SYMPOSIUM TITLE: Energy Development and Extractive Industries
DESCRIPTION: The objective of this symposium is to provide information about potential effects of energy development and extractive industries on aquatic resources in the western United States. Energy development has progressed dramatically during the last several years as an initiative for less reliance on foreign sources of oil and gas was launched. Technological advances such as horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and the exploitation of coal bed seams are examples of new and unconventional methods for exploration and extraction that enable increased production. With increased production come additional challenges related to spills associated with well drilling and transportation, and related to the disposal of produced waters. These challenges result in potential risks to surface and ground waters. Effects on water resources may translate into impacts on aquatic resources including aquatic invertebrates and fish. Mining also has a long history as an extractive industry in the western United States. The crude waste disposal methods practiced historically continue to impact aquatic resources when trace metals and acid mine drainage are released from abandoned mines. The science has progressed beyond only documenting deleterious effects, and more recent research investigates the success/failure of restoration efforts at mine sites. AFS members and attendees will be interested in this symposium because both of these industries are common in the western United States and disturbances to riparian habitats, water quality, and aquatic organisms may result from these activities. Meeting participants will be provided with results of current research related to the potential effects of energy development and extractive industries (including mining) on aquatic resources.