser River Harbour Commission (FRHC) (Alexander, 1982; FREMP, 1988; FREMP, 1990a). The Canadian Wildlife Act, administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), empowers the federal government to acquire land for wildlife conservation, manage wildlife areas established under the Act, and to undertake wildlife research. Wide discretionary powers are provided in the Act to allow the federal government to work by itself or in cooperation with other governments and private organizations to conserve and manage wildlife and wildlife habitat (FREMP, 1991a; Ince and Edwards, 1984; van Hees, 1983). The Migratory Birds Convention Act, also administered by CWS, implements a convention between Canada and the United States for the protection of migratory birds in the two countries. Under the Act, regulations can be made by the federal government to ensure the protection of migratory birds which inhabit Canada during any part of the year. S.4(1) of the Act authorizes the protection of migratory birds, and the establishment of Migratory Bird Sanctuaries for the purpose of protecting migratory birds, and the habitat they use, from disturbances (Ince and Edwards, 1984; van Hees, 1983) . Provincial Environmental Legislation The Environment and Land Use Act is the broadest provincial statute affecting natural resource use. Although the Act does not provide the provincial government with 54 direct control over all natural resource use, its provisions are applicable where other, more specific legislation, does not exist. For example, the requirement for environmental impact assessments of certain industrial and municipal developments in the Fraser River Estuary arises from the provisions of the Act (FREMP, 1991a). The Ministry of Environment Act outlines the authority of MOE. The Act sets out the agency's responsibilities, including: planning for the effective management, protection and conservation of all water, land, air, plant life and animal life in the province; monitoring environmental conditions; assessing and reporting on general environmental conditions; and the setting of environmental quality objectives for natural resource management in the province (Ince and Edwards, 1984). The Environmental Management Act generally defines provincial environmental management policy. The Act provides that MOE's responsibilities extend to matters relating to the management, protection, and enhancement of the environment. The Act empowers the MOE to develop management plans, to acquire information relative to environmental protection, to take action to prevent environmental damage, and to provide information to the public with respect to the quality and use of the environment. This includes the preparation and publication of policies, strategies, objectives and standards for the protection and management of the environment and preparation and publication of environmental management plans related to water resource management, fisheries and aquatic life management, wildlife management, and waste management. The Waste Management Act sets out the legislative framework for controlling the pollution of air, water and land in the province. While the Environmental Management Act defines broader environmental management policy, the Waste Management Act provides for the day-to-day regulatory functions. S.3 of the the Act established a permit and approval system that requires industries and individuals to hold a permit or an approval before discharging waste into the environment in such a manner or quantity as 55 to cause pollution. The Act also provides municipalities with the opportunity to develop comprehensive waste management plans to regulate all municipal waste discharges. Notwithstanding permit or waste management plan approval, the Act allows MOE to order pollution control measures be taken where they are concerned that a substance being deposited to the environment is causing harm (FREMP, 1991a; Ince and Edwards, 1 984) . The Land Act, administered by the Ministry of Lands and Parks (MLP), regulates the disposition of provincial Crown land. It establishes procedures for the acquisition of Crown land by private individuals and defines the rights which flow with its transfer. The Act provides for the reservation and/or withdrawal of Crown land from disposition for the protection of habitat. Habitat protection provisions range from an Order in Council Reserve - the strongest form of protection tenure available under the Act which reserves provincial land under the jurisdiction of the MLP and legally establishes a management mandate - to an Order in Council Land Transfer, to a Map Reserve, to a Notation of Interest - the weakest form of administrative protection available under the Act which is usually placed on areas where the resource mix is complex to provide short term protection for an area pending more detailed studies. S.101 and s.27 of the Act provide for the transfer of responsibility for the administration and management of provincial Crown land from the MLP to any other provincial Ministry or to the federal government, respectively (Ince and Pereboom, 1984; van Hees, 1983). The Wildlife Act, administered by the Fish and Wildlife Branch of MOE, provides for the conservation and management of wildlife and wildlife habitat in the province. S.4 and s.6 of the Act allow for the establishment through purchase, lease, donation, expropriation or land transfer of Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA's) and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) for the protection of endangered or threatened species. 56 The Greater Vancouver and Sewage Drainage District (GVS&DD) Act provides the mandate for the GVS&DD to construct, maintain, operate, and administer major sewerage and drainage facilities in the Greater Vancouver region. In addition, the Greater Vancouver region has been designated as a Sewage Control Area under s.17 of the Waste Management Act thereby allowing the GVS&DD to regulate or prohibit the discharge of non-domestic waste discharges into the sewerage system. The Municipal Act sets out the powers and duties of municipal governments within the province. It applies to all areas incorporated as municipalities, with the exception of the City of Vancouver. The Act gives municipal councils important powers, and responsibilities, to deal with water pollution. For example, s.587(a) gives a council power through enactment of by-laws to "prohibit a person from fouling, obstructing, or impeding the flow of any stream, creek, waterway or watercourse." Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Management This section reviews institutional arrangements and the evolving framework for environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary. The overlapping nature of environmental legislation, with different management agencies being both singularly and jointly responsible for various aspects of the environment, necessitates certain arrangements among agencies to faciltate the actual implementation of environmental policies defined in response to their legislative mandates. Knowledge of institutional arrangements is important in terms of their influence on how agencies undertake to respond to their legislative mandates both singularly and in concert with other agencies. 57 Fraser River Estuary Study The Fraser River Estuary Study (FRES) was initiated by EC and MOE in 1978 to develop a management plan which addressed their joint management responsibilities in the estuary. FRES initially focused on inventorying existing environmental conditions and trends in the estuary. This was followed by the development of a management plan and implementation strategy for the estuary. Key conclusions and recommendations of FRES were the need to: (i) reach agreement on overall management goals and objectives; (ii) simplify management and eliminate overlap in management responsibilities among agencies; (iii) provide useful and accurate information for management; and (iv) implement a linked management approach where agencies with management responsibilities work cooperatively toward common goals (FRES, 1982). Subsequently, O'Riordan and Wiebe (1984) prepared an Implementation Strategy which described a management structure that was considered necessary for determining commonly agreed management goals and objectives in the estuary and to encourage cooperation and collaboration among management agencies in achieving these goals and objectives. Fraser River Estuary Management Program In 1985, E C , MOE, DFO, NFHC, and FRHC initiated the Fraser River Estuary Management Program (FREMP) in response to the recommendations made at the conclusion of FRES (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984). The purpose of the FREMP agreement was to improve management decisions by having them made within an estuary-wide context rather than on a site-by-site basis and to provide for broader involvement by all agencies in environmental management issues in the estuary. The structure of FREMP has important implications for how environmental management has evolved in the estuary (Figure 4). Unlike the Puget Sound Water 58 Management Committee Environment Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans B.C. Ministry of Environment North Fraser Harbour Commission Fraser River Harbour Commission Management Executive Standing Committees Standing Committee of the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan Environmental Review Committee Act iv i ty Program Committees Log Management Waste Management Emergency Management Habitat Management Recreation Management Port and Industrial Development Navigation and Dredging Dyking and Drainage Figure 4 - FREMP organizational structure showing institutional arrangements for management in the estuary up to the end of 1992 59 Quality Authority which oversees water management in Washington State's Puget Sound, FREMP was not intended as an overarching body with the authority to identify management objectives and to determine how best to achieve them. Instead, FREMP was just intended to provide a framework to facilitate cooperation and coordination among agencies with different management responsibilities in the estuary. Such a linked management structure was adopted because the complexity of jurisdictions and relationships among agencies was seen to preclude the establishment of a single agency to address management issues in the estuary. Primary responsibility for environmental management in the estuary was intended to remain with the agencies with legislative mandates for management in the estuary. For this reason, under FREMP, existing agency mandates were left intact with the understanding that agencies would fully participate in the linked management arrangement to achieve more effective management in an estuary-wide context. FREMP objectives were to: (i) maintain ambient water quality levels in the Fraser River, outer estuary, and Boundary and Semiahmoo Bays to ensure the preservation of fisheries and wildlife, and where suitable provide for water contact recreation; and (ii) maintain and, where feasible, increase the productivity of fish and wildlife habitat. To achieve these objectives, FREMP adopted a strategy where multi-agency work groups were established to examine various aspects of estuary management relating to the objectives and to develop appropriate management guidelines and plans (Alexander, 1982; FREMP, 1991a; FRES, 1978a). In addition, an Environmental Review Committee and a Standing Committee on the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan (SCWQP) were established to provide for the coordinated review of development proposals and to address water quality management issues in the estuary, respectively. Habitat, waste management and water quality management issues in Boundary Bay were predominantly addressed by the Habitat Activity Work Group (HAWG), the Waste 60 Management Activity Program Working Group (WMAP), and SCWQP. HAWG's mandate was to address the need to preserve fish and wildlife habitat in the estuary. Their overall objective was to achieve at least a no net loss of existing habitat, and if possible through restoration, to achieve a net gain in fish and wildlife habitat. In response, HAWG compiled a detailed inventory and classification of terrestrial and aquatic habitat to provide the basis for the development of an overall environmental management plan to guide industrial and commercial development throughout the estuary. WMAP and SCWQP's joint mandate was to address the need for more integrated water quality and waste management in the estuary. The Waste Management Branch of MOE acted as the lead agency for WMAP, which included representatives from E C , DFO, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF), GVRD, and Burnaby and Richmond municipalities. WMAP was primarily concerned with managing waste streams before they enter the receiving environment. The Working Group completed a Waste Management Activity Plan (FREMP, 1990a) which reviewed issues related to the management and control of discharges of harmful substances to the estuary and made recommendations to member agencies and the FREMP Management Committee for the control of these discharges. SCWQP was the counterpart of WMAP responsible for assessing the effect of contaminant discharges on the receiving environment (FREMP, 1990a). SCWQP included representatives from EC, MOE, DFO and GVRD. In 1991, SCWQP completed a Water Quality Plan which addressed the need to establish: (i) agreed-upon water quality objectives throughout the estuary; and (ii) a coordinated, comprehensive environmental monitoring program to determine the adequacy of existing water quality objectives and the effectiveness of waste management programs to protect the receiving environment. SCWQP was responsible for the implementation and administration of the Plan including identification and priorization of research needs, establishing water quality objectives, 61 coordinating monitoring and research programs, assurance of data quality, and data management (FREMP, 1991a). SCWQP also provided input to GVRD and GVS&DD in their development of a Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP). The GVS&DD was designated as a Sewage Control Area in 1984 under s.17 of the Waste Management Act. The LWMP was developed to better manage the discharge of waste into the receiving environment. Following approval by MOE, the LWMP was expected to replace the existing permit and approval system through creation of a Waste Management Area under s.3 and s.16 of the Waste Management Act to provide for better management of waste discharges (GVRD, 1989; GVRD, 1988a,b). In 1991 the existing FREMP members, and with the addition of the GVRD, reaffirmed their participation in FREMP. The overall goals and objectives of FREMP remained substantially unchanged. However, the management structure was revised to facilitate the implementation of recommendations of the various activity work groups and SCWQP (Figure 5). Components of the revised management structure included: (i) a core Executive Management Committee to provide overall direction and oversee the implementation of FREMP programs; (ii) an Implementation Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee to achieve broader management representation and provide advice to the management committee on the implementation of activity work group recommendations; and (iii) technical committees responsible for the implementation of management plans. The latter technical committees are responsible for various aspects of habitat and water quality management in the estuary. The Water and Land Use Committee's responsibilities include the implementation of a comprehensive habitat plan for the estuary and the establishment of cooperative area management plans and designations to guide future water and land use in the estuary. 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O CZ-e L .C<U CD cz ro > cz CD CO > — — ^ ro co > p.;; cu ro C ^ V c_ (_ LUQ CD CD Ll_ O I ' Q - T ; , 1 ro t_ co, CD-O' <" <= >-ro ro CD 2: fc-o £ ro 9z o r- ro o 1 3 z^ >djz: cn c cz o z: CD E CL O o > CD a cz o ro CD CD cc JD ro X cf o ro cz cn co CD Q cn CD CD CO CD E E 0 CJ 1 £> Z J CO g ro Q3 E _CD o_ E o <v "a3 cz CD E CD O) tz ro v_ ro ro c o c/) c T3 CD CO > CD \— CD IS co DC =5 0 co ro0-cz o> o cz 3 •o 5 0 3 ro -a cn ro o E LU cr co cz o ro T3 ^_ CD CD = co E > o CD O rr 2: m CD ZJ cn 63 a comprehensive water quality plan and comprehensive waste management program, and for establishing a coordinated environmental emergency planning and response framework for the estuary. Responsibility for the development of review procedures and review of proposed development projects remains with the Environmental Review Committee (FREMP, 1992). Conclusions The Boundary Bay watershed of the Fraser River Estuary contains extremely important wildfowl habitat that supports large numbers of migratory and resident bird species. Important fisheries habitat is also found in both Boundary Bay and in the middle and upper reaches of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers and throughout the Little Campbell River. Gradually changing land uses in the watershed are contributing to degradation and destruction of wildfowl and fisheries habitat. In addition, existing agricultural land use and expanding residential land use are sources of contaminant discharges that are causing deterioration of water quality in the watershed. The legislative setting for environmental management in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary is complex with both federal and provincial agencies being involved in management. Because of the overlapping nature of environmental legislation, with different management agencies being both singularly and jointly responsible for various aspects of the environment, institutional arrangements have been put in place to facilitate management in the estuary. FRES and, subsequently, FREMP are management structures established by agencies with a legislative mandate to carry out their joint responsibilities in the estuary. The purpose of FREMP is to 64 provide for broader involvement by all agencies in management issues and to improve decision making by having them made in an estuary-wide context. Significantly, FREMP's linked management structure is just intended to provide a framework for cooperation and coordination among management agencies. Unlike the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, FREMP is not intended to act as an overarching body with the authority to identify management objectives and to determine how best to achieve them. Instead, agencies are expected to voluntarily participate in and contribute to achieving overall management objectives in the estuary. The absence of legislative intent in FREMP's linked management structure may have important implications for the effectiveness of FREMP's inter-agency committees and coordinating bodies in responding to existing and emerging management concerns in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary. 65 CHAPTER 4 - INFORMATION GENERATION IN BOUNDARY BAY This chapter examines information generation in support of environmental management efforts in Boundary Bay over the approximately 15 year period ending in 1992. Three distinct but related subjects are examined in the chapter. The chapter begins with a review of how management agencies have implemented environmental legislation. Drawing from the overview of the legislative setting and institutional arrangements provided in Chapter 3, I examine how the framework for environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary has influenced agency management efforts in Boundary Bay. The chapter continues by detailing monitoring and research activities undertaken by management agencies in Boundary Bay. The chapter concludes with an evaluation of the understanding of environmental conditions in Boundary Bay. Particular emphasis is given to: (i) exposing gaps in the understanding of environmental conditions in the bay; (ii) evaluating the progress made by management agencies in addressing identified information gaps; and (iii) critiquing the relevance and usefulness of information generated by monitoring and research from a management perspective. The analysis of agency monitoring and research and management strategies in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the estuary draws primarily from agency policy papers and documents and progress reports produced by FRES and FREMP. Representatives of management agencies were consulted to obtain additional information on agency management policies and monitoring and research strategies both in Boundary Bay and throughout the Fraser River Estuary. Documentation of information inadequacies in the concluding section of the chapter was predominantly through interviews with management agency representatives. 66 The organization within each of the three sections of this chapter is deliberate -reflecting the structure of environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary. Legislative management responsibilities and, consequently, monitoring and research efforts and management initiatives in the estuary are generally undertaken separately for environmental compartments and aspects of the environment (i.e., waste, water quality, fisheries, wildfowl, etc.). The Structure of Environmental Management in the Fraser River Estuarv Although the legislative mandate of management agencies is set out in the environmental legislation, implementation of legislation by agencies is not always straightforward. The actual implementation of legislation by agencies depends to a large extent on how they interpret their legislative mandate. Interpretation of management responsibilities by agencies involves an interplay of agency policy and management priorities. The implications of the implementation process for the scope and direction of monitoring and research activities and management initiatives are explored in this section. Fisheries and Fish Habitat DFO has primary legislative responsibility for the protection of fisheries and the preservation of fish habitat in the Fraser River Estuary. DFO's activities are guided primarily by their 'no net loss' policy which seeks to preserve fish habitat. Under this policy, DFO attempts to prevent further habitat loss or damage through conserving the current productive capacity of habitat, restoring damaged habitat, and, where habitat loss is unavoidable, replacing lost habitat (DFO, 1986; S. Samis, pers. comm.). 67 DFO recognizes that to effectively protect fish habitat in the estuary it must undertake monitoring and research into estuarine ecology in general, and, more specifically, into fish habitat and habitat utilization (S. Samis, pers. comm.) In the past, DFO's monitoring and research activities have focused on understanding the ecological significance of various habitat in the estuary and their utilization by different fish species. Similarly, DFO's management activities have generally focused on the protection and enhancement of important fish habitat and the evaluation of development proposals and land uses that could impact on these habitats. By the late 1980's, however, DFO recognized that their efforts to protect fish habitat in the estuary often suffered from a lack of consistency, with insufficient understanding of the extent of fisheries habitat throughout the estuary and the cumulative impacts of human activities (C. Levings, pers. comm; G. Williams, pers. comm.). In response, DFO undertook mapping and characterization of fisheries habitat in the estuary to provide for increased consistency in delineating habitat found in the estuary and in the evaluation of development proposals and proposed land uses that could impact on this habitat. Although the inventorying of fish habitat by DFO was intended primarily as a response to their own legislative responsibilities in the estuary, DFO collaborated with other agencies with habitat management responsibilities. Through their participation in HAWG, DFO worked with other HAWG members towards establishing a Habitat Management Plan for the estuary. Similar to DFO's habitat policy, HAWG's objectives were to at least ensure no net loss of existing habitat, and where possible through restoration and development, to achieve a net gain in fish and wildlife habitat in the estuary (FREMP, 1991b). Towards achieving these objectives, the above mentioned inventorying of habitat included mapping and characterization of all foreshore and intertidal habitat in the estuary. By characterizing habitat as having high, moderate, or low value to fish and wildlife in this way, HAWG member agencies expected that they 68 would be able to better assess and make recommendations with regard to proposed developments and land uses in the estuary consistent with their objective of preserving habitat. For example, no development is permitted near highly productive habitat unless mitigation can be applied to ensure that existing habitats would not be altered or alienated, development is permitted near moderately productive habitat subject to mitigation and/or satisfactory compensation, and development of low productivity habitat is permitted subject to mitigation requirements (i.e., environmentally sound design and timing restrictions on construction activities). Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat CWS and the Fish and Wildlife Branch of MOE are primarily responsible for the management and protection of important wildfowl habitat in the estuary. The main problem faced by these agencies in protecting wildfowl habitat is that the majority of land upland of the dykes is privately owned. In contrast, the majority of the foreshore seaward of the dykes is owned by the province. The implications of land ownership for protection of wildfowl habitat are clearly evident in Boundary Bay. Although the bay itself provides important feeding habitat for many bird species, the upland portions of the watershed provide crucial feeding and nesting habitat. Therefore, to successfully protect important habitat in the watershed, CWS and MOE must either acquire land directly or attempt to place restrictions on land use. The federal government's responsibilities in the Fraser River Estuary lie largely with protecting migratory birds. To this end, CWS has acquired several parcels of land in the estuary which are important to migratory birds, the most significant being the Alaksen National Wildlife Area. The provincial government has also been involved in habitat protection, with much of the protection being provided directly by the Wildlife Act and indirectly by the Agricultural Land Reserves Act. The Wildlife Act provides for 69 the protection of habitats by designation either as a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) or a Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Although MOE and CWS have wanted WMA status for Boundary Bay since 1977 it is only in 1993 that MLP finally transfered almost the entire bay to MOE for protection as a WMA. The Agricultural Land Reserves Act limits changes in land use permitted on protected agricultural lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Both cultivated and fallow farmlands within the ALR are considered important feeding habitat for numerous bird species. The inclusion of uplands in the Boundary Bay watershed in the ALR has afforded protection to extensive areas of fallow farmlands around the bay perimeter which have been proposed for development as golf courses. Federal and provincial government agencies (CWS, DFO, MOE, MLP) have also been involved with municipal and regional governments and non-government organizations (e.g., Ducks Unlimited, Boundary Bay Conservation Committee) in conserving, securing, and managing wildfowl habitat in the estuary. For example, the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program which promotes conservation of estuarine wetland habitat acquired land in Boundary Bay from MLP which was subsequently leased to MOE to be given protected status. Provincial and federal governments have also worked with the Delta and Surrey municipalities on the Boundary Bay Area Study to examine and resolve conflicts between land uses and wildfowl habitat in the watershed (T. Burgess, pers. comm.; Gamble, 1989; van Hees, 1983; Waldon, 1991). Despite the aforementioned efforts to protect important wildfowl areas in the estuary, CWS has expressed concern about the lack of protection provided for land upland of the dykes (R. Butler, pers. comm.; Butler, 1992). Protected areas comprise only a small proportion of the crucial wildfowl habitat in the estuary (i.e., CWS estimates that estuary-wide only 4302 ha of the 66723 ha of prime wildfowl habitat requiring protection has been secured). Part of the reason why so little wildfowl habitat 70 in the estuary has been protected is the expense of land acquisition (80% of the land considered to be of prime wildfowl value falls within areas of high land values (Waldon, 1991). For this reason, CWS and MOE turned their attention to evaluating wildfowl and wildfowl habitat and habitat utilization in order to identify absolutely critical habitat for preservation (R. Butler, pers. comm.; Butler era/. , 1990; FREMP, 1990d; FREMP, 1989). Such information was considered necessary to support efforts by CWS to designate Boundary Bay as a wildlife site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (i.e., the federal government signed the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance which obligates them to identify and protect major wetlands) This information was also required to facilitate the conservation of migratory wildfowl and their habitat as provided for under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan agreement between the Canada and the U.S. federal governments (R. Butler, pers. comm.; NAWMP, 1990). Water Quality and Waste Management Numerous government agencies are involved in the implementation of environmental legislation pertaining to water quality and waste management in the Fraser River Estuary. The principle federal legislation relating to water quality in the estuary is the Fisheries Act, which is jointly administered by DFO and EC. Although DFO regards water quality to be an important aspect of habitat protection, their water quality management activities in the estuary are largely limited to investigations of specific contaminants of concern (e.g., the effects of anti-sapstain leachates from lumber storage facilities on juvenile salmonids) (FREMP, 1988). EC is the federal agency responsible for different aspects of water quality in the estuary. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with DFO, EC is responsible for the enforcement of s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act relating to water quality as it affects fisheries. Environmental Protection 71 (EP) of EC in collaboration with DFO monitors permitted effluent discharges and receiving waters in the estuary to determine site-specific effects of contaminant discharges. EP also undertakes monitoring of priority compounds and contaminants of concern to evaluate their environmental effects, particularly with respect to fisheries. In addition, EP undertakes ongoing sanitary water surveys of shellfish growing areas throughout B.C. coastal waters to evaluate bacteriological water quality consistent with the broad definition of "fisheries' under the Act. Although federal agencies such as DFO and EC are directly involved in certain aspects of water quality in the estuary, federal water quality concerns are most often addressed in collaboration with provincial agencies. This arrangement recognizes that the province has primary legislative responsibility for waste management and water quality management in the estuary (e.g., MOE has legislative responsibility for water quality, water allocation, air quality, hazardous waste, and fisheries and wildlife management in the estuary). For example, DFO and EC provided input to the development of water quality objectives by the Water Quality Branch of MOE for certain areas of the estuary (e.g., provisional water quality objectives were established for Boundary Bay in 1988 to protect aquatic life and wildlife and to protect agricultural water uses (Swain and Holmes 1988a,b)). DFO and EC influenced the development of water quality objectives in two ways. First, data from routine monitoring of ambient water quality by the Inland Waters Directorate of EC were incorporated into provincial water quality objectives. Second, DFO provided advice to MOE with regard to the setting of water quality objectives for certain parameters of concern. For example, DFO expressed concerns during the development of water quality objectives for Boundary Bay with respect to the level of protection provided for juvenile salmonids present in sloughs and slow-moving side channels. In response, MOE set more stringent objectives for certain parameters for areas utilized by salmonid species during different periods of the year 72 (e.g.,the short-term objective for dissolved oxygen in the Little Campbell, Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers and their tributaries is 6.0-8.0 mg/L from June to October but increases to 11.0 mg/L when more sensitive salmonid life-stages are present) (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Much of the research and management initiated by provincial agencies responsible for water quality in the estuary was undertaken under the management framework provided by FRES and, subsequently, FREMP. Prior to the initiation of FRES, management efforts were largely limited to intermittent monitoring (i.e., occurring only in certain years or in response to particular water quality concerns) of contaminant discharges and receiving water quality by the Waste Management Branch of MOE, E C , DFO, GVRD, and by university researchers. During Phase 1 of FRES considerably more attention was given to water quality concerns, with MOE both by themselves and in collaboration with other provincial and federal agencies documenting water quality conditions and inventorying waste discharges to receiving waters. Phase 2 of FRES focused on the development of an estuary management program to address the problems and issues identified during Phase 1. A key recommendation that emerged from Phase 2 was the need to establish a long-term integrated water quality strategy to address water quality concerns in the estuary. The Working Committee on Fraser River Estuary Monitoring (with representatives from MOE, E C , CWS, GVRD, and the Boundary Health Unit of the B.C. Ministry of Health) was established in 1982 in response to this recommendation. The Working Committee's terms of reference asked for a comprehensive monitoring program to determine overall environmental conditions in the estuary to enable management and regulatory agencies to determine where conditions are unsatisfactory. The Working Committee recognized that a comprehensive monitoring program for the entire estuary would be cost prohibitive. Instead they recommended a more specific monitoring program to address priority environmental 7 3 concerns. The proposed monitoring program was to be implemented primarily through existing monitoring and research programs with agencies with the relevant expertise being responsible for different aspects to avoid duplication of effort (FREMP, 1984). In 1985, MOE responded to the Working Committee recommendations by outlining a monitoring program as part of their Strategic Management Plan which dealt with water quality, water allocation, fisheries management, and air quality in the estuary (MOE, 1985). MOE's monitoring program incorporated most elements of the Working Committee's proposed program including monitoring to check provisional water quality objectives, monitoring to fill data gaps, and monitoring as part of special studies. The purpose of MOE's monitoring program was to provide information on receiving water conditions to be used in the development of water quality objectives for selected water bodies in the estuary (MOE, 1985). The Plan involved setting water quality objectives for water bodies based on existing water uses and water quality conditions followed by the identification and control of contaminant discharges necessary to achieve or maintain those objectives. The emphasis on controlling contaminant discharges at source reflected MOE's legislative responsibility under the Waste Management Act to ensure maintenance of acceptable water quality through discharge regulation and discharge-specific water quality monitoring and enforcement activities (MOE, 1985). In 1988, MOE released provisional water quality objectives for Boundary Bay (the Little Campbell River, the Serpentine River and three of its tributaries, the Nicomekl River and two of its tributaries, and Boundary and Mud Bays) to protect existing important uses in the watershed (i.e., designated uses include protection of aquatic life and wildlife, irrigation and livestock watering, and primary contact recreation) (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Water quality objectives are guidelines set for physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of water, biota, or sediment that provide a reference against which the 74 status of water quality in a particular waterbody can be checked. Site-specific objectives differ from water quality criteria (i.e., C C R E M , 1987) in that local considerations such as water uses, existing water quality, impairment of existing water uses and pollution factors are taken into account to define appropriate objectives in a water body. The use of site-specific numerical values in this way is considered more informative than just describing water quality in general terms (e.g., good or fair) because they allow for the assessment of water quality conditions with reference to the desired water quality objectives necessary to preserve existing water uses (FREMP, 1991a). Both short and long-term water quality objectives were established for Boundary Bay to protect existing uses and to improve water quality conditions to allow for additional uses, respectively. For example, short-term fecal coliform objectives were intended to protect recreational beaches in Boundary Bay and the Little Campbell River from April through November while a more stringent long-term fecal coliform objective was proposed to improve bacterial water quality such that shellfish harvesting in Boundary Bay could eventually resume. Water quality objectives have been a key component of MOE's management strategy in the estuary. Water quality objectives promulgated for priority water bodies within the estuary (i.e., the Boundary Bay watershed, the Fraser River and selected tributaries from Hope to Kanaka Creek and the Fraser River and selected tributaries from Kanaka Creek to Sturgeon Bank) have served as guidelines for MOE activities including the evaluation of water quality, water allocation (i.e., the issuing of permits and licences), and fisheries and wildlife management (Swain and Holmes, 1988a). Water quality objectives were also intended to be used by other agencies in the estuary (e.g., MOE's water quality objectives were substantially incorporated into the Liquid Waste Management Plan prepared by the GVRD). 75 Many of the elements of MOE's water quality and waste management strategy for the estuary were incorporated into the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan which was finally completed by SCWQP in 1991 (FREMP, 1991a). The Plan was prepared by SCWQP in response to the FREMP Review Committee recommendations. The purpose of the Plan was to establish: (i) agreed upon water quality objectives; and (ii) a coordinated environmental monitoring program to assess the health of the estuary and to evaluate the effectiveness of water quality objectives and waste management initiatives to protect estuary health. An important component of the Plan was the development of agreed-upon water quality objectives for the estuary. Although provincial water quality objectives existed for much of the estuary they had not been fully accepted by all agencies. Although provincial water quality objectives were reviewed by federal agencies during their development they were not formally endorsed. Despite this lack of endorsement, the Management Committee Executive of FREMP accepted the provincial provisional objectives as a starting point for the development of federal-provincial agreed-upon objectives. The goal within FREMP was, therefore, to establish a single set of agreed-upon water quality objectives that responded to both federal and provincial mandates (FREMP, 1991a). Monitoring and Research Programs in Boundary Bav This section examines monitoring and research programs undertaken by management agencies in Boundary Bay over the approximately 15 year period up to 1992. Much of the monitoring and research undertaken in the bay has been part of estuary-wide monitoring and research initiatives. Comparatively more monitoring and research has been undertaken in the bay than in other areas of the estuary. For 76 example, Boundary Bay was examined separately as part of Phase 1 of FRES (Swain and Alexander, 1981) and water quality objectives have been developed specifically for the Boundary Bay watershed (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). The level of attention given by management agencies to Boundary Bay reflects both the large geographic area taken up by the watershed within the FREMP boundaries and the widely-recognized ecological importance of the bay to fish and birds. Fisheries and Fish Habitat Comparatively little investigation of fisheries habitat and habitat utilization has been undertaken in Boundary Bay. However, some understanding of the importance of habitat types found in the bay has been accumulated from investigatory activities undertaken elsewhere in the estuary, particularly on Sturgeon Bank and the southern portions of Roberts Bank, where similar habitat is found (C. Levings, pers. comm.). Attention has generally been confined to rivers draining into Boundary Bay where habitat for commercially-important fisheries species is found. Inventorying of fish habitat and monitoring of habitat utilization has been undertaken in the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell Rivers, with Backman and Simonson (1985) and Hancock and Marshall (1985) providing descriptions of salmonid habitat and Farrell et al. (1987) and Marshall era/ . (1979) providing details of habitat utilization and spawning escapements. The generally incomplete understanding of fisheries habitat in Boundary Bay, and elsewhere in the estuary, impeded efforts to identify and preserve critical fisheries habitat through much of the 1980's (G. Williams, pers. comm.). Mapping and characterization of aquatic habitat by HAWG in the late 1980's was intended to address this deficiency. The resulting detailed inventory/classification maps indicated the linear extent and area coverage of various categories of intertidal habitat (marsh, treed and 77 shrubby riparian vegetation, mudflat, and sandflat). In addition, shoreline habitat was classified according to its importance to fish (i.e., highly productive, having habitat of moderate value or having habitat of lower values) (Kistritz, 1990; G . Williams, pers. comm.). Mapping and characterization of fisheries habitat was intended to provide information in support of DFO's no net loss policy in the estuary. Eventually, DFO expects that this categorization and characterization of fisheries habitat will facilitate evaluation of existing and proposed land uses in the estuary and help determine habitat mitigation and compensation steps necessary to accommodate industrial and recreational developments (i.e., similar to the Management Plan that was developed for the North Fraser Harbour). Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat Considerable investigation of birds and bird habitat has been undertaken in Boundary Bay over the last two decades by CWS and other federal and provincial agencies, university researchers, and volunteers (e.g. Vancouver Natural History Society). Investigatory activities have predominantly focused on inventorying bird species and numbers of birds utilizing Boundary Bay throughout the year (e.g. Barnard, 1973; Savard, 1985; Stroman, 1989; Vermeer and Levings, 1977). Other activities have been undertaken to classify habitat found in Boundary Bay (e.g. Forbes, 1972; Parsons, 1975), to determine the feeding ecology of different bird species (e.g. McEwan and Fry, nd.; McKelvey era/., 1985), and to detail invertebrate (e.g. McEwan and Farr, 1985; McEwan and Gordon, 1985) and small mammal (e.g. Taitt, 1990) populations which provide important food sources for birds. Several activities involved synthesizing existing knowledge of bird populations and ecology in the estuary, including 78 Boundary Bay (e.g. Butler and Campbell, 1987; FRES, 1978b; FRES, 1981; Vermeer and Butler, 1989). During the 1980's increasing attention was given to determining the importance of various habitat types in the estuary, particularly around Boundary Bay, to bird species (e.g. Butler and Cannings, 1989; Butler et al., 1990; FREMP, 1987; Hirst and Easthope, 1981; Jury, 1981; North and Teversham, 1984). These activities, which combined monitoring and experimental research, were prompted in part by the need to clearly delineate critical bird habitat in the estuary and to determine the numbers of all birds using this habitat at different times of the year. A problem with earlier monitoring programs in Boundary Bay had been their sporadic nature, which made it difficult to determine highly significant areas used by birds as a precursor to providing protection for critical habitat (R. Butler, pers. comm.). The Wildlife Habitat Study undertaken by CWS and the Fish and Wildlife Branch of MOE attempted to address this deficiency by determining how much of the remaining wildlife habitat in the bay was needed to support existing bird populations (Butler, 1992). This study was undertaken in conjunction with several land use studies (e.g., Delta Agricultural Study, Foreshore Planning Study)by federal, provincial, and regional government agencies (i.e., FREMP, MOE, MOAF, MLP, the Agricultural Land Commission, GVRD, and the Delta and Surrey municipalities) which are intended to develop environmentally sustainable land use and development strategies for the Boundary Bay watershed. Experimental research into habitat requirements of birds in the bay is ongoing. Some of this research is part of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP, 1990) which is jointly funded by United States and Canadian federal and state/provincial agencies and non-government conservation organizations (i.e., Nature Trust, Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and Ducks Unlimited). The overall objective of the Plan is to secure wetlands of 79 international importance for birds, with Boundary Bay being identified as providing critical habitat on the Pacific Flyway. Research completed by the end of 1992 examined the effects of grazing by American Wigeon on agricultural fields in the Fraser River Estuary (Dunynstee, 1992). Water Quality and Waste Management Very limited water quality monitoring and research was undertaken in Boundary Bay during the 1970's. Swain and Alexander (1981) as part of Phase 1 of FRES summarized the available water quality data for the Boundary Bay watershed for the period 1972 to 1979. Data sources included monitoring and toxicity testing of sewage treatment plant effluents, stream water quality, land drainage pump station discharges, landfill leachates, permitted industrial discharges, and agricultural run-off by the Waste Management Branch of MOE, EP, DFO, GVRD, and university researchers. In general, monitoring of contaminant discharges and receiving water quality was intermittent, occurring only in certain years or in response to particular water quality concerns (e.g., fish kills in the Serpentine River and bacterial contamination in Boundary Bay). The majority of water quality monitoring in Boundary Bay prior to 1981 focused on bacterial water quality. Bacteriological sampling of Mud Bay, Boundary Bay and Crescent Beach was undertaken under the B.C. Shellfish Sanitary Control Program in 1962 resulting in these areas being closed to both commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting under Schedule J of the B.C. Fishery Regulations. Investigations indicated that the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers and the land drainage pump stations were significant sources of bacterial contamination to Boundary and Mud Bays while the Little Serpentine River, sewage discharged from the City of White Rock municipal sewage treatment plant, and numerous stormwater drainage outfalls contributed bacterial 80 contamination to Crescent Beach and Semiahmoo Bay. Similarly, the high fecal coliform levels in the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers were linked to domestic and municipal sewage effluent discharges and agricultural run-off. With the connection of the municipalities of Delta and Surrey, and subsequently White Rock, to the GVS&DD sewerage system in 1972 and 1977, respectively, fecal coliform levels were expected to decline. However, continued high coliform levels were found on two subsequent occasions by EC during their routine sanitary water surveys of shellfish growing areas throughout B.C. coastal waters. Bacterial monitoring by Kay (1976) and Ferguson and Kay (1978) indicated that fecal contamination continued to exceed acceptable levels for harvesting of shellfish from certain areas of Boundary Bay, Mud Bay, Crescent Beach, and Semiahmoo Bay. Diffuse agricultural run-off to the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell Rivers, land drainage pump stations, and stormwater drainage outfalls were identified as continuing sources of contamination. More recently, further bacteriological monitoring was undertaken in Boundary Bay in support of an application to resume commercial shellfish growing in parts of the Bay (Higgs, 1989). Fecal coliform concentrations were found to exceed water quality objectives for shellfish harvesting at a number of locations (i.e., adjacent to the Oliver Street land drainage pump station and at the mouths of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers) within Boundary Bay, particularly following heavy rainfall periods. These results confirmed the high fecal coliform levels found in parts of the bay during seasonal monitoring of bacteriological water quality by GVRD and the Boundary Health Unit of the B.C. Ministry of Health. In general, bacterial water quality is considered acceptable for recreational water contact use (i.e., swimming between April and September) but has consistently failed to meet required standards for shellfish harvesting resulting in the continued closure of recreational and commercial shellfish harvesting (FREMP, 1990c; GVRD, 1988b) . 81 The extensive review of contaminant discharges to Boundary Bay undertaken during Phase 1 of FRES (Swain and Alexander,1981) indicated a number of water quality problems or concerns in addition to bacterial contamination. Although levels of pH, nutrients, and most trace metals in the bay were generally acceptable, values for copper, lead, mercury, and zinc occasionally exceeded acceptable levels. Water quality in the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers was characterized by occasionally elevated values for total aluminum, copper, lead, iron, manganese, and zinc. In addition, elevated nutrient values (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the Nicomekl, Serpentine, and Little Campbell Rivers were found to cause algal blooms and subsequent depressed dissolved oxygen (DO) levels during low flow, high temperature periods. Depressed DO levels, in combination with pesticide residues in agricultural run-off, have been implicated in reoccurring fish kill problems in the parts of these river systems. After reviewing water quality in Boundary Bay as part of Phase 1 of FRES, Swain and Alexander (1981) recommended that: (i) monitoring of bacterial water quality be undertaken to determine loadings from land drainage discharge stations and diffuse agricultural sources; and (ii) studies be undertaken to further assess and remedy fish kill problems caused by pesticides in agricultural run-off and depressed dissolved oxygen levels (Swain and Alexander, 1981). In turn, the FRES Working Committee on Fraser River Estuary Monitoring incorporated many of the FRES Phase 1 recommendations into their proposed monitoring program. For example, the Working Committee's proposed monitoring program involved initial identification of environmental problems followed by an incremental monitoring program over a 5 year period to sample effluent discharges and measure contaminant concentrations in water, sediment, benthic organisms, fish, and birds at different locations in the estuary. In addition, the Working Committee proposed that special studies be undertaken to address environmental concerns where monitoring needs were 82 more short-term or specific (e.g., a study of pesticide accumulation in irrigation ditches and other areas in the lower Fraser River) (FREMP, 1984). MOE incorporated many of the Working Committee's proposals into their long-term monitoring strategy. Starting in 1985, MOE initiated a broad monitoring program in the estuary that included initial monitoring to provide documentation for the establishment of water quality objectives, monitoring to check achievement of existing water quality objectives, monitoring to address data gaps, and monitoring and research as part of special studies. Early attention was given by MOE to developing water quality objectives and a water quality objectives-focused monitoring program in Boundary Bay. Initially, during the development of water quality objectives, MOE documented water uses and permitted and unregulated waste discharges, and undertook monitoring of ambient water quality conditions throughout the bay to provide the data necessary to develop provisional water quality objectives (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). Following the release of provisional water quality objectives for Boundary Bay and the Serpentine, Nicomekl and Little Campbell Rivers in 1988, MOE recommended a number of water quality monitoring and research programs in support of the objectives. These recommendations encompassed routine sampling of water quality parameters, periodic monitoring of specific waste discharges, and special studies to determine and evaluate the impact of certain categories of waste discharges. These programs were intended to provide additional information to determine the appropriateness of provisional water quality objectives to protect existing and potential water uses (i.e., water quality objectives would remain provisional until additional information was available about parameters that had previously been exceeded water quality criteria). For example, parameters such as of pH, temperature, DO, conductivity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, fecal coliforms, turbidity, suspended and dissolved solids, periphyton chlorophyll-a, dissolved orthophosphorus, total phosphorus, and total and dissolved 83 copper, iron manganese, and lead were targeted in the Serpentine River. In addition, periodic monitoring of certain non-routine parameters was recommended where there were water quality concerns (e.g., monitoring of PCB's in water, sediment, and biota in the vicinity of a B.C. Hydro repair facility located in Mahood Creek was in response to previous monitoring which suggested that PCB concentrations might exceed water quality objectives). Further, special studies were also recommended to assess the extent and cause of persistent water quality problems (e.g., to determine bacterial loadings from agricultural and urban stormwater sources) (Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). MOE's recommended monitoring program in support of water quality objectives was also intended to provide documentation for the development of water quality criteria on which additional water quality objectives were to be based. Water quality criteria are technically-derived values for selected physical, chemical, and biological parameters of water, biota, and sediment which relate effects to water use. By 1988, MOE had documented criteria for the most common water quality characteristics of concern in B.C. including particulate matter, nutrients and algae, cyanide, molybdenum, nitrogen, copper, lead, microbiological indicators, aluminum, mercury, chlorine, and fluoride. However, criteria for pH, PCB's, chlorophenols, cadmium, DO, colour, dioxins and furans, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons were still being prepared (Pommen, 1988). For this reason, MOE determined that water quality objectives would remain provisional until they had established approved water quality criteria for all parameters of concern. MOE's recommended monitoring and research program was based on the technical considerations of verifying achievement of water quality objectives and developing further water quality criteria and objectives. MOE recognized, however, that actual monitoring and research undertaken would depend very much on available resources and agency priorities (Swain and Holmes, 1988a). Following the release of water quality 84 objectives for Boundary Bay in 1988, MOE did undertake monitoring of ambient water quality to check for compliance with water quality objectives in addition to their routine monitoring to check compliance with waste discharge permits. The former compliance monitoring program generally involved annual sampling for specific parameters at weekly intervals over a 30 day period at a specific time of year to determine the degree of attainment of water quality objectives (MOE, 1989; Swain and Holmes, 1988a). MOE recognized that their compliance monitoring program was inadequate by itself to provide sufficient data on the extent and duration of water quality problems (i.e., given the short sampling period it is difficult to determine the significance of instances where certain parameters are exceeded) (Buchanan, 1988; MOE, 1989). For this reason, beginning in 1986, MOE in collaboration with FRHC began an additional monitoring program to provide supplemental information required to determine the status of water quality and the achievement of water quality objectives in the estuary. Monitoring during 1987-1988 was directed towards determining the quality of sediments and invertebrates, and subsequently contaminant concentrations in fish, in the Main Stem, and Main and North Arms of the Fraser River to determine the degree to which contaminant concentrations in sediments met provisional water quality objectives (Swain and Walton, 1988;1989). The program was extended to Boundary Bay in 1989 to determine levels of metals and organics in sediments, invertebrates, and fish, and to determine the degree to which water quality values met provisional water quality objectives (Swain and Walton, 1990). Subsequently, additional monitoring of sediment chemistry and toxicity in Boundary Bay was undertaken in 1990 to supplement the previous years program (Swain and Walton, 1991). This was followed in 1991-1992 with monitoring to determine the toxicity of effluent discharges and sediments in sloughs and side-channels in the Main Stem, and Main and North Arms of the Fraser River (Swain and Walton, 1992;1993). 