Ecological river bank reconstruction planning

SPEAR: An audit model for ecological river bank reconstruction planning

H.J.R. Lenders and R.J.W. De Nooy

Department of Environmental Studies, University of Nijmegen, Faculty of
Science, Mathematics and Informatics, P.O. Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, Netherlands

The audit model SPreadsheet application for the Ecological Audits of River bank reconstruction planning (SPEAR) was
developed to enable ex-ante and ex-post evaluations in quantitative terms to be made of the process and content of ecological river bank reconstruction planning. Such evaluations offer opportunities for optimisation of ecological river bank reconstruction projects. Applying SPEAR to ten of such projects along the rivers Rhine and Meuse in the Netherlands proved that the model met this objective very well. By comparing the model’s outcomes with normative standards, it was found that two projects were rated as good, four as sufficient and four as insufficient. Further analysis showed that there are strong correlations between the planning process - especially the inventory of the present biotic and abiotic conditions, the inventory of societal demands and preferences and the drawing up of a target image - and the expected ecological benefits after execution. Since SPEAR is not a location-specific model, it can be applied with relative ease in other river basins as well.