Informing Watershed Connectivity Barrier Prioritization Decisions: A Synthesis
Water resources and transportation infrastructure such as dams and culverts provide countless socio-economic benefits; however, this infrastructure can also disconnect the movement of organisms, sediment, and water through river ecosystems. Trade-offs associated with these competing costs and benefits occur globally, with applications in barrier addition (e.g. dam and road construction), reengineering (e.g. culvert repair), and removal (e.g. dam removal and aging infrastructure). Barrier prioritization provides a unique opportunity to: (i) restore and reconnect potentially large habitat patches quickly and effectively and (ii) avoid impacts prior to occurrence in line with the mitigation hierarchy (i.e. avoid then minimize then mitigate). This paper synthesizes 46 watershed-scale barrier planning studies and presents a procedure to guide barrier prioritization associated with connectivity for aquatic organisms. We focus on practical issues informing prioritization studies such as available data sets, methods, techniques, and tools. We conclude with a discussion of emerging trends and issues in barrier prioritization and key opportunities for enhancing the body of knowledge.
You can order print copies of our publications through our publication ordering system. Make a note of the publication you wish to request, and visit our Publication Order Site.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unuseable.
- To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.