The SEQ Branch of the River Basin Management Society is pleased to invite you to our second reading group for 2015. Our reading groups are held bi-monthly and involve getting together over a morning coffee to discuss an interesting, topical, controversial or informative article.
We invite you to join us on Friday 15th May to discuss the classic Journal of Applied Ecology article on standards for ecologically successful river restoration (link to pdf here).
Palmer et al (2005) Standards for ecologically successful river restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42, 208–217.
Increasingly, river managers are turning from hard engineering solutions to ecologically based restoration activities in order to improve degraded waterways. River restoration projects aim to maintain or increase ecosystem goods and services while protecting downstream and coastal ecosystems. There is growing interest in applying river restoration techniques to solve environmental problems, yet little agreement exists on what constitutes a successful river restoration effort.
We propose five criteria for measuring success, with emphasis on an ecological perspective. First, the design of an ecological river restoration project should be based on a specified guiding image of a more dynamic, healthy river that could exist at the site. Secondly, the river’s ecological condition must be measurably improved. Thirdly, the river system must be more self-sustaining and resilient to external perturbations so that only minimal follow-up maintenance is needed. Fourthly, during the construction phase, no lasting harm should be inflicted on the ecosystem. Fifthly, both pre- and post-assessment must be completed and data made publicly available.
Determining if these five criteria have been met for a particular project requires development of an assessment protocol. We suggest standards of evaluation for each of the five criteria and provide examples of suitable indicators.
Join us for an interesting discussion on standards in river rehabilitation projects and the progress of our industry towards these standards.
Hope to see you there!