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SFS Annual Meeting

2021 Detailed Schedule

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A FRAMEWORK TO DEFINE ECOCIDE IN RIVER ECOSYSTEMS [Oral Presentation]

Paula dos Reis Oliveira (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Vila Velha, reolivpaula@gmail.com;

Arne Janssen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Amsterdam, a.r.m.janssen@uva.nl;

Irene Cardoso (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Viçosa, irene@ufv.br;

Marcelo Moretti (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Vila Velha, msmoretti@gmail.com;

Andreas Bruder (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Canobbio, Switzerland, andreas.bruder@supsi.ch ;

Abstract: The international economical trade system maximizes economic benefits at the expense of ecosystem health and biodiversity in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Recently, a law against ecocide has been proposed to internalize responsibility for socio-environmental impacts of unsustainable and criminal activities causing environmental impacts with intergenerational and transnational consequences. To define ecocide in river ecosystems, we (i) established a theoretical framework based on four ecological aspects (see below 1 to 4) and (ii) applied it to a case study, the iron mine-tailing dam collapse in the Doce River (Mariana, SE-Brazil) in 2015. Scientific studies demonstrate large-scale destruction of the Doce River system because the event affected (1) key environmental factors; (2) the disturbance regime with high magnitude, duration and frequency; (3) all four dimensions of the river’s ecosystems were impacted; and (4) multiple ecosystems were affected simultaneously. Our framework may support policymaking to counter ecocide in river ecosystems. This could result in an international law addressing ecocide and support regulation and transformation of mining and other industries towards more sustainability and conformity with national and international agreements (incl. SDGs), and ultimately reduce large-scale ecological destruction in watersheds.

ADDRESSING DEGRADED STREAMS AND INEQUITABLE CITIES: A CALL TO INCORPORATE SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS IN THE URBAN STREAM SYNDROME CONCEPT [Oral Presentation]

Mason Bradbury (Primary Presenter/Author)
Florida International University, mbrad045@fiu.edu;

Brenna Kays (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, Bkays001@fiu.edu;

Daniela Daniele (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, ddani025@fiu.edu;

Abstract: The urban stream syndrome (USS) concept describes a set of predictable effects of urbanization on streams. It is a foundational concept in urban stream ecology and a key influence on emerging approaches to urban stream restoration. We argue that the USS could be strengthened through explicit attention to socio-ecological dynamics, including the following: 1) the risks that urban stream degradation poses for human well-being; 2) the unequal distribution of these risks according to sociodemographic factors; and 3) the potential feedbacks between stream degradation and urban social processes such as disinvestment, gentrification, and urban waterway transformations. Incorporating socio-ecological dynamics would allow urban stream research to better address connections between ecological change and social equity and guide efforts towards environmental justice in stream restoration. We build our argument for a socio-ecological USS through a discussion of the historical development of urban ecology and urban stream syndrome research. We follow with a synthesis of work on the impacts of urban streams on well-being and conclude with a call for holistic urban stream research that addresses the inextricable links between social and ecological change.

ECOLOGICAL RACISM: SEEKING EQUITY AND JUSTICE VIA SOCIAL AND CULTURAL COMPETENCY [Oral Presentation]

Ted Grantham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of California, Berkeley, tgrantham@berkeley.edu;

Matthew Cover (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
California State University, Stanislaus, mcover@csustan.edu;

Robin D. López (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of California, Berkeley, rdlopez@berkeley.edu;

Abstract: While robust research in freshwater science is focused on predicting and assessing ecological integrity, much less attention has focused on the nuanced dynamics of social and cultural integrity in freshwater research. In particular, equity and justice have remained at the periphery of freshwater science research agendas. Ecological racism in freshwater research, restoration, and community engagement is seldom acknowledged due to a lack of representation and decision-making power not equitably afforded to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian (BILA) people. Ecological racism refers to ecosystems largely occupied and utilized by BILA people that are exploited, extracted, or restored without regard to impacted BILA communities. Consequently, these critical identities and voices are missing from the spaces of Environmental Science. Therefore, there is a need for addressing issues of ecological racism via social and cultural competency. We present approaches to increasing competency, including education and training of rising scholars in freshwater science, that can catalyze change in the field. Just as freshwater ecology recognizes that biological and functional diversity underpins ecological integrity, sustained meaningful effort to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion has the potential to bring integrity to our research community.

Green Infrastructure Justice in Stormwater Management Planning [Oral Presentation]

Fushcia-Ann Hoover (Primary Presenter/Author)
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, fhoover@umd.edu;

Abstract: Despite the heavy management, regulation and monitoring of urban streams, socio-ecological research often fails to engage the way these hydrologic processes are driven by social processes. Social inequalities like racism shapes the different forms of access to and management of our waterscapes. White stakeholders, land managers, planners and engineers are labeled as the experts and enlisted as the primary decision-makers, while Indigenous, Black and other residents or communities of color are left out or only marginally involved in decision-making processes. I examined the criteria used to locate green infrastructure (GI), and whether they engage with justice. Of 119 plans studied, siting criteria was driven by stormwater related management metrics such as combined sewer outfall locations or known flooding, passive community engagement, and cost saving measures. While considered objective or benign siting mechanisms, they are in fact embedded in racist social processes. The inclusion of environmental justice as a framework allows us to pierce through the veil of white supremacy and examine the metrics for what they are, while opening up new possibilities for thinking about aquatic systems, and who holds valuable insight and perspectives regarding their management.

HOW DO RACE AND GENDER INFLUENCE ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS IN FLORIDA? [Oral Presentation]

Erin Abernethy (Primary Presenter/Author)
Florida International University, efabernethy@gmail.com;

Elizabeth P Anderson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, epanders@fiu.edu;

Abstract: Freshwater is a consistent focus when considering how vulnerable ecosystems and marginalized human communities will be affected by climate change. Concurrently, the U.S.A. continues to address the racial and gender oppression that has and continues to shape this country. Thus, it is critical to understand how biases influence research and policy, particularly relating to freshwater environmental flow management under climate change. There is an opportunity in Florida to study these dynamics given the presence of five distinct Water Management Districts, a long history of water management, vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and shifting demographics (soon a majority-minority state). We present progress to date answering the following: (1) For Florida Water Management Districts, what methods are effective for increasing racial and gender diversity, and does increased diversity increase likelihood of meeting goals? (2) Within the South Florida Water Management District, does a historical perspective on environmental flows and equity framework increase community engagement and trust? This research will identify opportunities to increase equity now and under projected climate change scenarios, which will likely lead to increasing strain on water resources and the diverse human populations that depend on them.

How We Talk About Water: The role of discourse in how communities understand the impacts of ambient water quality [Oral Presentation]

Mitchell Owens (Primary Presenter/Author)
Indiana University - Bloomington , owensm42@gmail.com;

Helen Rosko (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Clark University, hmrosko@gmail.com;

Justine Neville (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
North Carolina State University, janevill@ncsu.edu;

Jacyln Guz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Clark University, JGuz@Clarku.edu;

Abstract: Water is fundamental to sustaining all life, and access to clean water has been the focus of many environmental justice concerns and studies. While critically important, this attention has centered on drinking water quality and access, at the expense of ambient surface waters (e.g. water before the tap). Additionally, most environmental justice studies come from community-driven initiatives, potentially precluding analyses in areas that may be less aware of their environmental conditions. Building on a previous spatial analysis of environmental justice in ambient waters, we quantitatively determined two environmental justice hot spots to analyze and compare as case studies. These case studies, from two different socio-political, economic, and ecological regions of North Carolina, demonstrate the (mis)alignment between material and discursive impacts of poor ambient water quality on human and non-human populations. Results from our case studies suggest that many communities are unaware of the conditions of their ambient water quality until catastrophic issues occur or are uncovered; of how poor ambient water quality can degrade local human livelihoods through ecological impacts; or that communities may be more vocal about potential future water quality issues (i.e. proposed pipeline developments) than current conditions.

IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ISSUES AROUND FISH CONSUMPTION ON THE DETROIT RIVER [Oral Presentation]

Corey Krabbenhoft (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Minnesota, cakrabbe@gmail.com;

Donna Kashian (Primary Presenter/Author)
Wayne State University, dkashian@wayne.edu;

Abstract: Consumption guidelines are frequently used to minimize risk associated with eating fish high in contaminants. Yet uncertainties exist about whether vulnerable populations are aware of fish consumption guidelines. The objective of this 8-year study was to determine if there were environmental justice issues related to fish consumption on the Detroit River, develop and distribute educational materials on consumption guidelines, and evaluate the effectiveness of consumption guidelines. We conducted repeated surveys of anglers along the Detroit River to determine consumption habits. We then implemented three modes of messaging including distribution of pamphlets with consumption information, posting of signs at popular fishing locations, and hiring educators to personally communicate with anglers. Results indicated that people of color were disproportionately consuming fish high in contaminants. However, by year eight 55% of anglers were aware of the guidelines. Despite increased awareness, anglers were often unwilling to reduce consumption of contaminated, favored species. Encouragingly, Black anglers were most likely to supplement their diet with species lower in contaminants. This study illustrates the challenges of an environmental justice program for urban anglers but highlights practical methods for increasing awareness and healthy consumption choices among vulnerable populations.

Participation in the Urban Riverscape: An Exploration of the Role of Rivers’ Rhythms [Oral Presentation]

Rachel Scarlett (Primary Presenter/Author)
Purdue University, rscarlet@purdue.edu;

Sara McMillan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Purdue University, mcmill@purdue.edu;

Zhao Ma (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Purdue University, zhaoma@purdue.edu;

Abstract: There is increasing awareness that urban areas are hotspots of environmental change and that these changes have detrimental impacts on stream ecology. The reciprocal relationship—how dramatic changes to ecological processes subsequently influence local human communities and their adaptation to new ecologies— is seldom explored. The complexity of this relationship increases when accounting for the disproportionate impacts of impaired water quality, flooding, and infrastructure failure on deeply marginalized communities who bear the brunt of risks associated with rapid environmental degradation. Recent studies have suggested that people’s environmental experiences, like the flooding of their homes, influence their sociopolitical engagement in water management. However, there is a lack of attention on the interaction between environmental experiences and the historical marginalization of communities, which simultaneously define people’s shared experiences of urban waterways and their subsequent actions to adapt to environmental changes. Here, we discuss how urban flooding and water pollution disproportionately impact socially and economically marginalized communities. Additionally, we explore how inequitable environmental experiences can inform people’s participation in water management. Our study will provide critical insights into how ecological and sociopolitical processes interact to reshape urban water management.

Place-Based Meanings and Attachments Within Urban Landscapes: The Case of the Miami River [Oral Presentation]

Melissa Lau (Primary Presenter/Author)
Florida International University, mlau006@fiu.edu;

Elizabeth P Anderson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA, eanderson8@gmail.com;

Abstract: Previous studies examining the emotional relationship that people have to places have helped researchers understand what inspires individuals and communities to act and protect the places that are meaningful to them. These relationships, sometimes developing without awareness, are not only influenced by the affective and cognitive processes of the individual, but also by the sociopolitical and economic power relations that encompass and shape the land itself. The Miami River in South Florida, USA, provides a model case for illuminating such meanings and processes; with the river and surrounding communities facing changes every day, the purpose of this study is to examine the place-based meanings and connections of residents living along the Miami River and explore how residents feel and perceive these changes. To accomplish this, photovoice will be used to elucidate the multifaceted dimensions of their connections. In contrast to other conventional methods, such as in-depth interviews and questionnaires, photovoice will provide a visual document where participants will have the opportunity to reflect on what really connects them to the river while also providing their own interpretation of the challenges posed by the changes occurring in the area.

RIVER CONSERVATION AND JUSTICE IN SOUTHEAST GEORGIA [Oral Presentation]

Jacob Crawford (Primary Presenter/Author)
Georgia Southern University, jc13577@georgiasouthern.edu;

Chad Posick (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Georgia Southern University, cposick@georgiasouthern.edu;

Damon Mullis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Ogeechee Riverkeeper, damon@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org ;

Checo Colon-Gaud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Georgia Southern University, jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu;

Abstract: Georgia has over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams throughout the state. These rivers are essential to local communities for water, food, transportation, and recreation. The rivers are also critical for ecosystem health and biodiversity, housing hundreds of species – many of which are in peril. Communities remain dependent on rivers which were traditionally inhabited by indigenous communities, such as the Creek and Cherokee, which were displaced in the 16th century by Europeans. Descendants of these indigenous communities remain in the area, yet little is known about their exposure to poor water quality and its negative impacts on wellbeing. In this presentation, we will discuss preliminary results from qualitative interviews with environmental advocates and water quality allies centering on the extent of environmental harm on river communities, who is impacted by environmental harm, and strategies for addressing water quality problems and preventing future harm. Our goal is to better understand the challenges facing under-represented and indigenous river communities, and highlight areas for improved management and conservation of aquatic resources that increases health and community well-being.

