Biohabitats Inc. > Portfolio > Search results for 'Ecological Restoration'
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|Acacia Reservation Ecological Restoration Plan|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States Cleveland, Metroparks’ 22,000 acres of open space form one of the most interconnected, extensive urban park systems in the U.S. Encircling the city, these parks, trails, zoo, and recreational facilities are collectively known as Cleveland’s "Emerald Necklace." In 2012, a new jewel was added to this necklace: Acacia Reservation, a 155-acre property that had been a golf course, for the past 100 years. Euclid Creek, a tributary to Lake Erie, flows through the site. The watershed is home to over 60,000 people and has been greatly impacted by development, which in turn has impacted the health and function of the Creek, feeling the effects of urban runoff. Cleveland Metroparks wanted to restore the property to a natural state, and do so in a way that would encourage public access and stewardship, protect the Euclid Creek watershed, and create a landscape consistent with adjacent reservations along the "Emerald Necklace." The envisioned reservation not only regenerates the local ecology, but recreates a variety of habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, streams, and meadows. For help in transforming this suburban golf course into a natural and cultural resource, Cleveland Metroparks turned to Biohabitats. Biohabitats began by performing an assessment of site conditions, including soils, hydrology, ecology, and landform patterns. The project included a planning charrette with Metroparks staff to develop a consistent understanding of the Parks’ ecological restoration goals, and meetings to engage and inform the public. In addition to restoring native ecosystems, the Master Plan includes innovative stormwater management, green infrastructure, education, and interpretation of landscape change and ecological function.
|Acacia Reservation Ecological Restoration Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Acacia Reservation Restoration Project|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States When Cleveland Metroparks acquired a 155-acre former golf course in Lyndhurst, Ohio, they recognized its potential to enhance local ecology and become a new gem in the region’s “Emerald Necklace.” Metroparks envisioned the new “Acacia Reservation,” as a model urban ecological preserve that would provide wildlife habitat, filter and treat stormwater, and provide a unique opportunity for people to enjoy and appreciate the plants and wildlife that are native to northern Ohio. After working with Metroparks to craft a master plan to guide this transformation, Biohabitats initiated a design-build project to begin advancing the ecological restoration goals. The project involves restoring Euclid Creek which flows through the site, along with an intermittent stream to Euclid Creek, and headwater streams and wetlands which traversed portions of the former golf course and had been underlain by drainage tile. Decades of stormwater flows from the densely developed area adjacent to the site had caused the channels to become eroded, incised, and disconnected from their floodplains. Euclid Creek currently serves somewhat as a stormwater expressway to Lake Erie. This restoration not only helps provide better stormwater retention and treatment, it also fosters the regeneration of riparian areas and a whole new layer of urban ecology.
|Acacia Reservation Restoration Project||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Alger Park Stream Restoration|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Alger Park is located in an area of Southeast Washington, DC where an estimated 32% of the watershed is impervious. Nestled within the park’s steep, forested slopes is a headwater stream that ultimately drains to the Anacostia River. Stormwater runoff from the 35-acre sewershed that surrounds the park had degraded the steam, causing severe erosion and channel instability. In an effort to help the District restore the stream’s stability, habitat, and water quality, Biohabitats developed a design to restore 1500 linear feet of the stream. The upstream portion of the stream is characterized by steeply eroding valley slopes and stream banks, severe channel incision, and numerous headcuts. The downstream portion is a depositional area for a significant volume of sediment scoured from upstream reaches. A combination of excessive unmanaged stormwater flows from outfalls and overland flow pathways, along with steep topography, highly erodible soils, and invasive vegetation, are contributing to the impairments observed in the stream and surrounding park land. Biohabitats began by assessing the watershed hydrology and stream geomorphology, existing natural resources, biological community, streambank erosion (BEHI), and stream stressors in the stream valley to anticipate load reductions and associated environmental uplift from the restoration. The team then created a design to return Alger Stream to a natural, self-sustaining stream that can resist stormflows generated in the developed watershed, and restore the ecological functions and habitat of the stream valley to the maximum extent practicable, while protecting the stormwater infrastructure that has been impacted by unabated erosion and deposition, and remove invasive species and re-establish a native plant community. The design approach is intended to improve ecological function to the extent practicable based on existing site constraints. The project site constraints largely derive from the steep slopes and confined valley through which Alger Stream flows. Establishment
