IP08 Habitat Equivalency Analysis for Natural Resource Damage Assessment
B115 & B116
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Wednesday

(IP068) Use of Habitat Suitability Index models to scale site-specific injury for multiple resources.

Johns, M.1, Saban, L. 1, Welsch, M. 1, Luxon, M. 1, Pelletier, D.1, Jackson, C.1, 1 Windward Environmental

ABSTRACT- Habitat scaling is a method of weighting injury according to habitat preferences of injured resources. The product of habitat scaling is a resource-specific injury calculation. In Commencement Bay, a site where there is more than one potentially injured resource, NOAA's approach was to combine habitat preferences of all injured resources. Combining can be an effective method if there are only two or three injured resources, but with more than three resources, resource habitat preferences may become too diverse to be effectively combined. We present a method for calculating injury at a site using Habitat Suitability Index models to aid in defining habitat preferences of injured resources by evaluating habitat preferences for each resource individually. The proposed method can be used to scale service loss calculations to define injury on a resource-specific basis, but requires site-specific physical and biological information. An example assessment is presented in which site-specific physical and biological data were combined with service loss calculations in a geographic information system to generate injury estimates for each resource. These injury estimates were then combined to determine a total injury estimate. Is the effort to calculate injury spatially according to each resource's habitat preference necessary? This question will be explored by comparing the same calculation using a combined habitat value.

Key words: HEA model

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