Estuarine systems are areas of immense ecological importance and provide numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits, collectively known as ecosystem services. There has been an increasing desire to better incorporate ecosystem services into National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) management and stewardship, both from the network as a whole and at a local level. This webinar focuses on a Science Collaborative-supported catalyst project that is finding streamlined ways to incorporate ecosystem services into NERRS decision making with applications to coastal management more broadly. Dr. Lydia Olander and Sara Mason of Duke University will share their approach to using Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models as a framework to think about ecosystem services and how they can be considered within the NERRS. In this webinar, they will focus on work with the North Carolina and Rookery Bay NERRs to develop models of oyster reef and mangrove ecosystem services, efforts to apply these models to specific restoration sites at these reserves, and use of the models as a way to think about standardized monitoring of ecosystem services outcomes across the NERRS network.
Since 2016, Lydia and Sara have been working with the NERRS to think about how to incorporate ecosystem services more intentionally and systematically into coastal decision-making and management, resulting in publications on the use of the ecosystem service conceptual model framework in the NERR context that laid the groundwork for the current project.