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Title: Effectiveness of on-site sketching and ArcGIS mapping in producing riparian and wetland restoration plans
Authors: Hodgson, Ryan
Keywords: wetlands
ArcGIS mapping
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Abstract: This research explores how to produce effective riparian and wetland restoration plans. It considers design and visual communication in seeking to produce plans that are environmentally effective and easy to understand. Through an in depth understanding of the literature and current best practice a potential design strategy was unveiled. This led to the discovery of how design initiatives should move beyond uniform riparian buffer zones to also consider critical source areas, concentrated flow paths and convergence zones. These ideas were explored through the production of riparian and wetland restoration plans at three different sites in Southland. Two of these sites were dairy farms in western Southland and the other was a retired paddock at AB Lime near Winton. Two distinct methodologies were used to produce riparian and wetland restoration plans. The first methodology involved the use of on-site sketching in collaboration with the farmer to produce plans on Adobe Illustrator. The second method involved the use of ArcGIS employing a range of geographic factors that can help target key areas for riparian and wetland restoration. Strengths and weaknesses of each approach were established during the production of these plans. These were further verified in the form of ground truthing and interviews with the farmers. It was noted that the ArcGIS method was let down by low resolution data at farm scales. This contributed to inaccurate results limiting its overall potential. Additionally, cost estimates found that ArcGIS is prohibitively expensive for small practices again limiting its appeal. Despite that, on-site sketching and Illustrator has limitations too especially at large scales where it would be too difficult to cover so much ground on site. It also cannot provide the range of geographic information that ArcGIS can provide. It is recommended that a more integrated approach using the strengths of each method to inform each other is the optimum way forward to producing more effective riparian and restoration plans.
Appears in Collections:School of Environmental Management

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