Design of Riparian Habitat Replacement in Active Floodplains

by Bruce M. Phillips, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


Conventional flood control engineering techniques and approaches that have been traditionally been applied are now challenged by the public and no longer readily available as floodplain management tools. Increased awareness and concern regarding environmental degradation has resulted in protection of the riparian and river ecosystems. A variety of projects are required to provide habitat mitigation as a part of regulatory permit requirements and floodplains provide the most appropriate location for constructing habitat replacement since this is a natural riparian ecosystem. Incorporating environmental features into an active floodplain requires an understanding of the natural physical processes and stream mechanics, along with an accurate baseline database. Application of fundamental procedures to develop successful riparian replacement with floodplain management measures that enhance preservation of the natural stream characteristics rely on combining (1) geomorphic engineering principles, (2) biotechnical engineering, (3) fluvial hydraulics, (4) sediment transport, (5) stable channel design (6) floodplain hydraulics, and (7) hydrology. Recent technology utilizing computer graphic visualizations facilitates design modifications within the floodplain and assists in the consensus building process. Utilizing multi-disciplined planning guidelines for habitat mitigation in active floodplains can assist in developing an implementable and successful long-term floodplain management project which addresses flood protection as well as providing environmental opportunities.

Subject Headings: Flood plains | Hydraulic design | Transportation engineering | Hydraulic engineering | Graphic methods | Floods | Sediment transport

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