Pennsylvania Field Office
Northeast Region
In-Stream Restoration

In-stream--or fluvial geomorphic--restoration is a relatively new concept in Pennsylvania’s Partners program. As the name implies, it involves the restoration of streams utilizing natural channel design. Historically, streams were "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 they did work, they sometimes failed after only a few years. Fluvial geomorphic restoration involves extensive data collection coupled with a strongly engineered design. The end result is very impressive. The work is designed to return natural flows to the streams and give a more natural look to the previously degraded stream. Typically, large rocks or logs are placed in specific locations and different configurations to achieve the desired results.

Last updated: April 6, 2016