Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference
Northeast Region


MARSC logo Preconference Workshop
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
8:30 – 12:00 (break at 10:15)

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Working With Stream Functions

Instructors: Will Harman and Richard Starr

Materials that students need to bring (e.g. laptop): none
Materials student will receive:

  • A Function-Based Framework for Developing Stream Assessments, Restoration Goals, Performance Standards, and Standard Operating Procedures. This document includes the revised Stream Functions Pyramid, a detailed description of the parameters used to describe stream functions, examples of how the overall framework can be used to develop goals, functional assessment methods, and debit/credit determination methods for a variety of mitigation scenarios, and a comprehensive list of performance standards.
  • Copy of presentations
  • Classroom exercises

Learning Objectives:


Overview of the stream functions framework
a. Provide a hierarchical framework for assessing stream functions. Key functions are organized into the following categories: hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, physiochemical, and biology.
b. Provide example performance standards for key parameters that can be used to directly or indirectly measure a function.
c. Describe methods that can be used to measure key function-based parameters.
d. Discuss how the framework can be used to create stream debits and credits for compensatory mitigation.
2. Application of framework to develop:
a. Restoration/mitigation goals based on functions
b. Assessment methodology
c. Performance standards
d. Debit and credit determination methods

Workshop Description:
This workshop offers a framework for assessing stream functions to individuals involved in stream assessment and restoration/mitigation projects. The framework can be used for pre- and post- restoration conditions on restoration/mitigation sites. The framework can also be used on streams not associated with restoration activities, like a proposed impact site. In this case, the assessment would establish baseline conditions or a description of functions that may be lost due to the permitted impact. In addition to providing functional assessment techniques, this course also provides suggested performance standards where possible and may be used as a template for IRTs when developing stream assessment protocols and performance standards for their stream mitigation Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

Participants will learn that stream functions follow a hierarchical structure, which has been organized by hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, physiochemical, and biology categories. The workshop will include examples of how the framework can be used to improve:

  • project goal setting by focusing on stream functions rather that changes to dimension, pattern and profile,
  • the development of functional assessments for the purpose of determining functional loss at a site that has been impacted and functional gain resulting from restoration or mitigation, and
  • the development of stream mitigation debit and credit determination methods.

The workshop will include lectures, examples, and classroom exercises where the participants will apply the framework to the three examples provided above. For item number 2, participants will work with function-based parameters, methods to measure the parameter, and associated performance standards.

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Introduction to Stream Project:
Decision Analysis and Design Guidance for Stream Restoration

Instructors: Dr. Peter Wilcock, Dr. Daniel Baker Geography and Environmental Engineering National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics Johns Hopkins University
Materials that students need to bring: Students should bring a laptop.

Materials student will receive: Readings and spreadsheets will be distributed electronically in advance.

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this workshop students will be able to:

  • Evaluate project objectives in a framework that links stream restoration objectives, actions, and system response
  • Choose from a range of tools (requiring varying degrees of time, cost, expertise, and supporting information) for the purpose of assessing and designing site conditions to achieve predictable objectives; and
  • Apply decision tools to evaluate trade-offs among project objectives

Workshop Description:
The Stream Project is a collaboration among scientists, engineers, and decision analysts at the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED), the Intermountain Center for River Rehabilitation and Restoration (ICRRR) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The result of the collaboration is a stream restoration decision analysis and design guidance methodology that defines and implements a rational, objectives-driven approach to evaluating and designing stream restoration projects. Our approach emphasizes a predictive link between restoration objectives, actions, and system response and an explicit coupling between restoration science, engineering, decision analysis, and practice. Within a multi-objective decision analysis framework, achievable objectives are identified given watershed context and site conditions, tools are provided to determine the degree of response possible, and decision analysis organizes analysis of project alternatives.

The workshop will provide an overview of Stream Project logic, a survey of the assessment, design, and decision tools, and hands-on practice applying these tools to case studies. Stream Project is a living methodology and feedback will be solicited from workshop participants for improving the method and its presentation.

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Regenerative Design: Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance, Sand Seepage Wetlands, and Base-flow Channel Design

Instructors: Joe Berg, Biohabitats,
Keith Underwood, Underwood & Associates
Erik Michelsen,South River Federation
Hala Flores, Anne Arundel County DPW

Materials that students need to bring (e.g. laptop): pencils, scale, calculator
Materials student will receive: References and or links to foundation literature

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this workshop students will:

  • Understand the foundations of regenerative storm water conveyance as a technique to repair storm water-eroded conveyance paths;
  • Know how to increase storm water storage volumes in and adjacent to flow paths with sand seepage wetlands to support improved water quality and wetland hydrology;
  • Appreciate how, why, and where we should be using base-flow channel design in urban streams;
  • Apply Anne Arundel County’s Regenerative Step Pool Conveyance Design Guidelines on a project; and
  • Share the design experience with workshop attendees.

Workshop Description:
This will be a casual, interactive presentation of some novel ideas and applications using elements of stream and wetland restoration combined with questions and discussions of restoration in urban and suburban watersheds, culminating in a team environment design exercise.


Last updated: September 12, 2011