Monitoring Design: Spatial Scale

While restorations are typically designed, implemented and managed individually, at the local project or site level, estuary-wide responses to restoration actions can also be measured.  As such, project objectives can be designed to examine two scales of interest.

Site-scale:  This scale includes the restoration site and reference marsh, and is intended to examine the development of habitat and functions on the footprint of the project.  A similar-sized reference marsh will allow the development of the restored marsh to be compared with a marsh that has never been diked.  Site-scale may also include multiple restoration sites within a single estuary or bay.

Estuary-scale/Landscape-scale:  This scale describes the overall influence of the restoration action on the entire estuary ecosystem landscape.  For example, we may find project effects on estuary-scale processes such as the distribution of freshwater and sediment.

Spatial Scale
Spatial scales within The Nature Conservancy's Port Susan Bay restoration project. Restoration Site located in Port Susan Bay within Puget Sound of the Salish Sea, Washington, USA (North American Atlas 2006, National Agricultural Imagery Program 2009; Woo et al. 2011).


Woo, I., R.Fuller, M. Iglecia, K. Turner, J. Takekawa. 2011. The Nature Conservancy: Port Susan Bay Estuary Restoration Monitoring Plan. Unpublished report to The Nature Conservancy. US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, 505 Azuar Drive Vallejo CA 94592. 115 pp.