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Kananaskis River Alignment

Protecting infrastructure and fish habitat with riverbank and channel modifications

  • $55M

    Project Value

  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Kananaskis, Alberta

Balancing environmental value with regulatory objectives and visitor experience in river realignment

The June 2013 flood eroded a bank of the Kananaskis River, exposing the Evan Thomas Wastewater Treatment Plant’s utilities, putting infrastructure and the community at risk. Alberta Environment and Parks reached out to us to help.

First, we focused on key themes for this project: environmental value, regulatory objectives, and visitor experience related to design and construction. We then considered the unique hydrology of the river as well as stable and serviceable erosion protection.

The installation of armored spurs protects the site from future erosion. Boulders placed along the designed thalweg, the line of lowest elevation within the river, create habitat complexity and protect it during various flow events. Rock vanes build positive hydraulic effects for the aquatic habitat, while bioengineering includes willow plantings, native cobbles, and cover for riparian vegetation. Lastly, a constructed riffle matches existing pre-construction conditions.

Realigning the river and protecting critical infrastructure from future flood events improves the resiliency of the village community and maintains environmental safety in this prized recreational area. Authorization from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada recognizes that the project will create even more aquatic habitat.

At a Glance

  • Alberta Environment and Parks
Meet Our Team

Lacey AuCoin, Senior Associate, Environmental Planner

I work closely with clients and regulators to integrate the environmental mitigation strategies that meet project objectives.
Lacey AuCoin Senior Associate, Environmental Planner Read More

James Bigelow, Associate, Senior Hydrotechnical Engineer

As people, we are naturally connected to water—it’s our duty to design with both the natural habitat and community resiliency in mind.
James Bigelow Associate, Senior Hydrotechnical Engineer Read More

Matt Wood, Principal

I help build flood resilient communities by restoring rivers and riparian areas, designing riverine infrastructure, and flood mitigations.

Lacey AuCoin

Senior Associate, Environmental Planner

James Bigelow

Associate, Senior Hydrotechnical Engineer

Matt Wood


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