The Restoration Webinar Series

This webinar series is brought to you by a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  After watching a recording, please take a moment to fill out this brief survey so we can continue to make improvements to the webinar series. 

View our upcoming Restoration webinars!

The Restoration Webinar Descriptions

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Click here to download video!A discussion of multiple techniques used in Alabama for living shoreline and oyster reef breakwaters (01:01:19)

Presented by Judy Haner, TNC. August 28, 2014.

Mobile Bay, Alabama, the fourth largest estuary in the US, plays an important role in nurturing the finfish, shrimp, crabs and oysters that are vital to Gulf of Mexico communities. It has experienced significant loss of critical coastal habitats that shelter these species through dredge-and-fill activities, seawalls, erosion, storm events, and other causes. With funding received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation and many other organizations, TNC and our partners have put to the test six different techniques for oyster reef restoration in coastal Alabama. Traditional shoreline armoring techniques, such as bulkheads and seawalls, reflect wave energy, causing sediment to remain in suspension and adding to the destruction of shallow-water fisheries habitat. Low-crested, submerged breakwaters offer an alternative to armoring that helps to slow erosion, create habitat for fish, crabs, oysters and other animals, and protect marsh habitat that proves vital for coastal resiliency in the face of flooding, storms, and sea-level rise. This presentation will focus on a discussion of the individual techniques, their application in restoration, methods for deployment, and the monitoring techniques that are being used to track performance.

Click here to download video!Achievable Restoration Targets for Urban Wetlands (00:45:47)

Presented by Dr. Joy Zedler, Aldo Leopold Professor of Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Arboretum. October 22, 2015.

Many of the earth’s most altered ecosystems are urban wetlands, owing to their positions low in their watersheds. The most highly altered urban wetlands occur downstream from large developed areas with extensive hardscaping (impervious streets, roofs, driveways, and sidewalks). Compared to historical conditions, watersheds with substantial hardscaping discharge water in larger pulses of greater velocity than historically, and the water carries more contaminants. Moreover, since hydrological conditions are critical to the type and composition of wetlands, all downstream ecosystem components will be altered, creating novel hydroperiods and geomorphology, novel soils, and assemblages of plants and animals that are without analogs in natural ecosystems. Such is the case for the Ballona Wetlands (Fig. 1), whose hydrological conditions are highly modified and whose biota include native and nonnative species in new combinations. Can restorationists turn back the clock? Not entirely (Seastedt et al. 2008). It is unrealistic to imagine that restoration activities could eliminate—or even compensate for—the many environmental stressors in urban wetlands or that restorationists could replace the full complement of species that once inhabited such ecosystems. At the other extreme, it seems unwise to allow environmental impacts to continue to degrade highly valued places such as the Ballona Wetland. Rather than pursing futile efforts to turn back the clock, restorationists could choose to acknowledge the many irreversible attributes of humanized watersheds and adapt restoration targets to landscape change. Here, I consider landscape change to encompass a broad spectrum of human effects—some direct, such as hardscaping, and some indirect, such as climate change.

Click here to download video!Adaptive Management in Action: The South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (01:08:00)

Presented by Laura Valoppi, U.S. Geological Survey. November 12, 2015.

The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (www.southbayrestoration.org) is the largest wetlands restoration project on the West coast of the United States. It is unique not only for its size-- over 15,000 acres—but for its location adjacent to one of the nation’s largest urban areas, home to over 3 million people. The Project is intended to restore and enhance wetlands in South San Francisco Bay while providing for flood management and wildlife-oriented public access and recreation.

We have identified long-term alternatives for the Project, each representing a continuum toward different endstates: one end-state at 50% of the existing ponds converted to managed ponds for waterbirds and 50% restored to salt marsh habitat, and the other end of the continuum at 10% of the existing ponds converted to managed ponds and 90% restored to marsh habitat. The final ratio of managed ponds to salt marsh habitat will depend on the outcome of the Adaptive Management Plan, which will be implemented over the next 50 years. The Plan will allow for lessons learned from earlier phases and applied studies to be incorporated into subsequent stages as management objectives and designs of future actions are revised and implemented. The Project has completed most of the Phase 1 studies, and much has been learned about key uncertainties.

This webinar will describe the establishment of the Adaptive Management Plan and process, provide a South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project overview, and will summarize the results of the studies done to date and the lessons learned, and how managers adapted and changed the restoration designs or management actions to improve wildlife use within the Project. Several examples will be shared including management of nesting bird habitat, shallow mound habitat for foraging birds, sediment dynamics, fisheries use of habitats, and mercury bioaccumulation.

Click here to download video!An Adaptive Approach to Managing Prairies on Conservation Lands in Minnesota's Prairie Pothole Regio (00:54:21)

Presented by Sara Vacek, Wildlife Biologist, Morris Wetland Management District, Minnesota. May 19, 2016.

Much of the native prairie managed by conservation organizations in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus intermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Restoration management efforts intended to suppress these invasive grasses and increase native plants are not well documented and often vary in effectiveness. With continued degradation of prairies, land managers
identified the need for a better approach to understand the effects of prairie management. The Grassland Monitoring Team (GMT) is a partnership among the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Grassland Monitoring Team is a collaborative, broad-scale effort, intended to provide reliable, robust information on the efficacy of prairie management using prescribed fire and grazing. This group
is working to understand the effects of grassland management tools and frequency of management on prairie composition, particularly how to reduce invasive species without harming the native floristic component.

Sara Vacek is a wildlife biologist at Morris Wetland Management District in western Minnesota. A field station in the National Wildlife Refuge System, Morris WMD is responsible for managing over 50,000 acres of grassland and wetland wildlife habitat. Sara coordinates the biology program at the district, including inventory and monitoring, research, and planning. She attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and South Dakota State University in Brookings.

