Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book presents the author’s thirty years of practical experience managing long-term stream and river restoration projects in heavily degraded urban environments. Riley provides a level of detail only a hands-on design practitioner would know, including insights on project design, institutional and social context of successful projects, and how to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Early chapters clarify terminology and review strategies and techniques from historical schools of restoration thinking. But the heart of the book comprises the chapters containing nine case studies of long-term stream restoration projects in northern California. Although the stories are local, the principles, methods, and tools are universal, and can be applied in almost any city in the world.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Is The Restoration of Urban Streams Possible?

Abstract
“It’s just an urban stream,” said the engineering consultant, responding to my request to vegetate the channel rather than line it with plastic geogrid. We are taught that restoring ecologically functioning urban streams and rivers is not possible, based on the belief that urban watersheds are too degraded and their landscapes too altered to support naturally functioning systems. Restoring urban streams and rivers is also not possible, we are told, because it is prohibitively expensive to practice ecological restoration in a setting where land is expensive and other land uses are valued more highly than streams. Restoration is not possible, the argument continues, because the public will not accept the flood and erosion hazards associated with uncontrolled dynamic natural streams in the interiors of cities.
Ann L. Riley

Chapter 2. Defining Restoration

Abstract
The grand old Claremont Hotel in Oakland, California, provided an appropriately engaging setting for an enthusiastic group discussion that would have some historic consequences. The participants were debating how to define and advance a newly evolving concept of environmental restoration. Government employees, scientists, academics, and nonprofit-sector representatives gathered in 1987 in a lounge of this architectural landmark to share their enthusiasm over a new concept for restoring the ecological systems that we had been destroying for the last hundred years or more. We were there, in part, to debate a definition of ecological restoration and to help provide a guiding principle for the newly forming Society of Ecological Restoration (SER). Our group reviewed the history of environmental resources management in the United States. In the process, we noted the evolution of terms reflecting a human-centric view of “natural resources” that involved “conserving” resources for efficient use and “preserving” wild areas for the benefit of protecting some of the nation’s most spectacular scenery. Our discussion was framed by a conscious effort to avoid the terms conservation and preservation and their historical connotations in our effort to find the best terms to describe this new movement.
Ann L. Riley

Chapter 3. Neighborhood-Scale Restoration Projects

Abstract
Many urban stream restoration projects tend to be opportunistic, reach-scale projects constructed to enhance a neighborhood or business district as opposed to projects contained in plans that set priorities for ecosystem restoration. This chapter is a selection of reach-scale projects fitting this description. They range from small-scale projects located in parks and a school ground to a large-scale housing development and city business districts. The selected projects describe a historic continuum from the early 1980s, when the concept of restoration was being discovered and defined, to the 2010s, when restoration practices and planning evolved to much greater sophistication. Each case provides a lesson in historic context, community organizing and planning, restoration design, and long-term project maintenance. Together, the cases produce common themes on how they came to be implemented and important discoveries on project designs for long-term restoration planting success. In all cases, the projects inspired more projects that followed them and therefore influenced changes in the watershed that went beyond a project’s limited boundaries.
Ann L. Riley

Chapter 4. What Neighborhood Projects Teach

Abstract
What have we learned from these cases? Highly impacted urban environments can support dynamic, functioning stream systems that can support fish and wildlife habitat. Most degraded stream systems require an active restoration approach to return stream processes to re-create channels, floodplains, and riparian resources. The exciting relatively new field of historic ecology has increased our awareness of the ecosystems that used to exist and the functions they performed. Typically, we cannot re-create these ecosystems in developed urban areas, but we can create new environments that can emulate some of the past ecological processes and functions. Central to re-creating some of the functionality is advocating for adequate floodplain area so that the streams have room to adjust and re-form. Some of these re-created environments—such as meandering, single-thread channels through restricted floodplain corridors—can illicit derision from academia, which has the tendency to focus on the limitations of the urban landscape and the desirability of returning the historic landscape. From the perspective of needing to create alternatives to single-purpose flood and erosion control projects, however, the urban streams restoration movement has introduced viable environmental alternatives.
Ann L. Riley

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen