50-7 Challenges When Characterizing Biological Communities at Marine Kinetic Energy Sites

Tuesday, September 6, 2011: 9:30 AM
602 (Washington State Convention Center)
John Horne , Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Sandra Parker-Stetter , University of Washington, Seattle, WA
David Barbee , University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jennifer Nomura , University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Brian Polagye , Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jim Thomson , Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington
Kurt Fresh , Fish Ecology Division, NOAA/NMFS/NWFSC, Seattle, WA
Marine hydrokinetic energy projects have the potential to impact macro-invertebrate, fish, and marine mammal communities.  To understand changes in organism distributions, dynamics, and device interactions, species-specific data are required over relevant spatial and temporal scales.  Technologies capable of providing data to characterize biological activity at hydrokinetic sites have not been evaluated, and protocols to collect baseline biological information do not exist.  A project designed to evaluate the monitoring ability of three active acoustic technologies (echosounders, multibeam sonar, and acoustic camera) at the proposed Admiralty Inlet, WA site will be used to illustrate the constraints of monitoring mobile aquatic organisms in extreme water flows.  The three acoustic technologies will be deployed as autonomous, bottom-mounted packages for one month at the site.  A mobile acoustic and midwater trawl survey will be concurrently conducted to provide high resolution, broad area, baseline data on aquatic species distributions and abundances.  Data from all instruments will be compared to evaluate abilities and limitations of each technology to detect, discriminate, and classify aquatic species.   Results from the project will also be used to provide recommendations for deployment and data acquisition procedures at hydrokinetic sites.