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Presenter
Leah Beesley, Researcher, University of Western Australia

Abstract
Freshwaters deliver value to humans, but are highly degraded worldwide. Urban freshwaters are arguably the most damaged. Most strategies promote a generic approach to rehabilitation. For example,  the encourage the repair of hydrology and geomorphology and trust that other aspects of stream health will recover. This has resulted in management practices designed for one area being implemented in areas where they are, at best, sub-optimal and, at worst, exacerbating urban stress. Urban stream ecologists have been increasingly calling for management strategies to be tailored to regional and local conditions.

Managers need tools that allow them to incorporate local and regional attributes, both urban (practices, infrastructure) and environmental, into their restoration decision process. Here, we present a tool that accounts for multiple ecological drivers (hydrology, geomorphology, connectivity, riparian, water quality, biota) and ranks them 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 should be particularly useful in data-limited areas, but will also be helpful in areas where information is available. The presentation introduces the decision-support tool and the associated factsheets and explains how to use them to guide on-ground restoration actions. The TOOL is a product of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

Brief Biography
Leah is an aquatic ecologist who focuses on the conservation and restoration of freshwaters systems and their biota. Leah is a researcher at the University of Western Australia and has been working and publishing in the field for over 15 years. Fields of interest include urban stream ecology, environmental flow science, arid river ecology and fish biology. Much of my research is directed towards scientific solutions to meet management need.

This is a free event. No RSVP required.

Hope to see you there!