Stream and Watershed Restoration: A Guide to Restoring Riverine Processes and Habitats


With $2 billion spent annually on stream restoration worldwide, there is a pressing need for guidance in this area, but until now, there was no comprehensive text on the subject. Filling that void, this unique text covers both new and existing information following a stepwise approach on theory, planning, implementation, and evaluation methods for the restoration of stream habitats. Comprehensively illustrated with case studies from around the world, Stream and Watershed Restoration provides a systematic approach...

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With $2 billion spent annually on stream restoration worldwide, there is a pressing need for guidance in this area, but until now, there was no comprehensive text on the subject. Filling that void, this unique text covers both new and existing information following a stepwise approach on theory, planning, implementation, and evaluation methods for the restoration of stream habitats. Comprehensively illustrated with case studies from around the world, Stream and Watershed Restoration provides a systematic approach to restoration programs suitable for graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on stream or watershed restoration or as a reference for restoration practitioners and fisheries scientists.

Part of the Advancing River Restoration and Management Series.

Additional resources for this book can be found at:

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This would be very useful as a textbook in graduate classes in ecosystem restoration or engineering ecology, or as a reference for researchers and professionals. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through professionals/practitioners.” (Choice, 1 January 2014)

Overall, what this book provides is a good starting point for anyone who wants to study in more depth the various components that together result in a successful river restoration project. To this end, this book provides exactly what it says it does in the title.” (Restoration Ecology, 1 November 2013)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr. Philip Roni has 25 years’ experience working in and conducting research on streams and watersheds in North America and Europe. He has written and edited numerous papers and books as well as regional and international reports on stream and watershed restoration. He currently directs an interdisciplinary research program of more than 20 scientists working on fisheries, watershed and estuarine ecology and restoration at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Tim Beechie has more than 25 years of experience working in management and research of aquatic ecosystems, focusing on understanding how watershed and riverine processes influence channel morphology and river ecosystem dynamics. His recent publications focus on diagnosis of restoration through watershed analysis and development of process-based strategies for river restoration. He currently directs a team of scientists researching the influences of watershed processes and land uses on riverine ecosystems.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors, xi

Foreword, xiii

Series Foreword, xv

Preface, xvi

1 Introduction to Restoration: Key Steps for Designing Effective Programs and Projects, 1

1.1 Introduction, 1

1.2 What is restoration?, 2

1.3 Why is restoration needed?, 3

1.4 History of the environmental movement, 4

1.5 History of stream and watershed restoration, 5

1.6 Key steps for planning and implementing restoration, 7

1.7 References, 8

2 Watershed Processes, Human Impacts, and Process-based Restoration, 11

2.1 Introduction, 11

2.2 The hierarchical structure of watersheds and riverine ecosystems, 13

2.3 The landscape template and biogeography, 17

2.4 Watershed-scale processes, 18

2.4.1 Runoff and stream flow, 18

2.4.2 Erosion and sediment supply, 20

2.4.3 Nutrients, 22

2.5 Reach-scale processes, 22

2.5.1 Riparian processes, 22

2.5.2 Fluvial processes: Stream flow and flood storage, 26

2.5.3 Fluvial processes: Sediment transport and storage, 27

2.5.4 Channel and floodplain dynamics, 28

2.5.5 Organic matter transport and storage, 29

2.5.6 Instream biological processes, 29

2.6 Common alterations to watershed processes and functions, 31

2.6.1 Alteration of watershed-scale processes, 31

2.6.2 Alteration of reach-scale processes, 34

2.6.3 Direct manipulation of ecosystem features, 35

2.7 Process-based restoration, 35

2.7.1 Process-based principles for restoration, 36

2.7.2 Applying the principles to restoration, 37

2.8 Summary, 40

2.9 References, 40

3 Watershed Assessments and Identification of Restoration Needs, 50

3.1 Introduction, 50

3.2 The role of restoration goals in guiding watershed assessments, 51

3.2.1 Stating restoration goals, 52

3.2.2 Designing the watershed assessment to refl ect restoration goals and local geography, 53

3.3 Assessing causes of habitat and biological degradation, 56

3.3.1 Use of landscape and river classifi cation to understand the watershed template, 57

3.3.2 Assessing watershed-scale (non-point) processes, 61 Sediment supply: Erosion and delivery to streams, 61 Hydrology: Runoff and stream fl ow, 63 Nutrients and pollutants, 68