|Alger Park Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Study|| |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States As part of a team led by Sasaki Associates, Biohabitats led the ecological restoration, green infrastructure, and open space master planning components of the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Study for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. This six-mile stretch of riverfront, extending from downtown Pittsburgh to the city’s eastern edge, is dominated by an active freight rail, industrial and underutilized lands, and a few tightly knit, residential communities. Riverfront access to local residents is limited at best, and the ecological health of this important tributary to the Ohio River could be greatly improved with a more holistic approach to redevelopment. The Green Boulevard Study sought to transform the existing Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR) right-of-way into a multi-modal green corridor which could include a bicycle-pedestrian paths and passenger rail service, while integrating stormwater management technologies in the existing rail freight corridor. The study included a housing master plan for a key riverfront site along the AVR right-of-way, as well as an open space plan to emphasize riverfront, habitat, recreation, and open space connections. Taking a “living infrastructure” approach to this planning study, Biohabitats highlighted opportunities for landscapes that provide multiple functions, from enlivening the community to enhancing habitat for wildlife, treating stormwater, and creating new connections to the River. Biohabitats provided a toolkit of living infrastructure practices that could be integrated throughout the study area, including stormwater BMPs, wastewater treatment wetlands, habitat patches, buffer areas, soil conditioning, floating wetlands, regenerative stormwater conveyance and more.
|Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Study||Ohio River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Aquatic Restoration & Invasive Species Management at 61 Smith Street|| |
Erie County, New York , United States Erie County, NY launched an effort to improve habitat quality along a stretch of the Buffalo River that was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern. After contaminated sediment was removed from the river bottom, Biohabitats, working with Wendel, is helping the County to restore a section of degraded shoreline along the river. After designing an 800 linear foot reach along Red Jacket Park, the team then designed an additional 1,100 linear feet of shoreline located upstream. Biohabitats led the effort to design a “living shoreline” that would not only restore habitat and function, but would foster ongoing regeneration of the natural systems and processes that comprise a healthy, stable shoreline. The design aimed to improve fish and wildlife habitat by creating a mosaic of escape and forage habitat and restoring valuable shallow-water areas and their rich vegetation community. Biohabitats began by completing an ecological assessment of the 15-acre site, which included an invasive species inventory. Biohabitats’ design includes a series of rock weirs along the shoreline to encourage the deposition of sediment and replace critical shallow-water habitat that was lost during the dredging of contaminated sediment. Submerged aquatic vegetation and emergent vegetation will be planted to provide additional habitat. In riparian areas, invasive species are to be treated, and a “living” fence consisting of a complex of willows and sumac is planned along the park edge to limit encroachment from adjacent invasive species while providing habitat and a native seed source.
|Aquatic Restoration & Invasive Species Management at 61 Smith Street||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Erie County, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Barrensdale Outfall Restoration|| |
Anne Arundel County, Maryland , United States Biohabitats, along with subconsultant Century Engineering, provided the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works with design and construction phase services associated with the decommissioning of a Natural Resources Conservation Services Maryland 378 pond. The project involved embankment modification, crest weir design, pipe slip-lining, demonstration and achievement of credit for stormwater quality management, and safe conveyance of the 100-year storm along an unnamed tributary of Dividing Creek through a sand seepage wetland and Step Pool Storm Conveyance System complex. The project also reconnects the tributary to its floodplain, further enhances nutrient uptake along the stream, stabilizes the channel and banks, and improves the system’s ecological functions.
|Barrensdale Outfall Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Baton Rouge Lakes Master Plan|| |
Baton Rouge, Louisiana , United States In the 1930s, as part of a Works Progress Administration project to bolster the economy after the Great Depression, a cypress-tupelo swamp in the Bayou Duplantier in Baton Rouge was dammed and timbered, leading to its transformation into a series of lakes. The lakes, which span 275 acres and connect Louisiana State University with the surrounding neighborhoods, have become a key feature of the LSU campus and a valued recreational asset. They also provide important remnant habitat for such birds as cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.), herons and egrets (Ardea sp. and Egretta sp.), ibis species (Eudocimus sp.), wood ducks (Aix sponsa), and American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). Due to issues of eutrophycation after years of sedimentation and nutrient accumulation from urban stormwater runoff and natural accumulation, the lakes were in need of restoration and a master plan to guide ecological enhancements and improvements. As part of a master planning team led by SWA, Biohabitats helped ensure that the lakes’ ecology was seamlessly woven into design concepts aimed at creating a sustainable and resilient open space destination. Biohabitats examined the ecological conditions on site, as well as data from prior planning and assessment work. After presenting a summary of the ecological conditions to the Master Plan Advisory Committee, Biohabitats participated in a public design charrette. The “Build Your Own Park” charrette provided community members the opportunity to learn about the ecological context and challenges of the lakes and to contribute to the planning process. The final master plan includes strategies for habitat enhancement and ecological restoration, which will improve the lakes as an open space asset. The American Society of Landscape Architects awarded this master plan a 2016 Honor Award for Analysis & Planning.
