This assessment is a ‘screening’ process used to identify land use activities that have the potential to impact the hydrology of the watershed being analyzed. The Process identifies general watershed characteristics of a stream or river within its watershed and assesses locations and types of potential impacts. Characteristics include features such as drainage area, annual precipitation, minimum and maximum elevations, etc. The identified impacts are evaluated for evidence of channel response (i.e., widening, deposition, etc.) to changes in flow.
Information gathered in this type of assessment allows us to understand and evaluate the geologic/ landform condition of the river system. By analyzing the landscape and/or geology and how it influences the movement of water, we can determine the river’s current state, trend and potential, which can ultimately be used for protection, management and restoration projects throughout a watershed.
The Natural Channel Design approach to river restoration emulates natural river systems and integrates the historical fluvial processes of the specific river being restored. We observe landscapes and stream systems as they have adjusted in light of their evolution or successional states. Not only is field data collected, analyzed and interpreted before a design is presented, but processes that produce ‘reference reach’ (stable) data can be mimicked in impaired areas.
Off-channel pond and wetland environments provide for habitat and they slow runoff and allow for gravitational settling, biological uptake and microbial activity. They are also a necessity in the ‘natural filtering’ of water systems! Wetlands are designed and built mostly for mitigation purposes, however, ponds and wetlands are great rearing grounds for fish and are often constructed for recreational uses including fishing, boating, etc.
Steady Stream Hydrology, Inc. has a close working relationship with the COE and we acknowledge each client’s individual needs during the project preparation stages. Our continued correspondence with the COE allows for an easy and smooth process for our clients to obtain the proper nationwide permit(s) required for stream related projects.
During the construction of any project, Steady Stream personnel are on-site to oversee installation of the proposed design parameters. The project manager supervises/directs restoration techniques and implementation accordingly and is continually available to approve any on-site design adjustments.
To obtain permits regarding any work permitted in and around wetlands, it is necessary to know the exact, quantifiable wetland boundary. By collecting hydrology, soils and vegetation data we can properly delineate these areas and submit appropriate documentation to the Army Corps of Engineers.
For this type of assessment, existing data is reviewed that has possibly been collected in the past through other watershed studies. Then a Level 1 Rosgen stream classification analysis is done of the drainages to integrate variables including floodplain connectivity, lithology, depositional history, valley morphology, river profile morphology, general river pattern, etc. Ultimately, this provides base data for the long-term sustainability of the watershed being studies through various water-related projects identified by landowners.
Designing for improved fisheries habitat when doing stream enhancement and bank stabilization work produces an overall healthier stream. By analyzing all variables associated with an impaired reach of river, we can identify multiple project goals and objectives and achieve each of them with a “less is more” mindset where a single constructed feature provides stabilization and enhances habitat.
Steady Stream Hydrology, Inc. acts a liaison, or a connection to regulatory agencies for our clients.