Click here to download video!Are We There Yet? The Green Seattle Partnership Turns 10 (00:57:19)

Presented by Michael Yadrick and Oliver Bazinet, Seattle Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Unit. April 9, 2015.

The Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) is a unique public-private venture dedicated to restoring 2,500 acres of forested parklands by 2025. With over 500,000 volunteer hours, work ongoing at 80 different parks, and several thousand volunteer events annually, the partnership has seen much success. Now almost 10 years into the 20 year program, we are asking ourselves, “Are we there yet?” This talk will focus on how we have tracked restoration, developed thresholds for success, and will identify some of the trends influencing future restoration efforts in the largest urban forest restoration effort in the nation.

To track restoration progress, GSP uses a combination of data collection methods. Baseline data collection in 2000 was used to develop “Tree-iage,” a restoration prioritization system that categorizes sites by invasive plant cover and existing tree cover. Work is reported by volunteers, contractors, and parks staff using a data portal, called CEDAR. Rapid inventory and mapping of restoration sites is carried out annually, and to provide more details about change over time, a plot-based monitoring program also exists. In the last several years, target ecosystems have been identified for all sites to guide restoration efforts and provide thresholds in which to measure success. As we make decisions about work planning and restoration best practices, the thresholds are starting to guide our approach, especially in understanding when we have reached the phase of long term maintenance. Data suggests a continued issue with invasive woody species in restored sites, as well as needs for higher plant diversity, and increased conifer cover. In addition, many questions exist about the applicability of these target systems in an urban environment given the fragmented condition of much of Seattle’s parklands as well as the influence of climate change.

Click here to download video!Community Based Oyster Restoration, Monitoring & Educational Outreach (00:56:44)

Presented by Jody Palmer and Sammy Anderson, Brevard Zoo, FL. May 21, 2015.

The Brevard Oyster Restoration Program includes the oyster mat and oyster gardening project. Both projects focus on utilizing the filter feeding of native oysters to improve the water quality and overall health of the Indian River Lagoon. The oyster mat project led by Brevard Zoo and the University of Central Florida along with the efforts of over 36,000 volunteers, has successfully restored 69 reefs to date in Mosquito Lagoon using scientifically designed oyster mats, returning 4.2 million oysters to the habitat. Inspired by this project, the oyster gardening project recruits Brevard County residents act as citizen scientists installing oyster habitats on their personal docks and weekly monitoring their progress. Data collected will provide information regarding the survivability and recruitment of oysters in Brevard County for future large scale oyster reef restoration in the Indian River Lagoon.

Click here to download video!Comparision of Projects Utilizing Coconut Fiber Materials for Stabilization (00:49:11)

Presented by Andrea Noel , GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve-Florida and Will Underwood, Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve-Mississippi. October 15, 2015.

This webinar will compare two shoreline stabilization projects that utilized coconut fiber materials. The presenters will compare and contrast: locations, techniques, materials, and outcomes of the two projects.

Click here to download video!Conditions of New York City's urban forests and tidal marshes (00:50:15)

This month will feature two presentations on the condition of New York City's urban forests and tidal marshes. Clara Pregitzer, Natural Areas Conservancy, and Christopher Haight, NYC Dept. of Parks & Rec. June 9, 2016.

The Ecological Complexity of Human Altered Landscapes. Using Data to Build a Framework for Forest Management in New York City. Clara Pregitzer. New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, including our incredible ecological diversity. Of the 30,000 acres of city parkland, one third are natural areas comprised of forest, grasslands, salt-marshes and freshwater wetlands. Formed in 2012, the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is a non-profit organization working in partnership with NYC Parks to conserve, steward, and restore the 10,000 acres of natural areas that bring numerous benefits to local communities.

As a flagship project the NAC has recently completed the first ever comprehensive study of NYC’s natural areas, including an extensive study of our urban forests. To study NYC’s forests the NAC designed a method to evaluate the condition of NYC’s forest using key ecological attributes and indicators of healthy urban forests. Data was collected across forest, grassland and scrubland encompassing over 7,000 acres of city parkland within 53 NYC parks. Our 25 field staff worked across all five boroughs and studied the most remote places in NYC establishing forest plots to measure metrics such as the ecological diversity including tree species and size, forest canopy health, soil condition, forest regeneration and herbaceous species cover, invasive vines, human alterations and vandalism and more. We currently know more now than we ever have about the diversity, distribution and condition of our forests in New York City. During this webinar we will share our approach, key findings and discuss future directions including a long term regional framework that categorizes all of NYC Park’s forest based on health (including native tree canopy) and threat (i.e. including invasive vines).

NYC Tidal Marsh Assessment: Condition, Vulnerability and Opportunities for Restoration and Migration. Christopher Haight. Today, New York City (NYC) has approximately 4,000 acres of tidal marshlands. This represents a loss of over 80% of the historic tidal marsh coverage in NYC. These remaining marshlands are vulnerable to further loss during this century due to sea level rise (SLR) and other factors. In order to improve the long term viability of these marshes, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation's (NYCDPR) Natural Resources Group (NRG) is conducting an EPA funded project in partnership with the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that evaluates the current condition and vulnerability of NYC wetlands to sea level rise and urbanization and prioritizes marshes and their adjacent uplands for restoration. Through field and desktop analyses NRG, NAC, and TNC are in the process of determining current marsh condition, vulnerability to SLR and opportunities for protection, restoration and potential inland migration for salt marsh complexes across NYC.

The collected field data and desktop analyses were used to develop condition and vulnerability indices for the 25 marshes. Opportunities for restoration at these sites are being explored by identifying strategies to optimize adjacent inland migration acres in future years and optimizing long term viability of the existing salt marsh footprint. These strategies include identifying adjacent migration parcels for acquisition by NYC Parks, identifying barriers to inland migration, prioritizing sites in need of increased elevation, and prioritizing sites for building out to the lost 1974 waterward extent. This study and our findings are informing the NYC Mayor's Office Special Initiative on Recovery and Resilience as well as other state and federal coastal resiliency programs. Presented by: Clara Pregitzer and Christopher Haight Clara Pregitzer is an Ecologist with the Natural Areas Conservancy and PhD student at Yale University. Christopher Haight works for the NYC Dept. of Parks & Rec and is a Project Manager for Wetland and Riparian Restoration.

Click here to download video!Dune Restoration at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (00:58:01)

Presented by Andrea Pickart, Ecologist, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, USFWS. November 14, 2013.

The Lanphere Dunes (now part of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge) was the site of the first coastal dune restoration project on the west coast. Carried out from 1992-1998, this effort has been joined by additional restoration on neighboring lands, resulting in a total of 12 km of restored shoreline, with more projects planned and funded. The two restoration projects carried out on HBNWR were well documented and included long term monitoring, providing a quantitative record of restoration success that will be presented in this webinar. Restoration has focused on the removal of invasive plants that reduce biodiversity and/or alter ecosystem processes, primarily European beachgrass, yellow bush lupine, iceplant, and invasive annual grasses. On the refuge, mechanical (including manual digging) methods have been employed due to the juxtaposition of degraded with intact habitat supporting endangered plants. Revegetation is limited to planting of the native dune grass, with other species re-establishing through natural dispersal. Monitoring has shown that vegetation is now similar in cover and species composition to nearby uninvaded dunes. A graduate research project has also documented the recovery of invertebrate species as a measure of restoration success. Refuge and other FWS staff recently implemented an abiotic monitoring program to evaluate sediment budget and sand movement in restored vs. unrestored dunes. This project will provide a basis for modeling dune response to projected sea level rise.

Click here to download video!Enhancing the resilience of riparian/wetland ecosystems in light of climate change (00:59:57)

Presented by Andrew Breibart, BLM and Betsy Neely, TNC. December 3, 2015.

The Gunnison Climate Working Group works to design and implement an on-the-ground climate adaptation
project to retain water and enhance the resilience of riparian/wetland in light of climate change. The GCWG
comprises public agencies, academic institutions, and private organizations working to: 1) increase
understanding of threats posed by climate change in the Gunnison Basin; 2) prioritize strategies and
techniques for helping people and nature cope with climate change; and 3) promote collaboration and effective
implementation of strategies.
The GCWG includes BLM; CNHP; CPW; Gunnison County; Gunnison County Stock Growers; LFVC; NCAR,
NPS; TNC; NRCS; TU; UGRWCD; USFS; USFWS; WSCU; WWA; and RMBL. In 2012 and 2013, we focused
on increasing the resilience of wet meadow/riparian systems to help them cope with projected impacts of
increased intensity and frequency of droughts and flooding associated with climate change. So far, GCWG has
restored 10.2 stream miles on USFS and BLM lands and on 3 private properties. Within these areas, 15.3
acres of wetland/meadow acres were restored. We have used techniques developed by Bill Zeedyk in "Let the
Water Do the Work" by installing drift fences and rock structures. Goals achieved included the following:
• Dispersed flows more widely across floodplain surfaces to maximize infiltration and increase bank storage
during flood events;
• Stabilized eroded wet meadow soils to control head cutting and reduce gully expansion thereby retaining
bank storage and extending base flows.
• Expanded the size, extent and distribution of riparian/wetland sites in response to objectives #1 and #2.
• Increased health, vigor and density of riparian/wetland vegetation, such as native sedges, rushes, wet-loving
grasses and forbs.
• In addition, we have used several communication methods, including video, fact sheets, website,
presentations at conferences and meetings, field trips, media and press releases, trainings and report to
disseminate information and to educate

Click here to download video!Eradication of Black Rats for Anacapa Island: Biological and Social Considerations (01:00:16)

Presented by Annie Little, USFWS. September 17, 2014.

Although islands represent only 5% of the earth’s land mass, they are home of 40% of the world’s endangered species. The removal of invasive species from islands is a powerful tool for conserving and protecting unique island species. Island eradication projects often face formidable biological, logistical, and social challenges. This presentation will highlight the eradication of black rats (Rattus rattus) from Anacapa Island, California, in 2001–2002.This project was the first invasive rodent eradication from an entire island where an endemic rodent was present and the first aerial application of a rodenticide in North America. We will discuss the planning considerations and mitigation strategies that were incorporated to reduce impacts to non-target species. Now, 12 years after the successful implementation of the project, pre and post-project monitoring data show significant positive benefits of the rat removal. In particular, a rare seabird named the Scripps’s murrelet (Synthiboramphus scrippsi) has shown a remarkable positive response.

Click here to download video!Erie Marsh Preserve Coastal Wetland Restoration and Enhancement (00:50:18)

Presented by: Christopher A. May, Restoration Director of Michigan, The Nature Conservancy. October 17, 2013.

