Stream Restoration & Protection in North Carolina: Building on Success


August 15–17, 2000
Broyhill Inn and Conference Center
Boone, North Carolina



North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Institute
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Appalachian State University

Supporting Organizations

City of Charlotte
Duke Power Company
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund
NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
NC Department of Transportation
NC Sea Grant
NC Wetlands Restoration Program
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Tennessee Valley Authority
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Forest Service
US Geological Survey
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


Published by the North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Institute
Box 7637, Raleigh, NC 27695-7637

About the Conference

On behalf of the Planning Committee, I want to thank you for participating in Stream Restoration and Protection in North Carolina: Building on Success. Our goal is to provide a forum for exchanging technical information and local experiences related to improving water quality and aquatic habitat in rivers and streams. Speakers will describe restoration and protection projects, natural channel design techniques, landowner participation challenges, evaluation methods, and funding opportunities. The Exhibit Hall features businesses, government agencies, and educational organizations involved in stream management. Participants represent a mix of engineers, hydrologists, biologists, landscape architects, resource managers, foresters, educators, geologists, planners, contractors, surveyors, and citizens.

We hope you will find educational resources to enhance your knowledge and skills in stream restoration and protection. Please contact planning committee members with any suggestions for future educational programs.



Greg Jennings, NC State University

Conference Chair


Conference Planning Committee:

Dave Braatz, Duke Power Company

Mark Cantrell, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Micky Clemmons, NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Sue Counts, NC Cooperative Extension Service – Watauga County

Barbara Doll, NC Sea Grant

Andy Edwards, NC State University

Kristie Esposito, NC State University

Chris Estes, City of Charlotte

Dick Everhart, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Karen Hall, NC State University

Will Harman, NC State University

Phil Harris, NC Department of Transportation

Mac Haupt, NC Wetlands Restoration Program

Greg Jennings, NC State University

Angela Jessup, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Jeff Jurek, NC Wetlands Restoration Program

Mike Mayfield, Appalachian State University

Joe Mickey, NC Wildlife Resource Commission

Carolyn Mojonnier, NC State University

Mike Pitman, NC Cooperative Extension Service – Avery County

Rachel Smith, NC State University

Jean Spooner, NC State University

Joni Tanner, NC State University

Kevin Tweedy, NC State University

Alan Walker, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Dani Wise-Frederick, NC State University

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

8:00 am REGISTRATION (Alumni Hall)

8:30 GENERAL SESSION (Trillium North)

Conference Overview – Greg Jennings, NC State University

Whitewater Recreation on the Watauga River – Mike Mayfield, Appalachian State University

Setting the Stage for Watershed Restoration in the Eastern US – Andy Dolloff, US Forest Service

Biological Benefits of Stream Restoration – Micky Clemmons, NC Wildlife Resources Commission

10:00 BREAK & EXHIBITS (Alumni Hall)


A. Natural Channel Design Process (Trillium South) Moderator: Barbara Doll, NC Sea Grant

Bankfull Hydraulic Geometry Relationships for NC Streams – Dani Wise-Frederick, NCSU

Reference Reaches for Stream Restoration – Dan Clinton, EarthTech, Inc.

Stream Channel Evolution – Periann Russell, NCSU

B. Landowner Participation (Trillium North) Moderator: Jeff Jurek, NC WRP

Avoiding Long-Term Stream Protection Pitfalls: Creating and Managing Enforceable Conservation Easement Interests – Laura Jones, Southern Environmental Law Center

NCDOT Landowner Experiences – LeiLani Paugh, NC DOT

Landowner Participation in the Mitchell River Watershed – Dick Everhart, USDA NRCS

12:00 LUNCH (Courtyard Patio)


A. Natural Channel Design Applications (Trillium South) Moderator: Alan Walker, USDA NRCS

Design Methodology – Angela Jessup, USDA NRCS

Geomorphic Considerations in Bridge and Culvert Design – Stan Davis, MD State Highway Admin

B. Citizen Monitoring and Participation (Trillium North) Moderator: Dani Wise-Frederick, NCSU

Motivating Volunteers in the Mitchell River – Julie Elmore, Surry Soil & Water Conservation District

Biological Monitoring in the Watauga River: Watershed Watch – Andy Edwards, NCSU

TVA Volunteer Monitoring Certification Program – Dave Tomljanovich, Tennessee Valley Authority

2:30 BREAK & EXHIBITS (Alumni Hall)


A. Stream Restoration Construction (Trillium South) Moderator: Micky Clemmons, NC WRC

Erosion and Sediment Control During Stream Restoration – Gray Hauser, NC DLR

Structure Installation Techniques – Alan Walker, USDA NRCS

Working With Contractors – Will Harman, NCSU

Cultural Resources Considerations – Steve Claggett, NC Office of State Archaeology, and Tom Magnuson, Trading Path Preservation Association

B. Riparian Buffers and Wetlands (Trillium North) Moderator: Karen Hall, NCSU

Habitat Functions of Riparian Buffers and Wetlands – Chris McGrath, NC WRC

Riparian Buffers and Water Quality – Deanna Osmond, NCSU

Hydrologic Functions of Riparian Buffers and Wetlands – Kevin Tweedy, NCSU


Wednesday, August 16, 2000


A. Streambank Stabilization & Riparian Vegetation (Trillium South) Moderator: Joe Mickey, NC WRC

Soil Bioengineering Techniques – Dick Everhart, USDA NRCS

Vegetation Sources for Stream Restoration – Karen Hall, NCSU

Particulate Organic Contributions from Forests to Streams: Debris Isn’t Bad – Andy Dolloff, USFS

B. Watershed Management (Trillium North) Moderator: Carolyn Mojonnier, NCSU

NC Basinwide Water Quality Management Program – Darlene Kucken, NC DWQ

NC Wetlands Restoration Program Local Watershed Plans – Kristin Cozza, NC WRP

Effectively Involving Stakeholders in Watershed Management – Suzanne Hoover, NCSU

10:00 BREAK & EXHIBITS (Alumni Hall)


A. Monitoring & Evaluation (Trillium South) Moderator: Mark Cantrell, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Sediment Monitoring – Dave Braatz, Duke Power Company

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Protocols for Stream Restoration Dave Penrose, NC DWQ

Stream Morphology Monitoring – Greg Jennings, NCSU

B. Stream Restoration Funding Opportunities (Trillium North) Moderator: Jean Spooner, NCSU

The Funding of NCDOT Mitigation Projects – Clarence Coleman, NC DOT

NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund – Steve Bevington, NC CWMTF

NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation – David Williams, NC DSWC

NC Division of Water Quality Section 319 Program – Alan Clark, NC DWQ

NC Division of Water Resources – Jeff Bruton, NC DWR

NC Wetlands Restoration Program – Ron Ferrell, NC WRP

12:00 LUNCH (Courtyard Patio)

1:00 pm CASE STUDIES (Trillium North) Moderator: Barbara Doll, NC Sea Grant

Yates Millpond Stream Restoration Project – Kevin Tweedy, NCSU

Briar Creek Stream Bank Stabilization and Habitat Enhancement – Andrew Burg, Mecklenburg Co.

Keen Tract (Johnston) WRP Site: A Priority 1 Stream Restoration – Angela Jessup, USDA NRCS

2:30 BREAK & EXHIBITS (Alumni Hall)

3:00 CASE STUDIES (Trillium North) Moderator: Greg Jennings, NCSU

Stream Restoration at Starmount Forest Country Club – Ed Lewis, NC DOT

Worley Creek Restoration – John Vilas, E’nV Environmental Consulting Services, Inc.

Stream Restoration at Stone Mountain State Park – Will Harman, NCSU


Thursday, August 17, 2000

8:00 am – 3:00 pm Tour of Watauga River Basin Projects

Registered participants should meet vans in the Broyhill front parking lot at 8:00 am. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The tour will visit three recently completed stream restoration projects at Cove Creek, Worley Creek, and Shawneehaw Creek in the Watauga River Basin. Project leaders will describe design and construction considerations for channel relocation, in-stream structures, and riparian vegetation establishment.

Whitewater Recreation on the Watauga River

Michael W. Mayfield
Appalachian State University
Department of Geography
Boone, NC 28608-2066

The Watauga River Gorge contains some of the most outstanding whitewater in the Southeast. Whitewater enthusiasts regularly visit the Watauga from all over the eastern United States because of its challenging rapids and outstanding scenery. To date, no commercial rafting operations use the Watauga Gorge on a regular basis because of its difficulty, narrow range of flows appropriate for rafting, and a flow regime that provides most paddling opportunities between December and April.

Recreationists generally consider water quality of the Watauga to be good to excellent. However, sediment loads from development and riparian zone agriculture frequently impede water quality during quickflow events associated with convective storms during the summer.

Conflicts over river access have emerged in recent years. Numerous problems have developed at the put-in for the Gorge. Most paddlers park their cars on privately owned land at the Guy Ford Bridge. Before the landowner agreed to allow parking there, numerous complaints were filed over road and bridge obstruction caused by poorly parked cars. Local residents have expressed resentment against outsiders in a variety of ways. Several windshields have been broken. On occasion, the State Highway Patrol has been summoned to ticket and tow cars parked in the right-of-way.

