Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Biology (M.S.)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Dr. Eric Snyder

Second Advisor

Dr. James Dunn

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Ogren

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Tim Evans

Academic Year



River restoration is the dominant field of applied water resources management in the United States. Ecological improvement should be the goal of all river restorations, though many restoration projects fail to produce positive results due to limited scope or inadequate assessment methodologies. Pre-restoration, biotic data is essential for such projects as it can be paired with post-restoration data to gauge ecological outcomes. A major restoration effort is now underway in Michigan's longest river, the Grand River, where it flows through downtown Grand Rapids. The primary restoration measures will occur in-stream at local scale. We conducted a pre- restoration survey for the downtown reach of the Grand River with concomitant survey of a control reach using benthic macroinvertebrates. We predicted that the control reach would have higher ecological integrity than the downtown reach based on prior assessments. We found the downtown reach to have a high percentage of dipterans (39% vs. 3% in the control), and a high percentage of Hydropsychinae (83% of the total Trichoptera vs. 23% in the control). A dominance of dipterans and/or Hydropsychinae often points to impairment. We predict that the Grand River restoration is unlikely to improve macroinvertebrate community metrics without addressing general out-of-channel/upstream sources of impairment.

Available for download on Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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