85 Monitoring and research undertaken by federal government agencies in Boundary Bay has been considerably more limited than MOE's. Water quality monitoring and research by federal agencies has focused primarily on special studies relating to monitoring of priority compounds and contaminants of concern to evaluate the effects of contaminants on water, sediment, and biota and relate them to various pollution sources. In 1986, EP undertook an intensive monitoring program following a chlorophenate spill into the Hyland Creek tributary of the Serpentine River (Colodey, 1986). In 1989, EP initiated a study to assess and evaluate pesticide use in the estuary and to determine the resulting levels of pesticide contamination of water and sediment and the subsequent toxicity to aquatic organisms (Coastline, 1989; E.V.S., 1990; Moody, 1989). This monitoring and subsequent toxicity testing program focused on the effects of selected pesticides (i.e., dinoseb and endosulfan) commonly used in agriculture within the Nicomekl River drainage basin. The study was a follow-up to earlier monitoring by EP of pesticide levels in run-off from agricultural land use in the lower Fraser Valley (Wan, 1989). Special studies have also been undertaken by MOE and by university researchers relating to the problem of depressed oxygen levels in the Serpentine River. These studies were intended to determine whether agricultural source contaminants were the primary cause of low dissolved oxygen levels which have resulted in fish kills and to determine the potential success of mitigative actions (i.e., use of in-stream aeration to improve water quality) (FREMP, 1987; Robinson, 1988; Town, 1986; Town et al., 1989). In 1990, SCWQP completed the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan to provide greater direction and cohesion of water quality management in the estuary. A major component of the Plan was a coordinated monitoring program designed to: (i) determine the current status of ambient environmental quality, trends in environmental quality, and compliance with provisional water quality objectives; (ii) address data 86 gaps; (iii) identify areas where corrective measures are needed; and (iv) provide information for the revision of provisional water quality objectives. The monitoring program was intended to provide a focus for monitoring by federal and provincial government agencies and others in the estuary, with monitoring and research activities of other FREMP programs, especially implementation of the Waste Management Activity Plan (FREMP, 1990a), and outside FREMP (i.e., university researchers, the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority) being closely interfaced. By coordinating monitoring and research to avoid duplication and to identify research priorities in the estuary under the umbrella of SCWQP in this manner it was expected that the minimum information requirements for environmental management would be generated (FREMP, 1991a). The Understanding of Environmental Conditions in Boundary Bav This section describes the extent of understanding of environmental conditions in Boundary Bay as of 1992. Although a number of monitoring and research programs were undertaken in the bay over the 10 to 15 year period up to 1992, it is not clear that these programs have always generated relevant information for managers in a timely manner. The intention in this section is to evaluate progress made by management agencies in generating information about existing and emerging environmental problems and concerns in Boundary Bay. Particular attention is given to determining how promptly management agencies have responded to recognized information deficiencies. The review of monitoring and research programs provided in the proceeding section gave the impression that management agencies have made steady progress in understanding the ecological importance of Boundary Bay, identifying the impacts of human activities in the bay, and 87 developing and refining management strategies in response to environmental problems. The accuracy of this impression will be assessed by examining the timeliness of information generated by monitoring and research programs in support of management. Attention is also given to the relevance of information generated from a management perspective. Information generated by monitoring and research programs will be assessed with respect to its usefulness to managers. The assessment will not be confined just to information generated by existing monitoring and research programs but also to information needs that may not have been adequately addressed by existing programs. The intent is not to describe all information that has been generated by monitoring and research programs undertaken by management agencies but rather to identify exceptions where adequate information has not been generated in support of management. Although substantial information has been generated in support of selected management issues, inadequate attention may have been given to other management issues. The disproportionate attention given to certain types of monitoring and research in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the estuary may have undermined efforts to achieve broad management objectives. Information deficiencies discussed in this section reflect concerns expressed by different management agencies either in written reports or during interviews conducted with representatives of management agencies. Interview questions were intended to confirm information deficiencies mentioned in the literature and to identify additional deficiencies not previously discussed. Interviewees were asked to comment both on: (i) deficiencies within monitoring and research programs undertaken by their own agencies; and (ii) complaints they had with respect to information generated by other agency monitoring and research programs, particularly as they related to management concerns of their own agency. 88 Fisheries and Fish Habitat Several weaknesses are apparent with respect to investigatory activities undertaken in support of fisheries management in Boundary Bay. Weaknesses include: (i) gaps in understanding of critical habitat and habitat utilization; and (ii) insufficiently detailed information generated in support of management. While some activities have focused on inventorying fish habitat and monitoring habitat utilization in Boundary Bay, information needed to address management concerns has often not been available or is insufficiently detailed. An example of the incompleteness of available information is the lack of information available on critical fish habitat for non-commercial fish species. For the most part, the understanding of fish habitat and habitat utilization in Boundary and Mud Bays is somewhat limited. Comparatively more information is available regarding critical fish habitat and habitat utilization in the Little Campbell, Nicomekl and Serpentine Rivers and their tributaries. HAWG recognized, however, that the information available predominantly focuses on commercially-important fish species while largely ignoring other fish species (FREMP, 1991b). HAWG determined that fisheries research in the Fraser River Estuary had generally been limited to the determination of habitat utilization by economically-important fish species. "Most of our research focuses on only a small percentage of the total of fish species present in the estuary. The economically important species typically are the subject of study." (FREMP, 1991b). HAWG recommended that some effort be made to study other, non-economically-important, fish species. "This would address some important questions about the ecological role of fish species and the importance of fish species diversity in the estuary and provide more valid and useful information regarding environmental contaminants. Less work is being done now on this research topic than in past decades." (FREMP, 1991b) HAWG concluded that "[fjuture 89 FREMP habitat management plans must cover all geographic and functional aspects of the ecosystem that effect the estuary's habitat." (FREMP, 1991b) Despite the attention given to commercially-important fish species, information available on the effects of human activities on habitat utilized by these species is incomplete. For example, MOE considers the available information to be only partly sufficient for the management of fisheries and fish habitat in Boundary Bay (MOE, 1985). Although DFO and EC have overall legislative responsibility for marine fisheries, the Water and Waste Management Branches of MOE have the day-to-day management responsibility for land and water management as they relate to fisheries. MOE's Fish and Wildlife Branch also has the legislative responsibility for managing non-salmonid fish species (steelhead, cutthroat, and rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and sturgeon) in non-tidal waters of the estuary. MOE has identified the Serpentine/Nicomekl River system and the Little Campbell River system as priority stream systems for habitat protection due to their high natural productive capacity and the moderate to high recreational angling use. The smaller tributaries of these systems are considered very fragile and subject to a number of problems including physical loss of river, stream and estuarine fish habitat, water quality degradation causing lethal and sub-lethal effects in fish, and water withdrawals conflicting with instream requirements for fish spawning and rearing. Management strategies for addressing these issues include: review of industrial and urban development proposals to ensure adequate protection of existing fish habitat through agency referrals and negotiations with municipalities and private landowners; prevention of water quality problems by working with farmers to reduce unnecessary agricultural discharges, and through the Waste Management Branch continued review of effluent discharge applications; and prevention of low streamflow problems by review of 90 water license applications and consultation with DFO to determine minimum required flow rates. Implementation of MOE's management strategies has been hindered by information gaps existing with respect to the identification of critical fish habitat affected by urban and industrial development, understanding of tributary streamflow characteristics, and understanding of minimum streamflow requirements for fish. These problems of inadequate information are compounded by the further lack of information available with respect to certain water quality issues; such as assessing the extent and locations of agricultural pollution problems (MOE, 1985; B. Moore, pers. comm.). Consequently, MOE has only had limited success in implementing their management strategies; which are intended to be proactive, preventing or minimizing potential problems as a result of proposed land and water uses. Instead, MOE responses to problems have generally been reactive - only happening in response to immediate threats or destruction of habitat and degradation of water quality from different land and water uses - and consequently less effective (B. Moore, pers. comm.). Wildfowl and Wildfowl Habitat Weaknesses in information generated by monitoring and research activities undertaken in support of wildfowl management in Boundary Bay include: (i) incomplete understanding of critical habitat and habitat utilization; and (ii) inadequate knowledge of adverse effects of deteriorating water quality conditions on the health of bird populations. Information gaps exist with respect to identifying critical bird habitat and habitat utilization in the bay necessary to provide protection from changing land uses. Despite the inventorying of habitat and monitoring of habitat utilization which has been undertaken, there remain gaps relating to the identification of critical habitat areas and 91 the impact of changing land uses and consequent loss of critical habitat. Monitoring undertaken by CWS indicated that the highest bird concentrations are found around Boundary Bay despite the lack of protection afforded to bird habitat in the watershed (i.e., with the exception of Serpentine Fen and portions of the foreshore relatively little habitat around Boundary Bay is protected compared to other areas in the estuary where a variety of habitats are protected such as the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary and the Alaksen National Wildlife Area). CWS also found that although the entire Boundary Bay watershed is important to birds, especially high concentrations are found near the entrance to Mud Bay and the northwest corner of Boundary Bay (Butler, 1992). CWS recognizes, however, that insufficient monitoring and research has been undertaken to assess the significance of areas supporting high bird concentrations and the importance of adjacent uplands to the maintenance of current populations (Butler, pers. comm.). In particular, further monitoring and research is needed to determine precise habitat requirements of different species (e.g., woodlands, oldfields and grasslands, fallow farmlands, different agricultural crops) in order to allow for the protection and preservation of these habitats (Butler and Cannings, 1989). Such research would provide an understanding of the quantity and location of lands required to support current bird populations utilizing the watershed (Butler, 1992). CWS recognizes that additional monitoring and research is required to address the aforementioned information gaps. In response, CWS is planning a monitoring and research program to examine the ecological processes of migratory shorebird species which utilize the estuary for resting and feeding while migrating along the Pacific Flyway. Such an ecosystem approach will incorporate monitoring and research into both the physical (oceanography and meteorology) and the biotic (habitat utilization, food availability, and species ecology) environment in an attempt to better understand the dynamics of shorebird populations which utilize the estuary. CWS anticipates that this 92 program will produce information which increases scientists' understanding of migratory bird ecology and their predictive capability with respect to the likely effects of habitat perturbations (Elner and Butler, 1992). Significant information gaps also exist with respect to the understanding of potential adverse effects of degraded water quality on fish and birds in Boundary Bay. Although considerable monitoring and research has been undertaken into water quality and waste management concerns, comparatively little attention has been given to the implications of deteriorating receiving water quality on the health of fish and bird populations. Obvious exceptions are the water quality monitoring and research efforts that have an immediate connection to fisheries, such as monitoring of pesticides in agricultural run-off and depressed dissolved oxygen levels in fish-bearing streams. HAWG noted that, notwithstanding these efforts, inadequate attention had been given to the relationship between water quality conditions and the health of fish and bird populations. In response, HAWG recommended that steps should be taken to strengthen the linkage between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the estuary (FREMP, 1991b). The lack of attention given to the linkages between water quality and the health of fish and bird populations can be explained in part by the disagreement among management agencies on whether observed water quality conditions in the estuary should be of concern. Since 1977, CWS has been monitoring organochlorine levels in Great Blue Herons eggs around the Strait of Georgia, including eggs from two nesting colonies in Boundary Bay to: determine organochlorine levels in a species at the top of the estuarine food chain as an indicator of environmental quality; to track changes in pollution levels over time; and to determine if the health of birds is affected by toxic substances in the environment. Results indicate that, although high levels of several chlorinated hydrocarbons, particularly PCB's and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), were found in eggs between 1977 and 1979, levels have declined consistently 93 since sources of these chemicals have been contained or eliminated. However, elevated levels of dioxins and furans, particularly 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDD's) and dibenzofurans (PCDF's), have been detected in eggs of herons foraging in the estuary and in the Strait of Georgia. These levels, which are considered high enough to cause significant effects in developing heron embryos, are closely associated with emissions from pulp mill and wood processing industries and appear to be declining as contaminant sources are gradually eliminated (Vermeer and Butler, 1989; Whitehead era/., 1992). CWS has also undertaken monitoring of trace metals in seaducks and dabbling ducks to determine whether higher levels of metals are accumulated by birds feeding on more metal-contaminated aquatic organisms found on Sturgeon Bank adjacent to the lona Island Sewage Treatment Plant compared to Roberts Bank. Vermeer and Peakall (1979) found that although trace metals from sewage effluent discharges were accumulating in seaducks and dabbling ducks in varying degrees, the concentrations of metals in these species were considered to be within an acceptable range. CWS argues that while deteriorating water quality, and the presence of contaminants of concern, does not appear to have significantly impacted bird populations in the estuary, further research is necessary to address remaining concerns about potential impacts of degraded water quality on bird populations in the estuary (R. Elner, pers. comm.; Vermeer and Butler, 1989). Both CWS and HAWG recognize the need for additional research on the movement of contaminants through the estuarine food chain up to birds (FREMP, 1991b). Although several studies have examined estuarine food web relationships (Butler and Campbell, 1987; Hoos and Packman, 1974; Vermeer and Butler, 1989), very little is known about the long-term consequences of deteriorating water quality. In contrast, SCWQP, in developing the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan and monitoring program, concluded that monitoring and research relating to 94 the effects of deteriorating water quality on fish and birds should not be included in the their proposed monitoring program (FREMP, 1991a). SCWQP's proposed monitoring program does include sampling and analysis of fish and invertebrates for contaminant body burden which comprise a large part of the diet of many marine bird species. However, it does not attempt to determine the consequences for bird populations of contaminant levels found in the fish and invertebrates sampled. SCWQP explained the lack of attention to birds in the monitoring program by noting the lack of substantive evidence of adverse effects of observed contaminant levels in the estuary to birds (FREMP, 1991a). CWS disagree with SCWQP's conclusion, noting that without additional monitoring and research to determine the actual effects of contaminant levels found, the information provided by water quality monitoring programs is inadequate because it does not inform managers whether observed contaminant levels are of concern. Indeed, CWS are gradually extending their own contaminant monitoring program in the estuary to determine whether observed contaminant levels should be of concern. CWS's program, which will eventually include cormorants and eagles in addition to Great Blue Herons, will provide CWS with a greater understanding of the extent of food web contamination in the estuary because of the different diets of these bird species and the different contaminant pathways. Unfortunately, in the absence of corresponding monitoring and research as part of the Water Quality Plan monitoring program, considerably more time will be required to generate the information needed to evaluate the relationship between water quality and fish and bird health. Water Quality Issues Despite the considerable monitoring and research undertaken in Boundary Bay over the 10 to 15 year period up to 1992, there has been only slow progress in 95 addressing persistent information gaps with many gaps in the understanding of water quality conditions remaining. Although Swain and Alexander (1981), in their review of Boundary Bay as part of Phase 1 of FRES, identified inadequacies in the understanding of the characteristics of contaminant discharges and their impact on the receiving environment, subsequent monitoring and research efforts have largely failed to address these information gaps. The Working Committee on Fraser River Estuary Monitoring (FREMP, 1984) reiterated the need for both routine monitoring programs and specific research to delineate priority pollutant sources and to measure contaminant concentrations in water, sediment, benthic organisms, fish and birds. However, participants at a 1987 workshop organized by SCWQP concluded that while the available information was adequate for evaluating the relative condition of water quality in various water bodies it was inadequate to precisely define the status of water quality in the estuary. Major information gaps cited included: the lack of understanding of: effects of specific contaminants on aquatic organisms; loadings and characteristics of non-point source contaminant discharges; and effects of contaminant discharges on water quality in side-channels and sloughs (FREMP, 1987). Compliance monitoring undertaken by MOE beginning in 1987 was intended to document water quality conditions in the estuary in support of the water quality objectives. Monitoring undertaken in Boundary Bay indicated that while most water quality objectives were being met, several objectives were consistently exceeded. During 1987, 1988 and 1989 the objective for primary-contact recreation was occasionally exceeded while the objective for shellfish harvesting was consistently exceeded at many sites within Boundary Bay. In the Little Campbell River, objectives for suspended solids, turbidity, and nitrite were frequently not met while the objective for DO was variously barely met or exceeded at different monitoring sites. In the 96 Nicomekl River and its tributaries, objectives for fecal conforms, nitrite, suspended solids, turbidity, DO, and pH were variously exceeded during 1988 and 1989. Similarly, in the Serpentine River and its tributaries, objectives for pH, suspended solids, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliforms, and nitrite were exceeded at various times during 1988 and 1989 (FREMP, 1990c; MOE, 1989). Although MOE's compliance monitoring in support of water quality objectives was successful in providing information about present water quality conditions in relation to the objectives it did not address many of the other information gaps identified by SCWQP workshop participants. For example, while the compliance monitoring program determined where objectives were being exceeded, no information was provided about whether exceedence of objectives should be of immediate concern to managers. GVRD cited the lack of such additional information as a limiting factor in their development of a LWMP for the estuary. Information generated by MOE's compliance monitoring program enabled GVRD to rank environmental quality in the estuary on a nominal scale of 'good' (water quality objectives were generally met with no known impairment of water uses), 'fair' (water quality objectives would not always be met resulting in occasional impairment of water uses), and 'poor' (consistent restrictions on water use, documented evidence of biological impact, evidence of potential biological impact on the basis of laboratory studies, and/or frequent exceedence of objectives). Environmental quality in Boundary Bay was ranked 'fair' because of the consistent exceedence of the fecal coliform objective for shellfish harvesting and the occasional exceedence of D.O. and copper objectives. Environmental quality in the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell Rivers was ranked 'poor' because of periodic low oxygen levels resulting in fish kills, elevated fecal coliform levels, and, variously, dissolved cadmium, copper, ammonia, and orthophosphate levels frequently exceeding objectives. Although GVRD regarded the ranking of different waterbodies within the estuary as a useful exercise to evaluate 97 relative water quality conditions in the estuary, they recognized that additional information was required to develop appropriate waste management strategies. In particular, GVRD recognized that just comparing water quality conditions with desired water quality objectives did not provide sufficient information as to the severity of water quality problems or whether observed water quality conditions should be of immediate concern (GVRD, 1987; 1988a,b; 1989). The FREMP Waste Management Activity Program Working Group had similar concerns about the depth of assessment of water quality conditions made possible by the information provided by MOE's compliance monitoring program. Considerably more information was seen as necessary to determine the importance of observed exceedences of certain water quality objectives. In addition, more information was needed to determine the nature and extent of adverse effects of various human activities in the estuary (e.g., a greater emphasis on monitoring the water quality effects of agricultural and stormwater run-off was recommended for Boundary Bay). The availability of such information was considered crucial to the development of effective and efficient waste management strategies (FREMP, 1990a). For example, the GVRD's LWMP Combined Sewer Overflow and Urban Runoff Committee was able to determine overall water quality in the Boundary Bay watershed but was unable to clearly establish the relative importance of water quality problems and to identify their causes. While contaminants contained in urban run-off and agricultural run-off to the watershed were known to cause several water quality objectives to be exceeded, not enough information was available to clearly identify the overall environmental effects of different contaminant discharges, as well as to identify the relative environmental significance of different contaminant loadings. The lack of information linking contaminant discharges to exceedences of water quality objectives has hindered management efforts to control contaminant discharges. 98 For example, although urban run-off controls would help to alleviate the high metals values in Boundary Bay and depressed D.O. levels in the Serpentine, Nicomekl, and Little Campbell Rivers they would only have a minor impact of reducing fecal coliform and nutrient loadings, which would need to be addressed by alternative controls that target agricultural contaminant sources (e.g., bacterial monitoring in Boundary Bay in 1987 to 1988 traced the elevated fecal coliform levels found in Boundary Bay, particularly following high rainfall events, to land drainage pump station discharges, with significant loading of fecal conforms originating from those pump stations draining predominantly agricultural land (Higgs, 1989)). However, until more information was available about the extent of environmental degradation caused by these different contaminant discharges, in addition to other contaminant sources such as permitted discharges and non-agricultural non-point source discharges, and the extent of controls necessary and the potential environmental benefits, management agencies have been reluctant to respond. MOE recognized the limitations of their compliance monitoring program with respect to providing information about overall environmental quality and the extent of degradation caused by cumulative contaminant discharges. In response, MOE (in collaboration with FRHC) initiated a trend monitoring program to develop a better understanding of overall water quality in the estuary (Swain and Walton, 1990;1991). Sampling of sediment, fish and other biota in Boundary Bay indicated that concentrations of metals (including arsenic, chromium, copper, and mercury) were generally lower than concentrations at other sites in the estuary and in Burrard Inlet. Even where metal concentrations (such as cadmium, zinc, and lead) were similar or slightly higher than at other sampling sites, the concentrations were below levels normally associated with adverse effects to aquatic organisms. Fish collected from Boundary Bay were found to have tissue and liver concentrations of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc higher 99 than levels found in fish taken from other sampling sites in the estuary and Burrard Inlet. Similarly, high concentrations of cadmium and copper were found in crabs (Cancer magister) compared to Burrard Inlet. Levels of chlorinated phenols, PCB's, organochlorine pesticides, guaiacols, catechols, polychlorinated dioxins, and furans in biota and sediment in Boundary Bay were generally either low or below the detection limit, with the exception of PAH levels which exceeded sediment quality objectives established for Burrard Inlet. Notably, the higher concentrations of metals and PAH's in sediments were found at sites in the mouths of the Serpentine and Nicomekl Rivers and adjacent to land discharge pump stations around Boundary Bay. Although MOE's trend monitoring program addressed some of the outstanding information gaps, the trend monitoring program fell short of addressing all remaining information gaps. In particular, although MOE's trend monitoring program generated information on contaminant levels present in the receiving environment, additional information is needed about the environmental significance of levels found and the links between contaminant discharges and observed contaminant levels in the receiving environment. For example, Swain and Walton (1990, 1991) measured high levels of cadmium and copper in fish and crabs collected from Boundary Bay as part of MOE's trend monitoring program. They speculated that since some pesticides used on golf course greens and some agricultural fertilizers include these metals, run-off from these sources might be responsible for the observed contaminant levels (FREMP, 1990c). Unfortunately, because of the limited scope of their monitoring programs, MOE was unable to provide information linking contaminant discharges from these sources and potential adverse effects in the receiving environment. DFO and DOE have both expressed concerns regarding the accumulation and potential toxicity of contaminants, such as pesticides which can impact adversely on fish and other aquatic organisms, present in agricultural run-off. In response to the need 1 00 for information about contaminant pathways and potential adverse effects, EC funded inventorying and experimental research in 1989 and 1990 to document use of agricultural crop pesticides, and to determine their presence in agricultural run-off and potential toxicity to aquatic life (Coastline, 1989; E.V.S., 1990; Moody, 1989). Prior to these activities little information was available regarding pesticide use in the estuary, pesticide loadings in agricultural run-off and their accumulation and toxicity in the receiving environment. Previous monitoring of agricultural run-off had been confined to determining the levels of fecal conforms, ammonia, nitrite, and D.O. in support of water quality objectives. The EC-funded investigations in the Nicomekl River and adjacent drainage and irrigation ditches indicated elevated levels of the pesticides endosulfan and dinoseb in ditch and river water and sediment samples along with elevated concentrations of metals and nutrients indicating that loadings of these contaminants were closely associated with agricultural run-off. These results confirmed earlier monitoring results which indicated that pesticides are entering the receiving environment in agricultural run-off (Wan, 1989). Although toxicological testing of ditch and river samples was inconclusive, necessitating additional monitoring and toxicity testing to address concerns that the observed pesticide concentrations are causing toxic effects, these special studies typify the kind of research that is urgently needed to address outstanding information gaps in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the estuary. In developing their monitoring program as part of the Water Quality Plan, SCWQP attempted to address information gaps that had hindered management efforts over the years. They recognized that much of the blame for persistent information gaps could be assigned to the predominantly compliance monitoring driven focus of monitoring programs undertaken in the estuary (i.e., because trend monitoring and especially special studies were considered much lower priorities, information on estuary-wide 101 environmental health and the severity of existing water quality problems had not been generated) (FREMP, 1991a). SCWQP's proposed monitoring program as part of their Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan is intended as a comprehensive response to management information needs by providing the minimum level of information required to adequately assess environmental quality in the estuary. The monitoring program is intended to supplement existing monitoring and research programs in the estuary to: (i) provide for the assessment of specific problem discharges through compliance monitoring; (ii) provide a measure of the effectiveness of estuary management programs and regulatory activities; and (iii) identify long-term trends in contaminant levels in the estuary through trend monitoring (FREMP, 1991a). Significantly, the compliance component of SCWQP's monitoring program differs from MOE's compliance monitoring program in that it recognizes that compliance monitoring programs must be designed and implemented such that they directly support water quality objectives. Valiela (1988) observes that the design of a compliance monitoring program should ideally be considered during the development of water quality objectives to ensure that the monitoring program reflects the variables, distribution, and timing of the objectives themselves. As a result, greater attention is given to timing of compliance monitoring (e.g., monitoring for agricultural source contaminants would take place both before and after periods of pesticide use or manure application and after heavy rainfall events to determine both ambient and worse case contaminant levels) and the selection of sampling locations (e.g., sampling of backwaters and sloughs in addition to existing sites in main river channel and major tributaries). Designing monitoring programs in this way provides for better understanding of contaminant loadings, spatial distribution, and environmental fate than is currently available from existing monitoring programs. 