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Channel Restoration

Step Wise Guide
One of the major challenges in river restoration is to identify channels that have been altered by a long history of development including straightening, diking, dredging, removal of woody debris, increased sedimentation, removal of riparian vegetation, incision, reduction of flows, and an increase in flows. To decipher the history of a stream channel with respect to its level of past disturbances requires an intensive historical analysis, using aerial photographs, historical maps, oral history etc. In-stream restoration requires this information in addition to a solid background in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology and stream ecology. A team approach is best.
Remote sensing based tools, like NetMap, can help in a river restoration effort. This is because having a river network or watershed scale perspective can be very useful when planning restoration activities at any particular site. For example, where does the stream reach or reaches of interest in a restoration project sit within the overall watershed with respect to erosion, sedimentation, sediment transport and storage characteristics etc.? Does the selected reaches have a high aquatic habitat intrinsic potential for fish? Would the site be considered a biological hotspot in the context of the watershed at large? Will the site be susceptible to watershed or stream disturbances that can alter or destroy the restoration project in a few years?
There are numerous NetMap tools and attributes that could be used to place selected reaches targeted for restoration in the context of other driving watershed scale variables.  Tools of interest might include:  (1) stream power, (2) channel gometry including gradients, (3) channel classification, (4) floodplains, (5) tributary confluences, (6) valley morphology, reflected in transitions of valley width, (7) erosion potential, including debris flows at tributary junctions, (8) zones of sedimentation, (9) thermal loading, (10) woody debris accumulation types, and (11) large landslides/earthflows. Refer to the individual tools in NetMap and as discussed in the Technical Help.