First Advisor

Melissa Haeffner

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Management


Environmental Science and Management





Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 89 pages)


The recent impetus for estuarine restoration has largely focused on resolving key ecological problems; however, less is known about how people might benefit or be impacted by restoration. By mapping benefits that flow from functional salt marshes and estuarine systems I examined how different social groups might be impacted by restoration based on race and class. In this study, I considered three ecosystem services (recreation, aesthetics, cultural/historical/spiritual) and where they might impact surrounding communities. In this paper I argue that stakeholder groups can be identified by mapping ecosystem service flow areas. I hypothesized that these three ecosystem services would have different spatial distributions and therefore include different stakeholder groups. I also hypothesized that there would be significant differences in race and income between these groups with less racial diversity in the group impacted by aesthetic changes than in the other groups.

I mapped ecosystem service flows (areas impacted by ecosystem change beyond the restoration site); driving distance as a proxy for access to estuaries for recreation, viewshed as a proxy for aesthetics, and salmon habitat, essential to the Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest, as a proxy for cultural/historical/spiritual services. I then overlayed these spatial layers with US Census data to identify which communities might be impacted by ecosystem service changes from restoration initiatives. I looked for differences in race and class distributions in impacted populations to determine how restoration impacts are distributed. Populations impacted by estuary restoration were found to be majority White non-Hispanic, but with variation in rates of non-White populations for block groups within each ecosystem service area, especially when the Columbia River was included in the analysis. Race differences between ecosystem service areas were not determined to be significant by this study. Differences in household income between ecosystem service area groups were most notable between stakeholders within the driving time area and upstream salmon habitat area with the Columbia River included in the analysis. The comparison highlights the importance of considering changes for stakeholders impacted by one or more ecosystem service category. Mapping ecosystem services to gain a spatially explicit understanding of the benefits these ecosystems provide has valuable applications for stakeholder analysis and outreach for potential restoration projects.


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