|Baton Rouge Lakes Master Plan||Conservation Planning,||Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States||featured-project featured|
|Bear Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build|| |
Warrensville Heights, Ohio , United States The Cuyahoga County District Board of Health called upon Biohabitats to help restore approximately 2,000 linear feet of Bear Creek. The stream had been channelized, incised and disconnected from its floodplain. Severe bank erosion was occurring along several areas of the stream. The goals of this design-build project were to: improve water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat; dissipate stream energy; minimize erosion and sedimentation; protect existing infrastructure; provide stormwater management with vegetative filtering; increase the capacity of the channel; and create a living, educational feature for a nearby high school. Biohabitats’ design met these goals in a way that maximized ecological benefits, minimized disturbance, inspired and facilitated ongoing stewardship and education, and not only met the objectives of the project, but also the needs and desires of the community. The site was divided into two reaches: the Upper Reach and the Wetland Complex Reach. The approach for the Upper Reach was to protect infrastructure, dissipate stream energy, increase channel capacity, stabilize eroding banks, improve aquatic habitat, and increase the quality of the riparian buffer. In the Wetland Complex Reach, the design created a new floodplain and wetlands, realigned the channel planform with meanders, and provided a unique educational opportunity by creating a diverse, natural, and fluvial system.
|Bear Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Warrensville Heights, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Beaver Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build|| |
LaPlata County, Colorado , United States As part of their water quality and stream restoration efforts, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe selected Biohabitats to design and build stability and ecological habitat improvements for approximately 3,000 linear feet of Beaver Creek near Bayfield, Colorado. Biohabitats put together a design approach that not only dealt with the high, eroding banks but also created vital wetland habitat and increased the vegetated riparian buffer. The project included site assessment, final construction design of stream grading and planting, permitting and coordination with tribal regulations, management of workers from the tribe, construction, oversight of our grading contractor, and plant installation. Biohabitats worked closely with the Tribe to ensure timely permit review and to track stream water levels so they could take full advantage of the limited low-flow construction window between snowmelt and irrigation return runoff events. As a result, Biohabitats successfully completed construction on schedule. Biohabitats’ design approach involved building low veg-etated benches to stabilize the toes of severely eroding banks, provide high-flow energy dissipation and increased riparian buffer. It also included cutting off a series of highly eroded and overly-tight bends and creating an oxbow wetland in the existing channel. As part of the construction, Biohabitats hosted an ecology lab class from Fort Lewis College for one day and managed their volunteer planting efforts. Beaver Creek was Biohabitats’ fifth design-build project for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
|Beaver Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||LaPlata County, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Big Thompson River Restoration|| |
Larimer County, Colorado , United States In 2013, the Big Thompson River and its North Fork experienced extreme flooding that devastated the community and caused two deaths along with extensive property and infrastructure damage. The flooding also severely degraded the river corridor’s ecological, scenic, and recreational values. To help develop resilient river restoration solutions, Biohabitats provided ecological restoration planning services for the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition’s Priority Reach Restoration Planning project. As a subconsultant to Stantec, Biohabitats assisted with data review and field assessments, stakeholder and public engagement, design coordination and technical guidance, and 30% design development for three reaches. Biohabitats also helped conduct ecological surveys to determine potential natural vegetation types and identify geomorphically appropriate vegetation types. Biohabitats reviewed baseline ecological mapping collected during field surveys to collaborate on restoration targets and trajectories. After contributing to the development of preliminary conceptual design plans, Biohabitats provided input on proposed plan form alignment, representative cross sections, channel profile, and other design elements. Rooted in understanding the river and its formative progressions through natural stream evolutionary processes and anthropogenic activities within the watershed, the restoration design was crafted to work with natural processes of the stream and incorporate local, native materials wherever possible.
