ShoreZone Mapping and its Application in Coastal Resilience and Blue Carbon Conservation Assessments in the Pacific Northwest

Dick Vander Schaaf , The Nature Conservancy of Oregon, Portland, OR
Zach Ferdana , Global Marine Team, The Nature Conservancy, Seattle, WA
Amalie Couvillion , The Nature Conservancy, Anchorage, AK
The Shorezone (SZ) Habitat Classification System provides a comprehensive dataset in nearshore and intertidal zone that has huge potential for marine spatial planning and coastal management on a local and regional scale.  The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is using SZ data in the Pacific Northwest on several projects that make use of the regional habitat information for broad-scale analyses in conservation projects. The Blue Carbon Project assesses carbon sequestration potential in intertidal habitats in Oregon. SZ will be used to extrapolate results from studies in estuarine habitats at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to a regional level.  The SZ data is also being utilized by TNC in its Coastal Resilience Toolkit that applies spatial ecological information to assess risk and vulnerability due to climate change and extreme weather events.  Nearshore and intertidal habitat data from SZ will allow for more precision in the web-based decision-support tool in the assessment of impacts from sea-level rise and extreme weather events. SZ has been used previously by TNC in its ecoregional conservation assessments in the Pacific Northwest. SZ provided a wall to wall map of coastal habitats that could readily be integrated into the Marxan algorithm that computed conservation scenarios.