1 02 SCWQP's proposed monitoring program also includes special studies and trend monitoring to supplement the compliance monitoring program. The addition of special studies, in particular, was recognized as being urgently needed to provide more toxicological information in support of water quality objectives, especially on the sublethal effects of environmental pollutants (Valiela, 1988). Special studies, similar to those funded by EC to determine pesticide presence and toxicity in the Nicomekl River, are envisioned to provide for a better understanding of the adverse effects of present contaminant loadings. SCWQP expected that information generated by special studies and trend monitoring will supplement information gathered through compliance monitoring thereby providing feedback on the effectiveness of estuary management programs and regulatory activities and a better understanding of estuary health. In addition to the steps taken to supplement existing monitoring and research in the estuary in an effort to address persistent information gaps, SCWQP's Water Quality Plan responds to the problem of lack of coordination of research and monitoring activities. SCWQP recognized that because of the large information requirements in the estuary, there is a crucial need for cooperation and communication between federal, provincial, and regional governments, the private sector, universities, and non-government organizations to ensure that available resources are utilized most efficiently and effectively (FREMP, 1991a). Under the Water Quality Plan, SCWQP would be responsible for identifying research needs and information gaps, determining research priorities in the estuary, and coordinating monitoring and research activities such that duplication and overlap are avoided. SCWQP would also have overall responsibility for the proposed monitoring program. By structuring monitoring and research efforts in this manner, SCWQP expected that the information generated by various monitoring and research programs will be directly useful for assessing compliance with water quality objectives and understanding the effects of contaminant discharges in the estuary. 1 03 Conclusions The preceding review of monitoring and research efforts in Boundary Bay indicates that important gaps do exist with respect to the information generated in support of management. Although considerable monitoring and research was undertaken in Boundary over the approximately 15 year period up to 1992, information has often not been available to managers in a timely fashion not has it been entirely relevant for decision-making. Similar information deficiencies are apparent in all aspects of environmental management including waste and water quality, fisheries, and wildlife management. Generally, inventorying and monitoring undertaken by management agencies have generated predominantly descriptive information that has limited application in management. In addition, management agencies have generally given priority to narrowly focused management issues with the result that inadequate attention has been given to other management issues. Although management agencies appear to recognize the need to address persistent information deficiencies, they have made only slow progress in accomplishing this task. Increasingly, management agencies are broadening the focus of their monitoring and research programs to include more sophisticated investigatory activities (e.g., desk analysis, experimental research, and experimental management) necessary to generate functional information for management. Unfortunately, a reluctance by management agencies to embrace broader management objectives and re-allocate resources to these activities has meant that functional information needed by managers have only been slowly forthcoming. Lack of attention to broader management objectives and the generation of functional information for management is particularly evident with respect to waste and water quality management. Considerable effort has been devoted to monitoring and research in support of waste management and water quality management in Boundary 1 04 Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary. However, despite the attention given to water quality issues, water quality and waste management efforts have been hindered by an incomplete understanding of contaminant discharges and the adverse effects of these discharges in the receiving environment. Monitoring and research undertaken in support of waste and water quality management have predominantly focused on developing water quality criteria and objectives and verifying achievement of objectives already established. This focus reflects MOE's management strategy in the estuary which involves establishing water quality objectives to protect important water uses. Although MOE recognized that the compliance driven focus of their monitoring programs only addressed certain information deficiencies they have generally shown an unwillingness to devote available resources to other information deficiencies which they considered lower priorities. For example, because trend monitoring and especially special studies (i.e., desk analysis, experimental research and experimental management) were considered much lower priorities, little attention has been given by MOE to providing information about overall environmental quality in the estuary and the extent of degradation caused by cumulative contaminant discharges. Consequently, although MOE's compliance monitoring program in support of water quality objectives was successful in providing information about present water quality conditions in relation to the objectives, little information was provided about whether exceedence of objectives should be of immediate concern to managers. The lack of information linking contaminant discharges to exceedences of water quality objectives has hindered management efforts to control contaminant discharges. Trend monitoring and experimental research undertaken by provincial and federal management agencies was intended to supplement information generated by compliance monitoring. Although information generated by these investigative activities has been partly successful in addressing persistent information gaps, the delay in undertaking trend monitoring and 1 05 experimental research and the inadequacy of resources committed to these activities has meant that information has only been slowly forthcoming. Increased attention to trend monitoring and special studies as part of FREMP's Water Quality Plan is expected to address remaining information gaps relating to changing contaminant levels present in the receiving environmental and the environmental significance of observed contaminant levels in the receiving environment. Similar explanations can be found for information inadequacies relating to fisheries management in Boundary Bay. Monitoring and research in support of fisheries management has focused primarily on inventorying fish habitat and monitoring habitat utilization and escapement from the Nicomekl, Serpentine and Little Campbell Rivers draining into the bay. The focus of information generation on inventorying and monitoring primarily reflects DFO's need for information in support of their efforts to achieve no net loss of critical fish habitat. The largely descriptive information provided is intended to be used in the review and evaluation of development proposals by DFO to ensure that disruption or loss of important fish habitat is minimized. Because habitat mapping efforts have focused predominantly on mapping and characterization of critical habitat for commercially-important fish species, inadequate attention has been given to other habitat related management issues. Consequently, information deficiencies including the habitat requirements of non-commercially important fish species and the interrelationship between fisheries and wildfowl habitat have not been adequately addressed. A slightly different explanation is required for information gaps relating to wildfowl habitat in Boundary Bay. The lack of timeliness of information generation can be blamed on the initially narrow focus of CWS's investigatory activities and their slow recognition of the type of information they required for effective management. The emphasis on inventorying and monitoring of bird populations reflected CWS's 106 management priorities until the late 1980's. The subsequent shift to more sophisticated investigatory activities followed CWS's recognition of the urgency of the management issues they faced. CWS realization that descriptive knowledge was inadequate by itself to determine critical habitat requirements prompted more intensive monitoring and experimental research. In addition to the lack of timely information there are significant information gaps which can be attributed to the separateness of environmental management efforts in the Fraser River Estuary. Poor communication among agencies involved in different environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management has resulted in inadequate consideration of information needs of other agencies. This problem is particularly evident with respect to the relationship between wildfowl and waste and water management agencies. Although the condition of water quality in the estuary is of concern to CWS, these concerns have been underrepresented in water quality monitoring and research programs undertaken by MOE. For example, although considerable monitoring and research has been undertaken into water quality and waste management concerns, comparatively little attention has been given to determining the effects of deteriorating water quality for the health of birds. As a result, inadequate information exists about the relationship between water quality and the health of bird populations. 107 CHAPTER 5 - EVALUATING INFORMATION GENERATION IN BOUNDARY BAY Introduction This chapter evaluates the success of efforts by management agencies to address information deficiencies within the predominant framework for management in the Fraser River Estuary. Although there is wide recognition among management agencies of persistent information gaps, the evidence presented in Chapter 4 suggests that agencies have made only slow progress in filling them and in responding to longstanding environmental concerns in the estuary. Notwithstanding Dorcey and Hall's (1981) recommendations for improving information generation through adoption of a more integrated approach to management in the Fraser River estuary, management agencies have attempted to address information deficiencies within the predominant management framework with mixed success. Despite the proliferation of well-intentioned inter-agency committees and coordinating bodies intended to improve environmental management in the estuary, problems with inadequate information generation and ineffective management responses to environmental concerns remain. The evaluation of management agency efforts to improve information generation in the Fraser River Estuary draws from the conceptual model developed in Chapter 2. Successful integration of environmental management was depicted in Figure 2 as involving rightward movement through the shaded area. The conventional approach, positioned on the left, is characterized by an emphasis on generating descriptive knowledge in response to predominantly single agency information needs. Decision making in the conventional approach is characterized as piece-meal with decisions being made on a case-by-case basis within discrete environmental compartments or aspects of 1 08 environmental management. The integrated approach, positioned on the right, is characterized by an emphasis on generating functional information in support of broader management objectives. Decision making involves multiple agencies working closely together to address mutually agreed-upon priority management concerns. Challenges faced by management agencies in moving towards more integrated management are conceptualized as involving both horizontal and vertical movement through the shaded area shown in Figure 2. Both vertical and horizontal movement emphasize the generation of functional knowledge in support of management. Movement along the knowledge spectrum from left to right necessitates consideration of changing management needs through the problem-solving process (i.e., inventorying -» baseline monitoring -> compliance monitoring -> desk analysis -> experimental research -»• experimental management -» trend monitoring). Similarly, movement along the policy analysis spectrum and decision spectrum from left to right necessitates incorporating the information needs of multiple agencies into the information generation process. Functional information generated in support of management should reflect the broadening of management focus from predominantly single agency objectives to multiple agency objectives under an integrated approach. Information generation in support of management must, therefore, incorporate monitoring and research within single environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management and monitoring and research to establish linkages among environmental compartments. Drawing from material presented in Chapters 3 and 4, I evaluate whether monitoring and research activities and management initiatives of management agencies in the Fraser River Estuary have been horizontally and vertically integrated. Particular attention is devoted to the linkages that have been achieved within the predominant framework for management in the estuary. The focus on linkages reflects their importance to the integrated approach to management. Effective and sustained 1 09 linkages between researchers and managers are essential to ensuring that information needs for management are clearly articulated and that information generated by monitoring and research programs directly responds to these needs. Similarly, extensive linkages among management agencies are critical to ensuring the agency commitment to broad management objectives and the generation of information in response to these objectives. Instead of just chronicling environmental problems and agency responses as was done in Chapter 4, selected examples of monitoring and research activities and management initiatives in Boundary Bay are re-examined to provide insight into how management agencies have responded to environmental problems. The following sections provide a detailed examination of: (i) the development of water quality objectives and FREMP's Water Quality Plan; and (ii) the relationship between waste and water quality management and fisheries and wildfowl management. Although many aspects of environmental management in Boundary Bay are not covered, the examples presented are very much representative of management efforts in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River Estuary. Waste and Water Quality Management in Boundary Bav Considerable insight into the climate for environmental management can be gained by examining the process of developing water quality objectives for Boundary Bay and in developing a Water Quality Plan and monitoring program for the Fraser River Estuary. The process of developing objectives and a monitoring and research program in support of these objectives demonstrates how the differing, and often conflicting, 11 0 management priorities of agencies involved may have impeded the development of an integrated response to water quality concerns in Boundary Bay. Example 1 - Development of Water Quality Objectives Examination of the process for developing water quality objectives in Boundary Bay reveals how their development was complicated by the different management priorities of management agencies as determined by legislative mandates and institutional arrangements. FREMP's goal of maintaining ambient water quality levels in the Fraser River Estuary was to be achieved by making decisions regarding water quality within an estuary-wide process involving all agencies with a legislative mandate with respect to water quality. SCWQP was assigned the task of developing a Water Quality Plan which would ensure the long-term protection of water quality in the estuary. The Plan was to include a coordinated comprehensive monitoring program and federally-provincially agreed-upon ambient water quality objectives. The composition of the Management Committee Executive, with representatives from federal and provincial agencies and the Harbour Commissions being involved in the development process, was intended to ensure that both the water quality objectives and the subsequent Plan and monitoring program were fully endorsed by both provincial and federal agencies (Pomeroy, 1989; M. Pomeroy, pers. comm.). As a starting point for the development of federally-provincially agreed-upon objectives, the FREMP Management Committee overseeing SCWQP accepted provincial water quality objectives (e.g., Swain and Holmes, 1988a,b). SCWQP was then supposed to revise and add to these objectives to arrive at a set of objectives that was satisfactory to all management agencies involved. Concerns expressed initially by agencies with respect to the provincial objectives included: (i) whether they addressed all water 111 quality characteristics of concern; (ii) what should be the criteria for evaluating characteristics of concern; and (iii) whether the objectives were sufficiently stringent (M. Pomeroy, pers. comm.). To address these concerns to the satisfaction of all agencies, SCWQP developed a mechanism which allowed agencies to propose new or revised water quality objectives. After consideration by SCWQP (including review by a technical ad hoc subcommittee if necessary) and approval by the Management Committee Executive the proposed revisions or additions would be made to the provincial objectives. In many cases it would appear that the concerns of all agencies involved were successfully addressed through the objective addition/revision mechanism. For example, objectives were revised in response to DFO concerns about the level of protection provided by the provincial dissolved oxygen objective. The provincial water quality objectives established for Boundary Bay included a staged dissolved oxygen objective to protect salmonids in the Little Campbell, Serpentine, and Nicomekl Rivers and their tributaries and in Boundary Bay. The objectives initially provided that minimum dissolved oxygen concentrations should not be less than 6.0 mg/L in the watershed (slightly higher at 6.5 mg/L in Boundary Bay) from June through October. These months represent the period during which the most sensitive early life-stage salmonids are likely to be present. MOE intended that the objective would subsequently be increased to 8.0 mg/L (9.0 mg/L in Boundary Bay) at all times and 11.0 mg/L when sensitive larval and/or alevin stages are present. MOE's rationale for having such a staged dissolved oxygen objective was that until efforts were made to eliminate certain waste discharges to waterbodies the higher objectives were unlikely to be met during certain periods of the year. The higher second-level objectives were therefore intended to be implemented only when dissolved oxygen levels consistently met the lower first-level objective. MOE recognized that the first-level dissolved oxygen objective only provided a moderate level of protection for salmonid species with slight impairment to 11 2 salmonids likely at the lower dissolved oxygen levels; i.e., both provincial water quality criteria and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria specify a minimum dissolved oxygen level of 9.0 mg/L to provide a high level of protection for anadromous fish species such as salmonids (with even higher minimum dissolved oxygen levels considered necessary to protect more sensitive life-stages). DFO strongly objected to such a staged approach because in the short-term the objective ignored the immediate risk of low dissolved oxygen levels to salmonids. Instead, DFO proposed that the second-level objectives be implemented immediately in selected areas of the watershed (e.g., the Mahood, Hyland and Latimer tributaries of the Serpentine River and the Anderson and Murray tributaries of the Nicomekl River) and during periods when the most sensitive salmonid life-stages are present. The first-level objective would remain unchanged elsewhere in the watershed until such a time as a higher objective could realistically be consistently attained. MOE considered DFO's proposal to be an acceptable compromise and supported the revised objective. This example illustrates how it is possible for agencies to collaborate effectively in the development of objectives. Agencies had very different management concerns which had to be addressed in establishing federally-provincially agreed-upon water quality objectives. The disagreement over the minimum acceptable D.O. objective stems from contrasting agency legislative mandates; with MOE having much broader management responsibilities in the estuary than DFO. While MOE attempts to maintain and improve overall water quality they also try to balance the need for environmental protection with the importance of economic activity. For this reason, MOE has to be careful to establish water quality objectives that can be consistently achieved through incremental control of contaminant discharges and which are not overly stringent such that they impact unnecessarily on economic activity. In contrast, DFO is only concerned with ensuring adequate protection to fish at all times throughout the estuary; they 11 3 requested revisions to the existing provincial objective because they considered the objective to provide inadequate protection without having to consider the economic effects of more stringent objectives. Significantly, MOE and DFO were able to identify a compromise that accommodated both agencies mandates by setting more stringent objectives for specific areas of the watershed of most concern to DFO while maintaining less stringent objectives elsewhere in the estuary to avoid unnecessary economic effects. Example 2 - Application of Water Quality Objectives Examination of difficulties encountered in the application of water quality objectives in Boundary Bay reveals the sometimes conflicting perspectives among management agencies regarding how water quality objectives should be utilized as a management tool. Agencies have not been entirely successful in reaching agreement on how water quality objectives should actually be applied. Specifically, they have been unable to agree as to whether water quality objectives should apply within an initial dilution zone (IDZ). This disagreement is interesting because, unlike the previous example where agencies were able to reach a compromise, the narrow and uncompromising interpretation of their mandates by the agencies involved impeded negotiation of a compromise in the application of the objectives. A IDZ is the zone immediately surrounding a contaminant discharge point. MOE defines the extent of the IDZ on a site-specific basis depending on water uses, aquatic life, and other waste discharges in the vicinity. IDZ's are generally relatively small (e.g., up to 100 metres from the point of contaminant discharge, but not exceeding 25 to 50% of the width of the waterbody). MOE consider IDZ's to be essential to allow for the initial mixing and dilution of contaminant discharges necessary to re-establish background levels in the receiving waterbody (Pommen, 1988). While MOE recognizes that water quality objectives might be exceeded within initial dilution zones, they are 11 4 more concerned with ambient water quality conditions in a water body. MOE argues that initial dilution zones are essential in the management of contaminant discharges and water quality in a waterbody. "If these zones did not exist, waste quality would have to meet water quality objectives, which would be very costly and not technically achievable in many cases. A great deal of money would need to be spent for a very small improvement in the environment if these zones were eliminated." (Pommen, 1988). In contrast, DFO considers it essential to consider water quality conditions throughout a water body, including the area immediately surrounding a contaminant discharge point. DFO argues that within IDZ's fish can be subjected to adverse water quality conditions capable of causing acute and/or chronic toxic effects. The potential toxicity of contaminant discharges is of particular concern in small tributaries and side channels where slower flows, and therefore lower dilution rates, can result in degraded water quality. DFO is concerned about water quality conditions in these areas because they are where the more sensitive juvenile fish are often found (GVRD, 1988a,b; S. Samis, pers. comm.). MOE has been largely unwilling to address DFO's concerns with regard to IDZ's. "[W]e believe that the concept of initial dilution zones is essential and not negotiable." (Pommen, 1988). Although they were willing to discuss the location, size, and shape of IDZ's on a site-specific basis, MOE does not consider the site-specific design of IDZ's to be a high priority in the development of water quality objectives. Given the high information requirements (e.g., defining the physical mixing zone via modelling or monitoring, collection of detailed information on the aquatic populations and habitats, etc), MOE has been reluctant to devote resources to adjusting the size of IDZ's unless there is evidence of problems or unless the waterbody is a high priority. The intransigence of agencies in the interpretation of IDZ's is significant because it demonstrates an unwillingness by agencies to consider the management priorities of 115 other agencies. Given MOE's legislative responsibility for waste and water quality management, their desire to use water quality objectives as a management tool to attain acceptable overall water quality conditions in the estuary is not unreasonable. Similarly, given that DFO is responsible for the protection of fish and fish habitat in the estuary, their concerns that the arbitrary application of IDZ's by MOE could result in water quality conditions that are potentially harmful to fish are certainly justified. Unfortunately, instead of attempting to accommodate each others concerns, both MOE and DFO adopted strong positional stances. Bardwell (1991) observes that the more well-entrenched an agency's position the less-willing they will be to accommodate the positions of other agencies. MOE's strong position that IDZ's are not negotiable and that site-specific design of IDZ's is not a high priority in the development of water quality objectives clearly indicates an unwillingness to explore DFO's concerns. Given that IDZ's are just an administrative tool to allow MOE to achieve their overall objective of acceptable ambient water quality conditions in the estuary, MOE's inflexibility in applying them is difficult to justify. Similarly, DFO adopts a strong position with respect to their reluctance to accept diminished water quality anywhere in the estuary, even in areas where the potential harm to fish is minimal. Rather than opposing IDZ's in principle, DFO should perhaps have identified specific priority water bodies in the estuary where the potential harm to fish from contaminant discharges is high and where site-specific IDZ's are necessary, and have cooperated with MOE in defining and establishing these zones. Unfortunately, the unwillingness shown by both agencies to explore the interests - the needs and concerns - that lie behind each others positions obscured the common ground between the agencies. 