Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

Setting Appropriate Goals for Urban Stream Restoration: A Case Study from Blacktown City Council (#53)

Carl Tippler 1 , David Reid 2 , Craig Bush 3 , Michael Dean 4 , Phillip Birtles 5 , Nakia Belmer 6
  1. Macquarie University, NSW, Australia
  2. Georges Riverkeeper, Hurstville, NSW, Australia
  3. Blacktown City Council, Blacktown , NSW, Australia
  4. i2i Digital, Dangar Island, NSW, Australia
  5. Sydney Water Corporation, Parramatta, NSW, Australia
  6. Western Sydney Univerversity, Richmond, NSW, Australia

Lack of adequate monitoring after completion of urban stream rehabilitation works is a major failing of urban stream management and is a significant barrier to refining the process of setting and achieving objectives for urban stream rehabilitation projects. Blacktown City Council has recognised the need to pursue best practice management of urban streams, including monitoring of stream rehabilitation projects. The restoration of Lalor Creek provided a case study of a monitoring strategy aimed at determining the effectiveness of rehabilitation activities against project objectives, which were: 1) ameliorate and mitigate against bed and bank erosion; 2) improve water quality; and, 3) improve biodiversity. To determine if project objectives were met, monitoring was undertaken along multiple reaches which had undergone restoration at various time intervals. Indicators included aquatic macroinvertebrates, benthic diatoms, riparian vegetation and stream channel condition. Results of the study revealed that the objective of mitigating against bed and bank erosion was achieved, but that biodiversity improvement occurred in the riparian ecosystem only and that there were no improvements in water quality. Aquatic biodiversity and water quality objectives were not achieved as the project did not address urban stormwater flows, and in hindsight were not realistic objectives given the type and scale of the rehabilitation works. Results of this study provide waterway managers with valuable information on setting realistic and achievable objectives for urban stream rehabilitation projects.

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