2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM

River Restoration in the UK and Europe: Integrating Science and Management to Deliver River Restoration

SEAR, David, Centre for Salmonid Research, School of Geography, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southhampton, United Kingdom, d.sear@soton.ac.uk

The restoration of degraded riverine habitats in the UK and Europe has primarily been undertaken for ecological benefits, often delivered locally through conservation organizations. The funding and scale of these efforts have often hampered the use of more rigorous scientific approaches that might have forecast some of the less successful projects. Drawing on some examples, this paper will demonstrate how in river catchments with long histories of channel modification, different strategies are required to deliver the ecological goals demanded by recent pan-European legislation. Key to achieving restoration is the setting of appropriately defined objectives and targets, the framing of projects within appropriate timescales, and the ability to work at spatial scales necessary to deliver longer term process restoration. I will argue within this for the increased use for palaeoecological and palaeohydrological methods to understand the longer term evolution trajectory of riverine ecosystems and the use of modeling strategies to help understand the uncertainty of restoring complex natural systems under environmental change.