11 6 Example 3 - The Development of a Water Quality Plan and Monitoring Program Management agencies in the estuary have different, and often conflicting, management concerns which have to be reconciled in developing inter-agency monitoring and research and management strategies. This example evaluates FREMP's success in developing a Water Quality Plan and monitoring program that incorporates and responds to the management priorities and information needs of all agencies involved. Particular attention is given to the disparity in attention given to compliance and trend monitoring programs and that given to special studies in support of management efforts in the estuary. The need for substantive and sustained commitment by management agencies to broad management objectives in the Fraser River Estuary became clear during FRES. Information deficiencies attributed to the absence of broad management objectives included: (i) a lack of unity in information generation; (i) fragmentation of information generated; and (iii) the incompleteness of information available for decision-making (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984). The Implementation Strategy prepared by the FREMP Review Committee responded to the need to provide timely and relevant information for management in the estuary by establishing an information system. "Ensuring the availability of the types of information required to permit resource managers to make informed decisions regarding the management of the Fraser estuary will be critical to achieving the goals of the Management Program." "The primary objective of the system will be to provide the types of information required to improve decision-making. The system will offer a variety of estuary information (facts, trends, forecasts, functional information) which when analyzed, shared, and applied by estuary managers will create opportunities for improved coordination of management activities, more efficient allocation of resources, and quicker resolution of conflicts. In addition, the Management Information System will provide the evaluative feedback required by estuary managers 11 7 to assess their progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the Management Program and to evaluate whether the stated policies are achieving their aims." (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984) Significantly, the FREMP Review Committee recognized "consistent and coordinated management of the Fraser estuary ... will not be achieved unless each agency develops a commitment to adhering to the policies, goals, and objectives and to participating in the activities of the Management Program. To develop this commitment, each agency should identify their own goals and objectives for the Fraser estuary in concert with the intent of the Management Program. Exchange and comparison of such information and plans between agencies will provide the basis for linking inter-related plans and activities in a way that will result in estuary management being progressively more coordinated, efficient, and effective." (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984) The need for agencies to agree on "superordinate goals" in estuary management was implicit in the linked management structure of FREMP (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984; Wolfe, nd.). Wolfe (nd) described superordinate or "transorganizational goals" as goals that are urgent and compelling to all agencies and which cannot be attained by any agency separately but which require the concerted efforts of all agencies involved (Wolfe, nd.). This means that for a linked management approach to be successful, it is critical to achieve close identification of agency goals with goals held in common by a number of agencies (i.e., superordinate goals). Unless agencies recognize the need to embrace superordinate goals which transcend purely agency goals they are likely to view superordinate goals as secondary to their agency goals. Conversely, if agencies recognize that by helping achieve superordinate goals they also achieve their own goals better they will be more likely to cooperate and coordinate their efforts with those of other agencies (Wolfe, nd.). 11 8 / Although the FREMP Review Committee considered greater emphasis on information generation and substantive agency commitment to superordinate management goals to be critical to FREMP's success, it is questionable whether they have actually been achieved. Evidence of inadequate attention to multi-agency management information needs and lack of commitment to superordinate goals can be found repeatedly in FREMP initiatives over the years culminating in the Water Quality Plan and monitoring program (hereafter referred to as the 1991 monitoring program). The relative lack of attention given to special studies, compared to compliance and trend monitoring, despite the wide-recognition that such studies are necessary to respond to multiple agency management concerns in the estuary is particularly revealing. During FRES, Swain and Alexander (1981) documented poor water quality conditions in Boundary Bay associated with different contaminant discharges (e.g., the effects of land drainage pump station discharges on bacteriological water quality, the presence of pesticide residues in tributaries and their effects on fish, and problems of depressed dissolved oxygen levels in tributaries on fish) and recommended additional monitoring and research to better understand these problems and to identify appropriate management responses. FRES's Working Committee on Fraser River Estuary Monitoring reaffirmed the need for special studies in their recommended monitoring program (FREMP, 1984). The monitoring program's objective was to "provide information on both the status of the study area's water quality at any given time and, over the long term, signal any improvement or deterioration in the health of the estuary." The Committee recognized that for the monitoring program to be effective it would be necessary to determine which contaminants were entering the estuary and from what sources and to determine their presence in all compartments of the estuarine environment. For this reason, the Committee identified a number of special studies that they considered necessary to provide information on specific contaminants of concern 11 9 and their effects in the receiving environment (e.g., a study of nutrient input to tributary watersheds and their influence on algal growths and depressed dissolved oxygen levels; further studies of the quality of stormwater inputs from residential, industrial and agricultural catchment areas; a study of pesticide accumulation in irrigation ditches; and a determination of environmental conditions in sloughs and backwaters including an examination of organics and other toxic substances in fish, invertebrates and fish). Significantly, although the Committee recognized the importance of special studies, they were considered a lower priority than routine trend monitoring programs that should be undertaken as additional resources became available. FRES's Working Committees' decision to focus on routine monitoring in the 1984 monitoring program is mirrored in the 1991 monitoring program. While S C W Q P recognized that special studies of specific environmental problems in the estuary were necessary to respond to information deficiencies, they considered special studies to be a lower priority than routine monitoring programs. The 1991 monitoring program is more comprehensive than the 1984 monitoring program in that it includes compliance monitoring in addition to the trend monitoring. "Accurate determination of changes in aquatic environmental quality requires a comprehensive database of physical, chemical and biological conditions and detailed information on pollutant discharges... The identification of long-term trends in contaminant levels in the estuary through ambient monitoring and the assessment of specific problem discharges through compliance monitoring provide a measure of the effectiveness of estuary management programs and regulatory activities." (FREMP, 1991a). SCWQP's rationale for the narrow focus of their monitoring program on compliance and trend monitoring was the need to ensure that the information generated was timely and relevant from a management perspective. To improve timeliness of 1 20 information generation, compared to the 1984 monitoring program, the frequency of sampling was increased so that the entire program is repeated every three years instead of the previous five years. Two changes were made to improve the relevance of information generated: (i) the 1991 routine compliance monitoring program focuses on assessing just the degree of contamination and does not attempt to determine the adverse effects of observed contaminant levels by undertaking additional sampling as part of the routine monitoring program as was done in the 1984 monitoring program; and (ii) the 1991 monitoring program is more focused than the 1984 monitoring program in that SCWQP were more selective in the sampling included; avoiding duplication of existing sampling programs and not including sampling variables that were unlikely to generate useful information. While SCWQP's monitoring program responds in certain respects to the need to provide timely and relevant information to managers, it fails to achieve other crucial aspects of the information system envisioned in the FREMP Review Committee's Implementation Strategy (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984). The information system was intended to offer a variety of information needed for management; including both descriptive and functional types of information. The 1991 monitoring program falls far short of this goal in that it only provides descriptive information. Trend and compliance monitoring provide information about changes in contaminant levels over time in the estuary and the comparison of selected contaminant levels to acceptable levels (i.e., water quality objectives), respectively. Trend and compliance monitoring are not, however, designed to provide information about the actual effects of measured contaminant levels. Trend and compliance monitoring generate descriptive data that can be compared to water quality objectives. Because the information generated relies on an assumed relationship between criteria on which objectives are based and previously documented adverse effects, trend and compliance monitoring do not provide information 121 about actual effects in the receiving environment. In contrast, special studies provide functional information about the actual effects of observed contaminant levels in the receiving environment, providing managers with assurance that water quality objectives adequately protect environmental and human health. The narrow focus of the 1991 monitoring program on compliance and trend monitoring probably reflects the priorities of a single agency rather than multiple-agency priorities. While the information provided by compliance and trend monitoring programs provides the feedback required by agencies such as MOE to assess their progress in achieving water quality objectives in the estuary and to evaluate the effectiveness of their management strategies, it is debatable whether the information generated is useful and relevant to other agencies. For example, the monitoring program fails to respond to CWS's information needs with regard to water quality conditions as they affect birds in the estuary; the information provided by SCWQP's monitoring program is largely tangential to the CWS's information needs. CWS is particularly interested in the potential adverse effects of observed contaminant levels on birds in the estuary (i.e., CWS requires functional information about the relationship between water quality conditions and the health of bird populations). The problem with SCWQP's compliance monitoring program is that very limited consideration of water quality requirements of birds was given in establishing water quality objectives with the result that monitoring in support of these objectives is unlikely to provide the information necessary to evaluate the environmental risk to bird populations of observed water quality conditions. For this reason, CWS has had to undertake their own water quality monitoring program and special studies to satisfy their information needs (R. Elner, pers. comm.). The apparent lack of broad commitment to superordinate management goals suggests that the FREMP's linked management structure does not provide an effective 1 22 framework for integrated management in the estuary. While resource constraints (i.e., SCWQP describe their routine monitoring program as the best possible response to management information needs given the limited resources available for monitoring and research) partly explain the narrow focus of monitoring programs in the estuary, an equally compelling explanation is that SCWQP's monitoring program reflects MOE's monitoring and research priorities rather than attempting to address multiple-agency management concerns. This conclusion follows from the recognition that SCWQP's Water Quality Plan was constructed around water quality objectives that reflect predominantly MOE management priorities. Although federal/provincial water quality objectives were intended to be developed through a cooperative process that produced objectives which reflected the concerns of and were agreed-to by all FREMP agencies, the objectives that emerged from this process were little changed from the provincial water quality objectives that served as the starting point despite the fact that they inadequately addressed many of the concerns of participating agencies (Valiela, 1988; D. Valiela, pers. comm.). In this situation the linked management structure is ineffective because of the positional strength of MOE, as the agency with primary responsibility for water quality management issues in the estuary, ensured that single-agency management concerns were given priority in the development of the Plan and monitoring program. Although the Plan and monitoring program are likely to be effective in what they are intended to do (i.e., establish water quality objectives for use in the management of water quality in the estuary and provide information to monitor the success in achieving these water quality objectives) they are open to criticism for what they don't do. In particular, they do not represent the much anticipated step towards a much more coordinated and collaborative approach to monitoring and research in the estuary envisioned in the Implementation Strategy. 1 23 Fisheries and Wildfowl Management in Boundary Bay A somewhat different insight into the climate for environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary is obtained through examination of the interaction between agencies responsible for management within different environmental compartments or aspects of the environment. The apparent inadequacy of linkages between management agencies involved in waste and water quality, fisheries, and wildlife appears to have impeded the development of an integrated response to management concerns in Boundary Bay that extend beyond single environmental compartments. The predominant separation of environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary constitutes a formidable challenge to management agencies. Management agencies are generally responsible for distinct areas of management corresponding to waste and water quality, fisheries, and wildfowl. This compartmentalization of management often does not coincide with management concerns in the estuary with considerable overlap existing among environmental compartments. For example, water quality conditions in Boundary Bay are of considerable interest to CWS who are concerned about the potential adverse effects of deteriorating water quality on the health of bird populations. The following examples examine the success of management agencies in establishing the necessary linkages among compartments through cooperation and collaboration of their activities. Such linkages are critical to ensuring that information generated by agency monitoring and research activities addresses broad management information needs. Responsibility for initiating linkages among management agencies under FREMP's linked management structure remains with the agencies themselves. While the linked management structure was intended to facilitate integrated management in the estuary, individual agencies were expected to fully participate in and contribute to achieving 1 24 overall estuary management objectives. Management work groups and committees (i.e., the Standing Committee on the Fraser River Estuary Water Quality Plan, the Habitat Activity Work Group, the Waste Management Activity Program Working Group) were intended as the mechanism to facilitate cooperation and coordination among agencies. The analysis and recommendations of the Committee and Work Groups were to "provide the basis for an integrated management approach for the estuary." (FREMP, 1992) FREMP's linked management structure appears to have fallen well short of its goal of achieving integrated management in the estuary. Despite their participation in work groups and committees, agencies monitoring and research activities have largely responded to their own agency's information needs. Examples of inadequate cooperation and collaboration among management agencies include the divergence of: (i) water quality and fisheries management concerns; (ii) water quality and wildfowl management concerns; and (iii) fisheries and wildfowl habitat management concerns. Example 4 - Water Quality and Fisheries Management FREMP's failure to bring about integrated management in the estuary is evident in the limited scope of SCWQP's Water Quality Plan and monitoring program. Although fisheries management concerns relating to water quality conditions were considered by SCWQP, little thought was given to how the Plan and monitoring program would address these concerns. For example, although DFO has reservations about the application of water quality objectives as a management tool, SCWQP only considered DFO's concerns with regard to level of protection provided by objectives not the objectives themselves. DFO disagreed with MOE over both the adequacy of protection afforded by the proposed objectives for certain parameters (i.e., whether the proposed D.O. objective would protect sensitive larval and/or alevin stages of salmonids) and their application (i.e., MOE did not intend the objectives to be applied within initial dilution zones). Although 1 25 discussions between DFO and MOE, with mediation provided by EC, resolved some but not all of the points of contention, the underlying cause of the dispute was not addressed. Namely, while MOE has focused exclusively on the use of water quality objectives as a management tool, DFO only regards the objectives as an "early warning system" (S. Samis, pers. comm.). DFO disagrees with the Plan and monitoring program's focus on ambient water quality conditions in the estuary and compliance monitoring in support of water quality objectives. DFO would prefer that the Plan address both ambient water quality in the estuary and site-specific water quality problems. They consider more point-source monitoring as being necessary to address their concerns about spike water quality conditions (i.e., although compliance monitoring might indicate satisfactory ambient water quality conditions, water quality conditions immediately adjacent to contaminant discharge points or in poorly flushed areas may be lethal to fish) (S. Samis, pers. comm.). DFO also needs information about contaminant characteristics, sources, and contaminant effects that would be generated through chronic toxicity and zone of influence studies and studies that investigate the relationship between contaminant discharges and water quality conditions (FREMP, 1990a). Unfortunately, given the predominant compliance monitoring focus of the SCWQP's monitoring program, such information is unlikely to be forthcoming. Example 5 - Water Quality and Wildfowl Management Problems with the narrow focus of SCWQP's Water Quality Plan and monitoring program were also evident with respect to wildlife management concerns. Very little consideration was given by SCWQP to how water quality objectives would address CWS's water quality concerns. Similarly to DFO, CWS has a different perspective of water quality than MOE. Namely, CWS is concerned about water quality in a larger sense than MOE; they are concerned with the effects of contaminants levels measured in water on 126 birds rather than just with the measurement of contaminant levels in water (C. Grey, pers. comm.). The problem with the SCWQP's monitoring program from CWS's perspective is that the information provided by compliance and trend monitoring is largely "tangential" to CWS's information needs (C. Grey, pers. comm.). Because of the SCWQP monitoring program's focus on compliance and trend monitoring in support of water quality objectives, the program is unlikely to generate information needed by CWS on the consequences of observed contaminant levels to birds. SCWQP's conclusion that there is no evidence to-date that degradation of water quality in the estuary is adversely affecting birds is misleading. The implication that water quality conditions are satisfactory is incorrect. In fact, there has been insufficient monitoring and research undertaken to-date to determine whether water quality degradation has affected the health of birds. For example, even when contaminant levels measured are within water quality objectives or when contaminants levels are found to be below detection limits there exists the potential for sublethal and/or lethal effects in birds; the concentration and accumulation of contaminants in the food chain can cause sublethal or lethal effects in higher level species such as birds (R. Elner, pers. comm.). Unfortunately, because of the lower priority given to special studies in SCWQP's monitoring program, there has been little effort devoted to determining whether: (i) observed contaminant levels in the estuary should be of concern; and (ii) water quality objectives provide sufficient protection to birds. For this reason, water quality monitoring by CWS to address such information has taken place largely outside of the FREMP umbrella. The tangential nature of SCWQP's and CWS's water quality monitoring programs suggests that SCWQP and CWS have quite different perspectives of water quality problems in the estuary. The Plan and monitoring program largely focus on determining what contaminants are present in the estuary and at what levels. Contaminant levels are 1 27 viewed with concern if they exceed predetermined water quality objectives. In contrast, because of the paucity of information available with regard to contaminant effects on birds, CWS cannot determine what levels of contaminants should be of concern. For this reason, CWS would prefer to investigate the significance of any contaminants found in the estuary. Further, because contaminant levels that are low or not detectable may have impacts on birds, CWS considers it necessary to look at both sublethal and lethal effects of contaminants on bird populations in the estuary. The divergence of CWS's monitoring and research from that proposed in SCWQP's monitoring program indicates an obvious failure by SCWQP to address CWS's information needs. Moreover it demonstrates the differing perspectives of management agencies and the failure to reconcile these perspectives within the FREMP linked management structure. Example 6 - Fisheries and Wildfowl Habitat Management Additional evidence of the failure of FREMP's linked management structure to reconcile often divergent priorities of management agencies and the predominance given to single-agency management concerns over other agencys' management concerns can be found in habitat management in the estuary. The FREMP umbrella extends to habitat management in the estuary with inter-agency working groups having been established to address specific habitat issues. FREMP's Habitat Activity Work Group (HAWG), which included representatives from DFO, MOE, CWS, NFHC, and FRHC, was given the mandate to address estuary-wide activities related to habitat management. HAWG management objectives include: the management of fish and wildlife habitats through protection, restoration, enhancement, and research; improving information on habitat areas, ecological processes occurring in each area, and their significance to allow for better habitat management decision-1 28 making; and integrating policies and practices of agencies related to water quality and habitat management (FREMP, 1984). Because of resource constraints HAWG activities have largely focused on habitat protection and conservation and restoration and enhancement; initially involving mapping, classification, and evaluation of existing habitat for fish and wildlife in the estuary as a precursor to the development of a habitat management plan (FREMP, 1991b). Although HAWG was supposed to address both fisheries and wildfowl habitat concerns in the estuary, in practice considerable more attention has been devoted to the conservation and protection of fisheries habitat. HAWG's decision to focus on fisheries habitat management concerns follows from the assumption that wildfowl habitat concerns would be substantially satisfied by fisheries habitat preservation measures (Waldon, 1991). Habitat mapping and classification undertaken for FREMP involved the classification of estuary habitat largely based on fish requirements (i.e., maps are a crude classification of the productivity of habitat for fish; red - high productivity where development should not be considered, yellow - medium productivity where development is possible subject to compensation and mitigation, and green - low productivity where development can proceed with minimum mitigation)(Kistritz,1990). CWS has concerns about the predominant fisheries focus of habitat mapping efforts in the estuary. In particular, the assumption that protecting fisheries habitat will also provide adequate protection for wildfowl habitat may not hold true. For example, Kistritz (1990) categorized moderately sloping intertidal areas composed of sand or mud flats with fringe marsh as being moderately productive habitat to fish. While open mudflats may be only moderately important to fish, they "can have enormous importance for feeding birds and yet the implications are that development can occur as long as compensatory and/or mitigatory factors are built in." (Waldon, 1991) The problem is that while the compensation ratio for marsh habitat is 2:1 (twice as much 129 habitat is replaced as is lost or damaged to take into account the time required for a productive marsh to develop and the risk involved in successfully achieving this goal) there is only a 1:1 compensation ratio for mudflat and riparian habitat. This means that although mudflats may be highly productive for wildfowl, they are given significantly less protection because they are only moderately productive for fish (FREMP, 1991b; Waldon, 1991). Because mudflats and riparian habitats which may be highly productive for wildfowl are only replaced on a 1:1 basis, net loss of wildfowl habitat would occur because the newly created habitat may not provide the carrying capacity of established habitat for many years, if at all (Waldon, 1991). Habitat mapping and characterization efforts by CWS have largely taken place outside of the FREMP umbrella. This reflects CWS's need for much broader information than has been provided by HAWG monitoring and research activities. In the last few years, CWS has been developing an ecosystem approach to wildlife management in the estuary. This is partly a political directive that reflects a shift by the federal government towards a broader conception of the environment (e.g., as outlined in the Green Plan). More importantly it reflects a growing recognition by CWS that the single species approach (where bird species were studied in isolation) and subsequently the population dynamics approach (which focused on computer modelling of bird populations) which have characterized past research and monitoring did not provide an adequate understanding of the habitat requirements of wildfowl in the estuary (R. Elner, pers. comm.) It is not sufficient to just know that a certain number of birds utilize the estuary but it is also necessary to clearly establish critical habitat requirements of different bird species and the ecological importance of the estuary from a larger perspective (R. Butler, pers. comm.). Such information is absolutely crucial to determining which habitat should be conserved and protected from human activities in the estuary. 