4th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Darina Palacio
Session Name Poster Session: Water quality protection and treatment
Poster Number 49
Author(s) Darina Palacio,  UF Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment (Presenting Author)
  Joann Mossa,  UF Geography Department
  David Kaplan, UF Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment
  Stream Restoration in Florida
  Over $1 Billion is spent annually on restoration to improve or restore streams and rivers in the United States, however studies synthesizing restoration practices are now outdated and/or omit most stream restoration projects in Florida. This study synthesized stream restoration practices in Florida by compiling a Florida stream restoration database that characterizes 178 projects by type, spatial distribution, temporal trends and costs. Project types included: riparian management (23%), stream reclamation (19%), flow modification (13%), bank stabilization (12%), channel reconfiguration (11%), in-stream habitat improvements (11%), floodplain reconnection (6%), invasive species removal (4%), and dam removal (1%). Project types were clustered into three regions, reflecting a spatial distribution of agency initiatives, need, and funding. Restoration in the panhandle of Florida emphasized in-stream habitat restoration, while flow modification was most common project type in peninsular Florida. Stream restoration projects in the west central region were dominated by the restoration of tidal streams and stream reclamation projects to mitigate surface mining practices. The spatial analysis also revealed that a preponderance of projects were performed on public lands and less than 20% occurred in urban areas. An increase in both the number and diversity of projects was observed, from an average of 1.7 projects completed per year from 1979-1999 to > 4 projects per year since 2000. In contrast with earlier works, which did not fully utilize databases and practitioner knowledge, this study found that that Florida spends much more on stream restoration than previously documented. The average cost of stream restoration projects in Florida between 1979 and 2015 (projected) was $15.9 million, while the median cost was $180K, highlighting a strongly skewed distribution of project costs driven by the reconfiguration of the Kissimmee River channel ($980 million). Finally, this work highlights the need for a statewide restoration database to improve restoration tracking.