Leveraging native species restoration and remote sensing techniques for large-scale dust mitigation enhancement

This proposal aims to advance large-scale dust mitigation strategies in hydroelectric reservoir sites through improved revegetation outcomes, and through leveraging revegetation efforts to additionally enhance local biodiversity and cultural values. Our team has developed a strategic partnership between university researchers, BC Hydro, environmental industry partners, and the local First Nations community to provide an interdisciplinary and stakeholder-informed approach for decision-making that builds on existing reservoir mitigation programs and knowledge. Focusing on the Williston Reservoir in British Columbia, we seek to determine which plant species are able to provide the best within-year dust control and between-year soil stability, with species selection processes that prioritize native species with potential cultural value to local communities. We will use lab and greenhouse trials to test growth rates and success of a range of potential plant species, with and without soil amendments that may enhance the growing conditions of the harsh reservoir drawdown zone. Lab results will guide large-scale field trials at Williston Reservoir. These trials will cross the complex topographic landscape of the drawdown zone, allowing continuous assessment of plant performance changes based on location and local conditions.

Micah May
Faculty Supervisor: 
Nancy Shackelford
British Columbia
Partner University: