Paper No. JAWRA-13-0150-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).
Characterizing a Major Urban Stream Restoration Project: Nine Mile Run (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)†
Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014
© 2014 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 50, Issue 6, pages 1608–1621, December 2014
How to Cite
2014. Characterizing a Major Urban Stream Restoration Project: Nine Mile Run (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA). Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 50(6):1608-1621. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12225, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and ,
Discussions are open until six months from print publication.
- Issue published online: 1 DEC 2014
- Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 APR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 21 JUN 2013
- University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
- US Steel
- Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Institute
- urban areas;
Urban stream restoration continues to be used as an ecological management tool, despite uncertainty about the long-term sustainability and resilience of restored systems. Evaluations of restoration success often focus on specific instream indicators, with limited attention to the wider basin or parallel hydrologic and geomorphic process. A comprehensive understanding of urban stream restoration progress is particularly important for comparisons with nonurban sites as urban streams can provide substantial secondary benefits to urban residents. Here, we utilize a wide range of indicators to retrospectively examine the restoration of Nine Mile Run, a multi-million dollar stream restoration project in eastern Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA). Examination of available continuous hydrological data illustrates the high cost of failures to incorporate the data into planning and adaptive management. For example, persistent extreme flows drive geomorphic degradation threatening to reverse hydrologic connections created by the restoration and impact the improved instream biotic communities. In addition, human activities associated with restoration efforts suggest a positive feedback as the stream restoration has focused effort on the basin beyond the reach. Ultimately, urban stream restoration remains a potentially useful management tool, but continued improvements in post-project assessment should include examination of a wider range of indicators.