Water Quality - Inequality: A non-Targeted Hotspot Analysis for Ambient [Oral Presentation]

Justine Neville (Primary Presenter/Author)
North Carolina State University, janevill@ncsu.edu;

Jacyln Guz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Clark University, JGuz@Clarku.edu;

Helen Rosko (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Clark University, hmrosko@gmail.com;

Mitchell Owens (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Indiana University - Bloomington , owensm42@gmail.com;

Abstract: Water is an essential life sustaining resource tied to many socio-environmental needs and values. Although water has been a focal point of many environmental justice studies, ambient water quality (i.e. water quality before the tap) has been overlooked, resulting in only a partial understanding of how water quality may correlate with marginalized communities and ecosystems. In this presentation, data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STORET database and the 2010 U.S. Census are analysed to identify poor ambient water quality within marginalized communities. For our purposes, final contaminants used for analysis included mercury, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, and fluoranthene and we defined marginalized communities by race and income (e.g. non-white and low-income). Hotspot analyses, Ordinary Least Squares, and the Geographically Weighted Regression, identify environmental justice cases across our target area of the Southeastern USA. High densities of hotspots in localized areas indicate that marginalized communities are significantly impacted by copper, lead, and mercury contamination. Race correlated more strongly with poor ambient water quality than community income levels. Results suggest our approach and analyses are effective for identifying environmental justice issues across large spatial scales.

DEFINING AND MEASURING "SUCCESSFUL" LAKE RESTORATION [Poster Presentation]

Gardner Olson (Primary Presenter/Author)
Middlebury College, golson@middlebury.edu;

Grace Wilkinson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Wisconsin-Madison, wilkinso@iastate.edu;

Eric Moody (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Middlebury College, ekmoody@middlebury.edu;

Abstract: Since 2000, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Restoration Program (LRP) implemented various restoration strategies to improve water quality, promote a diverse, balanced aquatic community, and sustain public use benefits within their publicly owned lakes. Over 20 years, the Iowa DNR collected, analyzed, and reported lake data metrics from over 100 lakes across the state. Throughout those years a myriad of unique restoration practices have been implemented, to varying levels of success. Using data collected from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa State Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), we have worked to answer the questions; What restoration practices are most successful and how can we further implement them? What restoration practices fail and why? In our presentation, we will explore the ecological, financial, and social decisions that led to these restoration efforts. Our findings suggest that the success of scientifically supported and expensive restoration projects may hinge on effective community engagement. Small scale restoration decisions and effective community education and engagement leads to cost effective and impactful restoration efforts.

UNEQUAL RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES: URBAN STREAMS, E. COLI LEVELS, AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES [Poster Presentation]

Rachel Gabor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
The Ohio State University, gabor.40@osu.edu;

Kerry Ard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
The Ohio State University, ard.7@osu.edu;

Shelby Fisher- Garibay (Primary Presenter/Author)
The Ohio State University , shelbydax@gmail.com;

Abstract: With much of the world urbanizing and increasing evidence that green space can have a variety of benefits, it is important to understand the health of urban green space, including urban streams. Additionally, environmental justice issues are a known problem, where disadvantaged and minority populations are more likely to experience environmental hazards. While previous studies focused on drinking water, access to green space, and more, this study evaluates recreational streams by race and class. Water quality data from local and federal agencies and data from the U.S. Census Bureau was used to investigate whether E. coli levels were higher in areas with lower socioeconomic status and minority communities in four cities. Mixed effect multilevel linear regression models suggest that those who rent are most potentially exposed, and that those who identify as Hispanic also likely experience more potential exposure.