Evaluating Stream Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through Practitioner Interviews

Authors

  • Brooke A. Hassett,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.
    2. Present address: Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
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  • Margaret A. Palmer,

    1. Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.
    2. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, MD 20688, U.S.A.
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  • Emily S. Bernhardt

    1. Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.
    2. Present address: Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
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Address correspondence to Brooke Hassett, email bhassett@duke.edu

Abstract

River restoration is an integral part of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. As part of the National River Restoration Science Synthesis (NRRSS), we conducted 47 independent interviews with stream restoration project managers randomly selected from a database of 4,700 projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Here we present results from those interviews and characterize patterns in project goals, design, and expenditures, trends in project evaluation, and characterize project success as reported by interviewees. Interviewed practitioners reported that the majority of their projects were designed by private consultants. One-third of projects were part of a watershed management plan and 70% were linked to other projects within the same watershed. Most interviewees considered their projects to be successful, and 76% of projects had conducted some form of project-associated monitoring. Although most interviewees based their evaluation of success on observations or monitoring data, respondents indicated that very few projects had explicitly stated quantifiable project objectives within their design plans. Many interviewed practitioners specifically commented at the end of the surveys on the important role of stakeholder involvement and the need for initiatives to fund project monitoring.

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