No legal take-out existed for the Gorge for many years; most paddlers either paddled far down Watauga Lake or trespassed on private property along the river. The American Whitewater Affiliation attempted to resolve the egress issue by purchasing a lot in the Watson Island community. While a legal take-out now exists, conflicts have emerged between local and boaters. Of greatest concern to the locals is the tendency of some boaters to engage in public nudity, make excessive noise, and speed down a narrow gravel road.

History, Habitat, Chemistry, and Catastrophe:

Setting the Stage for Watershed Restoration in the Eastern US

C. Andrew Dolloff
U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station
Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0321

Watersheds, riparian areas, rivers, and stream habitats in the Eastern United States have changed dramatically over the last 200 years, under the influence of accelerated erosion, loading of pollutants from both point and non-point sources, and in recent history, input of acid precipitation. Structurally complex aquatic habitats have been directly and indirectly simplified by intensive land use and interruptions of natural processes. Many aquatic communities and assemblages have gained or lost members or become excessively fragmented, and both habitats and the organisms that they shelter may be less resilient when subjected to certain natural disturbances.

Efforts to restore watersheds must begin with a thorough understanding of historical land use. In the early 19th century, logging was one of the major industries of the new country. Large forested areas were cut over and then abandoned or converted to other uses; prior to the 1850 census in the United States, at least 100 million acres of forests had been converted to agriculture east of the Mississippi River. During the post civil war years of the 1880's, prompted by the looming shortages resulting from over exploitation of Lake State and New England forests, loggers moved West and South into the Appalachian forests in search of red spruce, yellow poplar, and American chestnut. The impacts of river cleaning, original logging, catastrophic fire, and conversion to agriculture accumulated over the span of two centuries. This historical legacy means that we simply cannot begin management starting with a clean slate, and that watershed restoration will succeed only within the limits imposed by history.


Biological Benefits of Stream Restoration

Micky Clemmons
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
20830 Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
Waynesville, NC 28786

Stream restoration may be undertaken for a number of different reasons, such as to repair erosion problems or to improve fish and wildlife habitat. While project sponsors may have different objectives, when done correctly using natural channel design, there will always be biological benefits. This can be assumed because a natural channel design utilizes a reference reach, which provides a template for restoring a stable and biologically diverse stream channel. Biologically, stream channels should be understood to include the area below bankfull as well as the floodplain. A restored stream reach should provide benefits that can be demonstrated at the reference reach.

The establishment of a vegetated buffer that has long-term protection and includes all or part of the floodplain will provide a number of benefits. Trees and shrubs growing within the buffer will produce a root-mass that will greatly increase bank stability. Leaves from these trees will shade the stream through the hottest part of the year and when they drop in the fall, provide the organic detritus that fuels food chains in lower order streams. Riparian vegetation also provides food and hiding cover for many wildlife species. Since stream channels may be the only undeveloped areas within a watershed or the only linkage between woodlands, they serve as travel corridors for animals. The stems and root mass of the riparian vegetation benefits water quality by filtering sediment and other pollutants from surface and subsurface flow before it enters the stream and impacts aquatic organisms. Restoration projects should provide these benefits by restoring or enhancing riparian vegetation through planting of native vegetation.

Restoration of proper dimension, pattern and profile will provide a channel that moves water and sediment through the reach without causing aggradation or degradation. Restored streams provide for the sorting of bed material that results in the development of habitat diversity. This is particularly important to fish species such as trout that require the presence and maintenance of clean gravel for reproduction. Sorting benefits aquatic organisms by providing stable micro- as well as macrohabitats. In high gradient streams fish and other aquatic organisms utilize the space between gravel, cobble and boulders as resting and feeding habitat. These sites provide an escape from swift currents higher in the water column. In many degraded streams the absence of pool habitat may limit game fish populations. Structures used in natural channel design such as vanes, cross-vanes, weirs, and root-wads create and maintain pool habitat, thereby, improving fishery quality. Restoration of the proper dimension will insure that the stream is connected to the floodplain so that riparian vegetation and other components that roughen the channel will mitigate damage from flood-flows. Restoration should result in increased habitat quality. This presentation will review and give examples of these biological benefits.

Bankfull Hydraulic Geometry Relationships
for North Carolina Streams

Dani Wise-Frederick
NC State University

Bankfull hydraulic geometry relationships, also called regional curves, relate bankfull stream channel dimensions to watershed drainage area. This presentation describes results of bankfull hydraulic geometry relationships developed for North Carolina Piedmont and Mountain streams. Gage stations were selected with a minimum of 10 years of continuous or peak discharge measurements, no major impoundments, no significant change in land use over the past 10 years. To supplement data collected in gaged watersheds, stable reference reaches in un-gaged watersheds were also included in the study. Cross- sectional and longitudinal surveys were measured at each study reach to determine channel dimension, pattern, and profile information. Log-Pearson Type III distributions were used to analyze annual peak discharge data for USGS gage station sites. Power function relationships were developed using regression analyses for bankfull discharge, channel cross-sectional area, mean depth, and width as functions of watershed drainage area. The bankfull return interval for the gaged watersheds ranged from 1.1 to 1.8, with a mean of 1.4 years. Continuing work will expand this database for the North Carolina Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain physiographic provinces in both rural and urban environments.


Reference Reaches for Stream Restoration

Dan Clinton
EarthTech, Inc.

Reference stream channel morphology relationships are valuable tools for engineers, hydrologists, and biologists involved in stream restoration and protection. They can be used by designers to determine appropriate channel dimension, pattern, and profile for various stream types and watershed conditions. This paper presents empirical relationships for reference stream channel morphology developed from field measurements in western North Carolina. Nine stable rural reference reaches in the Piedmont and Mountains were selected to represent Rosgen stream types B, C, and E. These reaches were surveyed to determine detailed channel dimension, pattern, and profile. Empirical relationships were developed for such parameters as pool cross-sectional area to riffle area, maximum pool depth to bankfull width, and riffle length to bankfull width. These relationships are essential for use in designing restoration or stabilization of unstable reaches in similar hydrophysiographic areas. Techniques for reference reach selection, field measurement, data management, and data analysis are described.


Stream Channel Evolution

Periann Russell
NC State University

Channel evolution is the term used to describe channel change and adjustment over a long period of time, that is, decades to centuries. The underlying assumption of channel evolution is that given a disturbance, channel response or adjustment occurs in stages that are dependent on the previous stage. The basis of this assumption lies in the acceptance that channel process is dynamic and in constant adjustment to changes in climate, sediment supply, discharge, channel morphology and in recent history, land use. The concept of channel evolution is important to stream restoration in determination of causes of channel change and identification of the current stage in the evolutionary process. Understanding the stage in the evolutionary process provides a better understanding of current condition. When applied to stream restoration, this knowledge can provide the foundation for setting realistic objectives based on channel process as well as the information necessary for stream restoration design.


Avoiding Long-Term Stream Protection Pitfalls:
Creating and Managing Enforceable Conservation Easement Interests

Laura P. Jones
Southern Environmental Law Center
200 West Franklin Street Suite 330
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

How can we protect a natural or restored stream from on-site activities that will undermine long-term protection goals? Government, private, and non-profit organizations alike are searching for long-term solutions to this question. Conservation easements, when properly executed, convey enforceable property interests permanently or for a stated period of years. As a result, they can be used to protect property long-term and, if created and managed properly, are enforceable against subsequent landowners. Yet there are many challenges to successfully creating and managing conservation easement interests. While conservation easements have been used for many years by state and federal programs as a preferred means of providing long-term site protection, chronic problems continue to arise in easement drafting, execution, and management.

Conservation easement deed language must be unambiguous to ensure that unwanted activities are clearly prohibited. Nevertheless, the instrument must be carefully tailored to strike a balance between landowner needs and protection objectives. Language that unnecessarily restricts landowner activity increases the chances that conservation easement terms will be violated at some time in the future. Prospective grantees must also ensure that the landowner negotiations are conducted with the true legal owner of the property, and that any co-owners fully participate in easement planning discussions. In addition to careful conservation easement deed drafting and negotiation, conservation easement holders must employ systematic monitoring and management procedures to ensure that site characteristics are well documented and easement boundaries well marked. Without the annual application of proper management and monitoring resources, the ability to successfully enforce the terms of the conservation easement will be jeopardized, and hence, protection benefits compromised or eliminated.

NCDOT Landowner Experiences

LeiLani Paugh
NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation must provide mitigation for unavoidable impacts to wetlands, streams, and riparian buffers caused by highway construction and maintenance projects. To meet these mitigation needs, NCDOT utilizes in-house staff and on-call consulting firms to identify, plan, and construct mitigation sites. The first step, identification of potential sites, receives the least attention but is critical to the success of the process. It involves coordination of various units within NCDOT, resource and regulatory agencies, and property owners. The focus of this discussion is NCDOT’s experiences through its stream mitigation program with property owners, both public and private.

