Standards for Ecologically Successful River Restoration

Palmer, M.A. et al.

Publication Date:

Billions of dollars are currently spent restoring streams and rivers, yet to date there are no agreed upon standards for what constitutes ecologically beneficial stream and river restoration. We propose five criteria that must be met for a river restoration project to be considered ecologically successful. It is critical that the broad restoration community, including funding agencies, practitioners and citizen restoration groups, adopt criteria for defining and assessing ecological success in restoration. Standards are needed because progress in the science and practice of river restoration has been hampered by the lack of agreed upon criteria for judging ecological success. Without well-accepted criteria that are ultimately supported by funding and implementing agencies, there is little incentive for practitioners to assess and report restoration outcomes. Improving methods and weighing the ecological benefits of various restoration approaches require organized national-level reporting systems.

STAPER categories:
  • C4: Develop explicit implementation tasks, schedules, and budgets

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Applied Ecology