Science Base and Tools for Evaluating Stream Engineering, Management, and Restoration Proposals

Skidmore, P.B., C.R. Thorne, B.L. Cluer, G.R. Pess, J.M. Castro, T.J. Beechie, C.C. Shea

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Stream management activities, even well-intentioned restoration efforts, have all too often degraded aquatic ecosystems. Site- and reach-scale habitat improvement projects have become the default solution to many habitat deficiencies and constraints, and are often planned and implemented without proper consideration of their landscape context, process drivers, or geomorphic fitness. Failure to recognize these broader scale concerns may lead to poor project selection and increased potential for project failure. To address these issues, we developed a suite of River Restoration Analysis Tool (RiverRAT) resources to guide more efficient, consistent, and comprehensive reviews of stream management and restoration proposals. Resources help determine the depth of review required, assure that a project proposal is complete, and guide reviewers through a thorough and scientifically sound project review. The RiverRAT Science Document and its Appendices provide a comprehensive synthesis of science behind stream management and restoration project development. The ultimate, long-term goals of RiverRAT include: • Enabling consistent, comprehensive, transparent, and documented project reviews; • facilitating improved project planning and design; • encouraging projects that are attuned to their watershed and geomorphic context; and • improving the science and technology of stream restoration and management.

Resource Type:
Technical Document