NCDOT’s mitigation program ultimately relies on the voluntary cooperation of the property owner. We have experienced several challenges along the way. The first challenge is to overcome the landowner’s initial fear for the contact, that we are acquiring right-of-way for a new highway project. Once we have assured the property owner that is not the case and that our program is completely voluntary, the next obstacle is to explain what mitigation means, what kind of work we are proposing, and how it will affect the property and its long term use. If the property owner is agreeable to the mitigation concept, the next question of the property owner is what benefits they can expect from the mitigation work.

Our process has evolved through trial and error to address these issues. For the initial contact with property owners, we have prefaced phone calls with an information packet about our mitigation program. This packet allows the property owner to review the information at his leisure and to form questions or comments before our first personal contact. The packet also includes a brochure that introduces the technical aspects of wetland and stream mitigation. After the initial contact with the packet, we visit the site by walking the property owner through the proposed project, marking the construction area on the ground, and addressing any concerns specific to the site. We explain our goals for the project and how these will improve the property. The property owner is included in the decision-making, thereby reducing the potential for conflicting interests later in the process.

After the site is determined to be feasible with mitigation concepts agreeable to the landowner, monetary benefits for the landowner become of the utmost importance. In the past, this process was handled by NCDOT’s Right-of-way Branch, requiring a time-consuming appraisal, negotiation, and acquisition process. However, through extensive discussions between the ROW Branch, PD&EA Branch, NCDOT Administration, FHWA, and our lawyers of course, this process has evolved to the benefit of everyone involved. The ROW Branch is preparing a statewide market study that will provide land values for each county for streamside property. We will use these values, by fee simple or conservation easement, to approach the property owner at the initial site visit. The ROW Branch is also dedicating a field agent within each region of the state to our mitigation program. This will provide for up-front discussions with the property owner about monetary benefits and decrease the time delay for acquiring sites.

This ever-evolving process has proved successful in obtaining potential mitigation sites. We have increased the comfort level of the property owners through education about our mitigation program, explanation of proposed work and possible benefits, and coordination of NCDOT’s and the property owners’ expectations.

Landowner Participation in the Mitchell River Watershed

J. Richard Everhart
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
PO Box 218, Dobson, NC 27017

The Mitchell River watershed covers 67,000 acres of Surry and Alleghany counties in the foothills of northwest North Carolina. The upper Mitchell River was designated an Outstanding Resource Water in 1987. The same study that documented excellent water quality in the upper Mitchell, documented problems with sediment and fecal coliform in the South Fork Mitchell River. As a result, the ORW designation ends at the Mitchell’s confluence with the South Fork. A watershed coalition and steering committee were formed from a strong base of local support for protecting the watershed and improving water quality. This partnership includes over 20 entities including local citizen groups, local, state and federal agencies, several companies and nonprofit organizations. The steering committee’s job is to; collect and evaluate data, develop a plan and goals, identify and acquire technical and financial resources, provide guidance and oversight and finally to measure success.

To carry out its responsibilities the steering committee has established three action teams: Best Management Practices, Education and Monitoring. Recently the BMP team with primary support from NCSU Water Quality Group and the local NRCS staff completed 300 feet of stream restoration. This restoration was carried out on the South Fork Mitchell River to address bank failure at a powerline crossing. This project involved the restoration of an appropriate dimension, pattern and profile, the use of rock vanes, J-hook vanes, root wads, native transplants on a bankfull bench, erosion control fabric and live stakes.

There are no public lands in this watershed. As a result, building on the existing successes and achieving the water quality goals of the coalition depends on the cooperation of private landowners. The Mitchell River Coalition’s approach has been a combination of landowner education, one on one contact and financial assistance. Participation in the program requires a high level of landowner commitment in the form of financial participation in the cost of BMP installation and/or the donation of permanent conservation easements.

Design Methodology

Angela G. Jessup, P.E.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
P.O. Box 8, Yadkinville, NC 27055

The design methodology for stream restoration based on natural channel design concepts is similar yet very different from traditional channel design. One major difference is the design flow used to size the channel. With traditional designs the channel is normally sized to carry flood flows (i.e., the 10-, 25-, or 50-year storm event). The design methods for natural channel design use the bankfull discharge, a field determined value, to size the channel. The bankfull discharge is the flow that forms and maintains a stable channel in its present climatic condition. In rural piedmont North Carolina, the return period for bankfull discharge has been determined to be approximately 1.4 years. With natural channel design methods, flows greater than bankfull discharge are designed to be carried in the flood prone area (floodplain). In either case, the first order of business is to evaluate the past, present, and future watershed conditions. The evaluation must identify the watershed impacts that have caused the current stream condition before alternatives can be developed for restoring the stream to a stable condition.

When using natural channel design methodology, data is collected and used to analyze the current stream condition and to determine the future potential and proposed dimension, pattern, and profile of the stream to be restored. A restoration design will be used to demonstrate the design methodology for a priority one restoration. The procedure includes:



Harman, William A., et al. (1999). Bankfull Hydraulic Geometry Relationships for North Carolina Streams. NC Stream Restoration and Protection Conference Proceedings, Asheville, NC, August 17-20, 1999.

Leopold, Wolman & Miller (1964). Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology. Dover Publications, Mineola, New York.

Rosgen, David L. (1997). A Geomorphological Approach to Restoration of Incised Rivers. Proceedings of the Conference on Management of Landscapes Disturbed by Channel Incision. S.S.Y. Wang, E.J. Langendoen and F.D. Shields, Jr. (editors).

Rosgen, Dave (1996). Applied River Morphology. Printed Media Companies, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rosgen, Dave (1997). "River Restoration and Natural Channel Design" course materials. Wildland Hydrology Consultants, Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Geomorphic Considerations in Bridge and Culvert Design

Stan Davis
Maryland State Highway Administration

During the past 8 years, the SHA has been involved in a continuing effort to improve culvert design procedures from the viewpoint of limiting impacts to streams. A long -term research study is underway to define the characteristics of Maryland streams regarding bankfull widths, depths and discharges. The hydraulic engineers have taken the basic and advanced courses on stream morphology presented by David Rosgen. The SHA culvert design manual is being rewritten to incorporate consideration of stream morphology, fish passage and other environmental features in the selection of culvert sizes and types. The revised design procedure emphasizes the need to identify all appropriate objectives at the start of the design process so that the best overall solution can be determined. The design concept is to construct a system that is stable and that neither scours nor aggrades. Elements of this approach include maintaining the consistency of dimension, pattern and profile of the stream with particular attention given to maintaining bankfull width and width/depth ratio. Flood plain culverts are provided where appropriate to relieve the hydraulic load on the main channel culvert so as to limit downstream scour and erosion.

Several culverts have been recently constructed using the stream morphology concepts discussed above. These initial efforts have been quite successful and indicate that it is practical to consider stream morphology concepts in culvert design.

Motivating Volunteers in the Mitchell River

Julie Elmore
Surry Soil and Water Conservation District
PO Box 218, Dobson, NC 27017

This talk will focus primarily on basic motivational strategies and coordination techniques for those interested in starting and maintaining a strong program of volunteer based monitoring. Strategies will be discussed that will explain: how to recruit and what to look for in potential volunteers, how to organize a solid and sustainable program, how to implement initial and on going training programs, the importance of communicating data collection, and managerial techniques that go into coordinating volunteers. Julie Elmore has been revamping the Mitchell River Volunteer program since November 1999. Julie was Director of Service Events at Elon College for two years where she gained experience through coordinating hundreds of college students to participate in winter and spring Special Olympics for Alamance County, blood drives, food drives, and fund raisers.

Biological Monitoring in the Watauga River: Watershed Watch

Andy Edwards and Kristie Esposito
NC State University, Cooperative Extension Service

Watershed Watch is a volunteer stream monitoring program that was established by the NC Cooperative Extension Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority in the Watauga River Basin. The program has been in existence for three years and is growing. The first year had six monitoring groups and has expanded to over twenty. Beginning in 2000 we will expand into the New River Basin.

The protocol for the monitoring was developed from a variety of parameters that are used by groups such as Isaac Walton League and Streamkeepers. Each volunteer performs a monthly water chemistry measurement. The monitors check for dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature. They also monitor the depth of the sample site as well as color, clarity and odor. All of the information is compiled in a database and sent to NCSU's Water Quality Group. Each monitor has his own test kit and chooses his own stream to watch.

In addition to the chemical monitoring, each volunteer is asked to do a quarterly macroinvertebrate survey. Volunteers receive training in proper technique and have access to all the equipment necessary to do the survey. We also have a lab set up to assist in the process. We use protocol set forth by TVA to take a semi-quantitative sample.

A new program that we are working on with TVA is to certify our volunteers. TVA feels that having the volunteers go through a certification process will make the data collected more valid and thus usable by groups outside of the volunteers. The certification program has three levels. The first level is the collection procedures. Level two is the sampling procedure and Level three is identification to order. The volunteers will take a practical exam at each level and must demonstrate proficiency to be certified. Each volunteer has the option to be certified at a level that meets his level of comfort.

Watershed Watch also includes several school groups within the Watauga and New River Basins. We go to the classroom and teach about the watershed and how it is impacted. Then we teach about the importance of monitoring and train the class to be monitors. We also do educational programs for environmental field days, pesticide certification, and farm tours.

