What types of in-channel habitat restoration and enhancement projects are most harmonious with the river environment?

Projects with the following attributes are generally considered most harmonious with river ecosystems:

  • Those made of native materials, e.g., wood, rock, vegetation, and so forth that are similar in type, composition or species to those in the vicinity of the project.
  • Those using construction materials that are natural in appearance, e.g., logs with bark intact as opposed to being peeled and whole naturally weathered rocks as opposed to split or fractured (i.e., riprap).
  • Those with materials placed in locations, positions, and quantities mimicking natural conditions, form and processes.
  • Those avoiding the use of anchoring materials, such as cables and rebar, to the greatest extent practicable. If this is not possible, the materials should be installed in such a manner so as to be concealed or visually acceptable.
  • Those where the resulting channel width, depth, slope, and substrate matches that of upstream and downstream reaches or that of a nearby comparable and undisturbed river system.
Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Council