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Stream Restoration and Stabilization In an Urban System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17377)
Authors:   E. Cummings, A. Ludwig, B.K. Schaffer, D. Schluterman
Keywords:   Urban Stream Restoration, Urban Greenway, Subsurface Retention Cell

The demand for urban green space is increasing while availability is decreasing. The value of urban green space is that it conserves critical characteristics of the natural landscape within the urban setting. The characteristics are essential for the function of ecological processes necessary for the sustainability of an ecosystem. These goods and services we extract from ecosystems are called ecological services. The goal of this project was to demonstrate the technologies and methods by which ecological services could be restored in a disturbed urban stream system.

Specific objectives included bio-retention of storm water and parking lot runoff, re-establishment of fish pool habitat, implementation of natural bank stabilization, integration of riparian zone buffers, and regulation of stream geometry for maximum in-stream ecological services. We designed off-channel subsurface bio-retention cells to reduce pollution loading to the stream from a nearby parking lot and to maximize retention volume of water in the cells to recharge stream base flow. We integrated the bio-retention cell infiltration zones with the geomorphologic design of the stream channel to provide conditions desirable for fish and other aquatic communities as well as to discourage algae blooms and mosquito infestation. We designed riparian zones with native flora to provide needed habitat for terrestrial animal communities. Finally, we used natural bank stabilization features such as root wads, native tree logs, and boulders to reduce bank erosion and channel entrenchment and to enhance refugia for aquatic organisms.

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