Watershed Watch publishes a semi-annual newsletter to inform the public about our progress in the watershed as well as the progress of the Watauga River Watershed Project. We feel that it is important to get people involved in maintaining a healthy watershed. Contact us for more information or if you would like to get involved in our monitoring program.

TVA Volunteer Monitoring Certification Program

Dave Tomljanovich
Tennessee Valley Authority

Assessment of stream quality is an important aspect of watershed improvement and protection programs. Assessments may include sampling for chemical, physical, hydrological, biological, and water usage parameters. Regular monitoring of stream condition is useful for assessing trends, identifying threats to human health, determining the need for corrective actions, establishing permitted discharge limits, and for evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices. Historically, it has been the responsibility of federal, state, and local government agencies to monitor the health of our nations' waters.

In recent years a watershed approach to environmental protection has emerged. Land-use within a watershed directly and indirectly determines water quality. Although there are laws and ordinances that are aimed at protecting water quality, much of the pollution is from non-point sources that are not easily controlled through regulation. Herein lies the need for stewardship responsibility by watershed residents. An important component of a watershed-based approach is organizing watershed coalitions of citizens working with natural resources agencies. Together they identify problems, establish goals and implement programs and projects to protect the environment as the community grows and places increasing demands on natural resources. All of this effort has increased the need for accurate assessments of water quality. Monitoring is expensive and time consuming, and no single agency can afford to do all that is needed.

TVA began a certification program in 1999 to train citizens to do benthic macroinvertebrate sampling. In general, benthic data collected by volunteers has not been of much value to agencies. Concerns over lack of credibility are justified. In most volunteer programs, there is insufficient training and testing of the individual's ability. Because of lack of confidence in the data, most agencies tend to discregard volunteer data. This certification program provides the citizen with training he or she needs to collect meaningful and reliable data that will be of benefit to water quality agencies and watershed coalitions. When the volunteer monitor knows that his data are being used it will encourage him to continue on as a volunteer.

TVA's basic-level certification program is a two-day training that teaches how to determine where in a stream to sample, how to properly collect the sample, how to preserve and label the contents, how to process the sample, and how to sort organisms into three categories, intolerant, tolerant, and intermediate. Finally, the volunteer is taught how to perform the simple semi-quantitative analysis comparing intolerant and tolerant organisms. Volunteers collect three one-meter kick-net samples from a characteristic run habitat. Intolerant organisms include all of the Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Tricoptera (caddisflies), or EPT. In the basic-level certification, the volunteer does not need to know which of the three orders of EPT the organism is in. Tolerant organisms include chironomids, simuliids, oligochaetes, planarids, amphipods, and isopods. All other organisms are considered intermediate.

Following the training, the volunteer is asked to collect and process a sample and bring the organisms in three vials labeled intolerant, tolerant, and intermediate. If the organisms are properly identified, the volunteer will receive certification for basic-level benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring. Following the training, watershed specialists with TVA will be available to go to the field and lab as needed to help the volunteer develop his sampling and taxonomic skills. Volunteers are encouraged to go out with agency biologists when they are sampling. This provides valuable experience for volunteers and increases credibility with agencies receiving their data. A second level of certification will include identification of EPT organisms to family level and protocol for sampling the variety of habitats in which they are found.

Erosion and Sediment Control during Stream Restoration

T. Gray Hauser, Jr.
NC Division of Land Resources

Land disturbing activity in North Carolina is regulated by the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act, or SPCA. Activities exempt from the SPCA are forestry that is following Best Management Practices, and agriculture. Land disturbance of one acre or more requires an approved sedimentation and erosion control plan. The plan should be submitted at least 30 days before the planned starting date of the project.

Several mandatory standards apply to projects regardless of size. Reasonable measures must be taken to prevent sedimentation damage to public and private property. The angle of graded slopes and fills must not be too steep to support vegetative cover. Slopes must be provided with ground cover within 15 working days or 30 calendar days of completion of a phrase or grading. Land disturbance in proximity to a lake or natural watercourse must be provided with a stream buffer zone to confine visible siltation within the first 25 percent of the buffer zone. Activities that take place "in, on, over or under a lake or natural watercourse shall minimize the extent and duration of disruption of the stream channel. Where relocation of a stream forms an essential part of the proposed activity, the relocation shall minimize unnecessary changes in the stream flow characteristics" (North Carolina Administrative Code, Title 15 A, Subchapter 4B, .0012). This regulation has been effective since November 1, 1984, long before fluvial geomorphology or natural channel design became subjects of broad interest. Yet this regulation provides a framework for sediment control during stream channel restoration and a powerful mandate to require natural channel design when streams are relocated. As our understanding of stream flow characteristics advances, accepted standards for stream relocations must advance as well.

Minimizing the extent and duration of disruption of the stream channel during restoration should be a guiding principal in a sedimentation and erosion control plan. This does not preclude relocation of a channel to restore the natural pattern and profile of the stream. It does require careful planning of the construction sequence. New channel segments should be constructed and stabilized before flow is diverted into the new channel. Where reshaping and repair of stream banks occurs in an existing channel, flow should be temporarily pumped around the work area if practical. When work must occur in a flowing stream, stabilization of the channel must progress concurrently with the bank disturbance. Each day’s work must be a completed work, with all regraded stream banks provided with at least temporary ground cover. Any excavated soil should be removed directly to a protected stockpile area, without double handling of the material in the stream area. Conventional sedimentation and erosion control measures are usually required, to prevent sediment from upland disturbed areas from washing into streams or adjacent property. Gravel construction entrance, temporary equipment crossings, temporary diversions, rock silt screens and sediment traps, and silt fence, are typical controls that may be needed.

Sediment and erosion control requirements should be incorporated at the earliest stage in stream restoration planning. Erosion control and stream restoration programs in North Carolina should really compliment each other when effectively planned and administered.

Structure Installation Techniques

Alan Walker
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
589 Raccoon Road, Suite 246, Waynesville, NC 28786
828-456-6341, Ext. 5

This presentation will show various techniques for installing stream restoration and/or stabilization structures. The proper identification and understanding of the bankfull elevation is a key factor when installing these structures. The installation of stabilization and/or restoration structures should not be done until a proper assessment of the stream is conducted. This assessment should include identifying the stream type and the degree of departure from the stable condition. Consideration should also be given to the beginning and ending points of the project. After assessing the condition the priority of restoration should be established with interested parties to identify the goals of the project. There are four (4) priority levels to consider when restoring a stream. (1) Reconnect the stream to its floodplain, (2) Develop a floodplain at the existing elevation, (3) Establish a different stream type at the existing elevation, or (4) attempt to stabilize in place.

The structure installation techniques covered in this presentation will include: root wads, log vanes. rock vanes, j-hook vanes, and cross vanes. Techniques will also be shown for installation of step/pool sequences in a stream, developing a bankfull bench, and developing additional floodprone area. The sequence of construction will be discussed, including methodology for field location of structures and restoring pattern before installing structures. It is extremely important that personnel assisting with the installation of these stabilization measures be adept in field surveying techniques. Installation of these structures will require machinery to be in the stream, unless the stream is extremely small. The use of proper construction techniques and equipment is vital to the project’s success. The development of ingress and egress points should be carefully considered to minimize impacts to the streambank. Timing of the construction and coordination with all appropriate agencies are important processes that should not be overlooked.

Working With Contractors

William A. Harman
NC State University

Angela G. Jessup, P.E.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
P.O. Box 8, Yadkinville, NC 27055

Natural channel design construction is still new to most designers and contractors. Therefore, it is imperative that a good working relationship be established between the natural channel designer and the contractor. This presentation will describe the major elements of successful construction management and implementation of the design. The major elements include plan review, site preparation, site clearing, plant materials, installation and construction, site reclamation and cleanup, and inspection and maintenance. Each of these elements will be discussed in the presentation.

Cultural Resources Considerations in Stream Restoration

Steve Claggett
NC Office of State Archaeology

Tom Magnuson
Trading Path Preservation Association

Habitat Functions of Riparian Buffers and Wetlands

Christopher McGrath
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Schafale and Weakley (1990) identify 49 different freshwater/wet natural communities (not including brackish or estuarine systems) in North Carolina. These range from maritime swamp forests and pocosins of the coastal plain to spray cliffs and southern Appalachian fens of the mountains. These communities are classified geographically, but also by such factors as vegetative composition, physiognomy, animal assemblages, topography, structure, hydrology, soils, and other abiotic factors. As such there is a tremendous variety of habitat functions for various species within, and across taxa in North Carolina. Some animal species will utilize multiple community types, while others are restricted to specific types. However in general, all wildlife habitats, including riparian and wetland habitats must provide 3 basic features to be considered habitat for a species. They are food, cover, and water (not necessarily open water). Consequently, riparian and wetland habitat function can be described as: provision of cover for resting, roosting, or concealment, provision of forage or prey base, and provision of breeding sites/conditions. Each of these functions is a direct result of the riparian/wetland community composition and structure. There are additional functions such as provision of water quality which are indirectly beneficial to many aquatic animals.

