Envirotech Consultants, Inc., and Scott Sonneberg of Eco-Design and Engineering, Ltd as the consultant to the North Coast Regional Council of Park Districts (NCRCPD), were retained to restore 5,000 linear feet of degrading stream habitat along the West Fork of the East Branch of the Black River in Medina County, Ohio.
The restoration of the West Fork offered numerous design challenges. The stream banks were severely degraded due to the negative impacts of channel straightening that occurred with the expansion of roads and railways. The restoration plan required the support of multiple governmental agencies and careful monitoring of stream conditions before and after construction.
Envirotech's comprehensive restoration strategy was predicated on the rationale of lifting the stream's base flow by approximately four feet and restoring access to the floodplain. This was accomplished by installing V-weirs to adjust the gradient of the stream, installing new riffles to replace those lost by increasing the stream depth, and terracing the high banks to reestablish access to the floodplain. The restoration improved the overall stream quality, restored a more natural stream morphology, integrated the stream into its floodplain and enhanced stormwater capacity via the addition of filtration wetlands.
Envirotech collaborated with the OEPA's ecological assessment professionals to collect and analyze data on the stream's fish and invertebrate communities prior to construction and continued after construction to assess the effects of the restoration on the biological integrity of the communities. An agricultural crossing was also integrated into the design to accommodate local needs. The restoration strategy for this project demonstrates our ability to conceptualize, design, implement and monitor large-scale, multi-variable projects with numerous desired objectives.