Sally Boer

Sally Boer

Sally is a founding Director of E2Designlab and has 18 years of experience in urban water management spanning both research and consultancy. With a background in freshwater ecology, Sally’s professional career has been devoted to using science to guide strategic planning and design. Her passion is in achieving multiple outcomes to improve waterways and to shape the creation of healthy and sustainable cities.

RESTOREing waterways- what should we do?

So, you have some waterways in need of attention?  You have sites selected?  What actions will deliver the greatest return in terms of ecological repair?

The RESTORE Tool and its supporting compendium of  factsheets – Improving the Ecological Function of Urban Waterways – is a decision support tool developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities to support the holistic repair of urban waterways.

RESTORE allows waterway managers to incorporate local and regional attributes into their restoration decision process.  The tool asks practitioners a range of questions about the environmental and urban setting of their restoration site and identifies the ecosystem components likely to be most relevant. The ecosystem components considered are hydrology, geomorphology, connectivity, riparian, water quality and biota.  The tool ranks the components according to three criteria to improve the efficacy of on-ground management interventions.  The criteria include: (i) importance to ecosystem function at the site, (ii) severity of stress, and (iii) potential to be repaired or protected into the future.  The premise of these criteria is that management effort will yield the largest ecological return when it targets ecosystem drivers that: (i) exert significant influence on the ecosystem function of the site, (ii) are highly altered, and (iii) have a good capacity for recovery.

The tool facilitates a decision process that enables restoration plans to be tailored and to prioritise investments that will provide greatest return in terms of waterway repair.  The question-based approach of the tool enables waterway managers to tap into existing knowledge and expertise without needing quantitative data inputs.  In this regard, it is particularly useful in facilitating stakeholder input to shape waterway restoration plans.

This presentation will introduce the RESTORE Tool and present the outcomes of its application to Scrubby Creek in Logan, Queensland.

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