Stream Restoration Resource Library

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FEDERAL RESOURCES

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
Stream Corridor Restoration Resources (NRCS)
A list of NRCS handbooks and guidance documents which are applicable to stream corridor restoration, as well as additional links, publications, and concept designs of treatment practices that are applicable to stream corridor restoration and/or stabilization.

Restoration Resources and Reports (Beyond NRCS)
Resources organized by NRCS. 

 

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration found under Continuing Authorities Program Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, as amended, authorizes the Corps of Engineers to participate in the planning, engineering, and construction of projects to restore degraded aquatic ecosystem structure, function, and dynamic processes to a less degraded, more natural condition. 

Continuing Authorities Program
Congress has given the Corps of Engineers authority to plan, design, and construct small projects for flood risk management, emergency streambank and shoreline protection, ecosystem restoration, and navigation improvements without specific Congressional authorization.

Before the Federal Government can participate in implementing a project, the Nashville District must conduct a two phase study. The first phase is reconnaissance. This phase is used to make a preliminary determination whether there is federal interest in further studying the problem. The reconnaissance phase is completed upon the signing of a Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement by the Nashville District and the cost-share sponsor. By signing the agreement, the second phase can be initiated, called a feasibility study. This study evaluates a wide range of alternatives and recommends the best solution from economic and environmental perspectives.

Cumberland River and Browns, Richland, Whites Creeks Feasibility Study
As a result of record flooding in May 2010, a reconnaissance report was completed to evaluate water resources issues including flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, navigation, water supply, and hydropower within the Cumberland River Basin. A flood risk management feasibility study for Nashville and Davidson County is being conducted.  

Ecosystem Restoration Program
The Corps of Engineers Ecosystem Restoration Program seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to address issues associated with disturbed and degraded ecological resources. The Corps of Engineers will examine the existing ecosystems and determine the feasibility to restore degraded ecosystem structure, function, and dynamic processes to a less degraded, natural condition.

This program is within the broader Investigation Program, and initial Investigation Program steps must be completed before it can be initiated. 

Flood Risk Management Program
The purpose of the Corps of Engineers' flood risk management program is to help prevent or reduce flood risk by using either structural or non-structural means or a combination of the two. Non-structural measures reduce flood damages without significantly altering the nature or extent of the flooding by changing the use of floodplains or by accommodating existing uses to the flood hazard. Non-structural measures include modifying homes, businesses, and other facilities to reduce flood damages by elevating the structure or removing them from the floodplain. Remaining land can be used for ecosystem restoration, outdoor recreation, or natural open space. Flood warning systems are also considered non-structural measures.

This program is within the broader Investigation Program, and initial Investigation Program steps must be completed before it can be initiated. 

Harpeth River Watershed Study
As a result of record flooding in 2010, within the Harpeth River Watershed, a reconnaissance report was completed evaluating water resources issues including flood risk management and ecosystem restoration within the watershed.  The reconnaissance report found federal interest in pursuing both flood risk and ecosystem restoration issues into the feasibility-level of study.  The Feasibility Cost Share Agreement (FCSA) was signed on 13 June 2013 to investigate flood risk management in the Harpeth Basin upstream of the Dickson/Davidson County line.

Investigation Program
The Investigation Program establishes a process by which the Corps of Engineers can help a community solve a water resource problem. Under the Investigation Program, the Corps of Engineers would jointly conduct a study and, if shown by the study to be feasible, construct a project. This approach requires that Congress provide the Corps of Engineers first with authority to accomplish a feasibility study and second, to construct a project. Local sponsors share the study and construction costs with the Corps of Engineers, and usually pay for all operation and maintenance costs. The Investigation Program may be used to address a variety of water resource problems including navigation, flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and hurricane and storm damage reduction.

Mill Creek Feasibility Report
The May 2010 flood event in the Mill Creek Watershed interrupted what had been a study with an ecosystem restoration focus, and the study was re-initiated in February 2013 with a focus on flood risk management. A path forward was determined by the results of this updated alternative analysis, pulling from the prior Mill Creek study as well as the Metro Unified Flood Preparedness Plan (UFPP) completed in January 2013.

Modification of Existing Federal Projects
Modification of Existing Federal Projects found under Continuing Authorities Program Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, as amended, authorizes the Corps of Engineers to modify existing USACE projects for aquatic ecosystem restoration and construct new projects to restore areas degraded by USACE projects.  A project is accepted for construction after a detailed investigation shows it is technically feasible, environmentally acceptable, and provides cost effective environmental benefits.  Each project must be complete within itself, not a part of a larger project.


U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Abandoned Mine Lands Resources
This webpage includes basic information, technical reports, and more related to EPA's Abandoned Mine Lands Program.

Recovery Potential Screening Tools
RPS tools are designed for watershed comparison and priority setting. Statewide RPS Tools were developed for each of the lower 48 states and first issued in 2014. These Tools contain 200+ embedded indicators for all HUC12s that are wholly or partially within the state’s boundary. Many of the indicators are landscape characteristics derived from common GIS datasets, but other attributes such as selected impairment-specific data derived from field monitoring, are also included.

Reference Guide to Treatment Technologies for Mining-Influenced Water 
An EPA report that highlights select mining-influenced water treatment technologies used or piloted as part of remediation efforts at mine sites.


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Landowner Incentive Program
The Landowner Incentive Program provides federal grant funds to grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas to protect and restore habitats on private lands, to benefit Federally listed, proposed or candidate species or other species determined to be at-risk.

Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MCGP)
The MSCGP provides funding for wildlife and sport fish restoration projects identified as priority projects by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. These high priority projects address problems affecting states on a regional or national basis. Project types that are generally selected for funding are: biological research/training, species population status, outreach, data collection regarding hunter/angler participation, hunter/aquatic education, economic value of fishing/hunting, and regional or multistate habitat needs assessments.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to restore historic habitat types, which benefit native fishes and wildlife. Interested landowners in Tennessee andKentucky can receive technical advice and funding to do livestock exclusion fencing/alternate water supply construction, streambank stabilization; restoration of native Vegetation; wetland restoration/enhancement; riparian reforestation; and restoration of in-stream Aquatic Habitats. Projects must benefit Federal Trust Resources (threatened or endangered species, wetlands, migratory birds). Click the appropriate link for TN or KY above for program details for each state. 

State Wildlife Grant Program
The State Wildlife Grant Program provides Federal grant funds to State fish and wildlife agencies for developing and implementing programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including species that are not hunted or fished.


U.S. FOREST SERVICE
Computational Design Tool for Evaluating the Stability of Large Wood Structures
Large logs are often placed in streams to benefit aquatic and riparian-dependent fish and wildlife as a part of stream restoration projects. When specifying the type of large wood structure to be used, restoration practitioners, planners, and local residents need to be assured that the constructed structures will likely remain in place under the expected conditions. To assist these professionals, this Excel spreadsheet tool was developed that applies computational equations and design guidelines to analyze virtually any proposed configuration of small-to-medium size structures.

National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center
The focus of the National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center is on developing tools and science applications for the more effective management and conservation of watersheds, streams, riparian ecosystems, fisheries and aquatic ecosystems on National Forests and Grasslands. The Center's focus is on environmental flows and water resource management, watershed, stream, riparian, and aquatic habitat restoration, condition, trend, and effectiveness monitoring of watershed, channel, aquatic habitat, and riparian vegetation, technology development, transfer and application, and technical Support and Training.

Watershed Condition Framework
The Forest Service's Watershed Condition Framework and the accompanying Watershed Condition Classification Technical Guide establish a consistent, comparable, and credible process for improving the health of watersheds on national forests and grasslands. This framework aims to focus our efforts in a consistent and accountable manner and facilitate new investments in watershed restoration that will provide economic and environmental benefits to local communities. The technical guide provided the protocol for the agency's first national assessment of watershed condition across all 193 million acres of National Forest System lands.

Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, & Rare Plants Program
This program of the US Forest Service aims to 1) protect, sustain, and improve the water and watershed resources and services; 2) protect ecosystems by ensuring that proposed management activities promote conservation of biological diversity; 3) restore deteriorated ecosystems by ensuring their biological health, diversity, and productivity; 4) provide multiple benefits to people within the capabilities of ecosystems by enhancing ecosystem productivity, managing public access, and increasing environmental education; and 5) improve organizational effectiveness.

