Managing Ecosystem Restoration: What Does Success Look Like?

by Kelsey Adkisson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Restoration projects are getting larger and more complex due to population growth, climate change, and disaster response. In the last decade alone, billions of dollars were spent to mitigate the effects of crises like Hurricane Sandy and restore habitats lost over centuries.

As projects grow in size and complexity, so do the restoration costs. This underscores the need for a strategic approach to maximize both ecological and economic benefits.

A national team of researchers, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), evaluated large-scale restoration efforts across the country and developed criteria, techniques, and tools to determine outcomes and ultimately, maximize benefits. This work was the focus of a study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

In the Florida Everglades, improved stormwater management since the 1990s has facilitated restoration efforts for wetland habitat, benefitting species such as alligators (adult and juvenile pictured). (Photo by Paul Stodola | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Courtesy of PNNL.

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Read the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Paper: