Karl Koller, MN Department of Natural Resources, Regional Clean Water Legacy Specialist
How to Use Natural Channel Design to Restore Physical and Ecological Function to Unstable Streams.
Single goal approaches to address impairments on streams often result in undesirable and unintended outcomes. This presentation will review past completed projects to examine where parts went wrong and alternative approaches that could have been implemented if broader objectives had been explicitly defined early. In some cases, viable techniques were improperly implemented. In others a larger systemic, stream channel instability problem was not recognized. For example, projects with the goal of adding wood complexes or fish habitat structures to streams often fail to address the underlying causes of poor habitat and often don’t last. Learning from these case studies allow us to apply a more holistic approach to stream projects that will hopefully move us away from funding projects that focus on single goals of habitat improvement, increased wood or sediment reduction, when setting broader objectives can restore multiple functions of a stream. A template will be discussed for setting comprehensive, system based goals to direct stream project design and implementation planning.