Erie Marsh Preserve in western Lake Erie includes 945 acres of Great Lakes coastal marsh within a system of dikes constructed during the 1950s. This project will ultimately restore and enhance the 945 acres of coastal wetlands in 10 units through the construction or improvement of dikes, distribution canals, water control structures, and the installation of a new water supply system and fish passage structure. The fish passage structure will restore a hydrologic and physical connection between Lake Erie and the managed dike portion of Erie Marsh Preserve. The diked wetlands are also critically important for spring, fall, and winter staging, feeding, and resting of waterfowl and other wildlife, as well as home to unique plants. The improved infrastructure will provide capacity for long-term, adaptive management of a high-quality coastal wetland complex and control of invasive Phragmites. Pre- and post-restoration monitoring includes water quality, fish, birds, herpetofauna, and vegetation. Project partners include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Erie Shooting and Fishing Club.

Click here to download video!Evaluating Restoration Effects on Age-0 Salmon Habitat in a Large Regulated River System in Northern California (00:47:27)

Presented by Damo Goodman, USFWS. February 18, 2015.

To combat decades of anthropogenic degradation, restoration programs seek to improve ecological conditions through habitat enhancement. Rapid assessments of condition are needed to support adaptive management programs and improve the understanding of restoration effects at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Previous attempts to evaluate restoration practices on large river systems have been hampered by assessment tools that are irreproducible or metrics without clear connections to population responses. We modified a demonstration flow assessment approach to assess the realized changes in habitat quantity and quality attributable to restoration effects. We evaluated the technique’s ability to predict anadromous salmonid habitat and survey reproducibility on the Trinity River in northern California. Fish preference clearly aligned with a priori designations of habitat quality: the odds of observing rearing Chinook Salmon or Coho Salmon within high quality habitats ranged between 10 and 16 times greater than low qualities, and in all cases the highest counts were associated with highest quality habitat. In addition, the technique proved to be reproducible with “substantial” to “almost perfect” agreement of results from independent crews; a considerable improvement over a previous demonstration flow assessment. The technique is now being implemented to assess changes in habitat from restoration efforts at several scales and inform adaptive management decisions.

Click here to download video!Expanding living shorelines within the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) to protect habitat and to reduce climate change vulnerability through the application of collaborative science-based habitat restoration (00:56:08)

Presented by Dr. Peter Kingsley-Smith, South Carolina DNR. March 12, 2014.

In the summer of 2012 the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was successful in acquiring a substantial 2-year Federal grant from the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Science Collaborative funding opportunity. The overall goal of this project is to address the local management problem shoreline loss through erosional processes that are likely to be exacerbated under scenarios of future global climate change-driven sea level rise. This project is intended to increase the resiliency of critical ecological communities to climate change-driven sea level rise by creating living shorelines in the form of intertidal oyster reefs (Crassostrea virginica) that restore habitat, reduce erosion, improve water quality, and creating ever-growing, sustainable breakwaters to protect shorelines in an era of sea level rise. Abundant wild populations of oysters in South Carolina produce very high rates of recruitment, such that the provision of suitable substrate at intertidal elevations can rapidly lead to the establishment of new oyster reef habitat. Researchers at the SCDNR have a wealth of experience utilizing a variety of both natural and artificial substrates (e.g., shell bags, oyster castles, crab traps, loose shell) and techniques for conducting habitat restoration and enhancement that they have been able to bring to this project through their role as the applied science team. This presentation will highlight stakeholder involvement, site selection processes, reef building achievements and challenges in year 1 and an outline of planned events for the months to come prior to the conclusion of this project in the summer of 2014.

Click here to download video!Fantasy Football for Community Restoration: Using Plant Traits to Restore a Hawaiian Lowland Wet Forest (00:51:32)

Presented by Laura Warman, Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry. September 24, 2014.

As novel assemblages of native and non-native species become increasingly common globally, many conservation and restoration efforts have concentrated on the removal of exotic (and often invasive) species. However, in some cases, removing non-native species is no longer economically or ecologically feasible. This is the case in Hawai’i, where more than half of the plants on the archipelago are exotic and where novel forests currently dominate the remaining areas of lowland wet forest. Furthermore, while there are many invasive plants species in Hawaii, some exotic species are thought to be providing important ecosystem goods and services (including benefits to native species). How can we keep native species in the lowland forests and maintain ecosystem goods and services, while minimizing the negative effects of invasive species? We suggest an approach similar to fantasy football, where ‘teams’ of species are picked to work together form self-sustaining units which maximize benefits for native biodiversity, carbon sequestration and sustainable forest structure. We based our choices of ‘players’ on functional trait characteristics of both native and non-native species, and on functional diversity indices from existing novel forests with varying degrees of domination by exotic species.

Click here to download video!Forb and Woody Species Restoration in the Texas Hill Country: A Sequential Approach (00:50:05)

Restoration of Texas Hill Country landscapes frequently starts with an attempt to replace dominant invasive grasses with palatable native grasses that have been reduced or eliminated through cattle grazing. Woody and perennial forb species which were degraded by extensive goat browsing from the late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s and are currently unable to recover under existing white-tailed deer population high herbivory pressures. Successful reestablishment of these palatable species is a more difficult and long-range project.

Environmental Survey Consulting has developed a restoration process model for Spicewood Ranch and other projects over the past three decades. This model emphasizes restoration of depleted browse species through a combination of reduction of the deer population while incrementally increasing available restored browse species. We have developed a planting sequence of browse species based on their palatability and, therefore, their ability to survive when introduced over years in synchrony with gradual reduction of browse pressure. We have developed this sequence through numerous experiments and field trials using controlled burns, juniper removal, deer reduction, high fencing, wild seed harvesting, seeding, exotic species control, woody plant germination trials and deer exclosures. An evolving list of 150 forbs and woody species guides our site analyses of deer browse levels, restoration reintroduction attempts and landscape plantings.

Click here to download video!Forest Invasive Adaptive Management on National Wildlife refuges in the Central Hardwood (00:47:45)

Presented by Sean Blomquist and Daniel Wood, USFWS. August 20, 2015.

