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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17376)
Authors:   Vishnu V.R. Seri
Keywords:   Stream Restoration, Urban Watersheds, Management

Stream restoration projects in urban watersheds are often confronted with a matrix of unique challenges posed by residents, public agencies, public officials and elected officials. Each of the involved stake holders bring their own unique perspective to these projects, more often making the project managers flounder for direction. The symptoms of an unhealthy and deteriorating stream and its impact on a long term basis are matters of grave concern for the environmentalist even as maintenance staff of public agencies would like to adopt a quick-fix, economical alternative to address the issues of concern in an expeditious manner. The most important stake holders, viz., the watershed residents are more concerned about their quality of life and aesthetics. Elected officials often favor the most vocal public opinion. To arrive at a please-all solution in such a challenging environment of competing interests and within compressed time schedules stretches the management skills of the project managers. Experience has shown that the project managers need to come up with a matrix of solutions addressing concerns of all stake holders and associating costs and the pros and cons of each such solution. Although this method may not be palatable to all concerned stake holders, the minimum it does is identifying all problems which should be addressed to arrive at a holistic solution. This paper reviews a couple of case studies of stream restoration projects that have been implemented or in the planning stages, summarizes the lessons learnt during these processes and suggests potential remedies which could result in an efficient management of stream restoration projects and provide a better return on investment for tax payers money.

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