Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


School of Management


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Maggie Winslow


Over the past decade, Stream Restoration has become a management tool in helping combat the degradation of our streams. This case study compares three watersheds in Northern California, the Klamath River Basin, Russian River Basin and Lower Putah Creek. The comparison determines whether or not their implemented stream restoration projects over the years have been successful. The case study revealed gaps in information. The lack of tools for evaluation of past and current restoration projects has left the stream restoration field unable to advance. If there is no evaluation of the restoration projects then there is no way to determine if the actions and millions of dollars of grant funding is having the positive impact on habitats and increasing populations of California’s Native Salmonid stocks. The case study identified the gaps in stream restoration projects as lacking standardization, and sustainable funding for the maintaining, monitoring and data collection that is needed post-implementation. The methods used were a literature review and a comparison of the watersheds using a hierarchical strategy and comparison of how watersheds handled limiting variables within stream restoration projects. There were three main findings, the first finding was that for stream restoration projects to be successful a top-down approach is needed to fully understand the root of degradation occurring in the steam which means doing an assessment at the watershed level and at the sub watershed levels. The second finding was the importance of a stream advocate such as a “Streamkeeper” whose purpose it to make sure the streams needs are heard while decisions are being made. The final finding was that alternate funding sources needed to be pursued for stream restoration besides state and federal grants. Such sources will allow for the continuation of projects when grant funding is no longer available and past implementation phase. All of this together tells is that the field of stream restoration has room for improvement so that we get the most out of the projects and help stabilize California Native Salmonid stock populations.