Approximately 2.4 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) lands are impacted by invasive plants, which are the primary challenge for NWR habitat management in the Central Hardwood Region. In 2011 we developed the components of a decision structure that are being used to adaptively manage 42 forest invasive plant species on six National Wildlife Refuges in southern Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. We used structured decision making to identify and refine the management problem, objectives, and alternative management actions, and to assess consequences and tradeoffs among selected management alternatives. During this process, we developed an objectives hierarchy with clearly stated objectives to help us link our monitoring with those objectives. Our fundamental ecological objectives were to 1) preserve biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health and 2) improve habitat for migratory birds and species listed under the Endangered Species Act. We addressed the problem at two scales, the refuge scale and a management grid scale (1 ha), and formalized a step-by-step process for prioritizing actions at the refuge scale and applying management actions at the grid scale. Both inventory and monitoring has provided a feedback loop to inform future management. Additionally, the grid-scale model has allowed formal learning about the effectiveness of management actions. We demonstrate our approach using inventory data collected in 2013-2014 from Crab Orchard NWR (31.8 km2), and inventory and management action data from Muscatatuck NWR (30.9 km2) during 2011-2014.

Click here to download video!Implementing a Landscape-Level Oak Habitat Restoration Initiative with Local Workforce Partnerships (01:03:56)

Presented by David Ross, Department of Interior, Marko Bey, Lomakatsi Restoration Project and CalLee Davenport, USFWS. January 22, 2014.

In August of 2010, a formal partnership was established between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Lomakatsi Restoration Project, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO), and multiple other state and federal agency partners, and conservation organizations to expand oak habitat restoration on private lands in Douglas and Jackson Counties in Oregon, and in Siskiyou County in California. This webinar will discuss the ongoing partnership to restore oak woodlands and savannas along the California-Oregon border, an umbrella habitat for a suite of neotropical birds and listed T&E plants.

Click here to download video!Incorporating Non-game Habitat Features into Stream Restoration Projects (00:51:06)

Presented by Jeff Hastings, Trout Unlimited. March 24, 2016.

Each year federal, state and county conservation agencies spend millions of dollars to stabilize stream banks and create habitat for trout. However, past stream restoration projects in the upper Midwest have often failed to incorporate habitat for non-game species such as snakes, frogs, turtles, and birds, primarily because of a lack of knowledge about those species’ habitat needs. In the Driftless Area (southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois) conservationists are planning projects that improve water quality and riparian habitat while implementing these projects in a way that benefits multiple non-game species. Trout Unlimited has been working with non-game biologists and stream restoration specialists to determine when and design where habitat for non-game species would be beneficial. Since the development of a habitat guide, county, state, federal and nonprofits have completed over forty projects that have incorporated features for non-game species.

Participants attending this presentation will be introduced to a host of best management practices designed for non-game species, and learn about funding opportunities, the project review process and ongoing monitoring efforts.

Click here to download video!Making Land from Air: Innovative Biomimicry Sand Collection System (00:44:58)

Presented by Gordon Peabody, Founder and Director, Safe Harbor Environmental. July 22, 2015.

Biomimicry is an innovative coastal restoration system. We have models showing this system in use in dune, barrier dune, beach and coastal bank habitats. Using a random matrix of 14-inch cedar shims to collect sand during storm winds, this system mimics the performance of native vegetation. Biomimicry can be useful in eroding areas unsuitable for immediate planting. As sand collects, the shims can be adjusted to control the dimensions of the restoration area. The system is most successful where there is eroding sand in motion. A barrier dune was restored 24 vertical feet, with an approximate cross section of 700 sq ft, during two storm seasons. Biomimicry also controls erosion by stabilizing bare areas and it has been documented collecting sand from wave over wash.

Click here to download video!Marsh Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations (MAPTITE): A Geospatial Tool for Estuary Restoration (00:35:46)

Presented by Lijuan Huang and Christopher Paternostro, NOAA. December 10, 2015.

As understanding has grown of the critical part wetlands play in the health of coastal areas; so has the
awareness of a critical need to both protect remaining wetlands and to begin a focused and coordinated effort
to restore lost wetlands. NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS),
partnering with other NOAA offices, USACE and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, developed Marsh
Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations (MAPTITE) for coastal restoration planning.
MAPTITE is based on the premise that wetland plant communities are organized by their various tolerances to
frequency and duration of tidal inundation, which is mostly elevation dependent. This geospatial tool takes
advantage of this relationship to model specific plant communities given a measured elevation gradient at a
coastal wetland restoration or creation site. It is an ESRI ArcGIS add-in that aids in the selection of vegetation
types for different restoration elevations based on a combination of a digital elevation model (DEM), local tidal
datums, and wetland vegetation information. By delineating planting areas and providing point data that can be
uploaded to GPS receivers, MAPTITE allows users to accurately plant appropriate species during restoration,
promoting growth of native species in order to successfully create or restore ecosystem functions of the
marsh. The tool addresses a need of government, academic and coastal manager communities for coastal
restoration planning.