Watershed Restoration Program
The Watershed Restoration Program supports stewardship efforts at all levels of the organization to promote healthy, sustainable watersheds fundamental to ecosystems and people. Program work has included stream, riparian, and road restoration projects. 

 

U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Abandoned Mineral Lands Handbook
A summary of the Abandoned Mineral Lands Program in the National Park System. The National Park Service notes that there is a lot of relevant information in this 1992 handbook, but some of the costs and technologies are dated. 

Abandoned Mineral Lands Southeast Region Summary
The National Park Service Southeast Region Abandoned Mineral Lands Inventory and Assessment fieldwork and preliminary reporting concluded in June 2012. A total of seven parks were inventoried under contract during this initiative, with park-specific reports being developed as a final deliverable in addition to being included in the Servicewide AML database. Additional SER parks submitted their respective data to the database, collected by park personnel. This information will serve as the foundation for most future AML efforts and funding opportunities. Click the link for additional information. 

Abandoned Mineral Lands Website
Information and resources regarding Abandoned Mineral Lands within National Parks.

Water Quality Partnership - Big South Fork
This element of the National Water Quality Program empowers U.S. Geological Survey scientists and National Park Service resource managers to work in partnership to support a broad range of policy and management needs related to high-priority water-quality issues in national parks. In the Big South Fork, project work has included 1) 1999 - Develop Stream Flow Measurement Network; 2) 2002 - Effects of Oil and Gas Operations on Ground-Water Quality 3) 2004 - Restoration of Federally Listed Mussel Species and Water Quality Monitoring in Heavily Coal Mined Area; 4) 2015 - Determine Occurrence, Sources, and Potential for Biodegradation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Protected-River Systems of the National Park Service Southeast Region; 5) 2006 Fate and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and ground water

 

U.S. OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program Website
The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program is OSMRE’s largest program. Since 1977, the AML program has collected over $10.5 billion in fees from present-day coal production and distributed more than $8.0 billion in grants to states and tribes, mandatory distributions to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) retiree health and pension plans and to OSMRE’s operation of the national program to reclaim land and waters damaged by coal mining. 

AMDTreat
AMDTreat is a computer application for estimating abatement costs for acid mine drainage. 

Handbook of Technologies for Avoidance and Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage
This 1998 handbook was developed by the Acid Drainage Technology Initiative. 

STATE RESOURCES - KENTUCKY

KY DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
Habitat Improvement Program
To improve wildlife habitat, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources works cooperatively with Kentucky's private landowners across the state. There are many opportunities to receive technical assistance and even financial assistance through a variety of programs. Funding for habitat improvement projects is dependent upon how the projects will benefit wildlife and comes from: 1) Business Conservation Partnerships - for any businesses, municipalities, churches, or other groups interested in improving habitat, reducing maintenance, and improving human relations; 2) the Forest Stewardship Program - for landowners with 10 or more acres who wish to work with both a wildlife biologist and a professional forester; 3) Backyard Wildlife Program - do-it-yourself help kit for properties smaller than 5 acres, for schools and outdoor classroom design, or for anyone interested in backyard wildlife enhancement. A nominal fee is charged for the kit.

Hatchery Creek
Hatchery Creek is located below Lake Cumberland immediately behind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. Hatchery Creek is a completely man-made stream that originates from the cold water outflow of the hatchery and built using funds solely from the Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Fund. Additional information about this project is available at this website. 

Stream Restoration Video
Educational video from the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on stream restoration. 

Stream Team Program
The Stream Team offer landowners free repairs to eroding and unstable streams and wetlands. The team consists of a group of stream restoration specialists in the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Their job is to identify and undertake stream restoration projects statewide. The Stream Team works with private landowners and others to identify stream restoration projects. Projects are funded from the Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Fund held in trust solely for repairing streams and wetlands. No state tax general funds or hunting/fishing license dollars are used. In addition to basic and technical information about this program as well as the states stream mitigation program, this webpage has information for helping landowners see if they may qualify for the program. 

Map of Stream Mitigation Program Staff and Service Areas


KY DIVISION OF WATER
Nonpoint Source Funding
Funding through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act is provided to the Kentucky Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Funds can be used to pay for 60 percent of the total cost for each project; a 40 percent nonfederal match is required. Grants are available for watershed-based plan development and implementation, protection of Special Use Waters with identified threats, as well as other nonpoint source pollution control projects to help mitigate or prevent runoff pollution. Priority consideration will be given to applications for watershed plan development and implementation in 303(d) listed streams and protection of threatened Special Use Waters.

State Resources - TENNESSEE

TN DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES
Compensatory Mitigation For Streams and Wetlands
A webpage with information about this program as well as a guidance document for compensatory mitigation of permanent impacts to streams.

Habitat Quality of Least-Impacted Streams in Tennessee
This report describes the habitat quality of ecoregion reference streams. Seasonal variability, stream size and ecoregion expectations are discussed. Reference data is compared to historic habitat assessments. Guidelines for maintaining protective habitat in each of Tennessee's 25 ecological subregions are provided. The report includes a question and answer section of habitat guidance implementation.

Stream Restoration Tools and Map
Tools and maps for recommending stream sites for restorationtelling the Division of Water Resources about ongoing restoration projects, and seeing locations of restoration activities


UT EXTENSION
Teacher Resources - Backyard STEM for Tennessee 4-H
A webpage with a variety of environmental stewardship related teaching resources organized by soils, water and watersheds, wildlife and ecology, and more. Water and watershed related resources include teacher modules on Nutrient Pollution and Eutrophication, Stormwater Mapping, Sediments and Water Quality, Benthic Macroinvertibrates, Rain Gardens, Soil Water Holding Capacity, and Watershed Mapping. 

Watershed Restoration and Management Program
The UT Watershed Management program provides needed information to those working to protect our natural water resources and prevent nonpoint source pollution. See the program's planning model to understand how it is making a difference for Tennesseans. Resources are available for farmershomeownersteachers, and communities. The Watershed Restoration and Management Program's resource library contains over 100 water related documents, plans, and pages. 

Municipal Resources

FRANKLIN
Stormwater Projects
A listing of the City's planned, under construction, and recently completed stormwater projects. Currently planned projects includeBattle Avenue Drainage Improvements and a Victoria Court / Ralston Creek Stream Restoration. Recently completed work includes aHarpeth River Restoration Project, a Maplewood/ Greenbranch Stream Restoration, and Stream Name Revisions


MURFREESBORO
Pollution Reduction Plans
MS4s must implement stormwater pollutant reductions consistent with assumptions and requirements of any applicable wasteload allocation(s) in TMDLs established or approved by EPA. If an MS4 discharges into a water body with an approved or established TMDL, then the Stormwater Management Program must include BMPs specifically targeted to achieve the wasteload allocations prescribed by the TMDL.This page is home to general information about Murfreesboro's pollution reduction plans, as well as specific information about pollution reduction plans for Garrison CreekLytle Creek, and Sinking Creek, and a Lytle Creek Quick Guide to BMPs.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION RESOURCES

AMERICAN RIVERS
Dam and Obstruction Related Pages and Resources
A variety of dam and dam removal related resources. Titles of related pages include How Dams Damage RiversHow Dams are RemovedMaps of Dams Removed in the USBenefits of Restoring Floodplains, and New dams Won't Solve Water Supply Needs.

River Restoration Resource Center
American Rivers has created a series of resources designed to empower federal and state agency staff, engineering design firms and other consultants, and nonprofit organizations (collectively, river restoration practitioners) with the tools, skills, and understanding necessary to restore damaged rivers. Explore our series of videos, fact sheets, and reports to learn more about removing dams, replacing culverts, and restoring floodplains.
 

APPALACHIAN CITIZENS LAW CENTER
The POWER+ (Plus) Plan
The POWER+ (Plus) Plan is a $10 billion initiative to assist communities struggling with the decline of the coal industry in growing and diversifying their economies. ACLC links visitors to this website. 
 

CUMBERLAND RIVER COMPACT
Sugartree Creek Restoration
The Cumberland River Compact and its partners, Metro Water Services and the Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter are working in Sugartree Creek to establish a model for urban stream mediation. The goal of our project is to implement newly designed EPA software that determines optimum locations for water quality projects and apply this to Sugartree Creek.

 

HARPETH RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
Lowhead Dam Removal Project
The Eastern Flank Canoe Access was a part of the Harpeth River Restoration Project that included the removal of the lowhead dam during the summer of 2012.  More information about the project is available here including a time-lapse video of the dam coming down. Also available are pre dam removal (2011) and post dam removal (2015) fish community assessment studies conducted by TWRA. 

River Restoration and Wildlife Protection Program
The River Restoration & Wildlife Protection program coordinates and implements projects that restore streams, address stream bank erosion, and reduce pollution from runoff in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Example restoration projects are provided on this page including riparian zone restoration, tree planting, bank stabilization, rain gardens, and stream clean-ups. Links on this page provide information on cedar revetments for repairing stream banks, a rain garden and rain barrel page, recent projects and more. 

 

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY - TENNESSEE
Linking Conservation Priorities to Wetland and Stream Mitigation Decisions
This 2011 document presents a watershed planning approach for linking conservation priorities to wetland and stream mitigation decisions for the Stones River. 

Watershed Approach Handbook: Improving Outcomes and Increasing Benefits Associated with Wetland and Stream Restoration and Protection Projects
This handbook demonstrates how using a watershed approach can help ensure that selection, design and siting of wetland and stream restoration and protection projects, including projects required by compensatory mitigation projects, also contribute to goals of improved water quality, increased flood mitigation, improved quality and quantity of habitat, and increases in other services and benefits.

 

RICHLAND CREEK WATERSHED ALLIANCE
Programs
An explanation of RCWA program work including education and outreach, water quality protection, and Stream Habitat Restoration and Wildlife Protection work. 

 

SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER
Restoring the Harpeth River
In 2014, SELC and Harpeth River Watershed Association took legal action against three sewage treatment plants along the Harpeth River for ongoing permit violations and excessive sewage discharge in violation of the Clean Water Act. As a result, Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative and Cartwright Creek sewage treatment plants agreed to join a multi-stakeholder effort to restore the health of the Harpeth River. These utilities committed to expanding water quality monitoring in the river, developing a pollution management plan, and joining a diverse stakeholder group to work cooperatively on improving water quality. 

In 2016, SELC and HRWA successfully reached a settlement with the City of Franklin. In addition to new protections and monitoring for sewage discharges, part of the settlement agreement is a comprehensive study focusing on the entire Harpeth River watershed, the first such study in Tennessee. This landmark effort, in which SELC will be one of the participants, will assess the health and the risks to the Harpeth River and its tributaries to ensure the river meets water quality standards moving forward. 

 

TENNESSEE ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL
Citizen Action Guide to Watershed Assessment and Restoration (2015)
This 2015 guide provides citizens with steps for putting sound science to work in their watershed. Interested person or organizations can contact TEC at tec@tectn.org if they would like to schedule a training workshop that covers these materials. Contents include the action guide for watershed assessment and restoration itself as well as the following appendices: Appendix 1 – Watershed Science and MappingAppendix 2 – Stream Assessment FinalAppendix 3 – Guide to Restoration Activities FinalAppendix 3.1 Tennessee Cedar RevetmentsAppendix 3.2 – Guidance for Riparian Buffer plantings TDOF 2014Appendix 3.3 Combined Rain Garden Workshop GuideAppendix 4 – Guidance for EducatorsAppendix 5 – Permits and Reporting Environmental Violations (TDEC)Appendix 6 – Watershed Restoration Plan GuidanceAppendix 7 CWA overviewAppendix 8 – Glossary Final.

Watershed Support Center
The Council’s Watershed Support Center takes challenges and turns them into opportunities for Tennessee rivers and streams and waterways and the wildlife and people who enjoy them.  Work includes: Planting trees to reforest the stream banks and planting live stakes to stabilize the soil and help improve water quality; installing rain gardens, rain gardens add beauty to the landscape and reduce flooding by allowing storm water to be absorbed by the plants and infiltrated into the ground; installing revetments (cedar timbers wrapped in coir mat) on to the eroded bank to prevent further deterioration of the stream bank; fish habitat restoration initiatives in the streams.