The Swamp School

The Swamp School

Dam Removal Functional Mitigation Design Workshop



Removing a dam has proven ecological benefits to the stream or river it is impounding. The new Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Guidance, “Compensatory mitigation credits for removal of obsolete dams and other structures from rivers and streams” (RGL18-1) describes a new concept of mixing different ecosystem credits. Pond credits for stream credits or stream credits for wetland credits are some examples. The challenge is how do you quantify these benefits?

The Swamp School has been teaching functional ecological design for years. The functional assessment model we teach, and use allows for direct comparisons between wetlands, ponds and streams. For example, a pond with a dam has some ecological value. Using the model, we can calculate this value. Then model the dam removal and calculate the future stream ecological functions. From there we can present an estimate of ecologic uplift or loss based upon six ecosystem functions. We can even propose future build out scenarios to account for the new site maturing and stabilizing.

The methodology we use and teach has been demonstrated on many wetland, stream and pond projects approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers. For over 20 years it has proven to be one of the best ecological design models in still use today.

Our workshop will include a complete classroom demonstration of the design model. Then we will be going into the field to collect data at an existing dam removal mitigation bank in Raleigh, NC. We will compare the pre-removal data with the as-built and field data and model the overall ecologic uplift for the project.

This is a very real, practical and hands-on way to learn how to use this design technique.

The workshop schedule includes:

  • Day 1 Classroom presentation and discussion on Functional Ecological Design
  • Day 2 Field trip to the Milburnie Dam Steam Mitigation site for data collection
  • Day 3 Classroom modeling workshop on several design scenarios and ecological uplift calculations

24 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are available for this workshop and a certificate of training will be issued.

Join us for this brand new 3-day workshop on functional ecological design.

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