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Barriers, Opportunities, and Strategies for Urban Ecosystem Restoration: Lessons Learned from Restoration Managers in Rhode Island, U.S.A.
Hychka, K. AND C. Druschke. Barriers, Opportunities, and Strategies for Urban Ecosystem Restoration: Lessons Learned from Restoration Managers in Rhode Island, U.S.A. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-16/177, 2016.
This report describes the results from 27 interviews with restoration managers, and informs managers about barriers, opportunities, and strategies for restoration in urban settings.
Urban ecosystem restoration can be especially difficult to accomplish because of complications like industrial pollutants, population density, infrastructure, and expense, however, the unique opportunities in urban settings, including the potential to provide benefits to many people, can make urban restoration especially rewarding. The success of urban restoration projects—even those focused primarily on ecological targets—depends on incorporating the findings of social research, though that research is relatively rare. This work attempts to fill that gap by presenting barriers, opportunities, and strategies for restoration projects in urban settings. Building from interviews with restoration managers involved in a suite of aquatic restoration projects in Rhode Island, we contribute to the learning axis of adaptive management by identifying and synthesizing the lessons learned from managers’ work in urban settings. We then consider how managers can design creative solutions to accomplish restoration goals by thinking more broadly about the multiple social or institutional, biophysical, and discursive dimensions of barriers to and opportunities for urban restoration.