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Project risk screening matrix for stream management and restoration

Thorne, C.; Castro, J.; Cluer, B.; Skidmore, P.; Shea, C.


C. Thorne

J. Castro

B. Cluer

P. Skidmore

C. Shea


The ‘Project Risk Screening Matrix’ derives from a broader effort to assist US government agency staff in reviewing proposed stream management and restoration projects more efficiently and effectively. The River Restoration Analysis Tool (RiverRAT) developed through this effort provides a thorough, comprehensive and auditable approach to review and evaluation of proposed stream actions and projects ( The matrix was initially developed as the first step in applying the RiverRAT, its purpose being to assist reviewers in assessing the risk to natural resources associated with a particular proposal and matching the intensity of their review to the severity of that risk. Hence, the primary application of the matrix to date has been to identify and screen out low risk projects that may be dealt with expeditiously, and so freeing the time and technical resources needed to allow deep reviews of higher risk projects. A second form of screening emerged from this primary function because the matrix proved adept at identifying the minimum level of site and project characterization required to support initial risk assessment. On this basis, proposals lacking adequate information can also be screened out, being referred back to the proponent with a request for additional information. More recently, new and novel versions of the matrix, featuring modification and refinement of one or both of the original axes, have emerged to widen and refine its application to linear infrastructure (e.g. pipelines, roads, and electrical transmission lines), instream structures (e.g. large wood placement and culvert removal), and pre-application, regulatory, decision-support tools.


Thorne, C., Castro, J., Cluer, B., Skidmore, P., & Shea, C. (2014). Project risk screening matrix for stream management and restoration. River Research and Applications, 31(5), doi:10.1002/rra.2753

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 9, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 22, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 22, 2015
Journal River Research and Applications
Print ISSN 1535-1459
Electronic ISSN 1535-1459
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 5
Keywords Environmental impact assessment, permitting, project review, risk analysis, river management
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thorne, C, Castro, J, Cluer, B, Skidmore, P, and Shea, C (2015), Project Risk Screening Matrix for River Management and Restoration. River Res. Applic., 31, 611–626. doi: 10.1002/rra.2753, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving"


Risk Matrix Paper_revised manuscript.pdf (1.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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