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The Effects of River Alteration and Restoration on Instream Biota and Human Needs PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Effects of River Alteration and Restoration on Instream Biota and Human Needs. By Ashley Koetsier, Kaylee Pollander, Lee Simard, Cole Talbot, and Zack Theberge. Why We Love Streams. Goals. Evaluate the impacts altered stream systems have on instream biota - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Effects of River Alteration and Restoration on Instream Biota and Human Needs

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The effects of river alteration and restoration on instream biota and human needs

The Effects of River Alteration and Restoration on

Instream Biota and Human Needs

By Ashley Koetsier, Kaylee Pollander,

Lee Simard, Cole Talbot, and Zack Theberge

Why we love streams

Why We Love Streams...



Evaluate the impacts altered stream systems have on instream biota

-Impact on human interests

Determine restoration focuses that will increase instream biota

-Minimize impact on other human needs



-Identify causes of stream alteration

-Identify the impacts different types of stream alteration has on instream biota

-Identify what impacts the loss of instream biota have on humans

-Identify possible focuses of restoration that will benefit instream biota without negatively affecting human needs

What is our endpoint


What is our Endpoint?




Social needs

Social Needs

Must follow laws:

  • Water quality discharge

  • Fisheries habitat

  • Flooding fluvial erosion

  • Stream dynamic equilibrium

    Balance with Sustainability Model

  • Does it hit the target?

Social agenda

Social Agenda

People hear what they want to hear

  • Cause and effect:

    • Get people to hear what you have to say

      Intellectual Quotient vs. Emotional Quotient

  • Must account for people's emotions

Social and economic interaction

Social and Economic Interaction

People work to pay the mortgage

  • connected to house, property

    Less expensive to not repair


  • More funding than Insurance companies

    Few cases of abandonment

  • roads

  • relocations

  • buyouts

Causes of stream alteration

Causes of Stream Alteration

  • Prior land use

  • Channelization

  • Riparian land use

Prior land use and land use history

Prior Land Use and Land Use History

Riparian land use

Riparian Land Use



This is what happens when you channelize a stream and a thousand year flood happens

This is what happens when you channelize a stream and a thousand year flood happens...

Let the kid represent biota and detritus...

Impact on fish populations

Impact on Fish Populations

Impacts of altered streams:


-Increased sedimentation

-Faster currents

-Changes in water temperature

-Loss of physical

structure and habitat

-Loss of food sources

Natural stream morphology why restore it

Natural Stream Morphology...Why restore it?

- Sinuosity

Dynamic Equilibrium

- Higher Retention

- Increased Habitat

For both fish and macro-invertebrates

- Increased Aesthetics

- Undisturbed complexity

Image from Brown, Inc. 2010

Human benefits of instream biota restoration

Human Benefits of

Instream Biota Restoration

-Median cost $45,000/project

-Over $1 billion spent annually on stream restoration

(Bernhardt et al. 2005)

-Is it worth it?

Restore macroinvertebrates

Restore Macroinvertebrates


-Allochthonous inputs main nutrient source in most small temperate forested streams

-Little algal or macrophyte growth

-Essential for breaking down inputs and releasing nutrients and energy downstream

-Restoring streams increases downstream productivity

Improve fish populations

Improve Fish Populations

Benefits of Restoration:

Economic, Social, Environmental:

-License sales, tackle,

bait, gas, food,

lodging, etc.

-Commercial Fisheries

-Pacific salmon

-Return marine nutrients inland

Moyle et al. 2011 (

Intrinsic benefits

Intrinsic Benefits


-Aesthetic values

-Cultural values

Focuses of restoration

Focuses of Restoration

-Specific restoration objectives vary by situation

-A manager can choose from several different overarching focuses for restoration, each with their own pros and cons

-Evaluate each to decide which focus best meets our endpoint

Leave system as is

Leave System as Is

-Results dependent on system

-Minimally degraded system could result in natural recovery

-Less likely to recover in a highly degraded system

-Is the stressor removed?

-Eg. Removal of woody debris to accelerate drainage from an agricultural field

Focus restoration on stream dynamics

Focus Restoration on Stream Dynamics


-Addresses all environmental needs

-Surrounding landscape would be restored as well

-Some social and economic needs met


-Extremely expensive

-Very complicated

-Unrealistic in most cases to remove all human influences

-May cause loss to infrastructure

Focus on restoring stream dynamics


Focus on Restoring Stream Dynamics



Focus on best meeting human needs

Focus on Best Meeting Human Needs


-Social circle addressed

-Economic circle possibly addressed

-Protect infrastructure, human investments


-Fails to address environmental circle

-Natural processes not enhanced

-Potentially cost more in the long run?

Focus on best meeting human needs1


Focus on Best Meeting Human Needs



Focus on instream habitat restoration

Focus on Instream Habitat Restoration


-Provides foundation for natural processes to begin occurring around

-Can be designed to meet human needs, both social and economic


-More costly to undertake

-May not include all necessary factors for processes to begin

-Eg. Allochthonous inputs, water temperature and quality

The effects of river alteration and restoration on instream biota and human needs


Focus on Instream Habitat Restoration



Focus on restoring instream biota

Focus on Restoring Instream Biota


-Would ensure overall ecological integrity

-Stressors would be removed from system

-Can be designed to meet human needs, both social and economical


-More costly to undertake

-Have to have understanding of stream processes

-May sacrifice some natural conditions to meet human needs

Focus on restoring instream biota1


Focus on Restoring Instream Biota



Recommended focus

Recommended Focus...

Focus on restoration of instream biota

-Ensures ecological integrity

-Can be easily adapted to meet human needs

-Can be assessed quantitatively

-Balances all three circles

Assessing instream biota

Assessing Instream Biota

Why biological monitoring

Why Biological Monitoring?

In-stream biota reflects...

-Ecological integrity

-Synergistic impacts

-Dynamic changes over time

-Non-point source stressors



We would like to thank Dr. William Bowden for his inspiring wisdom and beautiful mustache. Also, we would like to show our gratitude to Philip Halteman, who motivated us with his kind words and chic corduroys. We thank Todd Menees for the interview that helped to further our knowledge on stream restoration around the state of Vermont.

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