Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015MI235B

Integration of Additional Models into the Development of an Optimization Decision Model (ODM) for Strategically Allocating Resources and Conservation Practices to Benefit Multiple Ecological and Socioeconomic Endpoints

Institute: Michigan
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $19,993 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,996

Principal Investigators: Jon Bartholic, Vicki Anderson, James Duncan, Glenn O'Neil

Abstract: Problem: Unfortunately, for BMP implementation focused programs there does not exist a science-based, system-wide integrated framework to help guide investments of BMPs and other restoration projects on the basis of optimizing ecological benefits in a way that will not adversely impact social values and economic opportunities. Methods: An integrated restoration framework is being developed at SVSU; it is called an optimization decision model (ODM). Integrating the individual research and management products of Saginaw Bay into a set of tools can quantitatively connect conservation and BMP actions in the watershed with ecological responses of concern in the system such as fish health and community integrity in the watershed stream network and cyanobacteria (e.g.,Microcystis) blooms and nuisance benthic algae (e.g., Cladophora) growth in the river mouth and nearshore regions of the bay. This project will facilitate the incorporation of models, developed as part of the Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Water Research (IWR) program, into the ODM integrated framework plus support application of the ODM strategy. Note: IWR models include the Great Lakes Watershed Management System (GLWMS), High Impact Targeting (HIT) http://www.iwr.msu.edu/hit, Environmental Learning Using Computer Interactive Decisions (ELUCID) elucid.iwr.msu.edu. Objectives: Objective a: The Phase I overall objective of the ODM is to support a more objective, science driven, decision process for establishing; • sets of related biological, water quality, and conservation action goals for both riverine and nearshore habitats across Saginaw Bay and its watershed. • priorities on where and which BMPs will be most effective to maximize benefits to ecological endpoints and ecosystem services for both riverine and nearshore systems. Objective b: In Phase II of the project, the realized functional ODM will be utilized to conduct a retrospective assessment of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) projects implemented since 2010 for the GLRI and MAEAP projects in the Kawkawlin and Pigeon/Pinnebog sub-watersheds. Objective c: Phase III. The third objective will involve application of the ODM to the two focus watersheds in an adaptive mode to assess future actions (both location and type) in those watersheds in terms of their relative benefits to ecological endpoints in the tributaries and nearshore habitats of the bay.