130 Examples of CWS's broad focus are their evaluation of wildfowl habitat and habitat utilization in Boundary Bay (Butler,1992; Butler era/.,1990) and inventorying of wetlands in the Fraser Lowlands (the Canadian portion of the Fraser Lowlands is a 3092 square kilometer area extending from the Strait of Georgia in the west to Hope in the east) (Ward, 1992). Although there is considerable overlap in the habitat mapping and classification undertaken by HAWG and CWS, the information provided by HAWG's mapping efforts has generally not been adequate for CWS. Both HAWG and CWS are attempting to identify critical habitat and to determine habitat utilization to ensure that important habitat in the estuary is protected and preserved. However, because of different criteria for evaluating habitat, important differences in habitat classification have resulted. For example, CWS's wetlands inventory is intended to provide an understanding of the distribution and abundance of wetlands (i.e., encompassing all types of wetlands including bog, fen, marsh, swamp, and shallow water) in the Fraser Lowlands and to evaluate the health of wetlands (i.e., the extent of human disturbance) and their importance to wildfowl. Shallow water is the largest wetland class in the Fraser Lowlands with approximately 3274 ha of the approximately 4018 ha of the eelgrass present in the estuary being located in Boundary Bay. CWS's classification of shallow water habitat in Boundary Bay recognizes that eelgrass beds support large populations of shorebirds and waterfowl and provide important spawning and feeding habitat for Pacific herring and nursery and feeding habitat for juvenile and adult salmonids. In contrast, because HAWG's classification primarily reflects DFO's focus on productivity of habitat with respect to commercially-important fish species, less attention is given to the ecological importance of eelgrass beds to non-commercially-important fish species and to shorebirds and waterfowl. Given the lack of resources available for research and monitoring in the estuary, the duplication in information generation which appears to result primarily from the 131 failure of agencies to recognize complementarities in their management objectives and to coordinate their research and monitoring is most unfortunate. Although DFO and CWS have similar management concerns and information needs with respect to habitat classification and habitat utilization, the greater positional strength of DFO by virtue of their legislative responsibility for the protection of fisheries and the preservation of fish habitat in the estuary has meant that their management policies have influenced how HAWG has addressed habitat concerns in the estuary. In contrast, although CWS's legislative mandate makes them responsible for the protection of wildfowl and wildfowl habitat in the estuary, they lack the authority to directly protect habitat in most cases. Because of their limited mandate, CWS has had to in effect "ride on the coattails of other agencies with a stronger legislative mandate in the estuary." (R. Butler, pers. comm.) Unfortunately, important fish and wildfowl habitats in the estuary do not coincide completely with the result that inadequate consideration is given to some critical wildfowl habitat. Consequently, a situation has developed where CWS are compelled to undertake research and monitoring to address their own information needs. Conclusions The intention of this chapter was to determine the effectiveness of management agency efforts to improve information generation within the predominant framework for management in the estuary. Particular attention was given to FREMP's linked management structure which was intended to provide for integration of monitoring and research activities. Integrated management was seen as necessary to respond to persistent information deficiencies including fragmentation of information generation 132 and incompleteness of information generated in support of management (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984; Dorcey and Hall, 1981). Attempts to provide for greater integration of management in the Fraser River Estuary have been largely unsuccessful. Notwithstanding occasional successes where management agencies have persevered in attempts to reach consensus on management issues, management efforts have been characterized by a paucity of cooperation and coordination in determining complementarities in agency management objectives and collaboration in monitoring and research in response to these objectives. The demonstrated lack of success in achieving more integrated management in the estuary is rather surprising given the promise of the FREMP's linked management structure and the companion information system. The linked management structure embodied in FREMP's management framework is similar to the conceptual framework for management presented in Chapter 2. Shared characteristics are: encouraging and facilitating interaction among management agencies to achieve a shift from single-agency objectives and priorities to broader management objectives important to all agencies; and emphasizing information generation in support of management to ensure timely and effective responses to environmental concerns. Likewise, the FREMP information system's emphasis on generating a broad range of information products in support of management responds to the need to generate both descriptive and, especially, functional information in support of integrated management efforts. Examples presented in this chapter demonstrated FREMP's failure to achieve more integrated management in the Fraser River Estuary. Blame for this lack of success cannot however be entirely attributed to the inadequacy of FREMP's linked management structure and information system. Rather it appears that the lack of commitment by management agencies to integrated management has significantly undermined FREMP's linked management structure. Agencies have generally shown an unwillingness to 1 33 embrace multiple agency management objectives; preferring instead to narrowly focus on their own agency's objectives. Consequently, information generated by monitoring and research programs has continued to be incomplete and fragmentary. Repercussions of information gaps for environmental management in the estuary include: the lack of success among management agencies in implementing their management strategies in a timely and informed manner resulting in the deterioration of water quality and the continuing loss of important fisheries and wildfowl habitat; and the inefficient use of scarce resources available for management in the estuary because of the duplication and overlap that occurs as agencies undertake separate monitoring and research in response to their own information needs. 134 CHAPTER 6 - TOWARDS INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Introduction This chapter analyzes the challenge of moving towards an integrated approach to management in the Fraser River Estuary. Although FREMP's attempt to provide for better integration of monitoring and research activities and management initiatives in the estuary through the linked management structure was a move in the right direction it did not go as far as would be required to create the structural changes needed to encourage management agencies to work more closely together. Paradoxically, FREMP's major failing appears to be the inadequacy of linkages provided by the linked management structure. Specifically, there has been a failure to establish clear linkages between monitoring and research and management necessary to properly define and address management concerns and coincident information needs. The following sections examine how linkages might be improved and the implications for information generation in support of management. First, I address the question of whether improved linkages are possible in the Fraser River Estuary within the existing legislative setting and institutional arrangements for environmental management. Second, recommendations for strengthening linkages between monitoring and research and management are elaborated. Taken together these recommendations represent a cohesive package of linkages needed to achieve integrated management in the estuary. 135 Institutional Barriers to Environmental Management The long-term success of efforts to better manage the adverse effects of human activities in the Fraser River Estuary depends in large part on achieving a high degree of interaction among management agencies. FREMP management efforts have been characterized by a lack of cooperation and coordination among agencies in determining management priorities and collaboration in undertaking monitoring and research to generate the information necessary for decision-making. Consequently, management efforts have been undermined by the fragmented and incomplete information generated by monitoring and research programs Much of the blame for the failure of FREMP's linked management structure to achieve extensive interaction among management agencies can be attributed to institutional barriers erected by the legislative setting and institutional arrangements for management in the estuary. In Chapter 3 we saw that the legislative setting and institutional framework for management in the Fraser River Estuary is quite complex; with agency management responsibilities determined both by legislative mandates and by institutional arrangements that influence how agencies carry out their responsibilities. Because of their complexity, legislative and institutional arrangements complicate management by limiting agency flexibility in responding to their responsibilities. This inflexibility can inhibit interaction among agencies causing both duplication of effort and fragmented and incomplete information generation in support of management. FREMP's response to institutional barriers was to establish a linked management structure to encourage and facilitate interaction among management agencies. Rather than attempting to establish links among agencies by legislative means, FREMP looked to a cooperative structure to provide management agencies with the opportunity for broad participation in all aspects of management within the existing framework of management 136 responsibilities in the estuary. Unfortunately, the close identification of individual agency goals with goals held in common by a number of agencies on which the success of the linked management structure is contingent has not been apparent. Instead, as the examples in Chapter 5 demonstrated, agencies have largely failed to embrace broad management goals in the estuary and have primarily pursued their own agency goals to the detriment of estuary-wide management. A possible response to problems identified with the predominant management approach in the Fraser River Estuary is to legislate change; make changes in the legal and statutory framework for environmental management in the estuary. A legislative package that embraces all aspects of environmental management in the estuary and which clearly defines the roles and relationships of management agencies would certainly help bring down institutional barriers; setting the scene for improved information generation and more effective management responses to environmental concerns. Just such an approach was adopted in Washington State's Puget Sound where the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority (PSWQA) was established to oversee environmental management. PSWQA was given the legislative authority to identify management objectives and to determine how best to achieve them. Notwithstanding PSWQA's apparent success in addressing management concerns in the Puget Sound, the lack of legal imperative (i.e., PSWQA was created in 1985 in response to federal environmental requirements and charged with developing a comprehensive management plan for Puget Sound and its related waterways) and the inadequacy of available funding would seem to preclude the use of the Puget Sound model in the Fraser River Estuary. Reform of the legislative setting and institutional arrangements for management in the Fraser River Estuary may ultimately be necessary to provide for more effective management. Evidence presented in Chapter 5 suggests that the uneven and inadequate commitment by management agencies to FREMP's linked management structure will 137 likely continue to undermine efforts to move towards a more integrated approach to management within the existing management framework in the estuary. Given the lack of success by FREMP in addressing deteriorating water quality and loss of critical habitat in the estuary, it seems inevitable that legislative changes and revision of institutional arrangements will be necessary to address management concerns in the estuary. Such legislative and institutional reform will likely be prompted by growing dissatisfaction among the public and politicians with the performance of management agencies. Notwithstanding the probability that legislative and institutional reform will eventually be necessary to improve environmental management in the estuary, some progress may be possible within the existing management framework in the estuary. Dorcey and Hall (1981) and Dorcey (1987) considered how integrated management might be achieved within minimal reform of institutional arrangements. They recognized that the availability of funding provides a strong incentive to undertake monitoring and research in response to management concerns. For this reason, Dorcey and Hall (1981) proposed establishing a Fraser Estuarine Research Council (FERC) to encourage interaction among management agencies. The purpose of FERC would be to take the lead in: (i) facilitating bargaining among management agencies to determine multiple-agency management objectives and priority information needs; and (ii) stimulating and coordinating design and implementation of monitoring and research programs. Importantly, FERC's budget would be provided mainly through contributions from management agencies. The availability of a pool of funds was expected to provide an incentive to undertake monitoring and research in response to priority information needs. Although FERC is an excellent concept, given the experience with FREMP, it is questionable whether management agencies would be willing to commit scarce resources to FERC. For FERC to be successful, agencies would have to be convinced that their own 138 management objectives would best be addressed through participation in such a collaborative body. The following recommendations explore the level of interaction that would be necessitated by the adoption of an integrated approach such as that proposed by Dorcey and Hall (1981). The recommendations are deliberately kept at a general level without going into specific institutional changes or mechanisms that would be necessary to accommodate them. They demonstrate the potential for strengthening of linkages through establishing effective relationships among management agencies. In addition, the advantages to management agencies of actively participating in integrated management are identified. Emphasis is given both to the benefits of improved information generation for the overall effectiveness of management in the estuary and to the collateral benefits that accrue to management agencies through participation. This follows from the assumption that if management agencies recognize that by helping to achieve overall management goals they also achieve their own goals better they will be more likely to cooperate and coordinate their efforts with those of other agencies (Wolfe, nd). Recognition by agencies that working towards integrated management will allow them to better respond to their own agencies management responsibilities is critical to achieving integrated management without resorting to reform of the legislative and institutional framework for management in the estuary. Linking Monitoring and Research and Management The first implication of adopting an integrated approach to environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary is the need to establish effective linkages between monitoring and research and management. Extensive linkages are essential if 139 managerially relevant and appropriate information is to result from monitoring and research programs (McRae, 1990). The vision of extensive linkages contrasts starkly with the predominant approach to environmental management in the estuary where interaction among management agencies and between researchers and managers is generally minimal. Exploration of management information needs at an early stage is critical to clarify both what information is needed for management and what information monitoring and research programs are capable of producing (Ward era/., 1986). Presently, management input to monitoring and research program design and implementation is generally limited to asking managers about their general objectives and information needs at the beginning. Kuiper et al. (1989) note that it is only through participating in the actual design of programs and assessing and modifying their understanding of environmental problems during the design and implementation that researchers and managers define information needs and optimal research strategies to address those needs. Ferm (1989) adds that while we cannot expect to have all the answers available when we have to make our decisions, by improving communication between researchers and managers we can concentrate on those questions to which managers most urgently need answers. Communication between researchers and managers throughout the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs should, therefore, be considered crucial to the success of these programs. Interactive formulation of management objectives and the iterative design of monitoring and research programs are indispensable components of an integrated approach. "Failure to commit adequate resources of time, funding, and expertise to up-front program design and to the synthesis, interpretation, and reporting of information will result in failure of the entire program. Without this commitment, effort and money will be spent to collect data and produce information that may be useless." (NRC, 1990) 140 The steps involved in designing and implementing monitoring and research programs in support of integrated management include: (i) initial identification of management goals and objectives; (ii) translation of management goals and objectives into specific questions to be answered; and (iii) design and implementation of monitoring and research to provide information needed by managers. Identification of Management Goals and Objectives The first step involves the identification of management goals and objectives. For example, the FREMP Working Committee identified the need to provide information on both the status of water quality in the estuary at any given time and, over the long term, signal any improvement or deterioration in the health of the estuary (FREMP, 1984). Although stating goals and objectives in this manner may seem unnecessary, it is important to be explicit about the intention of monitoring and research programs. Without a clear understanding of management goals and objectives it is impossible to determine exactly what data and information are needed to address these goals and objectives. Translation of Management Goals and Objectives The second step involves the translation of goals and objectives into specific questions to be answered. It is crucial that researchers and managers reach agreement on precisely what questions need to be answered in order to ensure that information generated provides the required answers (Wolfe and O'Connor, 1986). Frequently, monitoring and research programs fail to produce useful information because researchers do not consider exactly what information is needed by managers and how it will be used. Instead, researchers may incorrectly assume that managers' perspectives of environmental problems are similar to their own. D'Elia and Sanders (1987) argue 141 that failure to reconcile the divergent perspectives of environmental problems among researchers and managers invariably results in inappropriate information generation by researchers and misuse of information by managers. It is important, therefore, to narrow the focus of monitoring and research from the vast number of questions that could be addressed to those priority questions that will produce the specific information required. Bernstein and Zalinski (1986) stress the importance of effective communication between researchers and managers with regard to the focus of monitoring and research, recognizing that the data and information generated will only be as coherent and as comprehensible as the initial conception of the data collection task. Design and Implementation of Monitoring and Research Programs The third step involves the actual design and implementation of a monitoring and research program. Design considerations include: (i) specifying which parameters are most relevant; (ii) specifying the acceptable or unacceptable level of change in these parameters; and (iii) specifying the required resolution for each parameter (Segar and Stamman, 1986a,b). Although the design of monitoring and research programs is primarily the responsibility of researchers, the groundwork completed during Step 2 is crucial if researchers are to select relevant parameters and design monitoring and research programs to achieve the desired resolution at the specified level of statistical certainty (Thoemke, 1986; Wolfe, 1987). The understanding of priority management concerns developed during Step 2 provides feedback to researchers in selecting parameters, determining the required resolution, and reiterating and reformulating specific monitoring and research questions to be answered. For example, a parameter which is routinely measured might be deleted from a program if the resulting data is not considered relevant or would likely be equivocal, and therefore of little use. 142 Arguably, the lack of attention to formulation of objectives and program design has undermined the usefulness of data and information generated by monitoring and research programs in the Fraser River Estuary. An example of the failure of management agencies to ensure that monitoring programs address management information needs is the lack of attention given to special studies. Although compliance and trend monitoring programs undertaken have generated substantial data about ambient contaminant levels in water and about overall water quality in the estuary, persistent information gaps about the relative importance of water quality problems and their causes remain. Segar and Stamman (1986c) note that measurements of ambient water quality are of little value on their own because of the generally poorly understood relationship between observed contaminant levels and their adverse effects in the receiving environment. For example, while run-off from urban and agricultural land uses are recognized as important contaminant sources in Boundary Bay, there is insufficient information available about the relative contaminant loadings from these sources to determine appropriate management responses. In designing the monitoring program component of the FREMP Water Quality Plan, SCWQP recognized the need to supplement the information provided by compliance monitoring by undertaking a trend monitoring program. Unlike compliance monitoring which just provides information about whether individual water quality objectives were achieved, trend monitoring provides information about the overall effects of multiple contaminant discharges to the estuary. Unfortunately, trend monitoring provides only some of the supplementary information needed by managers. Neither compliance or trend monitoring programs address the urgent need for more functional information in support of management in the estuary. Compliance monitoring programs provide descriptive information about ambient contaminant levels but do not provide information about the actual effects of observed contaminant levels. Similarly, trend monitoring 1 43 programs provide information about the long-term effects of observed contaminant levels on estuary health but only when changes have reached unacceptable levels. "Broad-scale ecological damage due to accumulative effects of contaminants could conceptually be monitored by direct assessment of the status and health of marine ecological assemblages. However, this is generally an ineffective approach because any differences or changes caused by cumulative effects of anthropogenic inputs are not discernible within the large changes or differences that occur in these communities due to natural factors. For this reason, direct status and health measurements usually can effectively detect anthropogenically-induced ecological changes only when they have reached unacceptable levels." (Segar and Stamman, 1986b) Because trend monitoring programs generally focus on overall health they rarely establish causal relationships between any observed environmental changes and specific contaminant discharges (Wolfe and O'Connor, 1986). In contrast, special studies involving short-term, intensive monitoring and experimental research provide managers with information on cause-and-effect relationships between adverse effects in fish and bird populations and specific contaminant loadings needed to evaluate whether observed ambient contaminant levels should be of concern. The paucity of special studies undertaken in the Fraser River Estuary indicates a lack of attention by management agencies to what information compliance and trend monitoring programs are expected to provide. Segar and Stamman (1986a) observe that the distinction between the objectives of compliance and trend monitoring, and special studies is often overlooked. Compliance and trend monitoring programs are expected to provide all necessary information with the predictable result that they are only partially successful (Segar and Stamman, 1986b). The generally accepted hierarchical approach to monitoring begins with compliance monitoring to measure concentrations of contaminants of concern followed by intensive short-term special studies of specific 144 contaminant sources and associated toxicities in the receiving environment. Compliance monitoring and site-specific monitoring programs and appropriate research studies provide most of the information needed to identify and manage pollution. Only then are routine programs supplemented by long-term trend monitoring programs to assess whether contaminants are slowly accumulating in the receiving environment and whether such accumulations are causing adverse long-term effects (Segar and Stamman,1986a,b,c; Wolfe and O'Connor, 1986). The apparent disregard for the generally accepted hierarchical approach to program design in the Fraser River Estuary suggests that monitoring and research objectives have reflected scientific rather than management priorities. The narrow focus on compliance and trend monitoring is intended to provide support for the development of water quality objectives (e.g., FREMP's emphasis on compiling a comprehensive database of physical, chemical, and biological conditions and detailed information on contaminant discharges to accurately determine changes in aquatic environmental quality (FREMP, 1991a)). Unfortunately, the apparent absence of management input in the formulation of monitoring and research objectives and program design has meant that resulting programs reflect neither the urgency of the need for information for decision-making nor the scarcity of funding available. Perry et al. (1987) note that although the scientific approach to information generation is comprehensive, it is not often practical given the resource constraints faced by management agencies. A more realistic approach must consider resource limitations in determining monitoring and research objectives. By involving managers in the design of monitoring and research programs, researchers will become more aware of the pressures on managers to make defensible decisions based on available information and the need to design monitoring and research programs to maximize the management usefulness of information generated (Perry et a/.,1987). 1 45 Reaching Consensus on the Appropriate Focus for Monitoring and Research The second implication of adopting an integrated approach to environmental management in the Fraser River Estuary is the need to widen the focus of monitoring and research programs to address estuary-wide management concerns instead of predominantly single-agency concerns. The lack of commitment by agencies to estuary-wide management objectives is clearly evident in the lack of collaborative monitoring and research. Monitoring and research programs undertaken by management agencies have been designed primarily to generate information in support of narrow, single-agency objectives with the consequence that information available for estuary-wide management is fragmented and incomplete. In contrast to the conventional, characteristically sectoral, approach where information generation is specific to a particular environmental compartment and the management objectives of a single agency, the integrated approach requires that information satisfy the needs of a much broader group of users and range of tasks. The challenge for management agencies is to design monitoring and research programs that generate information not just about existing conditions within discrete environmental compartments (e.g., the flow and quality characteristics of stormwater run-off or the utilization of wetlands habitat by birds) but also provides the link between information about environmental conditions in single environmental compartments and overall environmental conditions in the estuary (e.g, how the numbers of wintering wildfowl are affected by decreasing wetlands habitat or how the numbers of adult salmon that return to spawn are affected by decreasing water quality conditions). An important implication of the integrated approach for the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs is the need for management agencies to establish boundaries that are consistent with estuary-wide management 146 objectives. Boundaries established for monitoring and research programs are extremely important in that they affect the kinds of questions that programs can answer (NRC, 1990). The immediate question which arises in thinking about establishing boundaries consistent with estuary-wide management objectives is which boundaries are artificial and which are not. Arguably, many of the information deficiencies which were identified in Chapter 4 are a consequence of artificial or self-imposed barriers. For example, institutional and political, and spatial and temporal boundaries imposed by a combination of the legislative and institutional structure for management in the estuary and the manner in which agencies have attempted to carry out their management responsibilities have resulted in extremely compartmentalized monitoring and research. The focus on discrete environmental compartments is unfortunate because, given the complexity of natural ecosystems, with the subtle interactions between compartments, the effects of contaminant discharges can be magnified, with direct and indirect effects on multiple compartments. Such threats can only be evaluated if monitoring and research boundaries are sufficiently wide to allow management to understand the effects of multiple contaminant sources (e.g., just monitoring levels of trace metals in stormwater overflows rather than attempting to establish a relationship between hazardous levels of trace metals found in seaducks from intertidal mudflats to adjacent residential and agricultural land use (Vermeer and Peakall, 1979)). In contrast, narrow boundaries invariably result in the accumulation of large databases of excessively specific information which is essentially useless for addressing wider management concerns (Levin era/., 1984; Philips and Segar, 1986; Segar era/., 1 987) . The transition towards more integrated management in the estuary is contingent on the recognition by management agencies that adoption of an integrated approach will help them to better respond to their legislative management responsibilities. Levin et 147 al. (1984) note that the narrow interpretation of legislative mandates by agencies is unfortunate because it fails to distinguish between the present means of meeting legislated regulatory objectives and the knowledge required to achieve the ultimate goals set forth in the legislation. Although the objectives of estuary-wide monitoring and research programs might be to detect harmful effects of observed contaminant levels on broader spatial and time scales, this information is also required to place site-specific management decisions in a relevant context (NRC, 1990). The advantage of having the various and possibly quite diverse objectives of multiple agencies fit together as an integrated management-oriented package is that the various elements can represent a comprehensive and effective program of measurements, whose results address management concerns on all pertinent temporal and spatial scales. This contrasts with the current situation where agency objectives are addressed individually and separately, despite considerable overlap of management concerns among different agency objectives, resulting in duplication of effort and diminishment of the effectiveness of the data collected (Wolfe, nd). The need for agencies to embrace broader management objectives in the estuary was implicit in FREMP's linked management structure (O'Riordan and Wiebe, 1984; Wolfe, nd.). Although management agencies seem to accept the need to identify similarities in their management objectives and cooperate in achieving them, they have generally