Ecosystem Restoration

Restoring stream and wetland systems gives nature a head start in
regaining stability and establishing a self-maintaining system.

Wildlands Engineering is a leader in the rapidly growing ecosystem restoration industry. We utilize our unique combination of expertise in ecology, stream design, wetland and riparian buffer restoration, hydrology, and engineering to restore and conserve streams, wetlands, and endangered species habitats. Natural systems such as streams and wetlands can become degraded over time due to human manipulation or catastrophic natural events such as ecosystem restorationhurricanes. Restoring stream and wetland systems gives nature a head start in regaining stability and establishing a self-maintaining natural system. Through ecosystem restoration, Wildlands Engineering aims to restore habitat, stability, and natural functions to streams, wetlands, and their surrounding environment.

Aquatic habitat can be improved by implementing steeper, shallower riffle features and slow-moving, deeper pool features in the stream bed. This diversity of bedform provides habitat for a variety of insects, fish, and amphibians. Terrestrial habitat can be enhanced by planting native vegetation on the banks and the surrounding stream or wetland buffer to provide food and cover for wildlife.

Stability can be restored to a stream system by installing rock or wood grade control structures in the channel. These structures help to prevent further incision, and allow the stream to dissipate energy without causing erosion. Deep-rooted vegetation planted on the banks also helps to stabilize the channel and floodplain. In some cases, unstable influences simply need to be removed from a stream or wetland. Livestock may be causing bank erosion and can be fenced out of a stream or wetland area to avoid further damage.

Streams and wetlands offer valuable natural functions to our environment. Streams can attenuate flooding when floodplain benches are excavated and can offer storage for excess water. Vegetation and channel slope can be designed to minimize velocities and reduce erosion.

Wetlands are natural buffers: areas that can absorb excess rainfall and reduce flooding while filtering pollutants and excess nutrients from runoff so that downstream systems are not harmed. Natural wetlands have often been drained through ditching or tile drains for agriculture land uses. Once hydrology is restored wetlands can support a variety of habitat for amphibians, reptiles and birds.