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The Need for Restoration II 1.“Tour of Locations” and their restoration activities 2.Design considerations a.Design and implementation b.Standards for.

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Presentation on theme: "The Need for Restoration II 1.“Tour of Locations” and their restoration activities 2.Design considerations a.Design and implementation b.Standards for."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Need for Restoration II 1.“Tour of Locations” and their restoration activities 2.Design considerations a.Design and implementation b.Standards for ecologically successful river restoration c.Myths of restoration ecology d.Strategies for restoration

2 1. “Tour” of Restoration Issues Pacific Northwest (+ WA, CA) Southwest (+ Az) Upper Midwest (+ IL, Upper MS) Northeast (+ NY) Atlantic Southeast (+ GA, MS, FL) Australia

3 Pacific Northwest Puget Sound Lowlands – Largest cities – Gravel-bedded streams Salmonids, some endangered (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Cause: Watershed alteration, expressed as changes to physical stream system and biological community PNW invests heavily in symptomatic fixes: bioengineered bank stabilization, LWD, resculpting channel reaches, replanting riparian corridors, removing fish barriers East Fork Issaquah Creek, WA showing human encroachment, invasive riparian vegetation, and morphologic simplification

4 Pacific Northwest (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Longfellow Creek, Seattle, WA, reflects the in-channel focus of most “restoration projects” in this region Two Fundamental Barriers Physical: Landscape-scale changes to land cover and land use are the primary drivers of degradation – Such stressors cannot be managed by “instream measures” that degrade with time Social: Funding is overwhelmingly oriented towards building stuff – Symptomatic palliatives, not genuine restoration actions

5 Pacific Northwest (Katz et al., 2007) Distribution of restoration project records and median cost per project record as a function of project type. Most common: Sediment Reduction, Riparian Improvements, and Upland Management

6 Pacific Northwest (Katz et al., 2007) Spatial distribution of river restoration project records in the PNW (35,696 restoration project locations) In the west, projects are dominated by Barrier Removals (red), Restoration of Riparian Function (green), and Instream Structure (blue). In southern Oregon and Idaho and large areas of Montana, project records are dominated by Upland Management projects (purple) that commonly constitute infrastructure placement to support ranching, such as water supply improvements and cattle control fencing.

7 Washington (US-EPA, 2009) Causes: 1 Temperature 2 Fecal coliform 3 Dissolved oxygen 4 pH 5 DDE Sources: No Probable Sources Reported

8 California (US-EPA, 2009) Causes: 1 Nutrients 2 Habitat alteration 3 Flow alteration 4 Organic enrichment/Low DO 5 Pathogens Sources: 1 Habitat modification 2 Nonpoint source 3 Hydromodification 4 Silviculture 5 Agriculture

9 California (Kondolf et al., 2007) Total cost (millions US$) and number of stream and river restoration projects in California by project type based on written project records. Three most common project intents were: 1. Water quality (20%) 2. Riparian management (15%) 3. Bank stabilization (13%)

10 Southwest Issues Water scarcity and increasing population pressures heighten awareness of the deterioration of riparian resources Mitigating historic and current land use impacts on riparian ecosystems, channel beds and banks, surface water flow, and WQ (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Complicated by Historic and evolving land use Spatially variable watershed and climatic characteristics Flashflood hydrologic regime San Pedro River, AZ

11 Southwest Causes of Degradation Then: Historical mining and agriculture Now: Population growth, water scarcity, sand and gravel mining from rivers and floodplains, expansion of copper mining operations Two Main Challenges Using stream restoration practices form other regions (e.g., Q BF may not be an appropriate design discharge) Determining project success based on varying monitoring protocols (different riparian monitoring protocols by federal agencies) East fork of Gila River (NM) contained excessive sediment due to forest fires and old logging roads (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED)

12 The distribution and cumulative costs of restoration projects by intent category. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of projects per category. Southwest (Shah et al., 2007)

13 The 20 most common restoration activities across project records within the NRRSS-SW database. Southwest (Shah et al., 2007)

14 Arizona (US-EPA, 2009) Causes: 1 Copper 2 Selenium 3 Turbidity 4 Bacteria (E. Coli) 5 Toxaphene Sources: 1 Natural sources 2 Rangeland grazing 3 Source unknown 4 Abandoned mine lands 5 Mine tailings

15 Upper Midwest Causes of Degradation Changes in watershed and land use Altering channels or “channel improvements” – 27,000 mi of streams in MN have been straightened and/or dredged Fragmentation caused by dams and culverts (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Appleton Reservoir, MN, following dam removal and channel restoration. The dam was located at the left. About 2,500 ft of new channel was excavated and eight riffles were built as a means of restoring the channel.

