Ecosystems comprise dynamic communities of plants, animals, and microorganisms interacting with their physical environment. Human activities could damage, degrade, or destroy these communities. Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of a degraded, damaged, or destroyed economy.
Restoration practitioners do not carry out the actual work of ecosystem recovery, but they create the conditions needed for recovery so the plants, animals, and microorganisms can carry out the work of recovery themselves. Assisting recovery can be as simple as removing an invasive species or reintroducing a lost species; or as complex as altering landforms, planting vegetation, changing the hydrology, and reintroducing wildlife. Some examples include cessation of mining, restricting livestock from riparian areas, and removing toxic materials from soil or sediments.