In partnership with private landowners, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies, the Service works to identify, prioritize and provide funding for the removal or renovation of selected stream barriers. The Service is currently working with the Clarksburg Water Board, the owner of four West Fork River dams, to remove three of the dams and install an aquatic fish passage structure on the fourth.
Other partners assisting in this effort include the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Canaan Valley Institute.
In-stream, or fluvial geomorphic, restoration involves the restoration of streams using natural channel design. Streams were historically considered "restored" by building elaborate structures, removing debris, dredging or placing rip-rap along stream banks. Often, these former methods of restoration created more problems, especially downstream of the project. If the structures did work initially, they sometimes failed after only a few years.
Fluvial geomorphic restoration involves extensive data collection coupled with a strongly engineered design. The work is designed to return natural flows and function to the streams and give a more natural look to a previously degraded stream. Large rocks or logs are typically placed in specific locations and configurations to achieve the desired results.