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

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17390)
Authors:   Steve Phillips, Dan Binder, Ed Rankin
Keywords:   Natural channel design, ecosystem restoration, multi-stage channels, assimilative capacity, adaptive management, and design-build

Hydromodification (channelization) of stream channels is the leading cause of water quality impairment in the State of Ohio. Hydromodification typically results in impaired water quality and biology and a reduction in the ability of the channelized stream to assimilate pollutants when compared with natural stream channels. The Bokes Creek Water Quality Enhancement Project demonstrates how restoring channelized streams and agricultural ditches using Natural Channel Design (NCD) methods improves water quality and the ability of a stream to assimilate pollutants and nutrients. This project is part of the Bokes Creek TMDL implementation plan and an excellent example of a significant source water protection initiative. A Section 319 Water Quality Implementation Grant from Ohio EPA funded the restoration of Powderlick Run.

This project demonstrates scientifically sound methods of restoring ecosystem benefits in hydro-modified stream channels while maintaining drainage benefits. An Adaptive Management process was utilized in data collection and synthesis, design, implementation and the development of monitoring performance standards. A design-build approach took the project from data collection and design through construction of the channel and re-vegetation. The channel morphology and hydraulics of the hydromodified stream channel were studied to determine baseline conditions. A comparison of baseline and reference reach data helped define restoration goals and the morphological characteristics for the new restored channel.

The final design was a multidisciplinary product that was reviewed by the project partners and various agencies. The project was constructed in early 2003 and the initial biological monitoring that was performed immediately after construction indicated significant biological recovery.

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