Ranking System for Prioritizing the Implementation of Restoration Projects across Three Streams in Central Minnesota

Ranking System for Prioritizing the Implementation of Restoration Projects across Three Streams in Central Minnesota

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Last Updated: 29-10-2018 18:05

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Maxwell,Joshua, Weiss,Jeff, Sobiech,Scott, Braun,Shanna, Blese,Clair, and Jordan, Michelle. October 2018. Ranking System for Prioritizing the Implementation of Restoration Projects across Three Streams in Central Minnesota. Watershed Science Bulletin. Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD. 16 pages.

Stream, restoration, Minnesota, creek, CRAS

Prioritizing creek restoration projects can be challenging, especially when reaches span multiple and/or interacting waterbodies. The Creek Restoration Action Strategy (CRAS) is a tool for identifying stream sections in greatest need of restoration, beginning with consistent assessment of creek conditions. In developing the CRAS, eight prioritization categories were identified and grouped into two tiers: Tier I—infrastructure risk, channel stability, ecological benefits, and water quality; and Tier II—public education, project cost, partnerships, and watershed benefits. Tier I assessment utilizes primarily field data and is applied to all subreaches. Priority reaches identified by Tier I assessment then undergo Tier II ranking to inform final project selection. Overall, 87 subreaches were assessed using the tool, with 15 subreaches (17%) considered low, 38 (44%) moderate, 24 (28%) poor, and 10 (11%) in severe restoration need (immediate restoration would greatly benefit the site and the watershed downstream). This tool is being implemented across the three creeks within the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, focusing the District’s efforts on high-benefit projects in a cost-effective manner.

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