Here’s some food for thought: Nicholas Chistaki’s “Swiss Cheese Model for Combatting Covid-19” layered approach can be applied to other problems, ranging from drinking water quality to fish conservation.
“Christakis presents a model for considering the individual steps needed to achieve a larger goal, and how each step should fit into a larger strategy. He points out that each action used to limit the spread of Covid (handwashing, mask wearing, social distancing) creates a layer of imperfect defense akin to a slice of Swiss cheese. No action alone is 100% effective – there are holes.”
The general idea is that solutions on their own may be imperfect, but multiple actions taken together can prove effective.
How does this apply to water and fish? CalTrout’s partners at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences share their multi-layer proposal for the conservation of California’s native fishes in an article titled “A Swiss Cheese Model for Fish Conservation.” The authors include Andrew L. Rypel, who holds the Peter B. Moyle and California Trout Endowed Chair in Coldwater Fishes.
In the article, they share their plan to apply the Swiss Cheese model to conserve and recover fish populations. With California’s water issues notoriously complicated, there needs to exist an equally complex, layered plan to restore water reliability and declining fish populations.
The authors suggest a six point plan that, in combination, should improve conditions for fishes in powerful ways. The plan flows through 6 layers: (1) Protect the best remaining habitats; restore others; (2) Deploy some protection for every native species; (3) Implement and expand environmental flows below dams; (4) Develop a water right for aquatic animals, including fishes; (5) Identify, manage, & rehabilitate floodplain ecosystems; and (6) Cultivate hatcheries and reservoirs as emergency refugia for native fishes.
Currently, a statewide plan with broad buy-in doesn’t exist, and while the article’s authors note that they clearly favor the above suggestions, a plan that incorporates just some of these layers will make all actions more effective.
See below to read the full article and their plan, published on California Water Blog: