Stream restoration is the re-establishment of the general structure, function and self-sustaining behavior of the stream system that existed prior to disturbance. It is a holistic process that requires an understanding of all physical and biological components of the stream system and its watershed. Restoration includes a broad range of measures, including the removal of the watershed disturbances that are causing stream instability; installation of structures and planting of vegetation to protect streambanks and provide habitat; and the reshaping or replacement of unstable stream reaches into appropriately designed functional streams and associated floodplains.
The techniques and methodologies are evolving rapidly. New design aids are being developed that will improve design efficiency and confidence. We encourage stream restoration professionals to carefully document their experiences - including project successes and failures - so that the restoration community can better understand the appropriate techniques for various conditions.