In some instances, one or more functions of a riparian/wetland habitat can be the determinant factor in the use of the habitat by animals, but more often, multiple functions combine to produce the set of conditions suitable for, or preferred by, a given animal species. For some animals, the specific needs in relation to the riparian/wetland habitats are known. For other animals there is no clearly identified habitat function which determines the use of the habitat, however they may often be associated with either riparian or wetland communities. Forested buffers of rivers and streams are not necessarily always the desired condition to provide these basic habitat functions for all animal species. Examples of each of these direct habitat functions and one indirect function are discussed with reference to wildlife species which capitalize upon them. Wilson (1995) for reptiles and amphibians, and Hamel (1992) for birds, provide useful reviews of the habitat associations of various species to the riparian and wetland habitats in the Southern United States.

Riparian Buffers and Water Quality

Deanna Osmond
NC State University

North Carolina is a state with abundant water resources. There are over 35,000 miles of streams and rivers in North Carolina, as well as several estuaries and 320 miles of coastal waters. The water resources in North Carolina most affected by pollution are streams and rivers, followed by lakes and ponds. In 1995, only 40% of streams and rivers were fully supporting their designated uses of swimming, fishing, or drinking. Approximately 75% of the lakes and ponds and 95% of the estuaries were fully supporting.

Scientists agree that a corridor of vegetation can be effective at buffering valuable aquatic resources from the impacts of human use of adjacent land. The streamside vegetated buffer filters nonpoint source pollutants from incoming runoff and provides habitat for a balanced, integrated, and adaptive community of riparian and aquatic organisms. Riparian buffers are vegetated areas next to water resources that protect water from nonpoint source pollution and provide bank stabilization and aquatic and wildlife habitat. These filtering and habitat functions are often best provided by natural vegetation such as trees and associated woodland or forest plants in the zone directly adjacent to the water. While there is general agreement about the benefits of buffers, specific design criteria, such as buffer width, types of vegetation, and management, are the subject of considerable debate. Natural riparian buffers are composed of grasses, trees, or both types of vegetation. If buffers are maintained or reestablished, they can exist under most land uses: natural, agricultural, forested, suburban, and urban.

There are many factors that determine the effectiveness of riparian buffers for any given pollutant. To understand these factors, it is necessary to understand how riparian buffers work to reduce pollutant movement into surface waters. The most important factor controlling effectiveness of riparian buffers is hydrology: how the water moves through or over the buffer. Sediment and sediment-associated pollutants, such as some pesticides and phosphorus, move to surface waters almost exclusively through surface runoff. Thus, to remove sediment and its associated pollutants, surface runoff water must be intercepted. Removal of contaminants from surface runoff requires that runoff water be sufficiently slowed to allow sediment to settle out. If the runoff water does not spread over the buffer, it will move through the buffer in channels. Channelized water moves almost as quickly through a buffer as it does from the field, thereby making the buffer ineffective at pollutant removal.

Most nitrogen from agricultural fields reaches surface water as nitrate in the ground water below the soil surface. In order for nitrate to be removed from ground water before it reaches surface water, the ground water must enter a zone where plant roots are or have been active. These roots may either absorb the nitrate for use in plant growth or, more importantly, may provide an energy source for bacteria that converts nitrogen in nitrate to a gas, which then escapes to the atmosphere. This process, denitrification, occurs almost exclusively in water-saturated zones where abundant organic matter is present.

Hydrologic Functions of Riparian Buffers and Wetlands

Kevin Tweedy
NC State University

A stream channel and its associated riparian buffers and wetlands are linked together by a dynamic, often complex, hydrologic framework. During base flow stream conditions, water flows primarily from riparian buffers and wetlands toward the stream via groundwater. Wetlands and buffers store water from precipitation and groundwater discharges from uplands, and release stored water slowly, affecting stream baseflow levels during drier times. During storm events, stream levels rise and water that overtops stream banks serves to recharge riparian systems. Within a given system, surface water and groundwater flowpaths vary depending on season, climatic conditions, and land disturbance. In North Carolina, stream and riparian water table levels are highest on average in the winter when rainfall is more frequent and there is less loss of water due to evapotranspiration. In the summer, water levels drop with decreased rainfall and increased evapotranspiration. Land disturbances in the form of ditching and stream channelization can affect the functionality of riparian buffers and wetlands by increasing water table depth and promoting drier conditions. Understanding the hydrologic budget for a site is the first step to restoring functions that may have been lost due to disturbance or development.


Soil Bioengineering Techniques

J. Richard Everhart
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
PO Box 218, Dobson, NC 27017

Soil bioengineering is a system of using living plant materials as a structural component in slope stabilization. Adapted types of woody vegetation are installed in such a way as to provide immediate soil protection and reinforcement. Bioengineering techniques can be very effective at quickly establishing large amounts of vegetation. In addition to stabilizing the slope, this woody vegetation can provide diverse riparian habitat, organic input into the stream, shade to moderate water temperatures and improve water quality and site aesthetics.

Soil bioengineering systems for use on streambanks include simple systems such as the use of live stakes in conjunction with erosion control fabrics to more complex systems such as brush mattresses and vegetated geogrids. These systems can be very effective when used along with other slope stabilization structures such as rock and log vanes.

Vegetation Sources for Stream Restoration

Karen Hall
NC State University

Identifying sources of riparian vegetation is an important consideration when planning a stream restoration project. Cost, availability, and time constraints are all factors in determining appropriate vegetation sources.

Ideally, onsite vegetation is the best source. Not only can material costs be reduced, but also plants are adapted to local site conditions, which can increase survivability rates. Sources onsite may include shrubs and trees from which cuttings can be obtained. Transplants salvaged from the construction area are particularly useful for bank stabilization. Transplants may include sod, herbs, shrubs, and small trees.

Some local nurseries specialize in restoration plants. Stock and prices can widely vary. State and/or Federal forestry centers may also have woody vegetation, usually bare root stock. This is a good source for large restoration projects. Local landowners of surrounding properties are potential cooperators and may be willing to allow access to vegetation on their property. Even construction projects within the vicinity of the restoration project may be a potential source of salvaged plants. Local extension agents also may be able to assist in locating plant materials.

Particulate Organic Contributions From Forests to Streams:
Debris Isn't So Bad

C. Andrew Dolloff
U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station
Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0321

The input of "debris" from terrestrial plants that falls into streams is one of the most significant processes occurring at the interface of terrestrial and stream ecosystems. Organic matter - leaves, twigs, branches, and whole trees - provides energy, nutrients, and structure to streams flowing through forests. A host of vertebrate and invertebrate animals has adapted to life in flowing waters and depends on a predictable supply of leaves and wood for food and habitat. Large pieces of wood influence flow velocity, channel shape, and sediment storage and routing. Accumulations of leaves and wood also modify the downstream movement of sediment and create refuges from the extremes of drought and flood. Leaves and wood are transported into streams by a variety of mechanisms ranging from the predictable fall of leaves in the autumn to the catastrophic input of entire streamside forests during major storms. Factors such as species composition, forest health, size and type of stream channel, and land use history influence the input rate and total loading of organic materials.

Aside from a complete loss of riparian forest, such as occurs when land is developed for highways, housing, or industry, the most obvious disturbance to woody inputs in forest streams is logging. Provided that slash and wood deposited by natural processes are not removed, wood loads should be highest immediately following logging and for perhaps 20 to 50 years before declining to low levels. Loads should then gradually increase over many years as the riparian forest matures and provides a source of large wood. This last process may require centuries, depending on growth rates of riparian trees.

Habitat damage from removal or salvage of woody materials may be long lasting, resulting in changes in species distribution, abundance, and production. Particularly where riparian soils consist of unconsolidated or highly erodible sediments, pulling woody material out of streams will likely destabilize streambanks and channels and accelerate natural rates of erosion. The input and loading or organic materials can be manipulated provided mangers establish clear goals and objectives.

NC Basinwide Water Quality Management Program

Darlene Kucken
NC Division of Water Quality
919-733-5083, ext. 354

Basinwide planning is a nonregulatory watershed-based approach to restoring and protecting the quality of North Carolina's surface waters. Under this approach, basinwide plans are prepared by the NC Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for each of the 17 major river basins in the state according to five-year schedules. While these plans are prepared by DWQ, their implementation and the protection of water quality entails the coordinated efforts of many agencies, groups and local governments across the state.

This approach to water quality management will allow for better identification of water quality problems; development of more effective and innovative protective management strategies; maintenance and protection of aquatic habitat and water quality; assure equitable distribution of waste assimilative capacity for dischargers; and improve public awareness and involvement in the water quality management of the state’s surface waters.

The goals of basinwide water quality planning are to:

* identify impaired waters and restore them to full health;

* identify and protect highly valued resource waters; and

* seek ways of protecting water quality while accommodating reasonable economic growth.

The program offers many benefits including:

* Increased opportunity for public participation in protection of the state’s rivers, streams and lakes through basin workshops and public meetings.

* A focused effort on one river basin at a time across the state.

* Basinwide permitting of all wastewater treatment plants in each river basin.

* Balancing existing point and nonpoint source regulatory programs.

* Updating the basinwide water quality management plans for each of the state’s 17 river basin at five-year intervals.