viewed such superordinate management objectives as secondary to their own agency's objectives. The failure of agencies to embrace superordinate management objectives has contributed to the incomplete and fragmentary information generated for management. Incompleteness refers to the fact that agencies acting alone seldom have the resources to gather sufficient information to address estuary-wide environmental problems in a timely manner. Fragmentation refers to the fact that even when a single agency has the necessary resources, the narrow focus of a single agency working by 148 itself will likely result in information that only addresses part of an environmental problem. From a single agency perspective, the advantage of identifying similarities in management objectives and exploring complementarities in their monitoring and research programs is that it allows them to overcome resource constraints through pooling and sharing of resources to more effectively respond to their management responsibilities than otherwise would be possible. Wolfe (nd) recognized this rather selfish reason for embracing transagency goals in that if agencies recognize that by helping achieve these goals they also achieve their own goals better they will be more likely to cooperate and coordinate their efforts with those of other agencies. From a estuary-wide management perspective, the advantage of extensive cooperation and collaboration among management agencies is that it can result in the generation of information needed to effectively address wider management concerns in the estuary. Information Transfer to the Management Forum The third implication of adopting an integrated approach to management in the Fraser River Estuary is the need to ensure that information products are both relevant and useful for management (Levin et al.,~\ 984; NRC, 1990; Pearce and Despres-Patanjo, 1988; Segar and Stamman, 1986c). Greater attention to the overall strategy of monitoring and research programs and improved linking of agency management objectives resulting from the adoption of an integrated approach should reduce the prevalence of fragmentary and unrelated research, thereby ensuring that data and information generated are relevant and useful to managers. In addition to working together to better integrate their monitoring and research programs, agencies must have a clear picture of the information products that monitoring and research are expected to 149 deliver and how information will be used by management in decision-making. Wolfe (1986) noted that to make maximum use of the data and information generated by monitoring and research programs, considerable effort will be required to standardize approaches not only to program design and methodology but also to analysis and reporting of data from monitoring and research programs. Chapman et al. (1987) showed how despite agreement among management agencies in Puget Sound with respect to the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs, the information products generated by these programs remained fragmented or overlapping. Management goals in the Puget Sound include protection of ecosystem integrity and protection of human health. Management agencies translated these goals into specific objectives related to protection of water-quality-dependent uses, assessment of known water quality problems, and understanding of major ecosystem processes. Monitoring and research parameters necessary to assess these objectives were then identified (e.g, the status of marine birds would be determined directly by measuring abundance and reproductive success and indirectly by measuring physical habitat and abundance of food (fish/plankton/benthos)) and recommended for measurement as part of monitoring and research programs in the Puget Sound. In their review of recommended monitoring and research parameters, Chapman et al. (1987) looked at the ability of each of 29 parameters to meet the needs of eight specific management objectives. The objectives of the comparison exercise were: (i) to determine the ability of the recommended parameters to address information needs; and (ii) to identify redundancies in the data collection requirements for those parameters that satisfied more than one objective. For example, as a result of the exercise, parameters such as chlorophyll-a, although useful, were deleted due to their high variability that would necessitate very large numbers of temporal and spatial samples in order to measure a significant change over time. Instead, measurement of phytoplankton 150 community structure provided the majority of the information available from chlorophyll-a monitoring at a reduced cost, and with additional interpretable data. This example highlights the need to constantly re-evaluate program design and implementation. It is apparent that in the Puget Sound not enough attention was given to how the information provided by each parameter measured would contribute to management. Management agencies in the Puget Sound were already collecting information on a large number of parameters as part of their routine monitoring and research programs, many of which were retained in the revised program to be carried out jointly by the agencies. The problem was that many of the parameters routinely measured by agencies were either redundant or were not relevant to the management questions which the agencies were attempting to answer. This is symptomatic of many monitoring and research programs which include parameters that are familiar and perhaps easy and inexpensive to measure but which are not necessarily appropriate to answer management questions. In addition to directing attention to the the selection of relevant monitoring and research parameters, management agencies must also consider what they need to know about these parameters. Segar and Stamman (1986a,b) stress the importance of not only selecting the most relevant parameters but considering the level of detail about these parameters that is required for management purposes. NRC (1990) distinguishes between meaningful and significant. How large a change is important? "One that is statistically significant is not necessarily meaningful. Virtually any change can be statistically significant, depending in part on the sampling effort. Thus a monitoring program with a small sampling effort will detect only large changes, but one with an intensive sampling effort could find even miniscule changes statistically significant. Whether changes in the environment are statistically significant has no bearing on the 151 extent to which the changes may be either meaningful or important (i.e., have ecological or human consequences)." A common problem with monitoring and research programs is the inadequate attention given to the question of how data collected by the programs are to be processed into useful information for management. Consequently, these programs suffer from what Ward et al. (1986) describe as the "data-rich but information-poor" syndrome where data continue to accumulate without routinely providing information. An important difference between conventional and integrated approaches to environmental management is the attention given to information expectations during the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs. "This helps ensure that monitoring and research programs are designed in a systematic and scientifically sound manner and that they are capable of producing the information initially agreed upon." (Ward etal., 1986) The feedback provided by managers throughout the design and implementation process provided by the integrated approach ensures that monitoring and research program objectives reflect priority management concerns. The only question which remains is how best to interpret and present data gathered by monitoring and research programs for management purposes. Characteristics of successful information transfer to the management forum include: (i) policy relevance where the information provided informs managers on priority concerns (e.g., whether environmental conditions are stable, improving or deteriorating and on how conditions in different areas compare with one another or which documents a cause-effect relationship between observed pollution effects and specific contaminant sources); (ii) scientifically rigor where information provided is technically sound and scientifically defensible; and (iii) meaningfulness where information is easily understood by managers (Beanlands and Duinker, 1983; Connor and Dewling, 1986; McRae, 1990; NRC, 1990). By these standards, monitoring and 152 research programs in the Fraser River Estuary have largely been unsuccessful in providing information for management. For example, management in the estuary has been complicated by the fact that water quality objectives, around which much of the monitoring and research undertaken in the estuary has been centered, in many instances do not provide clear information about pollution problems in the estuary. Although water quality objectives, which were established for selected areas of the estuary, specify contaminant levels that are incompatible with designated water uses, it is difficult to determine the significance of instances where the objectives have been consistently exceeded. The information provided by monitoring and research in support of the objectives is inadequate from a management perspective because it does not indicate whether degradation of environmental quality or environmental change is : (i) important enough to justify concern to managers; and/or (ii) important enough to justify a management response (Connor and Dewling, 1986; Wolfe, 1987). The problem with MOE's compliance monitoring program in support of water quality objectives in the estuary is that while the program objectives were quite explicit (i.e., to provide documentation in support of proposed water quality objectives and to check the achievement of existing water quality objectives) inadequate consideration was given to how the data generated by the program would be used in management. Specifically, while the water quality parameters included in the compliance monitoring program were certainly relevant (i.e., all the parameters selected had previously exceeded water quality criteria) little consideration was given to the questions of: (i) what level of change in these parameters was acceptable or unacceptable; (ii) whether the program was adequate to detect changes in the parameters; and (iii) whether water quality objectives are succeeding in protecting the receiving environment and desired water uses. Just comparing observed water quality conditions with water quality objectives does not provide sufficient information about 1 53 the severity of contamination or whether contaminant levels observed should be of immediate concern. Further, faced with limited resources, MOE was initially only able to undertake a limited monitoring program to verify achievement of water quality objectives; monitoring of specific parameters involved annual sampling over a 30 day period at weekly intervals. Because of the short sampling period, the monitoring program did not provide sufficient data with regard to the extent and duration of contamination or the significance of instances where water quality objectives were exceeded. SCWQP moved to address concerns about the scientific defensibility of MOE's compliance monitoring program in the FREMP Water Quality Plan by designing a compliance monitoring program that more directly supported water quality objectives. Greater attention was given to the timing of compliance monitoring (e.g., monitoring was to be initiated following heavy rainfall events to determine the full extent of contamination form agricultural run-off) and the selection of sampling locations (e.g., the addition of monitoring sites in backwaters and sloughs where the greatest impacts of contaminant discharges are likely to be seen). Unfortunately, no further consideration was given to: (i) what level of change in target parameters was acceptable or unacceptable; or (ii) whether water quality objectives were succeeding in protecting designated water uses in particular and ultimately overall estuary health. The flaw in MOE's use of water quality objectives as a management tool was not in the choice of management tool but instead in how the tool was used. Conceptually, water quality objectives can be a valuable management tool which facilitate interpretation and translation of data gathered by monitoring programs. Indices or reference values, such as water quality objectives and the water quality criteria from which they are derived, can provide a measure of environmental change and convey how the environment is responding to various stresses. Reference values represent a means of framing 154 management concerns (e.g., human health considerations, degraded water quality, habitat loss, etc.) and assessing the significance of environmental changes (Kuiper et al., 1989). Used in this manner, water quality objectives have the potential to provide managers with relevant and easily understood information about whether environmental conditions are acceptable or unacceptable and of whether they are improving or deteriorating (O'Connor and Dewling, 1986; McRae, 1990; Wolfe, 1987). However, in order for water quality objectives to be useful in this manner it is essential that there is wide acceptance among management agencies as to the suitability of reference values chosen and the monitoring and research undertaken in support of the objectives. Unfortunately, the information provided by water quality objectives has fallen short of expectations because while they may be adequate for MOE's purposes they do not provide useful information for other management agencies (i.e, although water quality objectives were supposed to be developed through a collaborative process to ensure that objectives were agreed-upon by all agencies, the water quality objectives that were promulgated for selected areas of the estuary reflected primarily MOE management concerns). Clearly many inadequacies in information generated in the estuary can be traced back to the insufficient attention given in the design process to what information monitoring and research programs are expected to provide. It is unrealistic to expect MOE's monitoring program in support of water quality objectives to provide information about whether changes in contaminant levels are acceptable or unacceptable or whether water quality objectives are succeeding in protecting overall environmental health in the estuary. The rationale for MOE's monitoring program in support of water quality objectives was twofold. First, water quality objectives were intended to be provisional until additional monitoring could be conducted to confirm their appropriateness to protect existing and potential water uses. Second, MOE recognized that additional 155 monitoring was needed to provide data in support of water quality criteria on which water quality objectives are based. MOE also identified the need for additional monitoring and research to assess the extent and cause of persistent water quality problems and to provide information about water quality trends in the estuary. In this regard, MOE's monitoring program was appropriate in that monitoring and research was initially intended to provide a better understanding of ambient water quality in selected areas of the estuary. The major deficiency in MOE's monitoring strategy is its inability to provide management information about whether water quality conditions should be of concern and whether conditions are getting worse. Clearly this deficiency can be traced to the lack of an estuary-wide perspective in the design of monitoring and research programs in support of water quality objectives. Instead, both the water quality objectives themselves and the monitoring program in support of them reflect a single agency's management concerns. This example reenforces the necessity of broad agency participation throughout the design and implementation process. Otherwise, the data collected by monitoring and research programs is likely to be of little use in identifying and understanding overall management problems in the estuary. Conclusions Abel and Axiak (1991) argue that inadequate attention is often given to how monitoring and research programs should support environmental management and what constitutes useful information for environmental management. These observations would appear to accurately describe the situation in Boundary Bay and elsewhere in the Fraser River estuary. Instead of considering estuary-wide management concerns in determining their monitoring and research strategies, management agencies 156 overwhelmingly focus their monitoring and research programs on management concerns of most concern to their own agency. The inevitable result is that information generated by monitoring and research programs provides only a fragmented and incomplete understanding of environmental conditions. While the lack of timely and relevant management information is not critical when responding to straightforward problems that are confined to a single environmental compartment, a lack of understanding of more complex environmental problems that have implications for many environmental compartments can seriously undermine management efforts. The integrated approach to management described in the chapter consciously avoids the problems inherent in the predominant, characteristically sectoral, approach to management in the estuary by proving a clear picture of what monitoring and research programs are supposed to accomplish and how it should be accomplished. The principle implications of adopting an integrated approach are: (i) the need for systematic involvement by managers in the many aspects of the design and implementation of monitoring and research programs to ensure that the scope and content of programs are appropriate to management information needs; (ii) effective and extensive collaboration among management agencies to ensure that their single agency priorities are balanced against the need for the broad, interdisciplinary monitoring and research which is increasingly required to provide an understanding of complex environmental problems in the estuary; and (iii) a fundamental commitment by management agencies to ensuring proper transfer of appropriate and relevant information about priority environmental concerns to managers. Little can be done with regard to the lack of resources available for environmental management or the increasing complexity of environmental problems, 157 but much can be done in improving information generation in support of management through implementing the recommendations made in this chapter. Strengthening of the linkages among monitoring and research and management as implied by the integrated approach to management should provide for significantly improved information generation in support of management. 158 CHAPTER 7 - CONCLUSIONS The generation of useful and relevant information in support of coastal marine environmental management is of critical importance to the success of management efforts. In the absence of appropriate information, researchers and managers are unable to understand and respond to the adverse effects of human activities in a timely and effective manner. Monitoring and research can be extremely important in determining the health of the coastal marine environment and the effectiveness of management strategies for maintaining or improving environmental health. However, the usefulness and relevance of information generated by monitoring and research in support of management is contingent on effectively integrating monitoring and research and management. Failure to ensure that monitoring and research are an integral part of management can seriously undermine the information generation process, resulting in gaps between the information generated by monitoring and research and the information urgently needed for decision making. This thesis evaluated information generation in support of management in the Fraser River Estuary. Review of information generated by monitoring and research activities undertaken in Boundary Bay indicated that these activities often do not provide adequate information for decision making. Monitoring and research activities were found to provide only a fragmented and incomplete understanding of environmental conditions in the bay and have generally not provided information in a timely enough fashion to identify and effectively respond to environmental concerns. Consequently, decision making has been piece-meal and reactive, resulting in continued degradation of water quality and loss of critical habitat. 159 Information deficiencies found in Boundary Bay can largely be blamed on the conventional approach to management that predominates in the Fraser River Estuary. The characteristically sectoral organization of management appears to be responsible for the fragmented nature of monitoring and research undertaken. Management agencies have generally confined their attention to discrete environmental compartments or aspects of environmental management while ignoring broader management concerns. In addition, little consideration is given to the relationship between monitoring and research activities and management with the result that these activities provide inadequate support to management. Efforts to better integrate monitoring and research and management in the estuary by establishing linkages among management agencies have been largely unsuccessful. A combination of unwillingness on the part of management agencies to explore complementarities in their monitoring and research activities and management objectives and the insufficient attention given by management agencies to how monitoring and research should support management has undermined efforts to improve integrated of management in the estuary. The lack of success to-date in improving information generation in the estuary points to the need to re-structure management to provide for better integration of monitoring and research and management. Although legislative means may eventually be necessary to negate institutional barriers to integrated management in the estuary there is some scope for improvement within the existing legislative setting and institutional arrangements. Concerted efforts are required on the part of management agencies to strengthen linkages between monitoring and research and management to ensure that their monitoring and research activities closely correspond to management information needs. Particular attention must be given to: (i) ensuring that monitoring and research activities reflect priority management concerns and that the activities are designed and 160 implemented to directly address those concerns; (ii) establishing boundaries for monitoring and research programs that are consistent with management information needs; and (iii) ensuring that information generated by monitoring and research is transferred to the management forum. 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S .B.C. 1982, c. 57 1 75 APPENDIX - THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLVING Preface The following exploration of the scientific approach to problem solving attempts to provide some explanation of the behavior of management agencies in the Fraser River Estuary. I argue that shortcomings identified with respect to the characteristically sectoral approach to management in the estuary can be traced back to patterns of behavior that are prevalent in the research community. Specifically, it appears that the manner in which management agencies frame problems and attempt their resolution parallels the conventional scientific approach to problem solving. Unfortunately, this approach may not be appropriate when dealing with environmental problems which are characteristically complex. The tendency of researchers towards excessive compartmentalization has resulted in monitoring and research being directed at single environmental compartments or confined within single research disciplines. The inevitable result has been that the information generated by monitoring and research activities undertaken by management agencies provide only an incomplete and fragmented understanding of environmental problems. Management agencies have been surprisingly faithful to the conventional scientific approach to problem solving despite the widely recognized lack of success of their efforts to-date. Problems with fragmented and incomplete information generation for management persist despite efforts by management agencies to address them. Management agencies have, however, been reluctant to consider the possibility that the kind of information deficiencies which have been identified may be inherent to the sectoral approach to management. Moreover, management agencies have generally been 1 76 unwilling to adopt a more integrated approach to management even while recognizing that such an integrated approach promises to address problems associated with the present sectoral approach. To facilitate discussion in this appendix I have chosen to revert back to the term scientist from the more familiar researcher used throughout the main body of the thesis. The term scientist(s) is considerably broader than researcher; referring to the entire scientific community rather than just researchers involved in the coastal marine environmental management context. Although the following discussion focuses on the behavior of scientists in general the tendencies described and the conclusions reached apply equally to researchers involved with management agencies in the Fraser River Estuary. Introduction The objective of this appendix is to explore the appropriateness of the conventional scientific approach to problem solving in the coastal marine environmental management context. In recent years there has been increased questioning of the effectiveness of the conventional scientific approach to problem solving, particularly with respect to environmental problems which are characteristically complex. Discussion has focused on both the role of scientists in modern society and the specific role of science in environmental management. Schon (1983) sets the tone with his observations about the "increasing crisis of confidence in the professions." He asserts that the public's diminishing confidence in the professions is rooted in a growing skepticism about professional effectiveness in the larger sense, a skeptical reassessment of the professions' actual contribution to society's 1 77 well-being through the delivery of competent services based on special knowledge. He continues by suggesting that we have to closely examine the adequacy of professional knowledge to the needs and problems of society. "On the whole, professionals might agree that their knowledge is often mismatched to the changing character of the situations of practice - the complexity, uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and value conflicts which are increasingly part of professional practice." Unfortunately, complexity, instability, and uncertainty are seldom removed or resolved through the professional approach to resolving problems; by applying specialized knowledge to well-defined tasks. If anything, the effective use of specialized knowledge depends on a prior restructuring of situations that are complex and uncertain. Schon notes that while the professional approach appears appropriate for problem solving, it is largely deficient with respect to problem setting. He concludes that perhaps problem setting has no place in a body of professional knowledge concerned exclusively with problem solving. Adding, that clearly distinguishing between problem solving and problem setting is key to redefining the role of the professional. Two elements of Schon's argument are central to the following critique of the conventional scientific approach to problem solving in the environment management context: the appropriateness of the conventional approach to resolving environmental problems; and the need to clearly distinguish and recognize the importance of the distinction between problem setting and problem solving. In particular, I argue that the way that scientists perceive environmental problems and attempt their solution is not always entirely appropriate. Further, that the lack of attention given to problem formulation, or problem framing, in the conventional scientific approach to problem solving has undesirable ramifications for the entire problem-solving process and the quality of responses to environmental problems. 