Abstract Title

Session S-04C: Importance of Puget Sound Lowland Streams

Presenter/Author Information

Sara Brooke BenjaminFollow

Keywords

Freshwater

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Ecological stressors in urban creeks and streams are acute and intensifying. In an effort to improve conditions in degraded urban streams, managers are increasingly turning to stream restoration techniques. However, due to a paucity of monitoring data and weak communication of results, very little is actually known about the ecological value provided by these techniques. With this research I investigate the ecological trajectory of an urban stream system in Bellingham, WA following implementation of some common stream restoration techniques including: planting riparian vegetation, creating off channel ponds and swales, increasing stream sinuosity, augmenting spawning gravels, and installing large woody debris (root wads, logs and upright snags). This monitoring program began after restoration techniques were implemented in 2006 and will continue through 2016. Monitored parameters include avians, amphibians, adult and juvenile salmonids, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, temperature, vegetation, and geomorphic surveys. If the continued decline in the health of streams and rivers worldwide is in part due to the “inadequate role that ecological science has played in shaping restoration efforts” as Palmer (2009) asserts, then an adaptive process of conducting and then communicating the results from long-term and comprehensive restoration monitoring programs will be critical to the recovery of these important yet imperiled ecosystems. This project presents a unique opportunity to leverage a long-term, ecologically comprehensive monitoring dataset to advance our understanding of urban stream restoration. My goal is to integrate and communicate the results of this valuable monitoring effort in a meaningful and accessible way that both engages the local community, and also informs future restoration efforts.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Ecological monitoring of an urban stream restoration project in Bellingham, WA

Room 6C

Ecological stressors in urban creeks and streams are acute and intensifying. In an effort to improve conditions in degraded urban streams, managers are increasingly turning to stream restoration techniques. However, due to a paucity of monitoring data and weak communication of results, very little is actually known about the ecological value provided by these techniques. With this research I investigate the ecological trajectory of an urban stream system in Bellingham, WA following implementation of some common stream restoration techniques including: planting riparian vegetation, creating off channel ponds and swales, increasing stream sinuosity, augmenting spawning gravels, and installing large woody debris (root wads, logs and upright snags). This monitoring program began after restoration techniques were implemented in 2006 and will continue through 2016. Monitored parameters include avians, amphibians, adult and juvenile salmonids, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, temperature, vegetation, and geomorphic surveys. If the continued decline in the health of streams and rivers worldwide is in part due to the “inadequate role that ecological science has played in shaping restoration efforts” as Palmer (2009) asserts, then an adaptive process of conducting and then communicating the results from long-term and comprehensive restoration monitoring programs will be critical to the recovery of these important yet imperiled ecosystems. This project presents a unique opportunity to leverage a long-term, ecologically comprehensive monitoring dataset to advance our understanding of urban stream restoration. My goal is to integrate and communicate the results of this valuable monitoring effort in a meaningful and accessible way that both engages the local community, and also informs future restoration efforts.