Click here to download video!National guidelines for metrics used for monitoring oyster restoration projects: A review of the Oyster Habitat Restoration Monitoring and Assessment Handbook (00:45:54)

Presented by Bryan DeAngelis, The Nature Conservancy . June 23, 2014,

The restoration of oyster reef and beds in the US has continued to increase in number and scale of projects in order to restore the services lost along with the oyster habitats. Despite this maturing of oyster restoration there remains a diversity of techniques and metrics chosen to demonstrate the success or failure of an individual project or technique. The diversity of techniques and metrics employed has made it difficult or impossible to regionally compare the success of the different approaches to oyster restoration around the US, or to evaluate larger regional performance or impact from multiple restoration projects. A coalition of restoration practitioners from the west, gulf and east coasts, led by members of the NOAA Restoration Center, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Southern Alabama and Florida Atlantic University has sought to overcome this difficulty by describing baseline monitoring metrics that will allow for basic comparison between projects as well as accommodate different restoration designs and site based constraints, as well developing guidelines for assessing optional restoration goal-based metrics. This presentation will focus on the Universal Metrics (i.e. those prescribed for every project) and discuss the multiple factors that need to be considered when creating universal metrics, and briefly outline the Restoration Goal-based Metrics presented in the manual. The presentation will also briefly discuss the next steps required by the restoration community to fully integrate adaptive management, and potential opportunities for accomplishing that.

Click here to download video!Navigating State Regulatory Arenas: Differing Approaches for Permitting River Restoration (00:46:13)

Presented by Serena McClain, Director of American Rivers. December 18, 2013.

Over the past 100 years or so, more than 1,100 dams have been removed from rivers across the U.S. The story of these dams varies from failure of dilapidated, abandoned dams that were later cleared out of rivers to tiny three-foot weirs to a 1,200-foot long earthen behemoth. While some of these were removed before modern environmental laws even existed, the majority of these structures have been removed in the last fourteen years. Methods of removal vary almost as much as the size and type of dam removed, ranging from dams that were removed by hand in ecologically sensitive areas to dynamite to full-scale water diversions. This discussion will look at the reasons for this variability, focusing on the affect the regulatory environment can have on project implementation. To do this, we will examine state and federal regulatory environments and the common challenges faced when trying to get a restoration project permitted (while examples will focus on dam removal, both issues and advice apply to a broader category of river restoration). We will also examine what works and the states where regulatory agencies have developed tools and/or practices that foster successful restoration projects. The discussion will end with the top five tips for improving your state’s regulatory process.

Click here to download video!Of Rails and Rice: A Successful Restoration Model of Wild Rice (Zizania Aquatia) (00:50:03)

Presented by Gregg Kearns, Paxtuent River Park, MD. December 11, 2014.

Well known for a fall spectacle of maturing wild rice (Zizania aquatica) and migrant waterbirds, the tidal freshwater marshes of the Patuxent River, Maryland, USA, experienced a major decline in wild rice during the 1990s. We conducted experiments in 1999 and 2000 with fenced exclosures and discovered herbivory by resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Grazing by geese eliminated rice outside exclosures, whereas protected plants achieved greater size, density, and produced more panicles than rice occurring in natural stands. The observed loss of rice on the Patuxent River reflects both the sensitivity of this annual plant to herbivory and the destructive nature of an overabundance of resident geese on natural marsh vegetation. Recovery of rice followed 2 management actions: hunting removal of approximately 3,700 geese during a 9-year period and reestablishment of rice through a large-scale fencing and planting program.

Click here to download video!Marsh Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations (MAPTITE): A Geospatial Tool for Estuary Restoration (00:45:29)
Presented by Lijuan Huang and Christopher Paternostro, NOAA. December 10, 2015.

As understanding has grown of the critical part wetlands play in the health of coastal areas; so has the
awareness of a critical need to both protect remaining wetlands and to begin a focused and coordinated effort
to restore lost wetlands. NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS),
partnering with other NOAA offices, USACE and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, developed Marsh
Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations (MAPTITE) for coastal restoration planning.
MAPTITE is based on the premise that wetland plant communities are organized by their various tolerances to
frequency and duration of tidal inundation, which is mostly elevation dependent. This geospatial tool takes
advantage of this relationship to model specific plant communities given a measured elevation gradient at a
coastal wetland restoration or creation site. It is an ESRI ArcGIS add-in that aids in the selection of vegetation
types for different restoration elevations based on a combination of a digital elevation model (DEM), local tidal
datums, and wetland vegetation information. By delineating planting areas and providing point data that can be
uploaded to GPS receivers, MAPTITE allows users to accurately plant appropriate species during restoration,
promoting growth of native species in order to successfully create or restore ecosystem functions of the
marsh. The tool addresses a need of government, academic and coastal manager communities for coastal
restoration planning.

Click here to download video!Rehabilitation of the Ottawa River on the University of Toledo Campus: Initial Habitat and Fish Community Responses (00:55:38)

Presented by Johan Gottgens, Professor and Associate Chair in the Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Patrick Lawrence, Professor and Chair in Dept. of Geography and Planning both from Univ. of Toledo. April 21, 2016.

Since 2005 the President’s Commission on the River at the University of Toledo has been engaged in a range of efforts to improve conditions along a 1,500 m section of the Ottawa River on the main campus. The river has a long legacy of environmental impacts from human activities, including industrialization and farming, resulting in significant habitat degradation due to water quality and sediment contamination issues. In recent years, after addressing many of the
pollution sources, work has been underway to improve habitat conditions and functions to the river system. With funding from Ohio EPA and USFWS, a project was undertaken that involved the installation of in-stream habitat structures with the intent to improve aquatic conditions for fish and other biota. A total of eight major structures were added in the campus stretch of the river using a variety of designs employing wood and stone materials. Examples
included lunkers, locked logs, bendway weirs and hydraulic cover stones. Even though urban rivers are often viewed as prime candidates for rehabilitation efforts, very little has been published on the effects of rehabilitation structures on a resident fish community. Using a before/after – control/impact study design, we predicted that rehabilitation would positively impact the fish community and habitat quality. Eight 20 m sites were selected; four control sites and four
impacted sites, where structures were placed after 2013 baseline sampling. Each site was sampled twice during low water in the summers of 2013 and 2014. Fish community metrics, collected with seines and a backpack shocker, included species presence, diversity, richness, IBI and spawning condition. Habitat variables included Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI), sediment texture, water depth and flow and canopy cover. Fish community and habitat
metrics were analyzed using poisson and linear models, respectively. In 2014, post-installation, fish abundance was greater in impacted sites than control sites (p<0.10). Similarly, 2014 QHEI scores were higher in impacted sites than those in control sites (p<0.05). Percent weight of coarse sands (0.5mm-2mm) decreased while fine sands (63μm- 0.5mm) increased across control sites in 2014 (p<0.001). Impacted sites in 2014 had greater percentages of fine sands
than control sites in 2014 (p<0.05). The river on campus is now actively used for teaching and research. Fifty species of fish have already been documented for this stretch of the river, including Ohio sensitive species and a state listed species of concern. Future rehabilitation efforts should continue to consider improvements at a larger spatial scale such as management of storm water, non-native species, and floodplains.