1 78 The appendix is organized as follows. First, I briefly examine the myth underlying the exclusive relationship between science and problem solving. Evidence suggests that much of the confidence in science's ability to understand and resolve problems, especially complex problems, is misplaced. This is followed by a review of the explanations offered by the history and sociology of science literature for science's shortcomings. Two different critiques of the scientific approach are summarized, each giving a unique insight into the implications of the scientific perspective of problems and the manner in which scientists attempt to resolve problems. The summary of the literature is structured to address two objectives. First, to provide a theoretical understanding of scientific behavior and the apparent deficiencies of the conventional scientific approach to problem solving, particularly as it applies to complex problems. Second, to hint at changes that are necessary in the conventional scientific approach to problem solving in the event that an integrated approach to management is adopted. The Cognitive Authority of Science Before I examine how scientists approach problem solving, it seems appropriate to ask why scientists are primarily responsible for problem solving to begin with. Gieryn (1981) asks: how does the institution of science establish and maintain it's "cognitive authority"? Bartley (1964) argues that the "comprehensive rationality" characteristic of the traditional scientific approach to problem solving provides science with its cognitive authority. He elaborates by noting that there are two justifications for science's cognitive authority based on its comprehensive rationality: 1 79 (i) intellectualism where rational authority is supported and justified by appealing to intellectual intuition or the faculty of reason; and (ii) empiricism where rational authority is justified by appealing to sense experience. Intellectualism A straightforward explanation for science's cognitive authority is simply society's belief that science's unique claims to knowledge are legitimate. Of course, this begs the question of how science and not other knowledge producing institutions come to be accepted as more legitimate. Regardless, the broad acceptance of this premise by scientists and, more importantly, by the consumers of science established and maintains science's cognitive authority. King (1970) notes that scientific thought is distinguished from other modes of thought precisely by virtue of its immunity from social determination. Because scientific thought is governed by reason and is rational it escapes determination by "non-logical" social forces. Obviously, by itself this explanation for science's cognitive authority appears insufficiently compelling. The appeal to pure reason is clearly inadequate because of the lack of any intrinsic connection between rationality and whether it achieves societal goals. This connection is provided by empiricism which relies on observation rather than pure reason. However, the intellectualist explanation for science's cognitive authority is insightful because it implies that the cognitive authority of science is perpetuated even while the legitimacy of empiricism is challenged. Empiricism A second, and more compelling, argument for science's cognitive authority is empiricism; which is a basic premise of science's rational comprehensive approach to problem solving. "Empiricism is founded on the belief that knowledge is grounded in 180 facts that are known for certain, having been obtained by rational and objective procedures." (Miller, 1985) The rational comprehensive scientific approach is characteristically positivist in that it assumes that, by applying rational and objective procedures, scientists are able through inductive logic to provide unambiguous and irrefutable knowledge. King (1970) summarizes that science's cognitive authority is based on its unique ability to obtain neutral, value-free facts and comprehend problems within a simple means-end framework where actions are comprehensible if they are rational and they are rational if they pursue ends possible within the conditions of the situation by means that are best suited to the desired end for reasons understandable and verifiable by empirical science. Cognizance of the Limits of Science's Cognitive Authority How persuasive are the preceding arguments for science's cognitive authority? Science's rational comprehensive approach to problem solving has been subject to criticism in the literature at two levels. The first examines the limits of rationality in complex situations. The second questions the objectivity of science. Although the basis of these critiques is quite similar it is useful to consider them separately for the slightly different insights they provide. The Boundedness of Scientific Knowledge Simon (1969) argues that there are obvious limits to rationality; that rationality is "bounded". Consider some of the assumptions underlying the rational comprehensive approach: (i) the problem is well defined; (ii) there is full information available; and (iii) there is adequate time and resources (Forester, 1989). Clearly, 181 these assumptions are not realistic for many problem-solving situations. Mason and Mitroff (1981) distinguish between well-structured or "tame" problems and those that are ill-structured or "wicked". The former refers to situations where problems are well-defined and bounded and where proven techniques or approaches can be utilized. The latter refers to situations where problems cannot easily be defined or where problems are definable and answerable from a scientific perspective but which cannot be effectively resolved due to time or resource constraints. Numerous examples of complex or wicked problems are found in environmental management. In general, environmental problems are extremely challenging; characteristically intractable and plagued by complexity and uncertainty. "There are many ways of looking at a problem, many paths worth exploring, and rarely is there one correct solution. The effects of those solutions play out over different time frames, and inevitably, with each resolution, comes a new array of problems. The risks are high and the consequences of our actions potentially long-term and irreversible." (Bardwell, 1991) We see then that the assumptions underlying the rational comprehensive approach to problem solving are clearly not realistic when dealing with many environmental problems. The response of empiricists to just such complex environmental problems reveals a basic flaw in science's rational comprehensive approach. Remember that empiricism refers to understanding through observation rather than theory. "[I]n the face of complex problems, empiricists may be inclined to collect more data in the fond hope that a solution may present itself." (Miller, 1985) This response can be characterized as a tendency towards excessive quantification in science in the belief that such quantification will produce answers. Few would argue that data collection is unnecessary or inappropriate in itself, but problems arise when empiricism is overextended or used ingenuously as has been the case for wicked environmental problems. "He is so unsure of what ought to be known that he has come to 1 82 embrace a preposterous supposition: everything that can be known is also worth knowing - including the manifestly worthless." (Heller, 1968 from Goethe's Faust) Miller (1985) says that without adequate problem formulation, the availability of large amounts of data contributes little to the understanding or solving of problems. Holling (1978) concurs in his observation of science's tendency to produce huge quantities of data that are of little use and suggests that what is actually needed is the minimum amount of data that allows one to understand and solve a problem. How should science's preoccupation with data collection by itself instead of focusing on the relevance of data produced to resolving a particular problem be explained? The theory of "explanatory internalism" attempts to explain science's apparent irrational behavior by looking at what is expected from rationality (Knorr-Cetina and Mulkay, 1983). Rationality is defined very narrowly in science's rational comprehensive approach. Oakeshott (1962) notes that the term rational, when used in connection with human conduct, refers primarily to a manner of behaving and only derivatively to its outcome, or of the success with which it accomplishes what was intended. This point can be clarified by contrasting the rational comprehensive, or more precisely, the positivist approach to problem-solving with a functionalist approach. The functionalist approach dwells on the actual effects of actions rather than the purpose for which actions are supposedly taken. King (1970) notes that the positivist approach emphasizes the cognitive aspect of action, where actions are governed just by verifiable knowledge. Conversely, the functionalist approach de-emphasizes the role of cognition in action and instead places the emphasis on motive and effect. Friedman (1987) further distinguishes between the forms of rationality. He suggests that formal rationality (positivism) is concerned exclusively with instrumental efficacy whereas 1 83 substantial or material rationality (functionalism) refers to particular social arrangements and their suitability with respect to the declared purposes of society. The implications of the positivist approach to problem solving can be seen in science's response to wicked environmental problems. In general, the preferred strategy of scientists when faced with complex situations is to construct a simplified model of the real world that lends itself to rational explanation. "Rational activity is activity in search of a certain, a conclusive, answer to a question, and consequently the question must be formulated in such a way that admits of such an answer." (Forester, 1989) Oakeshott (1962) adds that there will be in rational conduct, not only a premeditated purpose to be achieved, but also a separately premeditated selection of means to be employed. Rational activity is always activity with a pattern; not a superimposed pattern, but a pattern inherent in the activity itself. Unfortunately, although this positivist strategy appears to be particularly suited to the generation of technical data with regard to well-structured, tame problems, it is less suited as a research strategy with regard to ill-structured, wicked environmental problems. The consequence of science's preoccupation with the generation of data in response to the simplified model is that inadequate consideration is given to its application to the real-world situation. "Thus, in dealing with wicked problems in the environment, positivist thinking suffers from an implicit subjectivity that is commonly overlooked; it establishes a narrow, reductionist perspective on the problem at hand and leads to a preoccupation with data generation at the expense of conceptual insight." (Miller, 1 985) Questioning the Objectivity of Science Further insight into the implications of science's approach to problem solving can be gained by examining the rational comprehensive approach from a slightly 1 84 different perspective. Explanatory internalism, although revealing, only provides a partial explanation of scientific behavior because it is unsympathetic to the idea that the behavior of scientists might be influenced by other than technical-rational considerations. The theory of "methodological internalism" focuses instead on the internal practices of the scientific community and gives priority to the question of how scientists go about conducting science over the question of why scientists act as they do (Knorr-Cetina, 1983; Knorr-Cetina and Mulkay, 1983). Previously, it was noted that objectivity is fundamental to the rational comprehensive scientific approach. Objectivism is based on the belief that there can be neutral, value-free facts. However, it is argued that it is impossible to obtain complete objectivity, that the existence of facts independent of subjective interpretation is a fallacy, and that we must acknowledge our biases. Indeed, the preceding critique of positivism indicated that the scientific approach to problem solving is characterized to some extent by subjectivity. Although scientific data may appear to be objective, its generation is often subject to biases and assumptions because scientists are likely to show selectivity in how they frame environmental problems, which in turn influences data collection and interpretation. Subjectivity can be seen in the response of scientists to wicked problems; which is to construct a simplified model of the real world or separate a problem into simpler parts. Such simplification can be characterized as reductionism, where problems are simplified, or compartmentalized, to make them more manageable to scientists. The reductionist view encourages the belief that problems can be broken down into subcomponents that can then be profitably studied independently, before being recombined to yield a global understanding of the larger problem. Unfortunately, recombination seldom happens and, even when it does, the recombined fragments often appear to have missed the point (Miller, 1985). 1 85 The lack of cohesion between investigation of the various subcomponents of a larger problem can be largely attributed to the characteristically compartmentalized or sectoral nature of scientific inquiry. Popper (1965) recognized that the positivist approach to problem solving produces knowledge that is not merely the result of rationality but depends to some extent on the beliefs and training of the scientist. He argued that scientific knowledge is not absolute; but related in some respect to its theoretical and social context. There cannot be a passive relationship between the scientist and the environment where knowledge can be gained through inductive logic. Rather, it is necessary to filter experiences through a filter composed of theoretical expectations using deductive logic (Martin, 1985). This conclusion follows from Popper's (1959) assertion that the problem of induction in empirical sciences is how to establish the truth of conclusions based on experience. He suggests instead that, although the empirical sciences appear to be inductive, they actually employ deductivism; where hypotheses can only be empirically tested - and only after they have been advanced. Kuhn (1970) built on Popper's arguments by noting that scientific knowledge is not gained simply by viewing the world objectively or rationally, but that it comes from seeing the world from a particular point of view, or rather from a succession of points of view - each point of view constituting a self-authenticating tradition of thought. He argued that paradigms of thought prevalent in the scientific community directly influence the direction and content of science. Simply put, a paradigm is a way of seeing the world where like-minded practitioners have a particular cognitive commitment which provides the conceptual basis for problem solving. Paradigms of thought influence scientific behavior at different levels. "On the one hand, [paradigm] stands for the entire constellation of beliefs, values, and techniques shared by the members of a given community. On the other hand, it denotes one sort of element in that constellation, 1 86 the concrete puzzle-solutions which, employed as models or examples, can replace rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science." (Kuhn, 1970) Although the concept of science being organized along purely disciplinary lines is somewhat outdated, much of Kuhn's (1970) conceptualization of science remains relevant. The concept of a discipline has been replaced in present-day science by a participant-centred perspective of scientific collectives. Such a view of the social organization of science follows from observing that scientists' influences extend not just to disciplinary colleagues, but also colleagues from other disciplines, interdisciplinary committee's, government agencies, and funding bodies. Knorr-Cetina (1983) classifies these as "transepistemic" relationships, where scientists perceive themselves to be entangled in relationships which go beyond the boundaries of a particular scientific discipline. The crucial question is, of course, in what sense these transepistemic relationships are relevant to the process of establishing research interests and priorities. Knorr-Cetina (1983) says that such relationships determine overall policy but not necessarily priorities or strategies themselves. Policies defined through inter-agency agreements or government initiatives become redefined through the implementation process with the actual content and direction of research being largely determined by those responsible for implementation of policy. This translation or interpretation of broad policy is facilitated by the fact that interests and commitments underlying transepistemic interactions often remain implicit, and may be deliberately left unclear. Scientists can perceive what other parties have in mind with respect to outcomes of research but clearly they do not know precisely what outcome would be most desirable. Therefore, although research policy may be an external input to science, those funding or initiating research usually only set broad goals and objectives, with 187 internal considerations determining how research problems are actually translated (Knorr-Cetina, 1983). We see then that the indeterminacy inherent in broad participant-centred scientific collectives means that the primary influence on research priorities remains at the actual research level. This means that the direction and content of scientific research will predominantly reflect the interests of groupings of like-minded research scientists who have a particular cognitive commitment which provides the conceptual basis for problem solving. Such groupings of research scientists, who may not be from the same disciplinary background but who have specialized in various aspects of one area of research, are the present day counterpart of Kuhn's conception of the social organization of science. Therefore, it continues to be appropriate to conceptualize the social organization of science as being comprised of different paradigms of thought which influence the way that scientists approach research problems and determine research priorities. Clearly, the fact that various scientific disciplines have different perspectives of problems which influence the content and direction of their research has certain implications for how effectively problems are resolved. Scientists within a particular discipline or research grouping will have a cognitive commitment to a certain aspect of a problem which provides the conceptual basis for problem solving. However, there is no reason to expect that these various conceptualizations of a particular problem by different scientific groupings can be readily reconciled. Similarly to the preoccupation with technical-rationality noted previously, the preoccupation with generation of data within narrow paradigmatic confines is often at the expense of an overall understanding of a problem. 1 88 Generic Scientific Behavior: Anticipating Science's Response to Environmental Problems The preceding summary of the theoretical limitations of the rational comprehensive approach from the literature provides insight into how scientists might be expected to respond to complex environmental problems. It is useful to classify theoretical scientific behavior in terms of paradigms of thought that influence the scientific community. Paradigms can be roughly divided into: (i) a social paradigm where the scientific community as a whole shares a particular way of looking at problems because of their common educational background; and (ii) methodological paradigms where members of a particular discipline or research groupings within the scientific community have a unique perspective and observational language. A Common Social Paradigm Because scientists share a social paradigm, their response to environmental problems will be similar. In general, scientists will take complex or wicked environmental problems and translate them into largely technical issues. Technological thinking assumes a primary role for factual and technical information in environmental management. This results in "an emphasis by scientists on empirical, objective, reductionist, and quantitative strategies in dealing with problems." (Miller, 1985) Unfortunately, by focusing on data collection in this manner, scientists often give inadequate consideration to "the ultimate purpose of the data they are about to generate and, in the absence of conceptual or other guidelines, go about their empirical business." (Miller, 1985) This "tunnel vision" (Miller, 1982) or perceptual narrowness on the part of scientists in their conceptualization of environmental problems has profound implications for how effectively environmental problems are addressed. 1 89 Methodological Paradigms Methodological paradigms are a second determinant of scientists' response to environmental problems. The partiality produced by disciplinary specialization means that scientists will automatically conceptualize problems in terms of their disciplinary background whether or not this is appropriate to the problem at hand. Bardwell (1991) provides an insightful example of analogous behavior in people in general. When faced with complex problems, people selectively use information from their environment, relying on mental models or "cognitive maps" they have built through life experience. The information which is stored is that which reinforces or builds on those maps; the information seems relevant. They use these maps rapidly, almost automatically, to access a reservoir of organized information with which to interpret and respond to problems. When solving problems, people are biased towards the familiar and are reticent to give up models that they already have. People tend to solve problems in ways that fit into their pre-existing maps; they do what they did before. The advantage of cognitive maps is that they allow people to deal with complex problems. The disadvantage is that new problems are framed the same as previous problems, thereby possibly overlooking more effective responses. It is argued that many environmental problems are identified by scientists as 'just like' a previous problem partly because existing cognitive maps or methodological paradigms within the scientific community cannot accommodate or fail to recognize new variables. In these situations, inadequate problem exploration may result in undesirable problem-solving tendencies (Bardwell, 1991) . Blume (1987) and Whitley (1984) provide insight into how methodological paradigms may influence the framing and solving of environmental problems within the scientific community (i.e., what constitutes the cognitive maps of scientific disciplines?) Methodological paradigms encourage particular patterns of research. Two 190 distinct dimensions are evident which direct and constrain processes of knowledge production within a scientific discipline; the degree of mutual dependence between researchers and the degree of task uncertainty (Whitley, 1984). "Mutual dependence" refers to the interdependence of scientists. There is a dynamic tension existing within a scientific discipline or research grouping that predisposes individual scientists to undertake research that closely corresponds to common research interests. Given their shared language, training, and allegiance to common institutions, scientists will want to undertake research that builds on previous research and is useful to their colleagues (Whitley, 1984). "Task uncertainty" refers to the extent to which research techniques, problem definitions, and theoretical goals are shared between scientists from a particular discipline or research grouping, and are clearly articulated. Simply put, like-minded scientists will tend to have preferred ways of tackling problems that include both a common conceptualization of problems and well-established research techniques for responding to problems (Blume, 1987; Bunders, 1987). The crucial point here is that the direction and content of research will be largely determined by accepted protocol and methodology and therefore account for the artifactual character of much scientific research; previous research decisions become the pattern for future research decisions. In this sense, scientific research choices are not only "decision-impregnated", but they are also "decision-impregnating" (Knorr-Cetina, 1983). What insight does the preceding discussion of methodological paradigms provide for understanding how research priorities are determined in science? The literature suggests that within a particular field of science, a particular scientific discipline or research grouping, at a given time, research priorities will be consonant with the particular perspective and interests of that grouping. However, the extent to which methodological paradigms direct and constrain research might be expected to vary within the scientific community. The degree of mutual dependence and task uncertainty present 191 will determine how scientists from different groupings respond to environmental problems. These factors will in turn influence the narrowness of research priorities and the willingness to collaborate in research into broader research questions. Blume (1987) asserts that we should only expect interdisciplinary research priorities to be potentially important to some scientific groupings. Scientific groupings which have entrenched goals and objectives and established research strategies will tend to be least receptive to involvement in interdisciplinary research. Instead, research will tend to focus on relatively narrowly specified subproblems and be conducted with standardized research techniques which generate particular, highly specific, data. "In Kuhnian terms, the more paradigm-bound a field is, the more predictable, visible, and replicable are research results and the more limited is permissible novelty." (Whitley, 1984) In contrast, for scientific groupings where methodological paradigms are less well circumscribed, scientists do not need to demonstrate fidelity to narrow goals and objectives. Rather than attempting to resolve particular subproblems in specific ways or focusing on producing results that just complement the research of their colleagues, scientists will be able to make more diffuse and wide-ranging contributions which deal substantively with broad environmental concerns (Whitley, 1984). The outcome is a greater closeness of a grouping's objectives and priorities to the concerns of other groupings which, in turn, fosters coordination and collaboration between scientific groupings in interdisciplinary research. Conclusions What conclusions can be drawn from the preceding analysis of the scientific approach to problem solving? The analysis began with the proposition that science's 192 cognitive authority is contingent on society's beliefs about the effectiveness of the rational comprehensive scientific approach to problem solving. Subsequently, however, it became clear that the concepts of rationality and objectivity which are basic assumptions of the rational comprehensive approach have been seriously challenged in the literature. Although compartmentalization - breaking a problem down into subcomponents or compartments that can be studied effectively - may seem a rational response to complex problems, it invariably results in the production of vast quantities of data that are largely irrelevant to the effective resolution of the larger problem. This consequence can be traced to the organization of science into distinct scientific disciplines or research groupings. Because each scientific grouping has a predilection for looking at a problem in a particular manner, a distinct methodological paradigm or cognitive map, they will tend to conceptualize environmental problems in terms of their disciplinary background and focus their research exclusively on a single aspect of the problem. Such perceptual narrowness can seriously limit the usefulness of data generated for solving broad environmental problems because the data generated tend to be extremely specific, with little connectivity of data from different research groupings. In this appendix I have argued that environmental problems because of their complexity pose fundamental challenges for the way in which we structure scientific inquiry. Although science's rational comprehensive approach to problem solving is particularly suited to the generation of technical data in response to well-structured problems, it appears less reliable as a research strategy when dealing with ill-structured problems. Miller (1985) remarks that the problem with scientific thinking is that, while it appears to be an excellent "tactical" procedure, it is less suited to "strategic" thinking. "In other words, if a problem can be clearly defined and adequately circumscribed, then positivist methods can provide the detail needed to attempt a solution. [However], the complex problems encountered by [environmental] managers 193 require strategic thinking, especially during problem formulation, before relevant tactical detail can be sought." While the literature review in this appendix highlighted the perceived deficiencies with the scientific approach to problem solving it also provides a prescription for change. It is apparent that far greater attention must be devoted to problem setting or problem framing. Bardwell (1991) remarks that how one sees the problem, or problem definition, has the most profound effect on where one ends up. Problem definition ramifies throughout the problem solving process, reflecting values and assumptions, determining strategies, and profoundly impacting on the quality of a solution. Previously, we saw that the formal rationality characteristic of the positivist scientific approach to problem solving is concerned exclusively with instrumental efficiency. M'Gonigle (1989) asserts that instead what is needed is "a larger conception of rationality", where rationality refers to the appropriateness of activities with respect to the purposes for which they are supposedly taken. "Rationality describes only a process, a logical or empirical procedure in the service of some other goals which are themselves never purely rational. It is these objectives to which reference must be made before rational procedures can be justified." These observations pick up on the distinction made previously between the formal rationality of positivism and the substantial rationality of functionalism. In contrast to the positivist approach, the functionalist approach to problem solving places emphasis on whether data generation efforts are appropriate to the problem being considered (i.e., it places emphasis on problem setting or problem framing). The conceptual model for information generation in support of integrated environmental management presented in the main body of the thesis envisions just such a functionalist approach to problem solving; where problem framing takes place within a much broader context than occurs presently. The implication of this model is that 1 94 science should not have primacy in determining how we conceptualize and solve problems; science should not have exclusive cognitive authority. I disagree with Schon's (1983) contention that problem framing has no place in a body of professional knowledge concerned exclusively with problem solving. Clearly, problem framing must remain part of the problem-solving process. However, it is apparent that scientists should not be entirely responsible for problem setting or problem framing. Non-scientific input to defining problems at the onset of the problem-solving process is critical to ensure that a much broader perspective is reflected in our response to these problems. This follows from Bartley's (1964) recommendation that "our lives and institutions be arranged so as to expose our positions, actions, opinions, beliefs, aims, conjectures, decision, standards, frameworks, ways of life, policies, traditional practices, etc. to optimum examination, in order to counteract and eliminate as much error as possible." It seems incongruous that scientific priorities should be entirely contingent on the internal goals and priorities of the scientific community, resulting in a distortion of information generation, given the profound implications of their choices on the effectiveness of our responses to environmental problems. There is a crucial need to consciously re-design the structure of scientific inquiry to eliminate outdated perspectives that provide the justification for exclusionary science if we are to successfully address complex environmental problems. 1 95 

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