Tag Archives: repair

Restoration Works Since 1995

A “Johnny Willowseed” Approach

In 1995, Trout Headwaters, Inc (THI) was founded to provide service to private, non-profit, and government clients.  At a time when only a handful of private entities across the U.S. were providing stream, wetland, or habitat restoration services, the company quickly became a recognized leader in “soft” biostabilization and riparian restoration strategies.

2010505 101For many years the company has teamed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to develop and refine these environmentally superior techniques for stream stabilization and restoration.  A state regulator, reviewing one of THI’s early landmark projects remarked that we had used a “Johnny Willowseed” approach.  Working WITH nature has indeed been a precept of the firm since its founding and one that we’re immensely proud to continue through today.

Proven, Practical Innovation  

Back in 2001, THI began developing and testing proprietary technologies for river, stream and wetland inventory, assessment, design, and monitoring.  Ultimately, several of these processes were commercialized and patented by sister company THI RiverWorks.  The work of building and commercializing technology for the restoration industry, including big data platforms Mitigation Analyst and EcoBlu Analyst, continues through today.

Narciso RodriguezSo while Trout Headwaters continues to offer the same services it did when first founded, the company has constantly changed and improved its process and its products.  This commitment to improving quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness has resulted in now more than 450 successful projects all across the U.S.  The company’s work has been featured in diverse publications including Erosion Control, Landscape Architect, Huffington Post, Land Report, and many others. See Recent Work via Blurb

Customer Focus

Expect however our hallmark to remain always unchanged: A dedication to serving the nation’s most discriminating clients by delivering cost-effective and ecologically beneficial restoration products and services.

THI Project Copyright 2012At THI our guiding principle is always to stay customer-focused. Each one of our clients has helped us achieve what we believe to be the lead position in the aquatic restoration industry.   But why take our word for it, listen to a sample of what our clients are saying:

“You and your team were nothing short of spectacular! Great communication on all projects and their status, along with an attitude that reflects your sincere care and passion for your profession consistently exceeded my expectations.” – 3 Peaks Ranch

“As you know I’ve worked with other firms on river restoration projects, prior to engaging THI.  As such, I have come to appreciate the quality of your firm’s work in an industry where many firms offer dramatic results but fail to deliver.”- River Ranch Restoration 

“We have received award-winning attention for our sustainable, green design and development efforts, much of which is directly attributable to THI.” – Cielo Falls

To learn more Contact Us

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Experience EcoBlu Podcast Series – A Millers River

Join host Mike Sprague from Trout Headwaters to explore a wide cross section of applied ecological restoration in the U.S.  In this series, Experience EcoBlu takes you from the laboratory to the field and from the theory to the ground with some of the top YellowstoneRiverOar.THI.JareckeCopyright2013experts, scientists and policy-makers.

“As moderator for this series, I thought we’d start where I started, near a small town in western Massachusetts, on the eve of the Clean Water Act.   On the Millers River…

 

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When it Comes to Restoring Rivers – Sometimes it’s Better to Swim Upstream

Picture3THIPiles of rock or concrete dumped along a stream bank does not equal restoration. In fact, we believe it can often do more harm than good. Trout Headwaters, Inc takes a “do-no-harm” approach to restoration. We’ve pioneered the reliable use of “soft” materials, like natural fiber mats anchored with live native plants, to protect river and stream banks from erosion. Rocks just don’t grow. Just because everyone else is restoring waterways a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. We’ve become comfortable with swimming upstream.  After all, the trout seem to prefer it that way. Learn more by contacting us.

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River, Wetland and Habitat Restoration – First Do No Harm

THI.DoNoHarmAD.2013(F)It is one of the precepts all students are taught in medical school. It reminds a physician that he or she must always consider the possible harm any intervention might cause. It also applies quite accurately to the process of restoring rivers, wetlands and uplands. The very act of “restoring” any resource or habitat implies that you do no harm.

Our natural environment plays host to an immense variety of species, many of them microscopic. Whether reducing excessive erosion or enhancing habitat for fish, we not only tread lightly on the delicate ecosystems that exist, we strive to protect and enhance it.  >Learn More about EcoBlu!

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My Top Ten Water Wishes 2015

PaintingWater news and alerts continued to receive notice throughout 2014. Severe drought as well as dramatic flooding again topped U.S. headlines. My personal Top Water Wishes for the New Year include a quick look back at some of the important water stories that streamed through our offices this past year.

  1. Wishing for increased understanding of the vital, intrinsic relationships between our economy and ecology. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/secretary-jewell-discusses-path-for-both-economy-and-ecology/
  1. Wishing the real price tag for nature’s defenses was better understood. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/what-is-the-price-tag-for-natures-defenses/
  1. Wishing that governments and policy-makers recognize some of the many values and opportunities of public-private partnerships and refocus efforts to restore our water resources. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/service-and-conservation-corps-will-soon-add-waders-in-the-water/
  1. Wishing environmental data be better leveraged for business, government and non-profits. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/benefits-of-big-data-for-environmental-management/
  1. Wishing that we respect how precious our water resources are to all life and all development.>More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/10-cities-that-could-run-out-of-water/
  1. Wishing for more consistent implementation of Clean Water standards across the U.S. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/wyoming-finalizes-its-first-stream-mitigation-procedure/
  1. Wishing that invasive and damaging strategies for species ‘restoration’ will be abolished. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/rotenone-1952-called-and-wants-its-fisheries-management-strategy-back/
  1. Wishing that we can stem the steady tide of wetland losses. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/wetland-losses-go-on-and-on/
  1. Wishing that we will undam the nation’s longest undammed river. >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/the-yellowstone-river-still-the-longest-undammed-river-in-the-lower-48/
  1. Wishing that we will all spend more time near water! >More http://troutheadwaters.com/clubecoblu/science-shows-being-near-water-makes-you-happier-healthier-more-connected/
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Public-Private Partnership to Certify Youth Corps

Restored Creek/Wetland ComplexThe Bay Journal writes: “Beyond political will or ecological know-how, restoring the Chesapeake Bay and other impaired waters across the country requires a good deal of manpower.”  It will take ‘waders in the water,’ to physically return rivers, streams and wetlands to a more natural state.”