The basinwide water quality plans contain background information on each basin pertaining to hydrology, land use, local government jurisdictions, population and growth trends, natural resources, wastewater discharges, animal operations and water usage. The plans also contain general water quality information in the basin and use support ratings for the streams and lakes. In addition, each plan summarizes what was recommended in the first basin plan and achievements made towards those recommendations, current priority concerns and issues within the basin, and goals and recommendations for the next five-year planning cycle. The basin plans also highlight current and future water quality initiatives by federal, state, and local agencies, corporations and individuals.

For impaired waters, each plan presents specific recommendations for NPDES dischargers and general recommendations for the wide variety of land use activities that contribute to nonpoint source pollution. DWQ relies on a variety of programs and authorities to address nonpoint source impairment. Many of the programs are voluntary and measurable progress can therefore be slow. DWQ works as closely as possible with various agencies and groups to highlight water quality problem areas or concerns so they might be addressed by these agencies. DWQ uses its regulatory programs to address nonpoint sources of pollution wherever possible.

For additional information, visit our website at

NC Wetlands Restoration Program Local Watershed Plans:
An Approach to Restoration Planning at the Local Level

Kristin Cozza
NC Wetlands Restoration Program

Conducting restoration projects without the benefit of a restoration plan is analogous to traveling cross-country without a map. While many miles may be covered, there is no guarantee of reaching your destination. A restoration plan guides expenditures to ensure that restoration goals are achieved and measurable results obtained. The NCWRP engages in watershed planning to ensure that the restoration projects it undertakes will provide measurable benefits to address basinwide water quality problems.

Each river basin is made up of smaller, component watersheds that together contribute to overall water quality. The NCWRP is currently developing Local Watershed Plans (LWPs) to identify and address wetland and riparian restoration needs in small watersheds. LWPs identify all factors contributing to water quality impairment within a watershed and provide strategies to address each non-point source of pollution. The development of LWPs is important for watersheds where restoration projects alone cannot provide the needed water quality improvement. Typically, these are watersheds with multiple non-point source problems such as stormwater runoff and failing septic systems that may be more effectively addressed though other projects. The solutions identified in LWPs include not only wetlands and riparian restoration, but a comprehensive package of initiatives to successfully improve and protect water quality.

The development of LWPs is also necessary to ensure the success of restoration projects. In some watersheds, stream and wetland restoration projects can be undermined if other needed water quality improvement measures are not undertaken. Likewise, in watersheds where there are no current threats to the success of restoration efforts, there may be actions needed to ensure that projects are not jeopardized in the future. Development of a LWP will identify the present and future activities required to provide the stream stability needed in a watershed to ensure that the benefits of restoration projects conducted there are fully realized. As a result, LWPs enable the NCWRP to identify all of the factors contributing to water quality problems within a watershed, and to implement complimentary water quality initiatives as needed.

The LWPs provide other important benefits. They are developed cooperatively with representatives of local governments, nonprofit organizations, and local communities. They therefore provide an important opportunity for local stakeholders including residents, community groups, businesses, and industry to play a role in shaping the future of their watershed. Through the LWP planning process, these groups work cooperatively to identify issues, set priorities, develop strategies, secure funding, and implement protection and restoration projects within their communities. By encouraging stakeholders to participate in identifying solutions to address water quality, habitat, flooding, and recreational needs, the LWPs become blueprints for strategically implementing local projects through partnerships between local governments, citizens, non-profit organizations, and state and federal agencies.

Although communities across the state face many of the same issues when dealing with water quality problems, each community has its own unique characteristics, concerns, and priorities. For this reason, it is important that communities take part in assessing the conditions of resources in their watershed and developing a customized strategy to address their own goals and objectives. Most importantly, by developing LWPs and identifying solutions to local resource needs, community members have a greater interest in the implementation of the plan and the benefits implementation will provide. Some of the benefits of the planning process and the production of LWPs are outlined below.

Benefits of the Planning Process:

Benefits of the Plans:

The development of LWPs involves many steps to achieve three goals: 1) identification of the specific causes of water quality degradation, 2) development of a strategy for addressing water quality degradation that is supported by the local community, and 3) implementation of restoration projects and other initiatives identified in the plan. To ensure the success of LWPs and the planning process, it is important to gain the support, backing, and participation of local governments, community groups, and citizens. The LWP development steps outlined below are designed to encourage participation of the local community.

Phase I: Plan Development Steps:

  1. Obtain stakeholder participation and involve the public.
  2. Build a watershed planning team and identify a local watershed planning team leader.
  3. Select and implement a kick-off project to generate interest in local planning and restoration.
  4. Identify watershed issues such as water quality, habitat, flooding, and recreational access.
  5. Inventory and analyze existing natural resource information and identify information gaps.
  6. Perform a watershed assessment to fill information gaps and determine sources of problems.
  7. Provide technical assistance to the local government and watershed team on interpreting assessment results and developing needed solutions.
  8. Prioritize watershed issues and set goals and objectives.
  9. Maintain support and interest in the planning process through education and outreach.
  10. Categorize and prioritize actions to meet goals and objectives (including stream, wetland, and riparian buffer restoration).
  11. Develop cost estimates for each action and identify suitable funding sources.
  12. Document the planning process.

Phase II: Plan Implementation Steps

  1. Build Project Teams for project implementation.
  2. Pursue and obtain funding and technical assistance from available resource programs.
  3. Conduct outreach and education to sustain support and participation in the LWP implementation.
  4. Develop criteria for measuring performance of projects.
  5. Implement projects.
  6. Measure success and adjust strategies as needed.


Effectively Involving Stakeholders in Watershed Management

Suzanne Hoover
NC State University

Watershed managers are increasingly looking to local stakeholders to help identify effective methods of protecting and improving the quality of streams, lakes and estuaries. However, success in engaging stakeholders in collaborative decision-making processes varies. Watershed managers are faced with the challenges of finding the right process for the decisions needed, and in successfully engaging stakeholders in that process. Two characteristics that may provide guidance for determining the appropriateness of applying a collaborative process to a watershed problem are the need for collaboration and the willingness of stakeholders to engage in a collaborative decision-making process. This presentation examines these two characteristics through an analysis of the influence that seven decision attributes have on them. The decision attributes used for the examination include: level of uncertainty, balance of information, risk, time horizon of effects, urgency of decision, distribution of effects, and clarity of problem. Each attribute is analyzed in terms of how it influences the ‘need for collaboration’ and ‘willingness to engage’ in collaboration

The first two attributes concern the essential nature of decision-making: the level of uncertainty in a decision situation, and the balance of information held by people involved in or affected by the decision-making process. The latter attribute, also called information asymmetry, describes discrepancies between information accessible to and used by the various decision stakeholders. Risk, the third decision attribute, is closely related to uncertainty. Risk is characterized by the likelihood that some adverse consequence will materialize from a policy decision. The fourth attribute (time horizon of effects) refers to the spatial and time attributes of decisions. Decisions have spatial dimension in which the decision effects have geographical boundaries. Time is measured in terms of the time horizon of a decision’s effect.

Decisions have short- and long-term consequences. The urgency of decision refers to a measure of how strongly a resolution to an issue is needed. It can be influenced by factors such as time or politics. In this case the factor of time is distinct from the time horizon of effects. Here, time refers to how quickly a decision or solution is needed. Distribution of effect is related to how many people or organizations are influenced by the outcome (or potential outcome) of the collaborative process. For example, the application of strict stormwater management techniques to one site that hosts an endangered species is discrete (or more localized) as opposed to the application of similar requirements for all projects in a large city. Finally, clarity of the problem is relatively self-explanatory and refers to the stakeholders’ understanding of the identified issue.

Using these concepts to examine the characteristics that exist in a particular watershed can help managers determine whether or not collaboration is needed and, if so, whether special measures will need to be taken to effectively involve the necessary stakeholders.

Sediment Monitoring

David A. Braatz
Duke Power Company

This paper offers a brief overview of sediment monitoring in streams, particularly with respect to stream restoration projects. Monitoring methods for transport of suspended sediment and of bedload sediment are addressed, as well as methods of streambank and streambed characterization, and the respective advantages and limitations of each method. The specific study objectives of each project should determine the appropriate method(s) to use. An annotated bibliography will be distributed, for later reference by Conference attendees.

Significantly, sediment monitoring is closely related to the other speakers’ topics in this session on "Monitoring and Evaluation". While morphological monitoring may formally track such parameters as riffle or pool slopes, bankfull width or depth, cross-sectional area, etc, such data are also effectively measuring the localized gains, losses, and distribution of sediment. Similarly, the biological status of a stream will frequently be determined by its water quality (e.g., concentrations and duration of exposure to suspended sediment) and/or habitat (e.g., % fines, cover, embeddedness, D50) components.

