Planning and implementing a restoration project
Setting a shared goal
River basin restoration is usually a multi-phase process lasting several years. It begins with setting goals and making a restoration proposal, continues with restoration planning and implementation, and concludes with water management and monitoring of the impacts of restoration. Sufficient time should be allocated for setting the restoration goals, and expert assistance should be utilised as needed. Realistic goals are a prerequisite for a successful restoration project.
Certain basic facts about the status of a lake and the species found there should be established before the setting of goals. It is advisable to ask expert assistance on gathering this information from shareholders’ associations; fisheries regions; the relevant municipality; and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
At the local level, the following can be involved in the process:
- Waterside residents and other users of water bodies
- Riparian owners
- Shareholders’ associations and the fisheries region
- Fishing associations, fishermen’s associations, and recreational fishing associations
- Other societies
Regional partners can include
- the regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment;
- regional water protection associations;
- regional councils;
- educational institutions;
- various organisations;
- the district survey office; and
- the fishery centre.
Restoration project communications
It is advisable to initiate communications in the planning phase of lake restoration. With information being provided early on, getting the locals’ and decision-makers’ support for the project will be easier. Drawing up a communications plan is helpful for implementing communications.
People carrying out restoration have found local newspapers to be the most important media. Radio and sometimes television too are useful for distributing information. Information should be provided on the current phase of the restoration project, its targets and the benefits to be gained, as well as on studies and surveys performed in the area.
A water body in need of restoration interests many waterside residents and recreational users who are worried about the state of the waters and would like to contribute to improving it. Various public events and gatherings are a good way to reach local people. In the early stages of the project, there should be a training and briefing event for residents, agricultural entrepreneurs, local government and the environmental committee of the municipality. The purpose of this event is to go through all available information about the lake, possible restoration measures, and the resulting advantages and possible drawbacks. Experts from the regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment; the municipality; or the water protection association can be asked to introduce the subject.