EPA Region 10 Climate Change and TMDL Pilot Project: Restoring Salmon Habitat for a Changing Climate in the South Fork Nooksack River, WA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 and Washington State Department of Ecology conducted a Temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the South Fork Nooksack River (SFNR) in coordination with the Nooksack Tribe. In addition to this Regulatory Requirement, Region 10 has partnered with EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and Office of Water (OW) and together initiated a Pilot Research Project to consider how projected climate change impacts for the SFNR could be incorporated into the TMDL and influence salmonid habitat restoration plans that address climate change impacts.

The goals of the Pilot Research Project are to:

  1. provide input to the Regulatory TMDL for additional modeling runs that can capture climate change scenarios,
  2. guide restoration planning taking climate change into consideration that will maintain suitable salmonid habitat, and
  3. to serve as an example of process and analysis for other TMDLs.

The Research Objective is separated into two assessments processes - one quantitative and one qualitative. Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative assessments represents the most robust and comprehensive actions to protect the CWA designated uses (salmon habitat) and ESA recovery goals under climate change as well as incorporate climate change into salmon recovery and watershed restoration efforts.

The pilot research project consists of three primary research phases: Phase 1- Research Plan (completed in 2012); Phase 2 - Research Analysis and Risk/Vulnerability Assessment (Oct 2012 - Sept 2013); and Phase 3 - EPA Report (Oct 2013 - Sept 2014).  

In order to maintain access to this website, we are linking to an archived version of the website saved on January 26, 2017. The original link can be found here: https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?dirEntryId=307432  


Publication Date: January 2013

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  • Assessment
  • Regulation


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