By 2090, 4,000 km of Swiss rivers and lakeshores are to be restored. This offers a unique opportunity to learn from the implemented measures for future projects, e.g. by answering the following questions: How does the fish community change in a widening? How does the riparian vegetation react after deculverting?
The development of a restoration project can be measured by an outcome evaluation. Traditionally, very different approaches have been used. Over the past years, Eawag elaborated a concept for a standardised outcome evaluation throughout Switzerland, on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment and in close collaboration with national and international practice partners. Since 2020, surveys in all projects follow the practice documentation "Evaluating the outcome of restoration projects – collaborative learning for the future".
In this research project, we support the practical application. We design the data management, analyse the development of restoration projects in streams and engage in training (PEAK courses). We update the practice documentation based on users’ experiences and create products for the learning process.
The results from the outcome evaluation can be translated into management recommendations. These will further increase cost-effectiveness of restoration projects and make a significant contribution to the conservation of native biodiversity.