3.3.3 Assessing reach-scale processes, 70 Riparian processes, 70 Floodplain processes, 73 Fluvial processes and conditions, 73

3.4 Assessing habitat alteration, 79

3.4.1 Habitat type and quantity, 79

3.4.2 Water quality, 84

3.5 Assessing changes in biota, 86

3.5.1 Single-species assessment, 86

3.5.2 Multi-species assessment, 89

3.6 Assessing potential effects of climate change, 91

3.7 Identifying restoration opportunities, 93

3.7.1 Summarize the watershed assessment results and identify restoration actions, 93

3.7.2 Develop a restoration strategy, 94

3.7.3 Summarize constraints on restoration opportunities, 95

3.7.4 Climate change considerations, 96

3.8 Case studies, 96

3.8.1 Skagit River, Washington State, USA, 96

3.8.2 River Eden, England, UK, 100

3.9 Summary, 103

3.10 References, 104

4 The Human Dimensions of Stream Restoration: Working with Diverse Partners to Develop and Implement Restoration, 114

4.1 Introduction, 114

4.2 Setting the stage: Socio-political geography of stream restoration, 116

4.2.1 Nature of the challenge, 116

4.2.2 Understanding property and property rights, 116

4.2.3 Landscapes of restoration, 117

4.2.4 Understanding landowner/manager and agency objectives, 120

4.2.5 Why understanding socio-political geography is important, 121

4.3 How stream restoration becomes accepted, 122

4.3.1 Restoration as innovation, 123

4.3.2 Innovation diffusion through networks, 123

4.3.3 Process of innovation adoption, 123

4.3.4 Innovation acceptance, 124

4.3.5 Why understanding innovation diffusion is important, 125

4.4 Organizations and the behaviors and motivations of those who work for them, 125

4.4.1 Organizational behaviors and motivations, 126 Motivations of offi cials, 126 Leveraging organizational behaviors, 126

4.4.2 Understanding your own and other organizations, 127

4.4.3 Why understanding organizational patterns is important, 129

4.5 Approaches to elicit cooperation, 132

4.5.1 Institutions to support stream restoration, 132

4.5.2 Techniques to engage landowners, 133

4.5.3 Achieving agreement with project partners, 136 The Prisoner’s Dilemma, 136 Guidelines to build and maintain cooperation, 136

4.5.4 Why understanding cooperation is important, 138

4.6 Moving forward: Further reading in human dimensions of stream restoration, 139

4.6.1 Collective action, 139

4.6.2 Social capital and the triple bottom line, 139

4.6.3 Environmental justice, 140

4.6.4 Resilience, 140

4.7 Summary, 140

4.8 References, 141

5 Selecting Appropriate Stream and Watershed Restoration Techniques, 144

5.1 Introduction, 144

5.1.1 Common categories of techniques, 144

5.1.2 Selecting the appropriate technique: What process or habitat will be restored or improved?, 146

5.2 Connectivity, 147

5.2.1 Longitudinal connectivity, 147 Dam removal and modifi cation, 147 Culvert and stream-crossing removal, replacement or modification, 149 Fish passage structures, 151

5.2.2 Techniques to restore lateral connectivity and fl oodplain function, 152 Levee removal or setbacks, 152 Reconnecting isolated fl oodplain wetlands, sloughs, and other habitats, 153

5.3 Sediment and hydrology, 154

5.3.1 Reducing sediment and hydrologic impacts of roads, 154 Forest and unpaved road removal and restoration, 154 Road improvements, 155 Reducing or eliminating impacts of paved roads and impervious surfaces, 157

5.3.2 Reducing sediment and pollutants from agricultural lands, 158

5.3.3 Increasing sediment supply, retention and aggrading incised channels, 160

5.3.4 Increasing instream flows and fl ood pulses, 160

5.4 Riparian restoration strategies, 161

5.4.1 Silviculture techniques, 161 Planting, 161 Thinning to promote tree and vegetation growth, 164 Removal of exotic and invasive species, 164

5.4.2 Fencing and grazing reduction, 165

5.4.3 Riparian buffers and protection, 167

5.5 Habitat improvement and creation techniques, 167

5.5.1 Instream habitat improvement techniques, 167 Structures to create pools, riffles, and cover and improve complexity, 168 Gravel addition and creation of spawning habitat, 171 Recreating meanders, 171

5.5.2 Creation of floodplain habitats, 172

5.5.3 When are habitat improvement techniques appropriate?, 173

5.6 Miscellaneous restoration techniques, 173

5.6.1 Beaver restoration or control, 174

5.6.2 Bank stabilization, 174

5.6.3 Nutrient additions, 175

5.6.4 Vegetation management, 176

5.6.5 Other factors to consider when selecting restoration techniques, 177

5.7 Summary, 178

5.8 References, 179

6 Prioritization of Watersheds and Restoration Projects, 189

6.1 Introduction, 189

6.2 Determine overall goals and scale, 190

6.2.1 Legal frameworks, funding, and goals, 192

6.2.2 Spatial and temporal scale, 192

6.3 Who will prioritize projects? Selecting the team, 194

6.4 Prioritization approaches and criteria, 194

6.4.1 Common prioritization strategies, 195 Prioritizing restoration actions by project type, 195 Refugia, 195 Habitat area and increase in fish or other biota, 199 Capacity and life-cycle models for prioritizing habitats, 199 Costs, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit analysis, 201 Conservation planning software and computer models, 203 Scoring and multi-criteria decision analysis, 204

6.4.2 Selecting a prioritization approach, 206

6.5 Completing analyses and examining rankings, 207

6.6 Summary, 210

6.7 References, 210

7 Developing, Designing, and Implementing Restoration Projects, 215

7.1 Introduction, 215

7.2 Identify the problem, 217

7.3 Assess project context, 218

7.4 Define project goals and objectives, 219

7.5 Investigative analysis, 221

7.5.1 Investigative analyses for in-channel restoration projects, 221 Maps and surveys, 221 Hydrologic investigation, 223 Hydraulic modeling, 227 Sediment transport analysis, 230 Geomorphic investigation, 231 Geotechnical assessment, 232 Uncertainty and risk, 233

7.5.2 Investigative analyses for other restoration actions, 234

7.6 Evaluate alternatives, 235

7.7 Project design, 236

7.7.1 Design approaches, 237

7.7.2 Specify project elements that will meet project objectives, 238

7.7.3 Establish design criteria for project elements that define expectations, 238

7.7.4 Develop design details to meet criteria for each element, 239

7.7.5 Verify that elements address project objectives, 239

7.7.6 Communicating project design, 239 Design reports, 240 Plans and specifi cations, 240

7.8 Implementation, 241

7.9 Monitoring, 242

7.10 Case studies, 242

7.10.1 Removal of the Number 1 Dam, Chichiawan River, Taiwan, 243

7.10.2 Bridge Creek riparian restoration, 245

7.10.3 Fisher Slough Restoration, Skagit River, Washington, USA, 245

7.11 Summary, 248

7.12 References, 249

8 Monitoring and Evaluation of Restoration Actions, 254

8.1 Introduction, 254

8.2 What is monitoring and evaluation?, 255

8.3 Steps for developing an M&E program, 256

8.3.1 Defining restoration goals and monitoring objectives, 256

8.3.2 Defining questions, hypotheses, and spatial scale, 257 Defining the spatial scale, 259

8.3.3 Selecting the monitoring design, 260 Treatments, controls, and references, 260 Before-after and before-after control-impact designs, 261 Post-treatment designs, 261 Which design is most appropriate?, 263

8.3.4 Parameters: Determining what to monitor, 264

8.3.5 Determining how many sites or years to monitor, 269

8.3.6 Sampling scheme, 272

8.4 Guidelines for analyzing and summarizing data, 273

8.5 Monitoring of multiple restoration actions at a watershed scale, 273

8.6 Implementation: Design is not enough, 274

8.7 Summary, 275

8.8 References, 276

9 Synthesis: Developing Comprehensive Restoration Programs, 280

9.1 Introduction, 280

9.2 Components of a comprehensive restoration program, 280

9.2.1 Goals, assessments, and identifying restoration actions, 282

9.2.2 Prioritizing restoration actions or watersheds, 282

9.2.3 Selecting restoration techniques and designing restoration actions, 282

9.2.4 Monitoring, 283

9.2.5 Examples of bringing the components together, 284

9.3 Developing proposals and evaluating projects for funding or permitting, 286

9.4 Moving from opportunistic to strategic restoration, 287

9.5 Conclusions, 289

9.6 References, 289

Index, 290

See Colour plate Section between 160–161

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