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Step Wise Guide
What types of information will help with my in-channel restoration program?
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?