Abstract: Closing Plenary Session 9:00 am (BACK)
Careful, Bugs May be Coming to a Project Near You!
Watershed Science, Inc.
The science of stream restoration has advanced significantly since the first projects were built in the 1990’s and congruent with that has been our ability to monitor effectiveness. Any monitoring was at first considered only secondary to the practice and biological monitoring way down the list of priorities. Early monitoring programs consisted of ‘photographs only’ pre- and post-construction. Natural Channel Design and reports of the National River Restoration Science Synthesis Project reminded restoration scientists that some projects are not effective (or may even fail) and that this science needs more data. The NRRSS report in 2005 noted that only 10% of all projects had any monitoring efforts at all. Currently state and federal regulatory programs require that monitoring is described and accepted as part of the permitting process and data are now being scrutinized. This is all good. However, it appears that restoration science is at a nexus point and that during the next few years we will need to define how monitoring programs are implemented and regulated. Clearly the bulk of the work will fall on the contract firms in the field doing the restoration. The regulatory and scientific communities also need to own up. Basic biological concepts need to be re-visited now that functional uplift of streams is a dominant goal of many projects. Training programs, either government directed or implemented by monitoring institutes, will need to define collection protocols, how to comply with taxonomic certification programs (or equivalents) and most importantly how to accurately interpret biological data.