River RAT is a river project development and evaluation tool. It was developed by NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to facilitate consistent and thorough evaluation of the potential impacts of proposed projects on river habitat, particularly for Pacific salmon and western trout species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The tool is supported by a source document that provides a comprehensive synthesis of the watershed and river sciences relevant to restoration planning and design, a project risk evaluation matrix, and a separate comprehensive checklist of information necessary to review project proposals.
This RiverRAT tool and associated resources have been developed as a joint effort by NOAA Fisheries and US Fish and Wildlife Service with considerable input and peer review from numerous state (WA, OR, CA, ID) and federal agencies, academic researchers, and restoration industry professionals. The project development team and authors include:
Peter Skidmore, P.G., is Principal of Skidmore Restoration Consulting and provides planning, review, and guidance services to organizations engaged in river and watershed conservation and restoration. Much of his work is focused on habitat restoration for recovery of endangered fish species. Peter serves as Montana Regional Director for River Restoration Northwest. Peter was the lead contractor in development of RiverRAT and related resources.
Spencer Hovekamp, M.S., is the Eastern Oregon Branch Chief for NOAA Fisheries where he supervises Endangered Species Act section 7 consultations regarding actions that may affect the habitats of salmon and steelhead, including restoration projects. Spencer provided essential project support through concept development, securing funding, guidance and review.
Colin Thorne, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Physical Geography at Nottingham University, England and devoted much of a year's sabbatical to this project. Colin's research addresses a range issues in river science and management, employing fundamental investigations of fluvial processes and sediment dynamics coupled with applied research on flood risk management and river restoration.
Brian Cluer, Ph.D., is the staff geomorphologist and program coordinator of the Science and Technology Program for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region. He provides technical assistance in the design and review of restoration, stabilization, gravel mining, and dam removal projects. Brian serves as California Regional Director for River Restoration Northwest.
George Pess, Ph.D., is a stream ecologist at NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center where he conducts research on ecosystem and salmonid response to restoration actions.
Janine Castro, Ph.D., is a staff geomorphologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service where she reviews restoration projects and provides technical assistance on a wide variety of stream-related projects. Janine is the Technical Director for the River Restoration Professional Certificate Program at Portland State University, and is a Sustaining Director for River Restoration Northwest.
Tim Beechie, Ph.D., is a steam ecologist at NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center where he conducts research on landscape and human influences on salmon habitats and develops restoration strategies for salmon recovery.
Conor Shea, Ph.D., P.E. is a hydrologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service where he develops restoration projects for streams and estuaries that emphasize habitat improvement.