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An enhanced adaptive management approach for remediation of legacy mercury in the South River.

Foran CM, Baker KM, Grosso NR, Linkov I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM) framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA.The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates.The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center Duty Station: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District, Concord, MA 01742, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Uncertainties about future conditions and the effects of chosen actions, as well as increasing resource scarcity, have been driving forces in the utilization of adaptive management strategies. However, many applications of adaptive management have been criticized for a number of shortcomings, including a limited ability to learn from actions and a lack of consideration of stakeholder objectives. To address these criticisms, we supplement existing adaptive management approaches with a decision-analytical approach that first informs the initial selection of management alternatives and then allows for periodic re-evaluation or phased implementation of management alternatives based on monitoring information and incorporation of stakeholder values. We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM) framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA. The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates. The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

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The decision model utilized in the EAM approach for remediation of legacy Hg in the South River.The remedial alternatives need to be specified in terms of their efficiency in reducing the THg loading rate expected in each compartment (orange boxes). This local efficiency in THg loading reduction together with initial river flow rates and water column THg concentrations are utilized in a mass-balance calculation (river schematic) which determines the anticipated change in water column THg loading and concentration in various specified river reaches. The new water column THg concentration is then compared to empirical data (inserted graph) to predict of the smallmouth bass tissue MeHg concentration anticipated at steady state after implementation. The effectiveness of the remedial alternative, as indicated by the anticipated reduction in smallmouth bass MeHg, is combined with the implementability, ecological effects and estimated cost of that alternative to calculate the relative value associated with that specific remedial approach.
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pone.0117140.g001: The decision model utilized in the EAM approach for remediation of legacy Hg in the South River.The remedial alternatives need to be specified in terms of their efficiency in reducing the THg loading rate expected in each compartment (orange boxes). This local efficiency in THg loading reduction together with initial river flow rates and water column THg concentrations are utilized in a mass-balance calculation (river schematic) which determines the anticipated change in water column THg loading and concentration in various specified river reaches. The new water column THg concentration is then compared to empirical data (inserted graph) to predict of the smallmouth bass tissue MeHg concentration anticipated at steady state after implementation. The effectiveness of the remedial alternative, as indicated by the anticipated reduction in smallmouth bass MeHg, is combined with the implementability, ecological effects and estimated cost of that alternative to calculate the relative value associated with that specific remedial approach.

Mentions: EAM requires the development of a quantitative decision model that links the estimated effects of remedial actions with the criteria for a successful project or management plan. The evaluation criteria, as well as the metrics used to inform those criteria, should be developed by a diverse and comprehensive stakeholder group. In this case the decision model is a deterministic, multi-attribute model (Fig. 1) that calculates the relative value or utility of different courses of action according to the performance criteria. The uncertainty in the data is specified, and simulation is used to develop probabilistic characterization of performance. One attribute, the effectiveness in the reduction of smallmouth bass tissue MeHg, is predicted by a mass balance model which utilizes the specifics of each remedial action alternative to determine potential changes in water column Hg concentration.


An enhanced adaptive management approach for remediation of legacy mercury in the South River.

Foran CM, Baker KM, Grosso NR, Linkov I - PLoS ONE (2015)

The decision model utilized in the EAM approach for remediation of legacy Hg in the South River.The remedial alternatives need to be specified in terms of their efficiency in reducing the THg loading rate expected in each compartment (orange boxes). This local efficiency in THg loading reduction together with initial river flow rates and water column THg concentrations are utilized in a mass-balance calculation (river schematic) which determines the anticipated change in water column THg loading and concentration in various specified river reaches. The new water column THg concentration is then compared to empirical data (inserted graph) to predict of the smallmouth bass tissue MeHg concentration anticipated at steady state after implementation. The effectiveness of the remedial alternative, as indicated by the anticipated reduction in smallmouth bass MeHg, is combined with the implementability, ecological effects and estimated cost of that alternative to calculate the relative value associated with that specific remedial approach.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4321986&req=5

pone.0117140.g001: The decision model utilized in the EAM approach for remediation of legacy Hg in the South River.The remedial alternatives need to be specified in terms of their efficiency in reducing the THg loading rate expected in each compartment (orange boxes). This local efficiency in THg loading reduction together with initial river flow rates and water column THg concentrations are utilized in a mass-balance calculation (river schematic) which determines the anticipated change in water column THg loading and concentration in various specified river reaches. The new water column THg concentration is then compared to empirical data (inserted graph) to predict of the smallmouth bass tissue MeHg concentration anticipated at steady state after implementation. The effectiveness of the remedial alternative, as indicated by the anticipated reduction in smallmouth bass MeHg, is combined with the implementability, ecological effects and estimated cost of that alternative to calculate the relative value associated with that specific remedial approach.
Mentions: EAM requires the development of a quantitative decision model that links the estimated effects of remedial actions with the criteria for a successful project or management plan. The evaluation criteria, as well as the metrics used to inform those criteria, should be developed by a diverse and comprehensive stakeholder group. In this case the decision model is a deterministic, multi-attribute model (Fig. 1) that calculates the relative value or utility of different courses of action according to the performance criteria. The uncertainty in the data is specified, and simulation is used to develop probabilistic characterization of performance. One attribute, the effectiveness in the reduction of smallmouth bass tissue MeHg, is predicted by a mass balance model which utilizes the specifics of each remedial action alternative to determine potential changes in water column Hg concentration.

Bottom Line: We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM) framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA.The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates.The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center Duty Station: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District, Concord, MA 01742, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Uncertainties about future conditions and the effects of chosen actions, as well as increasing resource scarcity, have been driving forces in the utilization of adaptive management strategies. However, many applications of adaptive management have been criticized for a number of shortcomings, including a limited ability to learn from actions and a lack of consideration of stakeholder objectives. To address these criticisms, we supplement existing adaptive management approaches with a decision-analytical approach that first informs the initial selection of management alternatives and then allows for periodic re-evaluation or phased implementation of management alternatives based on monitoring information and incorporation of stakeholder values. We describe the application of this enhanced adaptive management (EAM) framework to compare remedial alternatives for mercury in the South River, based on an understanding of the loading and behavior of mercury in the South River near Waynesboro, VA. The outcomes show that the ranking of remedial alternatives is influenced by uncertainty in the mercury loading model, by the relative importance placed on different criteria, and by cost estimates. The process itself demonstrates that a decision model can link project performance criteria, decision-maker preferences, environmental models, and short- and long-term monitoring information with management choices to help shape a remediation approach that provides useful information for adaptive, incremental implementation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus