Wednesday, August 4, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
303-304, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Bryan E. Dolney
Anne L. Frances
Anne L. Frances
The rise of ecological restoration has been, at least in part, motivated by the practical need to restore wetlands to functional systems that provide ecosystem services. Regulations to protect water resources resulted in many small-scale wetland restoration projects, initiating much of the practice of ecological restoration and science of restoration ecology. While many wetland and riparian restoration projects continue to be implemented on a local basis, these efforts are increasingly incorporated into watershed management frameworks. Restoring wetlands and riparian areas at the watershed level often involves habitats ranging from protected wilderness to developed urban areas. In addition, watersheds include a multitude of habitat types with different management and disturbance histories. Active stakeholder involvement is an important component of implementing restoration goals at the watershed level. These challenges require a flexible and varied approach to restoration within a watershed, while integrating the efforts of different municipalities and management agencies.
This organized oral session will explore how restoration within a watershed framework links together diverse stakeholders and habitats, thus requiring a multidisciplinary approach to be most effective. The application of ecological restoration will further be explored by bringing together speakers who address restoration as it relates to the urban/rural gradient, active stakeholder involvement, education and outreach, water quality, and climate change. While the session includes many perspectives on watershed restoration efforts, the unifying themes are a multidisciplinary or multi-stakeholder approach and a focus on the mid-Atlantic region. At least one case study will highlight a restoration project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and linked to a field trip for a site visit. As urbanization increases, and the number of wetland and riparian restoration projects continue to increase, it is important to explore lessons learned through restoration within a watershed context.
The session will be open with a presentation on the history of ecological restoration. The second talk will explore urban environments and novel ecosystems in restored wetland communities,
including how restoration can inform ecological theory (e.g., assembly rules, neutral theory). Followed by a presentation concerning the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, which has been a tremendously successful research project that underscores the watershed approach necessary for successful restoration.
The session will feature four unique case studies highlighting particular restoration challenges including urban environments, trout stream/brownfield restoration, water quality and channel construction, and damn removal. The session will conclude with a presentation on stream restoration, focusing on novel approaches that have been successful.