• catchment management;
  • databases;
  • monitoring;
  • restoration;
  • riparian revegetation;
  • stream improvement;
  • Victoria Australia


Stream restoration has become a multibillion dollar industry worldwide, yet there are few clear success stories and the scientific basis for effective stream restoration remains uncertain. We compiled data on completed river restoration projects from four management authorities in Victoria, Australia, to examine how the available data could inform the science of restoration ecology in rivers, and thus improve future restoration efforts. We found that existing data sources are limited and much historical information has been lost through industry restructuring and poor data archiving. Examining records for 2,247 restoration projects, we found that riparian management projects were the most common, followed by bank stabilization and in-stream habitat improvement. Only 14% of the project records indicated that some form of monitoring was carried out. It is evident that overall there is little scientific guidance and little or no monitoring and evaluation of the projects for which we had information. However, recent advances with mandatory, statewide reporting and an increased emphasis on project design and monitoring strongly suggest that the design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of stream restoration projects have improved in recent years and will continue to do so.