For many years, ecological restoration has been a valuable tool for fisheries biologists and other resource managers. Hundreds of restoration projects have resulted in improved fisheries, reduced flood potential, and increased recreational amenities. Ecological restoration has only recently been considered for use by water quality managers, an d few projects are adequately documented. Although improving water quality is not always the primary objective for stream and river restoration projects described in this chapter, these case studies do demonstrate the effectiveness of using restoration techniques to achieve water quality goals.
Common elements among the case studies that resulted in improvements to stream integrity are the reduction of stressors and the restoration of stream components (e.g., stream channel and riparian corridor). None of the case studies demonstrate a framework entirely consistent with recommendations provided in this document; each project does, however, offer unique lessons that may be beneficial in planning future projects. Presentation of case studies is therefore structured in accordance with the framework presented in this document. This consistent format for all case studies provides a common basis for evaluating individual examples and comparing different approaches. The following categories are used to describe the case studies:
- Considerations for Using Ecological Restoration:
- The purpose of this section is to provide background information on the physical environment and location of the river or stream. This section also describes the administrative structure of t he project team and the decision-making process for the restoration project.
- Stressors of Concern:
- This section describes the stressors acting on the river or stream and impacts of these stressors on water quality parameters of concern.
- Project Goals:
- Explicit and implicit goals of the restoration project are summarized and linked to specific stressors and measurements endpoints.
- Restoration Techniques:
- A description of techniques used for restoration provides evidence to establish the cause-and-effect relationship between the stressor and improvement offered by the restoration technique. That is, how does the restoration technique address project goals (e.g., measurement endpoints) and the water quality parameters of concern.
- Issues of Cost:
- To the extent possible, this section summarizes the cost of the restoration project and provides comparisons with alternative solutions.
Because the range of available information varies with each case study, presentation and content vary somewhat. Table 6-1 summarizes all six case studies included in this chapter.
- Considerations for using Ecological Restoration: A Degraded Urban Watershed
Anacostia River Watershed, District of Columbia
- Considerations for Using Ecological Restoration: Sediment and Pollutant Loadings from Agricultural Runoff
Bear Creek, Iowa
- Considerations for Using Ecological Restoration: Elevated Concentrations of Un-Ionized Ammonia
Boulder Creek, Colorado
- Considerations for Using Ecological Restoration: Fine Sediment Loadings
South Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
- Background: Elevated Summer Water Temperatures
Upper Grande Ronde River, Oregon
- Considerations for Using Ecological Restoration: Combining Flood Control and Ecological Restoration
Wildcat Creek, California