Watershed Symposium 2018 has ended
Welcome to the official website of the 12th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium, November 14-15, 2018!  Free and open to all, the Symposium encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning and networking opportunities for a broad array of stakeholders. Sessions cover a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted annually by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

Powerpoints and audio recordings are available.  Click on a session and scroll down to the attached files.
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Thursday, November 15 • 1:05pm - 1:35pm
Citizen Science-Based Monitoring and Stewardship for the Jordan River

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Citizen Science-Based Monitoring and Stewardship for the Jordan River

Monitoring and stewardship are essential for the sustainable natural areas on the Jordan River. This presentation introduces a monitoring approach that pairs scientifically valid study design with data collection by Citizen Scientists to document restoration, inform adaptive management, and increase awareness of and advocacy for the Jordan River.

Full Abstract
There are currently over 30 restoration projects along the Jordan River, ranging from small storm water treatment wetlands to large landscapes like the Legacy Nature Preserve. There are also an increasing number of “nature park” sites along the river, such as the 900 South Oxbow Wetland (Salt Lake City) and the Big Bend Nature Park (West Jordan) which allow residents and visitors to experience natural habitat areas within the valley’s growing urban footprint. These natural areas have been preserved and restored for a variety of different reasons, and are managed by different agencies or organizations with varying degrees of involvement and capacity. However, what they all have in common is the need for monitoring and stewardship. Monitoring is essential to support adaptive management, evaluate the effectiveness of restoration practices, and to document whether restoration efforts have resulted in promised increases in natural resource services. Stewardship translates into people who are aware of and care for these areas, from volunteering to pull weeds to advocating for the value of open spaces. This presentation will introduce a monitoring approach that is being developed for the Big Bend Nature Park by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Interior Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program. By coordinating with other open space management and monitoring efforts on the Jordan River (through the Jordan River Commission and other stakeholder groups), this approach can also be tailored for different monitoring needs at other sites. A key aspect of this approach is its focus on Citizen Science, centering on guided data collection efforts by students, educators and the interested public. The goal of this monitoring approach is to collect scientifically valid data that will lead to greater understanding of ecological function, document increases in ecological services (such as water quality, flood retention and migratory bird habitat), and inform adaptive management decisions. Through the involvement of citizen scientists, it is also an opportunity to “connect people with nature” in meaningful ways—introducing them to natural landscapes, teaching them the role these places serve both for wildlife and people, teaching them what “science” is and how it works, and introducing young people to careers that they might not have considered. This involvement also translates into stewardship by increasing participants’ appreciation of what it takes either directly (e.g., volunteering) or indirectly (support of programs and funding) to maintain these areas’ environmental and social values, which is essential for their long term viability.

avatar for Chris Cline

Chris Cline

Contaminants and Restoration Specialist, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Chris has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the cleanup and restoration of natural areas since 2002. She has been involved with habitat restoration on the Jordan River through the U.S. Department of Interior's Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR... Read More →

Thursday November 15, 2018 1:05pm - 1:35pm MST
Lower Level - Ballroom A/B Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley City, UT 84119