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FLOW REGIME RESTORATION: A PROCESS FOR ECOSYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS IN WATERSHEDS OF THE GREAT LAKES

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This project utilizes known principles and relationships between watershed characteristics, flow,and fish assemblages to develop flow regime restoration targets beneficial to the aquatic community. The study examines flow restoration opportunities in two urbanized watersheds in the Great Lakes and simulates the use of stormwater best management practice (BMP) retrofits to accomplish flow regime restoration goals. Flow regime restoration benefits can complement other watershed objectives such as non-point source water quality improvements, reduced channel maintenance, increased habitat value, and aesthetics. Urban flow regime restoration objectives can utilize informationfrom reference watersheds or watershed modeling to determine target flow regime restoration conditions.

Results indicate flow regime restoration is possible through the intensive use of dispersed stormwater BMP retrofits. However, the extent of watershed flow restoration appears to be influenced by natural watershed characteristics, such as soil type. The project compiled a list of incentivesthat can be offered to landowners for BMP implementation. The use of implementation incentives tofacilitate construction of additional BMPs can offer watershed management organizations flexibility and additional tools to meet watershed management goals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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