Functional Framework for Stream Assessment and Restoration


Target Audience:

Field staff involved in the development and review of stream assessment and restoration/mitigation projects.

Summary and Objectives:

This course offers a framework for assessing stream functions to individuals involved in stream assessment and restoration/mitigation projects. The framework can be used for pre- and post- restoration conditions on restoration/mitigation sites. The framework can also be used on streams not associated with restoration activities, like a proposed impact site. In this case, the assessment would establish baseline conditions or a description of functions that may be lost due to the permitted impact. In addition to providing functional assessment techniques, this course also provides suggested performance standards where possible and may be used as a template for IRTs when developing stream assessment protocols and performance standards for their stream mitigation Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). A combination of lecture, field sessions, and classroom exercises will provide practical experiences in evaluating stream functions as related to assessment and restoration/mitigation projects.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Provide a hierarchical framework for assessing stream functions. Key functions include hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, water quality, and biology are presented.
  • Provide example performance standards for key parameters that can be used to directly or indirectly measure a function.
  • Describe methods that can be used to measure key performance standard parameters.
  • Use class room exercises to gain understanding and experience on measuring key performance standard parameters.
  • Discuss the application of the hierarchical framework in the field, while assessing impaired streams and evaluating completed stream restoration projects.
  • Discuss how the functional hierarchy can be used to create stream debits and credits for compensatory mitigation.
  • Provide a case study showing how a functional assessment may be applied to a stream restoration project.

Competency Addressed:

Restoration Ecology - Intermediate, Hydraulic Engineering - Awareness, Hydrology - Basic, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology Management - Intermediate

Course Short Name
Course Type
Training Tuition Cost
36.0 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration


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