Instream and Streambank Environmental Feature Guidelines

by J. Craig Fischenich, (M.ASCE), US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering

Abstract: Tightened regulatory requirements and a renewed appreciation for the benefits of preserving our diminishing natural resources have led to a recent profusion of stream restoration projects and the incorporation of environmental features into flood control projects. Accomplishing environmental objectives in such projects often necessitates the use of structural features such as flow deflectors, boulders, rock drop structures, and bank protection modified to provide environmental benefits. These features improve the quantity and quality of available habitat during low-flow periods, which are critical for many aquatic species in streams. Although several projects have successfully employed these techniques, the attainment of environmental objectives has been as much by chance as by design. The selection, layout and design of these project features has historically been accomplished by subjective analyses, usually without the benefit of engineering input. This is due in part to the fact that comprehensive design guidance based upon physical processes has not been developed for environmental features. This paper presents a summary of results from a research effort by the US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station to develop selection, layout and design guidance for instream structural features and streambank protection techniques that provide environmental benefits.

Subject Headings: River bank stabilization | Project management | Sustainable development | Ecological restoration | Floods | Water resources

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