ASSESSING TRENDS IN STREAM COMMUNITIES ACROSS AN URBAN GRADIENT IN PUGET SOUND, WA, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR MEASURING RESTORATION EFFECTIVENESS
The Puget lowlands Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity – the BIBI – has been used since the 1990s to assess freshwater quality and condition in streams throughout the Puget Sound basin. Using King County’s long-term BIBI data from 126 sites, we will present the current status and trends in BIBI scores. BIBI scores at nearly 85% of sites are not significantly improving or declining, despite an increase in urbanization over the sampling period. Analysis and discussion address how sensitive trends in BIBI scores are to land use change and stormwater best management practices within their contributing basins, and what that may mean for detecting trends following mitigation or restoration efforts. Although not perfect, the BIBI has been recognized as the best available biological measure for freshwater quality by agencies working to restore and protect Puget Sound. With that designation comes the unproven expectation that the BIBI will be responsive to restoration actions. Trends analysis across ambient monitoring sites should help inform our restoration plans and our expectations for measuring improvements.
Kate Macneale (Primary Presenter/Author), King County - Water and Land Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org;