“It’s work that Trout Headwaters, Inc., a private water restoration company, has been doing nationwide for nearly 20 years — and work that the company, through a new partnership with The Corps Network, now plans to equip youth corps nationwide to do,” writes the Journal.  >Read More via http://www.bayjournal.com/article/public_private_partnership_to_certify_youth_corps_for_restoration_work

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Study Says Mammals Respond to “Field of Dreams” Strategy for Restored Wetlands

Photo courtesy of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Restoration of wetland ecosystems has typically focused on hydrology, soil, and vegetation, but mammals are drawn to restored wetlands at even higher levels than expected. A study led by Princeton researcher David J. Kurz, and published recently in The American Midland Naturalist, showed that a strategy of “if you build it they will come” is beneficial to not only wetland species, but also to mammals dependent upon wetlands for food, water and shelter.

“Restored wetlands – if managed correctly – can harbor mammalian communities as rich as those found in [natural, existing] wetland habitats. Our results support the “Field of Dreams” hypothesis which suggests, among other things, that if the necessary physical conditions are present then desired [wildlife] will subsequently colonize the patch. For small to midsized mammals in our study area, this appears to be the case,” said the study.

Read more: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1674/0003-0031-170.2.260

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“Emergency Response” for Streams and Rivers Becoming More Common

A scientifically-based assessment can aid quick, sound decision-making in an emergency.

A scientifically-based assessment can aid quick, sound decision-making in an emergency.

With unpredictable weather patterns becoming the new normal, it may be time to take a fresh look your flood risk.  At Trout Headwaters we are definitely seeing a distinct increase in the number of emergency calls we receive.  When a structure or critical resource is under threat of flooding time is of the essence.

Streams, rivers and wetlands do flood, most often during spring runoff or summer rain storms. An emerging pattern in the West of drought, followed by fire, followed by rain, can wreak havoc on the stability of streambanks. High spring runoff or heavy rain events can very quickly turn a peaceful stream into a raging torrent eating away at unstable banks.

Lush streamside vegetation and a healthy stream hydrology mean resilient streambanks, but if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, our firm’s expert team of engineers, hydrologists and biologists can  deploy quickly to provide an assessment of the damage and potential threat to your property.  Our patented RiverWorks Rapid Assessment System allows us to complete a thorough stream or river assessment quickly, even turning around a report and suggested remedies within 24 – 48 hours.

THI’s “green” approaches to streambank stabilization not only stave off further damage, but also strengthen over time as banks recover the type of deep-rooted, woody vegetation that means stability long term, along with added habitat values for fish and wildlife.

For more information or to discuss your concerns, contact THI today.

You may also like: For Builders, Architects, and Homeowners – Building Near a River or Stream?

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Climate models predict large reductions in native trout across Rockies; habitat restoration can help

Photo credit: Fisheries Vol 37 No 12 December 2012 via www.fisheries.orgA new research study featured in the latest issue of the American Fisheries Society’s Fisheries Magazine explores how a warming climate is affecting trout streams throughout the Rocky Mountains, and urges quick action if native trout populations are to persist in diminishing cold-water habitats.

One important point of the article is that even with better information, future uncertainties will remain large due to unknowns regarding Earth’s ultimate warming trajectory and how effects translate across scales. Maintaining or increasing the size of habitats could provide a buffer against these uncertainties.

One of the report’s authors Clint Muhlfeld, an aquatic ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Glacier National Park field office said certain actions that may offset future climate effects include maintaining or restoring in-stream flows, increasing riparian vegetation to shade streams, and maximizing summer habitat volume.

Read more in The Missoulian: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/report-warming-climate-will-squeeze-trout-in-flathead-river-elsewhere/article_9cd62410-43fe-11e2-8dd6-0019bb2963f4.html

Read the full study: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2012_isaak_d001.pdf

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Researcher: Stream Repairs in Vermont post-Irene “Ad-Hoc and Willy-Nilly”

For a stream scientist Tropical Storm Irene, which dumped loads of rain on Northeast, provided what one researcher calls a “grand experiment” — the opportunity to investigate what happens when a stream system faces a major disturbance.
In Vermont, where Dartmouth College scientists are studying the aftermath, the storm knocked out hundreds of roads and bridges in the state, damaged or destroyed more than 700 homes and left some towns stranded. Flooding moved whole sections of rivers and streams, gouging out roads and farm fields. In some cases, huge piles of gravel were deposited in other locations.
“Irene was a wakeup call,” said Dartmouth geography professor Frank Magiligan.  Magiligan and others are assessing streams in order to pinpoint potential trouble spots that can aid scientifically-informed planning decisions.  But recovery and repair efforts are concerning to some scientists, who say efforts to “repair and restore” streams with bulldozers and other heavy equipment actually “did more damage that the storm.”

Read more:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/tropical-storm-irene-damage-vermont-dartmouth_n_2471501.html

 

 

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