The product of more than two years work, collating the efforts of more than forty scientists and restoration practitioners across Europe, the latest restoration guidelines to be jointly produced by NORA and the Native Oyster Network – UK and Ireland is now available to download on the NORA and NON websites. The guidelines provide a beginner’s guide to why and how to monitor, identify a set of six Universal metrics, which every European native oyster restoration effort should seek to monitor and report on, as well outlining methods for further supplementary metrics and restoration goal-based metrics, and finally, providing some guidance on how to manage the resulting data.
Each “metric” is a distinct attribute of native oyster habitat, for example, oyster density or oyster fecundity. Each metric has associated with it a series of suggested methods, ranging from the low to high tech, and accounting for whether sites are intertidal or subtidal. Each metric is also accompanied by a recommended reporting unit and a proposed minimum frequency of sampling. Metrics themselves are grouped into “universal” (all projects need to assess these to understand and report their progress), “supplementary” (metrics which provide further detailed understanding of the potential drivers of progress in restoration efforts), and “restoration goal-based” (metrics which assess progress towards identified aims of restoration, e.g. enhanced biodiversity or ecosystem services).
It is hoped that the monitoring guidelines will support the adoption of common monitoring methods and common reporting, which will allow the progress in native oyster habitat restoration across Europe to be better communicated, and ultimately to ensure that the restoration community is able to contribute to building an evidence base which can be used both to inform and improve restoration actions, and to inform and improve related policy.