|Big Thompson River Restoration||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Larimer County, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Birmingham Botanical Gardens Master Plan|| |
Birmingham, Alabama , United States Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum, with more than 10,000 different plants in its living collections and over 25 unique gardens. As a key member of the Gardens’ master planning team, working collaboratively with Oasis Design Group whom served as the project’s master planner, Biohabitats helped craft a plan to ensure that the 68-acre site would demonstrate sustainability principles long into the future. The Gardens draws more than 350,000 visitors annually and public education is integral to its mission. Biohabitats focused primarily on establishing a more regenerative approach to stormwater management that makes use of natural ecological processes emphasizing native vegetation. As part of this effort, Biohabitats engineers, landscape architects and ecologists helped conceptualize restoration of a prominent creek and conversion of a concrete-lined pond into a wetland and riparian ecological community. Biohabitats led a seminar on sustainability and participated in meetings and presentations to staff, board members, and donors.
|Birmingham Botanical Gardens Master Plan||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||featured-project featured|
|Blackbird Creek Reserve Ecological Restoration Master Plan|| |
New Castle County, Delaware , United States Recognizing the need to conserve and manage over 350 acres of newly acquired land for the Blackbird Creek Reserve, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control turned to Biohabitats to develop an Ecological Restoration Master Plan. The Blackbird Creek Reserve is part of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of 27 protected areas comprising the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. This site presents an opportunity to further the System’s mission to practice coastal and estuarine research and education. The Reserve gets its name from Blackbird Creek, an area of natural habitats for many fish, wildlife and plant species. With its rich history as working land for farming, fishing, hunting and trapping, the area serves as a cornerstone for the local community and its economy. School children, researchers and people of all ages and backgrounds come to the Reserve for an unforgettable experience of natural beauty and a glimpse into the way Delaware’s wild lands once were and can be in the future. Working with Reserve staff and local stakeholders, Biohabitats conducted an existing conditions assessment, developed a restoration and research framework, and made ecological restoration recommendations. The effort involved an assessment of native plant communities, streams, wetlands, wildlife habitat and critical habitat for rare, threatened & endangered species. Biohabitats recommended restoration strategies and projects, and identified potential restoration areas to be phased in over 25 years. The master plan also included recommendations for stewardship and sustainability measures for proposed reserve features, including a canoe/kayak launch, parking areas, agricultural lands stormwater best management practices, environmental education, research and interpretive trail opportunities.
|Blackbird Creek Reserve Ecological Restoration Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||New Castle County, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|Bridle Path Stream Restoration|| |
McLean, Virginia , United States The thriving, urban community of Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in both Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Under an on-call contract with the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Planning Division, Biohabitats teamed with Baker Engineering to restore 1,700 feet of Bradley Branch near Bridle Path Lane. The Bridle Path Stream Restoration Project was initiated by the County to address numerous concerns—both local and watershed-based. The main channel had become incised and severely downcut, resulting in falling trees, eroding banks, poor habitat, and loss of property for nearby homeowners. This project is part of a larger effort to meet Clean Water Act permit requirements, restore many of the County’s degraded stream systems, and support regional initiatives to improve the condition of the Chesapeake Bay. Biohabitats developed design alternatives and presented them at to the community to solicit input and identify a preferred alternative. Specific design tasks include detailed fluvial geomorphic field analyses; sediment transport analysis; ecological and vegetative assessments; development of concept design drawings and a design justification report; and preparation of design and construction drawings, specifications, and cost estimate. Biohabitats also helped prepare regulatory permits and provided technical oversight during the construction phase. The design protected private properties at risk because of stream erosion, stabilized the stream within the designated project reach using natural channel design practices, and enhanced aquatic and terrestrial habitat along the stream and its drainage outfall channels. The selected approach raised the bed of the channel to alleviate bank shear stresses and reconnect the floodplain. A low bench was designed to accommodate more frequent floodflows. In-stream structures made of stone boulders were installed to maintain grades, dissipate energy and reduce erosion, and create habitat diversity. Special care was taken in developing the proposed alignment
|Bridle Path Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||McLean, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Bronx Zoo Woodland and Stormwater Management Plans|| |
Bronx, New York , United States After assessing the ecological conditions of the Bronx Zoo and contributing recommendations for the Zoo’s Master Plan, Biohabitats was called upon by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC) to prepare a Woodland Management and Stormwater Management Plan for the Bronxdale Upland Riparian Restoration Project. These two management plans are a significant step in WCS’s efforts to employ environmentally sustainable design initiatives throughout the Zoo’s ongoing development and operations. For the Woodland Management Plan, Biohabitats developed a woodland restoration action plan based on an adaptive management framework. The plan addressed issues such as invasive plant species management, aged tree replacement, native woodland planting, and soil regeneration strategies. It also included a framework for directing the allocation of funds, materials and labor to implement recommended actions. Finally, the plan provided a detailed schedule (including timing and frequency) for implementing specific woodland restoration action items. The Stormwater Management Plan focused on the integration of water quality best management practices to treat stormwater from impervious surfaces. Biohabitats identified many opportunities and a wide variety of BMP treatment methods for the site. Based on a prioritization schedule, Biohabitats will develop detailed design and construction drawings for a bioretention facility to treat stormwater.
