Decades, or even centuries, of changing and competing land uses have left many of the world's streams degraded, in poor health, and out of balance with the ever-shifting dynamics of their watersheds. A Handbook for Stream Enhancement and Stewardship is a basic resource intended to help individuals, groups, organizations, companies, communities, and governments plan and carry out environmentally sound, cost-effective stream corridor assessment, enhancement, and stewardship programs. Using the watershed as the basic unit of reference, the Handbook provides ideas and information with which readers can assess and document local stream conditions, learn about and evaluate methods of enhancement, devise and implement enhancement plans, and then maintain the stream and stream corridor in its enhanced state of better health and balance. While not a comprehensive technical manual for professionals trained in stream restoration, this resource does provide a solid foundation by which volunteers may become informed observers, advocates, and organizers of stream enhancement programs and participants in their implementation.
The Handbook is written in clear, accessible language and consolidates much otherwise-dispersed information into a compact, easily manageable, single volume. Following an introduction to the scope and purpose of the book, Chapter One presents an overview of stream corridors, beginning with the concept of the watershed and then looking more closely at streams and stream corridors and their hydrologic, vegetation, and land-use characteristics. The second chapter describes essential steps in assessing the condition of the watershed, and the third chapter provides guidance in how to plan for, carry out, and document a detailed survey of the stream. Chapter Four reviews many methods of stream enhancement, discusses their advantages or disadvantages for use in different situations, and describes the process of implementing those that are appropriate for the existing situation. The final chapter provides information on stream corridor enhancement in range lands and pasture lands. Nineteen appendices provide valuable, detailed information about specific skills, processes, procedures, and other planning considerations that will be necessary for a successful stream enhancement program. A Glossary contains definitions of many technical terms used throughout the book, and a list of useful references is contained in the Bibliography.
The Handbook will be of value to those who want to acquire a solid grasp of the fundamentals of assessing the physical condition and ecological health of a stream, of realizing what might be done at the local level to improve the ecological health of a stream, and of implementing an effective stream enhancement program in their communities. The book will be of immediate value to the myriad volunteers who devote valuable time, labor, and other resources to the study, protection, and enhancement of watersheds and waterways at the local level, but it also will be of value to professional resource or property managers, planners, educators, landscape architects, naturalists, conservationists, and others whose work includes stream management, assessment, or enhancement work, or the mentoring and advising of those who do this work.
The first edition of this book was published as A Citizen's Streambank Restoration Handbook in 1995.