Streambank and Shoreline Restoration Services
Streams and lakes are some of the most sensitive environments to land use changes. They are also the environments we want to live next to. And that combination of factors has led to the degradation of many of our precious water resources which today exhibit few of the characteristics of healthy systems that prevailed in pre-settlement times. The fact that the non-profit group, the “Friends of Trashed Rivers” even exists tells us the extent to which we’ve impacted our river systems. AES has conducted research to compare historical river flow data to today’s data in an effort to understand hydrologic changes that have occurred on the landscape.
The conclusion is that in a typical Midwestern river system, flows can be from 200 to 400 times greater than they were in pioneer days. Due to urban development and agricultural drainage, it’s no wonder streambanks and beds have eroded, that siltation and sedimentation are common problems, and that stream and streambank restoration have become high priorities in communities facing recurring flooding and streambank erosion. Lake systems, too, are impacted negatively by inappropriate development that fails to provide wetland and upland buffers to protect the shoreline environment. To stabilize these erodable environments, AES has found that alternative, ecological systems-based approaches often provide greater performance and long-term sustainability than conventional hardscape or engineered approaches. Soil bioengineering and ecological restoration approaches which use vegetation for stabilization are weakest at the time of installation but they grow strong over time to provide long-term, low-maintenance solutions. Engineered solutions, typically, are strongest at installation, but they grow weaker as they deteriorate over time.
AES offers a collaboration between environmental engineering and ecology to design long-lasting, ecologically healthy remedies to degraded streambanks and lakeshores. Using state-of-the-art hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, AES studies the dynamics of the water resources as a basis for the design of sustainable solutions. Several other technical factors also play a part in the design of streambank and shoreline restorations, and AES has conducted pioneering demonstration projects to illustrate how an Ecological Systems Approach can help protect the water’s edge from a variety of negative influences.
A clear and accurate assessment of technical factors leads the way to the design of sustainable projects. AES offers full consulting, engineering, design, permitting and installation services to improve the quality of our water resources, to restore and preserve stable shoreline environments and to benefit the fish and wildlife that depend on high quality streams and lakes.