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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • restoration
  • benefits
  • monetization
  • stream
  • value
  • services

Index Terms

  • 0481 Biogeosciences: Restoration
  • 0439 Biogeosciences: Ecosystems, structure and dynamics
  • 1813 Hydrology: Eco-hydrology
  • 1825 Hydrology: Geomorphology: fluvial



Stream Restoration Benefits

J. Craig Fischenich

ERDC Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA

More than 1 billion dollars is spent annually restoring degraded streams and rivers in the United States alone because of the perceived value that healthy streams and rivers provide. Despite this immense investment, quantifying the benefits from these projects is often neglected. Without this step, it is difficult to compare restoration alternatives, prioritize projects, and determine the real returns on investment. While there are many factors that make quantification difficult, a more rigid adherence to and acceptance of the benefits assessments process will improve the ability of practitioners and sponsors to assess the value of their investment. Further, current practice can be improved with the explicit use of conceptual models, establishment of clear objectives and associated metrics, better predictive tools, quantification of uncertainty, more structured decision methods, and adaptive management. This chapter provides both a theoretical foundation and a practical framework for the vital process of assessing the benefits of stream restoration projects.

Citation: Fischenich, J. C. (2011), Stream restoration benefits, in Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems: Scientific Approaches, Analyses, and Tools, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 194, edited by A. Simon, S. J. Bennett and J. M. Castro, pp. 45–67, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM001010.


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