Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices

Chapter 8: Monitoring and Adaptive Management

J. L. Kershner

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569049.ch8

By now the reader should be convinced that restoring degraded watersheds is important. Millions of dollars have been spent to reclaim our aquatic and riparian resources and millions more probably will be. Intuitively, we know that restoration can improve these resources, but clearly restoration dollars must be spent wisely.

Monitoring is the measure of success of any restoration. Well-designed monitoring should (1) indicate whether the restoration measures were designed and implemented properly, (2) determine whether the restoration met the objectives, and (3) give us new insights into ecosystem structure and function. Monitoring should help us reexamine our understanding of aquatic and riparian ecosystems and provide information needed to adapt the goals for restoring those systems. Significantly, as much or more is learned about systems by monitoring and reporting failure as is learned by reporting success.