Many coastal regions are encountering issues with the spread of nonindigenous species (NIS). In this study, we conducted a regional risk assessment using a Bayesian network relative risk model (BN-RRM) to analyze multiple vectors of NIS introductions to Padilla Bay, Washington, a National Estuarine Research Reserve. We had 3 objectives in this study. The 1st objective was to determine whether the BN-RRM could be used to calculate risk from NIS introductions for Padilla Bay. Our 2nd objective was to determine which regions and endpoints were at greatest risk from NIS introductions. Our 3rd objective was to incorporate a management option into the model and predict endpoint risk if it were to be implemented. Eradication can occur at different stages of NIS invasions, such as the elimination of these species before being introduced to the habitat or removal of the species after settlement. We incorporated the ballast water treatment management scenario into the model, observed the risk to the endpoints, and compared this risk with the initial risk estimates. The model results indicated that the southern portion of the bay was at greatest risk because of NIS. Changes in community composition, Dungeness crab, and eelgrass were the endpoints most at risk from NIS introductions. The currents node, which controls the exposure of NIS to the bay from the surrounding marine environment, was the parameter that had the greatest influence on risk. The ballast water management scenario displayed an approximate 1% reduction in risk in this Padilla Bay case study. The models we developed provide an adaptable template for decision makers interested in managing NIS in other coastal regions and large bodies of water.

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