The purpose of this project was to collect baseline data, the 'before' component for a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) study of a wave energy conversion project planned for the coastal waters off of Reedsport, Oregon on the local benthic ecology. A BACI study controls for inevitable spatial and temporal environmental variation and provides an objective scientific means of addressing the question "Does this project result in significant environmental change?" The specific changes are determined in part by what variables are measured. In this study, the focus was on Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) and other substrate-associated marine organisms. These baseline data are contained in the electronic files that accompany this document.
In addition to collecting the data, digitizing those data and checking for quality and input errors, and providing basic summary statistics, this report evaluated the statistical power of the sampling program to detect a real change in the abundance of crabs and other benthic organisms as manifest by the CPUE (cath-per-unit-effort). Power analyses were used to evaluate the current sampling program, and to determine the sampling effort necessary to detect a range of project impacts from a 10-100% reduction in the starting abundance. These results should be considered when planning and funding on-going efforts to monitor the benthic ecology at the wave energy conversion project site. These analyses are predicated on the assumption that a BACI sampling/analytical approach will be used to test the hypothesis that the deployment and operation of wave energy conversion (WEC) technology will be deployed at the site referred to hereafter in this document as the WEC project site.