River Restoration

Advancing the scientific basis for river restoration projects


In this opinion paper, the authors adress key points in building a research agenda to advance the scientific basis for river restoration. The authors state that in order to to achieve restoration objectives, the science of river restoration must include:

  •  an explicit recognition of the known complexities and uncertainties
  • continued development of a theoretical framework that enables us to identify generalities among river systems and to ask relevant questions
  • enhancing the science and use of restoration monitoring by measuring the most effective set of variables at the correct scales of measurement
  • linking science and implementation
  • developing methods of restoration that are effective within existing constraints.

"Key limitations to river restoration include a lack of scientific knowledge of watershed-scale process dynamics, institutional structures that are poorly suited to large-scale adaptive management, and a lack of political support to reestablish delivery of the ecosystem amenities lost through river degradation. This paper outlines an approach for addressing these shortcomings."

The article is available free of charge from the Wiley Online Library.
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