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Protocols
for Stream Restoration Projects

David Penrose
NC Division of Water Quality, Wetlands/401 Unit

The Division of Water Quality (DWQ) has initiated guidance to conduct biological monitoring of stream restoration projects. This technical guidance document outlines regulatory requirements and monitoring protocols for conducting benthic macroinvertebrate investigations for compensatory mitigation projects that require monitoring plans. The 401 Certification process is essentially verification by the State that a given project will not degrade Waters of the State or otherwise violate water quality standards. Biological monitoring of restoration projects is an essential means to demonstrate whether the attempted mitigation successfully replaced the ecological function of streams being mitigated. Specific monitoring requirements can be written into each 401 Certification and can be used by regulatory agencies to determine the ecological function or recovery of these stream reaches.

The Wetlands/401 Unit staff of DWQ believes that the use of biological indicators is appropriate for all stream restoration projects. However, as a regulatory tool for determining ecological recovery, biological surveys will be recommended on a case-by-case basis for projects having linear feet measurements of greater than 500 and less than 1000 feet, and will be required for projects that have more than 1000 linear feet of restoration. Monitoring plans may be required for restoration projects having 500 to 1000 linear feet in water supply watershed or catchments that have been given special designations such as High Quality or Outstanding Resource Waters. Biological monitoring will not be a mandatory requirement for projects having 500 or less linear feet. It should be noted that some physical monitoring of the substrate and riparian areas might be required on a case-by-case basis.

An analysis of a subset of up to 80 restoration projects will be conducted. These analyses will be conducted by ecoregion and stream size. Specifically, up to five surveys will be conducted within 8 ecoregions [Mountain (western mountains and blue ridge), Central Appalachians (essentially the New River Basin), Western Piedmont (inner piedmont and Charlotte Belt), Slate Belt, Triassic Basin, Eastern Piedmont (inner coastal plain and eastern piedmont), Sand Hills, and Coastal Plain (outer coastal plain and tidewater)] and two stream sizes (small first and second order systems, and larger streams). The required benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring on these 80 streams will be supplemented with monitoring that includes tree survival, vegetation cover, geomorphology including bank stability, and habitat assessment. DWQ will select these projects to monitor in order to get a representative sample within these ecoregions.

Stream Morphology Monitoring

Gregory D. Jennings
NC State University

A stable stream channel transports the flows and sediment of its watershed while maintaining its dimension, pattern, and profile over time without aggrading or degrading. Monitoring the physical structure and form, or morphology, of a channel is essential for evaluating stream stability and for designing a stream restoration project. Detailed descriptions of the following stream morphology monitoring techniques are found in Rosgen (1996) and Harrelson et al. (1994):

Cross-sections are used to measure channel dimension (essential for stream classification) and to evaluate the vertical and lateral stability of a channel. Cross-sections should be carefully surveyed to identify channel features such as thalweg, water surface, inner berm, bankfull stage, top of bank, and other flood plain and terrace features. Longitudinal profiles are used to measure channel profile characteristics including depths, slopes, lengths, and spacings of features such as riffles, runs, pools, and glides. Pebble counts are used to measure the bed material particle size distribution and are valuable in evaluating habitat improvements resulting from restoration/stabilization projects.

Streambank profiles and bank pins are used to measure lateral stability of eroding banks. Bank erosion rates measured throughout a study watershed can be used to estimate relative sediment loads in a stream resulting from streambank erosion and to help target resources for watershed projects. Scour chains buried in the stream bed provide scour depths for various flow events and help in evaluating vertical stability and sediment transport.

Each of these monitoring techniques is being used in various projects across the state. This presentation will describe experiences with various monitoring techniques and how results can be used. For more information, visit the NC Stream Restoration Institute web site:


Harrelson, C. C., C. L. Rawlins, and J. P. Potyondy. 1994. Stream Channel Reference Sites: An Illustrated Guide to Field Technique. General Technical Report RM-245. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO.

Rosgen, D. 1996. Applied River Morphology. Wildland Hydrology, Pagosa Springs, CO.

The Funding of NCDOT Mitigation Projects

Clarence W. Coleman, P. E.
NC Department of Transportation
1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1514

North Carolina has a rich transportation history; the state pioneered flight, maintains the nation’s second largest state highway and ferry systems, and serves as a model for rail initiatives in the Southeast. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) manages this vast transportation network that affects every citizen, every day.

NCDOT’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the state’s blueprint for statewide transportation projects. Starting with the 2000-2006 TIP, funds have been set aside for environmental mitigation. Over the next seven years, $175 million has been allocated to protect wetlands, restore streams, and preserve wildlife habitat. This exemplifies NCDOT’s strong commitment to preserve the state’s natural resources.

NCDOT mitigation projects are proposed to compensate for impacts to wetlands and streams caused by transportation projects. Mitigation is necessary to satisfy permit requirements of agencies like the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and N. C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).

Funding of mitigation projects generally comes from the same sources associated with NCDOT’s highway construction budget; these sources include the Federal Aid Construction Program, the Intrastate and Urban Loop Programs from the North Carolina Highway Trust Fund, and the sale of highway bonds. These funds are used for land acquisition, planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of NCDOT mitigation projects.

The Natural Systems Unit of the Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch is responsible for overseeing mitigation for NCDOT projects. The Natural Systems Unit has several private consultant firms under contract to provide planning and design services for mitigation projects. In addition, the Natural Systems Unit has recently begun to perform "in-house" design of NCDOT some mitigation projects.

In order to satisfy mitigation requirements of the USACE and the NCDENR as well as other federal and state regulatory agencies, NCDOT provides funding to two other state agencies, the N. C. Wetlands Restoration Program (NCWRP) and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC). Once funding has been provided, the NCWRP and the NCWRC identify stream and wetland restoration sites, and are responsible for the planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of the projects they implement.

North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund

Stephen Bevington
Clean Water Management Trust Fund
2313-B Executive Park Circle, Greenville, NC 27834

North Carolina's Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) was established by the General Assembly in 1996. At the end of each fiscal year, 6.5% of the unreserved credit balance in North Carolina's General Fund (or a minimum of $30 million) will go into the CWMTF. Recent legislation suggests that funding of the CWMTF may approach $100 million per year by 2003. Revenues from the CWMTF are allocated in the form of grants to local governments, state agencies and conservation non-profits to help finance projects that specifically address water pollution problems. The 18-member, independent, CWMTF Board of Trustees has full responsibility over the allocation of moneys from the Fund.

CWMTF will fund projects that enhance or restore degraded waters, protect unpolluted waters, and/or contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways for environmental, educational, and recreational benefits. Where streambank erosion has been determined to be a critical factor in determining water quality, the CWMTF has funded streambank restoration projects. To date CWMTF has funded 27 stream restoration projects across North Carolina totaling over $17 million. This represents approximately 10% of all CWMTF funding activities. Examples of CWMTF funded projects in urban and rural settings will be discussed.

The CWMTF seeks cost effective methods to solve water quality problems that have not been adequately addressed by existing programs. Successful stream restoration applications to the CWMTF need to demonstrate stream restoration to be a key component of a comprehensive and long-term strategy to enhance and protect water quality. Further, such applications will need to demonstrate that funds requested represent efficient use of public funds to achieve water quality benefit. Stream restoration projects may remain a major funding area for the CWMTF, but only if current science, data and realistic watershed assessments are carefully utilized by the practitioners of this young and exciting field.

North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation

David Williams
NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation

North Carolina Division of Water Quality Section 319 Program

Alan Clark
NC Division of Water Quality

The NC Section 319 Program is part of a larger initiative known as the NPS Management Program which includes Basinwide Management and all state programs related to agriculture, urban stormwater, construction and mining, on-site wastewater, solid waste, forestry, wetlands, monitoring, groundwater, and education. The NPS Management Program under Section 319 was created in response to the 1987 Amendment to the Clean Water Act. The grant funds are available primarily for innovative NPS management strategies for demonstrating their effectiveness in improving and protecting water quality. Appropriate projects include either BMPs, environmental education, water quality modeling, or a combination of these components. EPA has granted money for special implementation projects that fall within prioritized watersheds. Public and private non-profit non-federal organizations and institutions can apply for funds.

Section 319 was designed to build upon the experience gained through the 208 NPS program begun in the late 1970’s. While the 208 program identified the extent of NPS and the different sources of pollutants, Section 319 is intended to focus state’s efforts on serious or difficult NPS problems by implementing innovative BMPs to demonstrate their effectiveness in protecting or improving water quality. The major selection criteria for 319 projects include waterbody impairment (either ‘not supporting’ or ‘partially supporting’, length of project (3 years), adequate non-federal matching funds* provided (40% of total), measurable outcome, and an educational component. Quarterly and annual reporting is required, as is a quality assurance plan if monitoring is proposed. Funds are dispersed on re-payment only. No prepayment is done.

Section 319 projects can be found from the mountain to the coast. Projects can be located anywhere, with the exception of federal land, as long as the landowner is in agreement. Projects cover all categories of NPS: agriculture, urban stormwater, construction and mining, on-site wastewater, solid waste, and forestry. Budgets range from $6,000 to over $500,000. The average is $120,000. Examples of projects include, rural streambank stabilization, innovative on-site wastewater systems, and rain gardens for urban stormwater.

In summary, Section 319 is a federal grant program that provides funds to non-profit non-federal agencies for NPS reduction. The projects, innovative demonstrations, are a maximum of three-year and require a match of 40% of the total. Payment is by reimbursement only after the contract is cut. And if there is a monitoring component, a Quality Assurance Plan is required. Quarterly, annual, and final closeout reports are also required. And DWQ is the contact agency (919-733-5083). All the Section 319 information can be found on the NPS Program website (

North Carolina Division of Water Resources Development Project Grant Program: Summary of State/Local Grants Since 1993

Jeff Bruton
NCDENR Division of Water Resources
1611 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611

The Water Resources Development Project Grant Program provides cost-share grants to units of local government on a competitive basis for seven eligible purposes. Since 1993, a total of 178 grants were awarded amounting to $6,145,206. The two most commonly used eligible purposes, water management and stream restoration, accounted for 115 of grants (64%) and $3,343,066 (54%) of the funding. Both categories provided up to a two-thirds cost-share match of nonfederal project costs. The average grant award for water management projects was $26,461 (n=70) and the average award for stream restoration projects was $33,129 (n=45).

A third eligible purpose that was useful for several stream protection projects during the period was recreation. Riparian and other lands were purchased for water quality restoration and protection with cost-share grants of up to 50%. A total of 30 recreation grants were awarded that amounted to $847,650.

The average recreation grant awarded was $34,524.

North Carolina Wetlands Restoration Program

Ronald E. Ferrell
NC Wetlands Restoration Program 
NC Division of Water Quality
1619 Mail Services Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1619

The North Carolina Wetlands Restoration Program (NCWRP) is a non-regulatory program established to promote the restoration of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas as a means to address the water quality problems associated with non-point sources of pollution, provide flood attenuation, fisheries and wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. To ensure the most efficient use of available resources, wetland and riparian area restoration plans have been developed for each of the seventeen major river basins in North Carolina. A prioritization process has been developed that provides a method for targeting smaller watersheds within each river basin in which wetland and riparian area restoration has the highest potential to provide the most significant benefits to the river basin in terms of improvement and protection of water quality, fisheries and wildlife habitat, and flood storage values. The development of the Basinwide Wetland and Riparian Restoration Plans and plans for smaller watersheds are stakeholder driven processes coordinated with the revisions of the Basinwide Water Quality Management Plans. The goal of this process is to incorporate the concerns and recommendations of the local communities and resource professionals into a comprehensive strategy to restore and protect the watershed.

The NCWRP receives the majority of its funding for restoration projects through payments to the Wetlands Restoration Fund and the Riparian Buffer Restoration Fund. Through a Memorandum of Understanding between NCWRP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, applicants that receive permits to impact wetlands and streams are eligible to compensate for these impacts through payment to the Wetlands Restoration Fund. The NCWRP assumes the legal responsibility to implement restoration projects to compensate for these impacts. Utilizing the restoration plans the NCWRP identifies and implements restoration projects with the highest potential of providing watershed level benefits.

The NCWRP is actively seeking partners throughout North Carolina to implement restoration projects that address identified needs. The NCWRP can provide funding for property acquisition to local and state governments and non-profit organizations as well as individual property owners. The NCWRP can provide up to 100% of the design and restoration cost of projects. Landowners can access additional information concerning participation in the NCWRP by completing the Landowner Interest Form found at the NCWRP web site:

Yates Millpond Stream Restoration Project

Kevin Tweedy
NC State University

The Yates Millpond Sub-watershed in southern Wake County is part of the Neuse River Basin and drains into the 42,300 acre Swift Creek Watershed in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina. Yates Millpond was constructed around 1754, by the damming of Steep Hill Creek and its tributaries. Recently restored after a dam breach during Hurricane Fran, the millpond is hydrologically-supported by a drainage basin of about 3,300 acres. The primary land uses within the sub-watershed are agriculture and moderate-density residential development. On-going water quality studies in the sub-watershed have indicated that the existing land uses are degrading water quality. The goals of the project are: (1) To restore the natural hydrology and forested buffers of about 4,000 linear feet of degraded stream channels and riparian areas north of Yates Millpond; and, overall, (2) to enhance water quality within the sub-watershed, as well as within the Swift Creek watershed and the Neuse River Basin.

The first phase of restoration, completed in May 2000, consisted of approximately 750 feet of degraded stream channel within the Yates Millpond watershed. Straightening and channelization of the stream in the past resulted in downcutting of the streambed and associated bank erosion as the stream channel began to widen. Restoration consisted of constructing a new meandering stream channel on the abandoned floodplain, and widening the existing riparian buffer. In-stream structures were used to provide both channel stability and improved aquatic habitat. Sod mats and transplants were used to provide immediate bank protection for the new channel. Floodplain restoration consisted of the creation of several small ponds and wetland depressions. Bare root plantings and live staking will be used in the fall of 2000 to establish the riparian buffer for the new channel.

Briar Creek Stream Bank Stabilization and Habitat Enhancement

Andrew Burg, PE, LS

Mecklnnual Millet. The seeded areas were mulched. The old channel reach was backfilled using materials from the channel excavation operation and from the borrow area which was left as an excavated freshwater marsh. The backfill was zoned to allow placement of clay materials at strategic locations in the old channel.

Water quality monitoring will be performed by NC Division of Water Quality Biological Assessment Unit at 1, 3 and 5 years after project completion. The NC Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct aquatic habitat monitoring at 1, 3 and 5 years after completion. Physical and vegetative monitoring will be conducted by the NRCS at 6 months and after any major storm event during the first year after project completion and then at 1, 3 and 5 years after completion. The NRCS will carry out the second phase of the project during the dormant season planting trees and/or installing any bioengineering practices deemed necessary to promote bank stabilization and/or riparian vegetation.

Stream Restoration at Starmount Forest Country Club – A Case Study

Ed Lewis
NC Department of Transportation

In 1997, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (Department) implemented stream restoration as mitigation for unavoidable impacts associated with the implementation of its Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). For the Department, stream restoration is the reestablishment of stream functions (to the maximum extent practicable) by restoring the stream’s natural pattern, dimension, profile, riparian areas, and stability. A clear understanding of the watershed dynamics and the land use patterns adjacent to the stream is essential.

Mitigation is required as part of the permitting process the Department undertakes as part of the Clean Water Act in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ). Based on future transportation improvements, the Department must provide approximately 400,000 linear feet of stream mitigation over the next four years and a total of approximately two million feet of stream mitigation in ten years.*

The Department wanted their first attempt at stream restoration to be on a smaller scale working with a smaller stream. The Department, through a contract with KCI Associates of North Carolina, identified several reaches of stream in the Cape Fear River Basin in Guilford County suitable for stream restoration. The Department could implement one of these smaller streams first to work though any "kinks" in the stream restoration process before attempting larger projects. However, a series of events took place that required the Department to scrap these plans.

The longest reach identified in the search (8,000 feet) ran through the Starmount Forest Country Club (SFCC) golf course located in Greensboro. The golf course was going through a major renovation, and the Department was given a narrow window to perform stream restoration on this long stretch of stream. Not wanting to lose this restoration opportunity, the Department focused its efforts on implementing stream restoration through the golf course.

The implementation of this project was a great learning experience for the Department. The case study will detail some of the lessons learned from this project and how they have been applied to later stream restoration projects.

Worley Creek Restoration

John Vilas
E'nV Environmental Consulting Services Inc.
3764 Rominger Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Worley Creek is located in the western NC mountains, in Watauga County. The project site is at an elevation of 3500 feet. The drainage area at this location is 1.2 square miles. This project was designed and constructed by E'nV Environmental Consulting Services Inc. and includes a 1600 foot long restored trout stream and approximately 7 acres of restored and enhanced wetlands. The purpose of the project was to correct a severe bank erosion and channel migration problem that was caused by channelization project in the late 1970's. The design re-establishes the natural meander path of Worley Creek through complete channel reconstruction resulting in the restoration of an active floodplain and numerous pockets of riparian wetlands. The project also re-established the hydrologic connection between a small Southern Appalachian Bog and the stream system. Three ponds were constructed along the alignment of the abandoned stream channel as a means to balance cut and fill.

The Worley Creek project was co-sponsored by NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program, NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and US FWS Partners for Wildlife program. The project design was completed in early 1998. The first phase of construction began in late summer 1998 and final stabilization was completed in the spring of 1999. A 30-year easement on 13 acres was established between NRCS and the landowner and included the restored channel, ponds, wetlands and upland buffer.

Stream Restoration at Stone Mountain State Park:
East Prong of the Roaring River

William A. Harman
NC State University

The Stone Mountain State Park stream restoration project is a collaborative effort between the NC Wetlands Restoration Program, NC Division of Parks and Recreation, and the NC Stream Restoration Institute. The project includes nearly 2 miles of stream restoration within the boundaries of the Stone Mountain State Park. The watershed area is approximately 22 square miles. The goals of the project include:

  1. Improve water quality degraded by sedimentation by returning the East Prong Roaring River to a stable dimension, pattern, and profile.
  2. Restore the aquatic and terrestrial habitat of the stream corridor.
  3. Restore floodplain and wetland functionality.
  4. Improve the natural aesthetics of the river corridor.

Construction will begin in mid July and continue through mid October 2000. Stream restoration workshops and educational programs will be offered throughout the duration of the project.