Click here to download video!Restoration of Lake Apopka's North Shore Marsh: High Hopes, Tought Times, and Persistent Progress (00:45:29)

Presented by Dr. Heath Rauschenberger, Karst and Cave Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. July 23, 2014.

The story of Lake Apopka is a familiar one to many Floridians and has gained international notoriety. The 12,500-ha lake was once a world-class bass fishery. Then, a century-long decline occurred, traced to the loss of over 8,000 ha of wetlands to farming operations, agricultural discharges laden with phosphorus to the lake, treated wastewater discharges, and input from citrus processing plants. The state of Florida and the Federal Government purchased the property with the goal of restoring the aquatic habitat. Shortly after flooding in the winter of 1998–1999, a bird mortality event occurred, resulting in the deaths of 676 birds, primarily American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and also including 43 endangered wood storks (Mycteria americana), 58 great blue herons (Ardea herodias), and 34 great egrets (Casmerodius albus). The deaths of the birds, attributed to pesticide toxicosis, resulted in years of research and remediation to ensure the future safety of wildlife on the property. Presently, about 3,000 ha of wetlands have been rehydrated since resuming restoration activities, with no adverse effects to wildlife. This webinar will present the history of Lake Apopka, the efforts to restore it, and what we have learned along the way.

Click here to download video!Restoring Flood Plains at the Consumnes River Preserve (00:53:07)

Presented by Judith Grossman, Project Director and Rodd Kelsey, Lead Scientist from the Nature Conservancy. September 3, 2015.

Click here to download video!Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth in Howard County, Maryland (00:43:41)

Presented by Lori A. Lilly, Project Manager, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's READY program; Sebastian R. Antonucci, Rain Garden Designer for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's READY program. July 7, 2016.

Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) is a unique program in Howard County, MD, that provides employment and professional development opportunities to young adults in the environmental sector. In the past four years, program efforts have resulted in the installation of over 100 rain gardens and conservation landscapes, treating over 10 acres of impervious surfaces through the employment of 130 seasonal positions. The program is rapidly evolving to include a broader range of best management practices, more focus on maintenance, increased self-reliance and internal capacity building, and becoming, overall, an integrated part of the local environmental and socio-economic landscape. This webinar will provide highlights, challenges and lessons learned from this successful and model program.

Click here to download video!Riparian Restoration Along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park: Successes and Challenges of a Pilot Watershed Stewardship Project (01:13:08)

Presented by Melissa McMaster, Plant Biologist, Grand Canyon National Park. May 7, 2014.

Granite Camp is a very popular site for backcountry and river users in Grand Canyon National Park and like many areas along the Colorado River corridor, it has been adversely impacted by the operations of Glen Canyon Dam, high recreational use and the introduction of non-native plants species, particularly tamarisk. In 2009, the northern tamarisk beetle arrived in the park and it has been successfully defoliating the tamarisk growing along the river. The presence of the beetle may result in widespread mortality of tamarisk and possibly adverse effects on the riparian ecosystem and visitor experience. The objectives of this project were to test various methods of riparian restoration, enhance wildlife habitat and enrich the overall visitor experience at the site. Crews removed tamarisk trees from the site and then replanted the area with a suite of native trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses to create a diverse and functioning ecosystem. This was the first large scale attempt at restoration along the river and various methods of plant propagation and collection were tested. The results of this pilot project will help to assess the feasibility and practicality of proactively planting native species at other remote sites along the river that are currently dominated by tamarisk.

Click here to download video!Scaling Up Estuary & Floodplain Restoration in Puget Sound (00:48:16)

Presented by Jenny Baker and Julie Morse, The Nature Conservancy. December 2, 2014.

The Nature Conservancy’s Fisher Slough and Port Susan Bay estuary restoration projects in northern Puget Sound, Washington, were planned and implemented in collaboration with local communities to include project elements that provided non-ecological benefits such as jobs, reduced flood risk and updated flood protection and drainage infrastructure. The multiple community benefits approach used at these two sites has now been widely embraced in Puget Sound as evidenced by a $33M investment by the state for additional multiple benefit projects that will significantly increase the scale of Puget Sound recovery.

This presentation will focus on the approach used and benefits gained at the two project sites, as well as the Puget Sound-wide “Coordinated Investment” project that was recently funded by Washington State.

Click here to download video!Streams & Floodplains: Explaining Stream Behavior to Landowners (01:07:17)

Presented by Dr. Janine Castro, USFWS. October 16, 2014.

Do you find yourself trying to describe “how streams work” or “why streams meander” to a landowner or the public? If so, this webinar is for you. While the questions are simple, the answers are complex. This webinar will provide you with a framework and a conceptual model so that you are prepared to answer these tough questions.

