Hydraulics & Waterways

Oral

397590 - Scientific evidence for stream restoration efficacy: does it work?

Wednesday, June 6
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Regency Room

Stream restoration projects usually have ecological objectives: they are intended to produce ecological changes perceived as desirable because they move the system toward some reference state or desirable status. This presentation synthesizes recently published research on stream restoration efficacy. Documented outcomes are available for a small fraction of projects, but recently published international reviews and meta-analyses of large-scale, multi-site, long-term research projects are helpful in developing generalizations regarding the most effective types of projects. Great variation occurs from project to project, but riparian zone and watershed treatments tend to outperform large scale channel reconfiguration. Many projects report marginal improvement in one or more indicators, but fall far short of reaching a targeted reference condition. Fish tend to display more powerful positive responses than benthic macroinvertebrates or water quality indicators. Techniques that appear most powerful emphasize restoration of vertical, lateral and longitudinal connectivity; basic water quality; and sustainable populations of biological agents such as wood sources and beaver.

Doug Shields, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F. ASCE, F. EWRI

Hydraulic Engineer
cbec eco-engineering

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