|Bronx Zoo Woodland and Stormwater Management Plans||Hudson River Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Bronx, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Buffalo River Shoreline Restoration Design Phase I & Phase II|| |
Erie County, New York , United States Building upon its legacy of regional stewardship, the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper received three federal grants to restore 4,320 feet and nearly 10 acres of shoreline habitat at RiverBend, an urban, sustainable, mixed-use redevelopment project. The site, once a steel manufacturing facility, is characterized by a barren landscape and impoverished soil conditions. After participating in the development of the RiverBend plan, Biohabitats helped devise the restoration approach, which includes limited shoreline grading, soil amendments to improve planting success, and riparian plantings that accommodate site conditions. The team’s design will fully enhance the riparian plant community within and beyond a 100-foot buffer along the river. It will accommodate the RiverBend Master Plan layout while enhancing the aesthetics and ecology of the development’s green space. The project also presents an opportunity to enhance the benefits of concurrent Buffalo River restoration efforts. It contributes toward the Buffalo River’s delisting as an Area of Concern (AOC) by addressing fish and wildlife habitat-related Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs), advance the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and reconnects people to a natural and cultural resource that has suffered more than a century of degradation. The restoration helps Riverkeeper meet these objectives while also maximizing ecological benefits and inspiring ongoing stewardship and education. The restored riverfront will attract and support native species, be resilient to climate change, and draw businesses and visitors who appreciate the benefits of green space in an urban setting.
|Buffalo River Shoreline Restoration Design Phase I & Phase II||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Erie County, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Burke Park–Make a Difference Class|| |
Boulder, Colorado , United States Recognizing the need for children to have early, positive outdoor experiences right in their own neighborhoods, the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department initiated an effort to improve a public park that would inspire nature and adventure play and provide new gathering spaces for outdoor living and learning. For the site, they chose Admiral Arleigh Burke Park, a six-acre park featuring a popular lake and a location adjacent to Horizons Montessori K–8, a charter school founded on principles of environmental responsibility. Rather than simply design for children, the City chose to design with children. To help envision the new park, the City pulled together a unique partnership of Horizons students, the Keep it Clean Partnership (a community group focused on improving stormwater management), the City’s Watershed Outreach office, Biohabitats, and the University of Colorado’s Growing Up Boulder, an initiative which fosters youth involvement in planning and decision making. As part of Horizons’ four-week service learning program called Make-A-Difference, Biohabitats and other partnership members engaged 4th–8th graders in a series of activities to re-envision their park. During the first week, students explored the site, learned about its geology and hydrology, and created photo grids to document features and opportunities. The second week was a ‘bio-blitz,’ where students identified plants and wildlife and tested the lake’s water quality. During the final weeks, students learned about the design process, participated in charettes, built models of play and learning areas, and held a community workshop with more than 40 neighbors, including those from a nearby senior community. The students shared their findings and their suggestions for the park, and the workshop resulted in an exciting, multi-generational exchange of ideas. The result was a design that emphasized four key themes: a playground area dubbed “river of sand and rock” by the children,
|Burke Park–Make a Difference Class||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Boulder, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation|| |
Baltimore, Maryland , United States To complement its world-renown Inner Harbor facility, the National Aquarium in Baltimore proposed developing a new aquatic animal care and conservation education center on a site along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. As part of a master planning team led by Ayers Saint Gross and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Biohabitats integrated an adaptive management approach into the design of the multiple-phase campus development plan that includes the renovation of a public works garage, a public park, water access piers, and ecological demonstration gardens. Among the strategies proposed were tidal wetland and woodland restoration, phytoremediation, and upland water treatment wetlands, all of which are aimed at regenerating ecological processes in a portion of the Middle Branch riparian corridor and shoreline. These efforts related directly to the Aquarium’s mission by supporting Chesapeake Bay ecosystem recovery and inspiring stewardship of aquatic environments. Biohabitats’ main objective was to demonstrate how the ecological interests of the project could be best served by using an adaptive management strategy that establishes a series of natural processes, monitors them over time, and adjusts elements according to the continual evolution of the elements and their processes. This strategy also supported program development and enhancement of the visitor experience.
|Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Baltimore, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Study|| |
Fort Wayne, Indiana , United States Three rivers are the heart of Fort Wayne and all of northeast Indiana: St. Joseph, St. Mary’s and the Maumee. Biohabitats is helping create a plan to make them vital again. In the early 1900s, these rivers created Fort Wayne, and they long remained at the forefront of the planning and development of the city. However, in recent decades they have been underutilized for development and revitalization. This trend continued through the early 2000s, when citizens and stakeholders began to try to return the river systems to their position as the centerpiece of Fort Wayne’s landscape heritage and make them a venue for revitalization, recreation and restoration. As a result of these efforts, the City is conducting a Riverfront Development Study that will detail specific strategies and implementation steps to creating a world-class downtown riverfront district. The topics to be addressed include land use, engineering and infrastructure investment, watershed issues, trail connectivity, access to the river, urban design guidelines and relevant facilities. Biohabitats assessed the ecological conditions and developed recommendations for a living infrastructure framework that provides a foundation for revitalization and restoration opportunities along the three rivers. Biohabitats staff conducted literature reviews, desktop analysis and field investigations to establish current ecological conditions within the study area. Biohabitats also participated in a number of meetings with community members and project stakeholders to draw on their local knowledge and experience and present our initial findings. Biohabitats’ proposed “living infrastructure framework” integrates ecological restoration priorities, conservation, low impact development, green infrastructure, and other opportunities into a cohesive structure that can guide future land use planning and redevelopment decisions for the City.
|City of Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Study||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States||featured-project featured|
|City of Jamestown Chadakoin Riverfront Revitalization|| |
Jamestown, New York , United States Jamestown is located at the southern tip of Chautauqua Lake, a popular summer destination for Great Lakes region vacationers. The Chadakoin River corridor, which runs through the center of Jamestown, was known, historically, for its furniture production and other industry. This long history of industry left a legacy of contaminated sites (brownfields) along an important tributary to the Allegheny River. Like many cities in the Great Lakes region, the industrial base has experienced a gradual decline over the past decades and the local economy has suffered. At the same time, the river corridor includes very important wetlands and other natural resource areas that provide important habitat for migratory birds and other species, including the Eastern spiny softshell turtle, a State species of special concern. In order to develop a comprehensive revitalization plan along the Chadakoin River, the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency initiated a study to identify brownfield reuse, ecological restoration and enhancement, and waterfront revitalization opportunities that would celebrate the River, reinvigorate the waterfront, and connect the community with its history, ecology, and economic potential. A key member of the study team, Biohabitats assessed ecological conditions and developed recommendations for a living infrastructure framework that provides a foundation for revitalization and restoration opportunities along the Chadakoin River. Biohabitats staff conducted literature reviews, desktop analyses and field investigations to establish current ecological conditions within the study area. Biohabitats also participated in a number of public meetings with community members and project stakeholders to draw on their local knowledge and experience. Biohabitats’ proposed “living infrastructure framework” integrated ecological restoration priorities, conservation, low impact development, green infrastructure, and other opportunities into a cohesive structure that can guide future land use planning and redevelopment decisions.
