This layer scores potential sites for culvert upgrade by the relative improvement in aquatic connectedness (component of ecological integrity; defined in connectivity documentation). It compares values between the assumed culvert or aquatic passage structure and a structure that would impose no restrictions to aquatic passage, such as an overhead bridge. It also takes into account the index of ecological integrity (IEI) scores for the surrounding cells, so that culvert upgrades that improve connectedness in areas with high ecological integrity score higher than those in areas with low ecological integrity. As with other model-based assessments, a field survey of potential culvert upgrade sites should precede any implementation. In addition, it should be noted that scores did not take into account socioeconomic considerations, such as the construction cost of implementation, which would ultimately have to be considered before undertaking any restoration action.
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Read the Technical Abstract for this data layer (culverts.shp).