16 Illinois (US-EPA, 2009) Causes: 1 Fecal coliform 2 Dissolved oxygen 3 PCBs 4 Sedimentation 5 Alteration of vegetative covers Sources: 1 Source unknown 2 Crop production 3 Channelization 4 Municipal point source discharges 5 Urban runoff/storm sewers

17 Upper Mississippi River Number of River enhancement projects NNR: Non-navigable Rivers NR: Navigable Rivers (O’Donnell and Galat, 2007)

18 Northeast Causes of Degradation Long history of human alteration and disturbance Thousands of mill dams, which increased flooding Rivers straightened and dredged to reduce flooding Industrialization and population growth led to water pollution (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Main reasons for restoration Improve river habitat (salmon, shad, herring) Removing dams and culverts for fish passage Mitigate prior channelization projects Sediment control Restored channel along Yokom Brook, MA, where a low dam was removed in 2006.

19 New York Causes: 1 Phosphorus 2 Sedimentation 3 Total coliform 4 PCBs 5 BOD (N-based) Sources: 1 Agriculture 2 Wet weather discharge (stormwater) 3 Municipal point sources 4 Streambank modification/destabilization 5 Atmospheric deposition (US-EPA, 2009)

20 Southeast (Atlantic) Causes of Degradation European agricultural practices – Widespread deforestation, hillslope erosion, land abandonment Mill dams – Legacy sediment Main reasons for restoration Agricultural watersheds: livestock exclusion, install alternate watering sources, streambank stabilization, woody riparian buffer (often motivated by TMDLs) Urban watersheds: streambank stabilization to protect infrastructure, habitat improvement, riparian buffer establishment Stream restoration construction demonstration, Davidson River, NC (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED)

21 Southeast (Atlantic) (Suddeth et al., 2007) Top five project goals and their activities, SW

22 Southeast (Atlantic) Challenges Urgent need for a practical method for urban stream restoration design; process-based approaches, rather than empirical Post-project monitoring only has been recently required (VA & NC have 5-yrs requirement) (Stream Restoration Networker, NCED) Urban stream restoration to create a new meandering channel and forested floodplain on Rocky Branch in Raleigh, NC

23 Georgia (US-EPA, 2009) Sources: 1 Non-point source 2 Urban runoff/storm sewers 3 Residue from industrial source 4 Manure runoff 5 Combined sewer overflows Causes: 1 Fecal coliform 2 Bio 3 Dissolved oxygen 4 Hg in fish 5 Fish consumption advisory

24 Mississippi Sources: Unknown Causes: 1 Other (Bio impairment) 2 Pathogens 3 Sedimentation 4 Organic enrichment/low DO 5 Nutrients (US-EPA, 2009)

25 Florida (US-EPA, 2009) Causes: 1 Organic enrichment/low DO 2 Nutrients 3 Pathogens 4 Turbidity 5 Metals (not Hg) 6 Hg Sources: Not available

26 Australia (Victoria) Main reasons for restoration Riparian zone restoration Improve water quality and stabilize banks – Fencing for livestock exclusion – Replanting of native species – Weed reduction – Removal of introduced willows Bank stabilization In-stream habitat improvement Channel reconfiguration (Brooks and Lake, 2007)

27 Australia (Victoria) Willows Used to stabilize stream banks and to “beautify” the rivers All but 3 species are considered invasive Victoria spends $2MAU annually on willow removal (Brooks and Lake, 2007) De-willowing along Castle Creek, Victoria. The stream channel is in the center, and the branches in piles will be burnt later.

28 Australia (Victoria) (Brooks and Lake, 2007) Median costs per restoration project

29 Implications of “Tour” to Stream Restoration Established the nuances of geography on water quality impairment and region-specific SR foci and activities As the causes, sources, and local challenges are different, so too would the SR design

30 2. Design Considerations Design and implementation Standards for ecologically successful river restoration Myths of restoration ecology Strategies for restoration

31 Project Design and Implementation, (NRRSS) (1) 53% of projects conducted in watersheds where an assessment had been conducted >33% were part of a larger watershed management plan, and of these, 73% had site- specific project goals that project contacts said completely overlapped with those of the larger plan (Bernhardt et al., 2007)

32 Site selection: – Available land opportunities (22%) – Ecological concerns (21%) Important factors in choosing the final project design – Opportunities for ecological improvement (41%) – Ecological impacts (29%) – Location-specific limitations (26%) – Availability of funds (19%) (Bernhardt et al., 2007) Project Design and Implementation, (NRRSS) (2)

33 Implications for Practice (NRRSS) For most projects, phases (1. goal setting; 2. design; 3. implementation; and 4. evaluation) are disconnected, reducing the likelihood of achieving the intended result Data collected often are not used to evaluate projects because either (1) data collected are not directly relevant to project goals or (2) data are insufficient or the monitoring design is inadequate to perform a rigorous evaluation Academic and agency scientists must engage directly with restoration practitioners to transfer existing knowledge and to generate new information that can help guide the restoration enterprise toward the highest possible ecological benefits at the lowest possible costs in order to restore the maximum number of stream miles (Bernhardt et al., 2007)

34 Five (5) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration 1.A guiding image exists: A dynamic ecological endpoint is identified a priori and used to guide restoration a.Historical information to establish prior conditions b.Reference sites c.Process-based approach d.Stream classification scheme e.Common sense (Palmer et al., 2005)

35 2.Ecosystems are improved: The ecological conditions of the river are measurably enhanced a.May take time and have different trajectories b.Ecological success when the river is moved measurably towards the guiding image (Palmer et al., 2005) Five (5) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration

36 3.Resilience is increased: The river ecosystem is more self-sustaining than prior to restoration a.Unless some level of resilience is restored, projects are likely to require on-going management and repair b.To be ecologically successful, projects must involve restoration of natural river processes (e.g. channel movement, river–floodplain exchanges, organic matter retention, biotic dispersal) (Palmer et al., 2005) Five (5) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration

37 4.No lasting harm is done: Implementing the restoration does not inflict irreparable damage a.Ecologically successful restoration minimizes the long- term impacts to the river b.Restoration should be planned so that it does not degrade other restoration activities being carried out in the vicinity (Palmer et al., 2005) Five (5) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration

38 5.Ecological assessment is completed: Some level of pre- and post-project assessment is conducted and the information is made available a.Both positive and negative outcomes of projects must be shared b.Assessment is a critical component of all restoration projects but achieving stated goals is not a prerequisite to a valuable project (Palmer et al., 2005) Five (5) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration

39 Five Myths of Restoration Ecology 1.“Carbon Copy”— the selection of restoration goals and end points, and maintains that we can restore or create an ecosystem that is a copy of a previous or ideal state 2.“Field of Dreams”— all one needs is the physical structure for a particular ecosystem, and biotic composition and function will self-assemble—physical structure does not always beget biotic structure (Hilderbrand et al., 2005)

40 Five Myths of Restoration Ecology 3.“Fast-Forwarding”– one can accelerate ecosystem development by controlling pathways, such as dispersal, colonization, and community assembly, to reduce the time required to create a functional or desired ecosystem (little evidence) 4.“Cookbook”– the over-use or continued use of a locally unsuccessful restoration prescription because it worked somewhere else (Hilderbrand et al., 2005)

41 Five Myths of Restoration Ecology 5.“Command and Control”– assumes we have the knowledge, abilities, and foresight to actively control ecosystem structure and function to manage for a particular ecosystem state indefinitely into the future (Hilderbrand et al., 2005)

42 Three Gaps in Scientific Understanding 1.Transferring knowledge from one study to another involves untested assumptions of transferability and scaling 2.Lack of opportunities to conduct large-scale experiments, where whole system responses can be evaluated at scales that match management actions 3.Difficulty of integrating disciplinary knowledge into interdisciplinary understanding (Wohl et al., 2005)

43 How Do We Advance the Science of River Restoration? 1.Need to couple data collection with a distillation and refinement of what is known about the physical and biological drivers that govern process in river landscapes 2.Guidelines for defining realistic and measurable river restoration goals be developed with broad input from both the scientific and practitioner communities and that these guidelines be endorsed by agencies at local and national level 3.Need to dramatically increase the number of assessment tools, especially those that are synthetic in nature and capture status of processes, not just channel form or ecosystem structure (Wohl et al., 2005)

44 Strategy for Achieving Vision 1.Continually develop a theoretical framework that enables us to ask relevant questions, quantify river and ecosystem response to change, and measure the most effective set of variables to achieve restoration objectives 2.Explicitly recognize known complexities and uncertainties of river systems by addressing the effects of differing time and space scales as these affect river restoration 3.Enhance the science and use of restoration monitoring 4.Link science, practitioners, and stakeholders: For river restoration projects to succeed, both good science and public support are needed 5.Develop methods of river restoration that are effective within existing constraints (Wohl et al., 2005)

45 Implications of Design Criteria to Stream Restoration Established basic standards for SR and current gaps of understanding Reminded SR practitioners of the myths of various approaches Suggested ways to “Advance” this evolving science

46 The Need for Stream Restoration II Conclusions Primary goals of restoration – Water quality management – In-stream habitat improvement Restoration needs can be site-specific Design consideration hampered by lack of standards and lack of information or misinformation

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