|City of Jamestown Chadakoin Riverfront Revitalization||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Jamestown, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District Watershed Plan-Environmental|| |
Columbia & Clatsop Counties, Oregon , United States The Columbia County Soil & Water Conservation District (the “District”) is partnered with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and other entities, to develop a plan for implementation of watershed/habitat enhancements backed by the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) under the NRCS Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program (PL 566). Biohabitats worked with the District and the NRCS to produce a Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (WP-EA) that satisfies NEPA requirements. Located in the northwest corner of Oregon, the Project Area includes 147,000 acres bounded by the Columbia River to the north and extends south into the steep hills of the Coast Range geomorphic province. Over the past approximately 150 years, the area within the Project Area has experienced the effects of land cover changes associated with development, agriculture, and timber harvest. The Project Area is home to salmonids and the Columbia white-tailed deer that are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The purpose of the WP-EA is to propose actions to improve 1) water quality and 2) habitat for fish and wildlife through restoration and enhancement of aquatic, wetland, and riparian conditions within the RCPP Project Area. The WP-EA provides guidance to restore ecological processes critical to the regulation of water quality and availability and quality of habitat that sustains fish and wildlife populations. This WP-EA is the first of its kind, developing a watershed-scale framework that will support the implementation of smaller-scale projects emphasizing fish passage restoration; stream, floodplain, and wetland restoration; vegetation management; and road maintenance, erosion control, and decommissioning. Biohabitats collaborated with the District to develop the document structure, technical content, and GIS mapping within this WP-EA, which is expected to set a national example for innovative and restoration-focused planning efforts.
|Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District Watershed Plan-Environmental||Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Columbia & Clatsop Counties, Oregon, United States||featured-project featured|
|Columbia Stream and Upland Restoration|| |
Columbia, Maryland , United States A 30-year master plan for the revitalization of Columbia, MD, a 16,450-acre planned community founded in the 1960s, strived to maintain the city’s original focus on being socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and financially successful. The plan established a goal to restore a healthy forest structure dominated by native tree species, but the city’s two watersheds were both degraded by channelization and invasive species. Biohabitats developed and implemented the first two phases of restoration for both watersheds. This included 800 linear feet of stream restoration and the reforestation of over 20 acres of woodlands. As a first step to recreate a thriving natural forest system, Biohabitats developed a strategy to eradicate or control invasive species, reforest cleared areas with native trees and shrubs, and enhance the understory of existing forest stands. Biohabitats also created a design to stabilize an eroding tributary to the Little Patuxent River so that it could withstand a 100-year flow and provide fish passage and habitat upstream of Symphony Woods Road. Biohabitats performed an existing conditions site assessment to determine and document the ecological communities and invasive species present. A multiphase approach for invasive species removal and replanting with native species was then developed, along with a three-year maintenance program to completely sever the foothold of invasive species. In order to establish a strong native plant community that was resistant to invasive vegetation, Biohabitats used mechanical removal, stump treatment, and Glyphosate to control invasives such as Russian olive, wild grape, and English ivy. After nearly a year of control, Biohabitats replanted 16 acres with suitable native vegetation. The planting plan included strategies to make the conditions less favorable for exotic pioneer species. These included augmenting the native species in the forest understory and creating a dense barrier of native evergreens at the forest edge to
|Columbia Stream and Upland Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Columbia, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Crestwood Lake Flood Mitigation Study|| |
Westchester County, New York , United States Crestwood Lake is one of three significant lakes on the Bronx River. It spans approximately 10 acres and receives water from a 33-square-mile watershed. Located within the New York City Metropolitan Area, the lake had experienced excessive sedimentation and episodic flooding over the years caused by development in the Bronx River watershed. The dredging of Crestwood Lake had become a regular maintenance item for Westchester County over the last 40 to 50 years. In an effort to lessen the impacts of excessive sedimentation in Crestwood Lake and potentially improve flood storage capacity within the lake, Westchester County turned to the team of Biohabitats and HyrdoQual. After reviewing literature, performing a vegetative and shoreline assessment and studying the physical properties and chemistry of the sediment, the team developed a restoration report and three alternative strategies for restoring the lake. The County chose to move forward with a “minimum action” concept, which involved the planting of sediment bars and islands with native vegetation to further encourage the accumulation of sediment. The restoration concept will result in the development of a slow, shallow stream channel that lazily meanders through vegetated islands. The re-established riverine system provides habitat for water birds and a fish. The vegetation captures organic material, stabilizes the islands, and sequesters nutrients. The concept also involves the installation of a new path and viewing platforms modification of the lake outlet to allow for more flood capacity during storms. These improvements, along with other watershed initiatives may help reduce flooding along the Bronx River corridor and improve the ecological value of the watershed.
