Proposed Abstract Title

A Unique Role for Citizen Science in the Ecological Restoration of Streams in the Salish Sea Ecosystem.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Tools and Strategies for Growing Citizen Science

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Citizen-based groups have a unique opportunity to contribute to both the science and practice of ecological restoration. As environmental managers plan and implement restoration projects in the Salish Sea Ecosystem, citizen science programs can play an important role in documenting the ecological benefits of such projects while also increasing stewardship and awareness of these important efforts. In this talk, we describe a partnership between scientists, high school students and a municipal agency to biomonitor a stream restoration project. We also present 6 years of invertebrate data collected by students to document the impact of an in-stream engineering project to increase the habitat complexitiy and ecological function of a small stream in western Oregon. Working with professional scientists each fall and spring, high school students collected 4 years (n=7) of invertebrate data prior the restoration project and 2 years (n=3) of ongoing post-restoration data. The results show a clear response of the invertebrate community to the restoration activity and subsequent return to a post-restoration equilibrium that may indicate improved function of the stream reach. The partnership described in this talk can serve as a model for other ecological restoration projects throughout the Salish Sea ecosystem and the results of this study support the use of citizen groups to collect much-needed biomonitoring data to document the impact of restoration projects on ecological function.

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A Unique Role for Citizen Science in the Ecological Restoration of Streams in the Salish Sea Ecosystem.

2016SSEC

Citizen-based groups have a unique opportunity to contribute to both the science and practice of ecological restoration. As environmental managers plan and implement restoration projects in the Salish Sea Ecosystem, citizen science programs can play an important role in documenting the ecological benefits of such projects while also increasing stewardship and awareness of these important efforts. In this talk, we describe a partnership between scientists, high school students and a municipal agency to biomonitor a stream restoration project. We also present 6 years of invertebrate data collected by students to document the impact of an in-stream engineering project to increase the habitat complexitiy and ecological function of a small stream in western Oregon. Working with professional scientists each fall and spring, high school students collected 4 years (n=7) of invertebrate data prior the restoration project and 2 years (n=3) of ongoing post-restoration data. The results show a clear response of the invertebrate community to the restoration activity and subsequent return to a post-restoration equilibrium that may indicate improved function of the stream reach. The partnership described in this talk can serve as a model for other ecological restoration projects throughout the Salish Sea ecosystem and the results of this study support the use of citizen groups to collect much-needed biomonitoring data to document the impact of restoration projects on ecological function.