Innovative Approaches to Improve Macrobenthic Invertebrate Communities through Stream Restoration

Track 2C: Gaining Insights from Invertebrate Organisms
Thursday, October 12, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:10 pm

J. Patrick Barber
Senior Biologist and Principal
Acer Enterprises, LLC.

There is increased interest to improve macrobenthic communities on stream restoration projects. Compensatory mitigation projects often require the monitoring of benthics for several years after the completion of restoration work, sometimes with success criteria tied to the results. Benthics are also monitored as an indicator of water quality under TMDL programs and EPA’s Stormwater Phase II rules. Whereas stream restoration projects have traditionally focused on stream stability, with a “if you build it, they will come” mentality, practitioners are increasingly being asked to consider higher functions and to improve biological functions. This presentation will focus on stream restoration efforts that are specifically designed to improve benthic numbers. The presentation will focus on two aspects of this work: 1) the design and installation of innovative in-stream structures that provide appropriate habitat for benthics following restoration, and 2) techniques to jump-start the colonization process and promote benthic communities. Example projects will be discussed, along with pre- and post-monitoring data that document changes in benthic as a result of the presented methods.