As Roxanne Razavi, Ph.D. says in her introduction to the research at hand: "What is the best way to spend resources to protect ecosystems? How do coordinated efforts over space and time compare to local planning? Are large lump allocations of funds more effective than small allocations of funds over long periods of time? These are questions that we face as managers and custodians of the Finger Lakes.
Earlier this year, an important study by aquatic scientists posed these questions and revealed that the most efficient way to spend conservation dollars – when ecological connectivity is at issue – is at large spatial scales. Read more about their case study on migratory fishes in the Great Lakes below, and check out Fishwerks, the exciting tool they’ve developed to improve fish habitat."
The study's abstract is as follows:
Societies around the world make massive investments in ecosystem restoration projects to mitigate habitat loss, conserve biodiversity, and boost ecosystem services. We use a return-on-investment framework to assess the value of coordinating restoration efforts in space and time to maximize ecological connectivity between the Laurentian Great Lakes and their tributaries, which are fragmented by hundreds of thousands of dams and road crossings. We show that coordinating restoration efforts across the entire region is nine times more cost-effective than local-scale planning. Similarly, a single lump sum investment is up to 10 times more cost-effective than a series of annual allocations. These dramatic economic and ecological efficiencies provide ample incentive for coordinating conservation efforts across broad spatial and temporal scales. [emphasis added]
Read more on the study here: Bigger bang for your buck: Restoring fish habitat by removing barriers