In the U.S., interest in and resources devoted to restoration of ecological, aesthetic, and recreational values of degraded river channels is extremely high (Bernhardt et al. 2005), and stormwater managers are increasingly adopting ecologically-based approaches to channel design instead of traditional engineering approaches that rely heavily on structures placed in and along channels to control natural processes (Palmer et al. 2005; NRC 1992; Evans 1991; Williams 1990). Little more than thirty years ago when the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) were just starting to be implemented, stormwater conveyance channel management consisted almost exclusively of channel simplification through channelization, removal of large wood and riparian vegetation, and armoring of banks with rock and concrete (Brown 2000). The focus that NEPA and CEQA provided for environmental concerns in the planning of stormwater conveyance improvement and the resulting interest of the communities changed the perspectives of many flood agencies to start considering multi-purpose projects that incorporated not only protection and mitigation of the environment, but also restoration.
Monitoring performance of a novel approach to channel design for environmentally- sensitive stormwater management: Lower Silver Creek, California