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Project Title:

Long-term Management of the Spirit Lake/Toutle River System in Southwest, Washington
PIN: DELS-BESR-15-03        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Sub Unit: Board on Environmental Change and Society
Water Science and Technology Board
Board on Earth Sciences & Resources

RSO: Magsino, Sammantha

Subject/Focus Area: Behavioral and Social Sciences; Earth Sciences; Engineering and Technology; Environment and Environmental Studies; Policy for Science and Technology; Resilience; Transportation and Infrastructure

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will recommend a framework for technical decision making related to long-term management of risks related to the Spirit Lake/Toutle River system in light of the different priorities of federal, tribal, state, relevant local authorities, and other entities. The framework will incorporate the best available science and engineering and take into consideration regional economic, cultural, and societal priorities. The framework will also take into account the respective roles of stakeholders regarding management of the Spirit Lake/Toutle River system. The multiple objectives of enhanced safety of the downstream communities and the protection of the local and regional ecology and economic activities will be integral to the framework. The history of characterization, monitoring, and management associated with the Spirit Lake debris blockage, the tunnel, and other efforts to control outflow of water and deposits from the 1980 debris avalanche and the risk of failure of the debris blockage will inform committee findings and recommendations.

The committee will

·         * consider the adequacy of existing information and risk analyses for the area;

·         * suggest additional information needed to support implementation of the decision framework; and

·         *identify alternatives for long-term management of water levels and sediment transport in the Spirit Lake/Toutle River system.

 The report will inform a quantitative examination of the viability of long-term management options by the U.S. Forest Service.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 06/03/2016
 Meeting 2 - 06/21/2016
 Meeting 3 - 07/27/2016
 Meeting 4 - 08/03/2016
 Meeting 5 - 09/19/2016
 Meeting 6 - 10/19/2016
 Meeting 7 - 10/31/2016


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
A Decision Framework for Managing the Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens