Abstract: Session H  1:50 pm (Back to Session H)
Linking Stream Restoration Success with Watershed, Practice and Design Characteristics

Urban Withers
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

Authors:  Urban Withers, T. Wynn-Thompson, Eric Smith, W. Cully Hession

In the United States, stream restoration is currently a billion-dollar industry (Bernhardt et al., 2005). Though it is commonly used as a method for stream impact mitigation, TMDL crediting, and storm water management, there is little scientific knowledge defending stream restoration as an effective tool for addressing these issues. In particular, few studies have been conducted with the goal of providing recommendations for future design improvements.

To improve stream restoration success rates by advising practitioners and stake holders in site selection and success assessment, 50 stream restoration projects were assessed at the watershed and project levels. Watershed, site, and design characteristics were quantified using ArcGIS and restoration design plans and monitoring reports. Using current literature and expert advice, a stream restoration assessment methodology was developed to assess project success. Statistical analysis was then completed to identify correlation between watershed and project level characteristics and stream restoration success. This presentation will discuss the watershed and practice characteristics used to assess stream restoration projects, the methodology used to determine success, and results of the statistical analysis correlating these variables.