Ohio Naturalized Stream Channel Conference and Website
Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Basin Program Funds:
Sediment concentrations in some rivers of the Great Lakes watershed have decreased, however sedimentation at river mouths remains a primary cause of lake degradation. A 1981 study indicates that 26 percent of sedimentary input to the Great Lakes originates from rivers. Numerous studies show that channel degradation and bank erosion can be a significant or major source of river-transported sediment. To remedy the problem, the application of natural channel design principles and techniques to reduce sediment loads in streams and rivers, are available. However, to take advantage of these techniques, greater information and outreach efforts are needed to reach land use planners, consulting engineers, designers, and local government managers.
New understandings of fluvial processes acknowledge the dynamic nature of streams. As open systems, natural channel forms and processes evolve in harmony as natural channel systems tend toward a state of balance between sediment yield and sediment storage over geologically short time frames. Techniques for the application of natural channel design principals are becoming more accessible. The goal of this project is improve the function and quality of streams through education regarding the use of natural channel design, and to communicate technical information about channel restoration projects using this technique.
The major elements of this project included organizing a conference on “The Emerging Science of Natural Channel Design.” The conference agenda was developed by a committee composed of representatives of four Ohio Department of Nature Resources (ODNR) divisions and Ohio State University’s Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering College. More than 100 brochures were mailed to organizations and agencies in the eight Great Lakes states and Kentucky. Secondly, the project established an internet website as a forum for professionals and others interested in the theory and application of natural channel design within the Great Lakes basin. The resulting network will serve as the basis for information exchange and the advancement of natural channel design, linking interested parties throughout the basin.
A conference entitled “The Emerging Science of Natural Channel Design” was held in November 2001 with more than 330 people attending. An extensive website, http://streams.osu.edu, has been developed to provide information and education on natural stream design techniques. A literature review was conducted on natural fluvial concepts and made available on the website. Stream date has been collected for 13 restoration projects in Ohio and is available on the web site. Educational materials and an extensive list of related links were also made available on the web site.
Contact: Jerry Wager, 614-265-6619