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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Towards An Approach to Sustainable River Restoration

Authors
item Brookes, A. - NATL. RIVERS AUTHORITY UK
item Shields Jr, Fletcher

Submitted to: River Channel Restoration
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Degradation of streams and associated environmental resources has been countered with various restoration projects. However, these projects often fail to produce long-term results. Permanently restoring damaged ecosystems is difficult because of the complexity of the political and natural systems involved. Furthermore, prediction of physical and biological response to restoration is imprecise due to the knowledge gaps in sciences related to stream ecosystems. This chapter describes some of the more promising concepts and approaches restoration workers are taking to attack these problems. Environmental scientists and engineers can use the information indexed by this chapter to increase the probability of long-term success for restoration projects.

Technical Abstract: Sustainability of restored ecosystems is emphasized by Federal legislation and international agreements. However, sustainability is difficult to ensure at the design stage due to the uncertainty inherent in the current state of the art. This chapter concludes a text on river restoration by discussing the problem of sustainable design and presenting several partial solutions. For successful outcomes, planners should assess the political environment and uncertainties associated with the proposed design. Projects produced by interdisciplinary design teams and targeted at several functional objectives are more likely to be sustainable. Criteria for project re-design or termination are discussed, and pragmatic approaches advocated to improve the probability of sustainability are reviewed. Continued emphasis on technology transfer is advocated to advance the practice of river restoration.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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