We used a geomorphic design approach to stabilize a suburban headwater system
The Denver Metro area is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. But rapid growth and ex-urban development can alter local watersheds significantly, affecting flood risk. When land use converts from agricultural to residential uses, these changes can lead to stream instability—bank erosion, channel incision, and many other problems. Proactive measures are often needed to stop this degradation and protect life and property from potential harm.
To help Robinson Gulch in suburban Denver, our stream restoration team assessed and designed approximately 1,000 linear feet of channel and floodplain and acquired federal, state, and local permits related to wetlands, grading, and land use. The project objectives included creating stable channel and floodplain morphology appropriate for the hydrology, topography, and sediment supply of the watershed; reducing bank erosion and sediment supply; preventing channel incision through grade control; and re-vegetating the site with a diverse community of native grasses, shrubs, and trees.
Using geomorphic-based stream management techniques, we can improve stream function while protecting property and infrastructure. It’s a win-win for both the community and the stream.
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