Stream restoration is all about managing stream energy – how it is dissipated, in what form and where. How the energy is dissipated is the key to understanding stream responses, such as bank erosion and channel incision, especially in terms of stream management.

Click here to download video!Technical, cultural, and legal challenges associated with implementing four barrier removal projects on a high priority tributary to the Taunton River in Taunton, MA (01:00:30)

Presented by Beth Lambert, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and Cathy Bozek, The Nature Conservancy. February 11, 2014.

The Taunton River in Massachusetts sustains regionally significant runs of river herring. Tributaries to the Taunton River, many of which are fed by high quality streams, natural ponds, and intact wetlands, have the potential to support herring populations of hundreds of thousands of fish. Yet, many major tributaries are blocked by dams. The Mill River is one such tributary: four dams within close proximity to each other blocked river herring from accessing more than 30 miles of tributary and mainstem habitat and 400+ acres of natural and artificial pond. In 2007, a large partnership of federal, state, local, and NGO organizations began working together to remove three dams and build a fish ladder at a fourth dam. Although the four dams were in close proximity to each other, each had a unique combination of technical, cultural, or legal challenges that stood in the way of removing the barrier. This presentation 1) presents the overall project setting and project objectives; 2) highlights the major challenge/solution for each barrier; and 3) shares preliminary results from each completed barrier removal. Challenges examined in detail include a) cost-effective approaches to managing highly contaminated sediment; b) negotiating with a large company to remove a small dam; c) inserting restoration goals into complex bridge and dam construction projects.

Click here to download video!The Bio-Geo-Socio-Chemistry of Urban Riparian Zones (01:03:19)

Presented by Peter M. Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. February 12, 2015.

Riparian areas are “hotspots” of plant-soil-water-microbial-human interactions in watersheds. Urban land use change has been shown to have dramatic effects on these interactions altering “connections” between streams, riparian zones, upland ecosystems and people. Efforts to restore urban riparian zone need to focus on reestablishing these connections. Geomorphic stream restoration designed to reverse structural degradation can restore biogeochemical functions but also considering the “human element” create positive feedbacks between ecological restoration and human preferences that can be key for achieving specific biological, chemical and social goals in urban and suburban watersheds. In this talk I will highlight results from research on the bio-geo-socio chemistry of urban riparian zones in the National Science Foundation funded Baltimore urban Long Term Ecological Research Project and discuss relevance and applications of this work in more arid regions.

Click here to download video!The unique legal, scientific, and ethical challenges of restoration in wilderness: a preliminary framework to help make defensible decisions (00:51:51)

Presented by Drs. Beth Hahn and Peter Landres, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, USDA Forest Service. June 1, 2014.

This webinar will present a draft framework for evaluating and deciding whether to approve proposals for ecological restoration inside designated wilderness. The intent of this framework is to improve transparency in how these decisions weigh and balance the need for restoration and preserving wilderness character.

Click here to download video!Urban Riparian Restoration at the human-ecology interface in Austin, Texas (00:54:14)

Presented by Mateo Scoggins, City of Austin, TX. September 24, 2015.

Riparian zones in urban systems are critical and complex transition zones between human use and basic ecological function, historically with the former driving land management practices. Twenty years of intensive stream and reservoir monitoring have demonstrated very clearly the variety of water quality and quantity problems that urbanization and climate change brings. Biologists and ecologists with the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department have pulled together a novel approach to urban ecosystem restoration that is based on minimally managed succession, broad stakeholder partnerships, a functional monitoring component, and a conservative approach to resource management. In an effort to create functional ecosystems in riparian buffers, a series of restoration practices are underway: the Grow Zone Program, ecological stormwater management (rain gardens, bioswales), a functionally-based invasive plant management approach, and an aggressive outreach component to deliver science to the people. Backed by a sustainability-driven regulatory environment, drought, and climate change, this lean program has made significant progress in changing the way land managers and citizens think about the value and aesthetics of the riparian buffers corridors that tie us all together.

Click here to download video!Wood Replenishment: A Superhero in the Battle against Climate Change (01:00:20)

Presented by Scott Nicolai, Yakama Nation Fisheries. January 2, 2015.

Pacific Northwest streams have been wood-deficient and degraded for generations. In many locations wood
removal and channel straightening have lead to incision, disconnecting streams from their floodplains. In
eastern Washington State, upland forests are typically overstocked due to the legacy of forest fire suppression. By using excess coniferous trees as a stream restoration material, projects can occur at low cost using simple techniques. This approach has been taken in Taneum Creek, a high priority tributary to the Yakima River in Kittitas County. Beginning in 2008, over 1250 trees have been placed at 50 locations. The
first of two phases involved thinning adjacent uplands, and moving full-length trees to the stream with manual
tools and Washington Conservation Corps labor. In the second phase, collaboration with WDFW and USFWS
allowed a more intensive effort involving heavy equipment. Forest thinning of a four acre stand was done to provide 400 full-length trees at extremely low cost. Trees with rootwads were also obtained off-site and transported to the project area. All work was done utilizing recommendations for wood replenishment in
WDFW’s “Stream Habitat Restoration and Guidelines”. Loose logs were placed without anchorage. The
project was designed with pencil and paper by tribal habitat biologists. Work was complete in fall 2010. Six
months later, a historic flood (estimated 100-year recurrence interval) occurred in Taneum Creek. Floodplains were activated, over two miles of side channels were created and colonized by beavers, countless native riparian plants germinated and began to flourish. The project serves as a buffer against the adversity that climate change poses to cold-water fishes and other wildlife in Taneum watershed. The project also demonstrates that low-cost methods and designs can be utilized to restore upland forests and achieve watershed restoration simultaneously.