River Restoration

PACE has an in-depth understanding of natural stream mechanics and geomorphic characteristics applicable to self-sustaining and natural based river/creek restoration design.  Our expertise integrates biotechnical engineering, hydrology, and river engineering with landscape architecture for an effective restoration design that address multiple objectives and functions as well as long term stability.

Bioengineering and Geomorphic Stream Restoration Techniques: PACE has background in selection of the appropriate floodplain erosion control countermeasures will focus on the application of bioengineering techniques and geomorphic engineering applications.  Current designs in active floodplains have to focus on unconventional design techniques the involve bioengineering or integrating the use of vegetative control measures rather than hardened control measures.  The potential river responses associated with the corrective measures area evaluated at a qualitative and quantitative level to verify the potential for success.  PACE has some of the most current information in the application of bioengineering from hydraulic testing at the hydraulic research labs throughout the nation, including the ACOE Waterways Experiment Station (WES).   Potential corrective measures that can be investigated include:

  • two stage or tiered channel replacement
  • pool and riffle development
  • artificial streambank armoring
  • brush wattling
  • bridge spur dikes
  • flexible mattresses
  • rock step pools
  • stream profile modifications
  • reduction/elimination of channel incision
  • stabilized low-channel section
  • natural grade stabilizers/drop structures

Wetland Creation and Restoration: PACE has been very successful in the application of various creative wetland restoration projects, and we have been recognized with awards for some of these designs.  Wetland systems include wetlands for habitat support or restoration and water quality treatment for a variety of conditions including urban runoff / stormwater and other nutrient rich waters. The process utilized by PACE involves defining specific function of the wetland created and determine what features should be incorporated into the design.  Our design approach involves clearly defining goals, appropriate site selection after the goals have been establish, site assessment and planning, integrating landscape ecology, feasibility analysis factoring in sustainability over time, hydraulic design, and water budgeting / hydrology.

Fish Passage Design & Habitat Restoration: PACE has extensive experience with restoration or creation of stream features to improve fish spawning and rearing, enhance food web productivity, reduce stranding, and improve passage.  The multidisciplinary staff conducts fish habitat assessments as components in watershed assessments. Understanding river processes and how aquatic habitats are formed and maintained are essential in the river restoration design process. Field surveys also employ Arc-GIS to compare existing and proposed stream condition habitats to species’-specific preferred habitat criteria. We apply specialized expertise in fluvial geomorphology, sediment transport, hydrology and hydraulics to assist in the development of optimal habitat for fish.  We also offer capabilities in the application of state-of-the-art numerical models to determine flow-habitat relationships.