|Crestwood Lake Flood Mitigation Study||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Ecological Restoration,||Westchester County, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Cypress Creek Restoration|| |
Harris County, Texas , United States The Cypress Creek watershed, a 320 square mile basin in Harris and Waller Counties, is the second largest and the second most undeveloped watershed in Harris County, Texas. At approximately 45 miles in length, the headwaters of the watershed are relatively undeveloped but transition into the developed urban landscape of Houston’s outer suburbs. Cypress Creek drains into Spring Creek northeast of Houston and ultimately makes its way to the Galveston Bay. The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is developing a Watershed Management Plan for Cypress Creek. As part of the management plan, HCFCD contracted with Biohabitats to develop a conceptual stream restoration design for 6,400 linear feet of Cypress Creek. A complete restoration design was developed for approximately 2,000 linear feet of Cypress Creek adjacent to Elizabeth Kaiser Meyer Park where the channel was actively eroding near a park’s playground. This subsection restoration is intended to serve as a demonstration project that will showcase the use of the natural channel design approach in addressing channel instability. In support of the management plan, Biohabitats conducted a geomorphic and ecological assessment of the Cypress Creek mainstem. Based on these findings of existing conditions and ongoing stream adjustments, a combination of restoration approaches were selected to address pronounced bank erosion and channel instability. These approaches were integrated in a channel and riparian restoration concept design, and, through coordination with HCFCD and its stakeholders, brought to full design. The channel geometry was developed to provide critical flood storage and account for sediment supply in this flashy, sand-dominated system. For the mainstem channel beyond the limits of the demonstration project, a set of design guidelines was developed to provide a framework for undertaking natural channel design, riparian and wetland restoration, and habitat enhancement strategies.
|Cypress Creek Restoration||Ecological Restoration,||Harris County, Texas, United States||featured-project featured|
|Davis Branch Stream Restoration|| |
Woodstock, Maryland , United States Like many creeks in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, Davis Branch had become severely eroded by historic unsustainable land management practices and hydrologic manipulations associated with upstream watershed development. In an effort to improve the degraded channel, the Howard County Stormwater Management Division sought a restoration solution that would not only support stewardship of the adjacent Howard County Conservancy, but also support the County’s water quality improvement and restoration efforts under its NPDES MS4 Permit. Working closely with the County, the Conservancy, and community stakeholders, Biohabitats developed a design to restore aquatic function to Davis Branch, taking advantage of the unique rural character and minimal constraints within the stream’s riparian corridor. The design establishes ecologically meaningful reconnection between the restored stream and adjacent floodplain surface. The restored stream and floodplain system provide enhanced terrestrial and aquatic habitat variability, enhancing the diversity of the site's floral and faunal communities. The restoration also creates new opportunities for the Conservancy’s education and outreach programs.
|Davis Branch Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Woodstock, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Deep-Sea Ecological Restoration Workshop||In the fall of 2012 Biohabitats Principal Keith Bowers, was invited, along with other international, interdisciplinary experts, to participate in a workshop to examine, frame, and prepare a state of the science paper on the effective application of the science of restoration ecology and the practice of ecological restoration to restore deep-sea marine environments. Oceans form one of the key operating systems of our planet, but they are in trouble. Climate change, overfishing, acidification, habitat destruction, pollution and the introduction of alien species are having a profound effect on ocean ecosystems. Areas of the deep sea floor (oceans beyond the shelf break and greater than 200 meters in depth) have been damaged, degraded, and destroyed by a host of activities including fishing, waste disposal, oil and gas exploration, and telecommunication lines. Further industrialization of the deep sea through bioprospecting and mineral extraction will add to the degradation of the sea floor. Until recently, the notion of restoring the deep-sea environment has not been contemplated. If we choose to continue to expand economic activities to deep-sea ecosystems, ecological restoration must play a prominent role in minimizing and repairing damages to deep sea floor ecosystems. Led by Dr. Cindy Van Dover, Dr. James Aronson, and Dr. Linwood Pendleton, the group’s outcomes were published in Marine Policy, “Ecological restoration in the deep sea: Desiderata.” The paper builds upon the dialogue that occurred during the workshop. It offers perspective on planning and implementing ecological restoration projects to mitigate impacts to deep-sea ecosystems. The group examined the issues, logistics, practices, and costs associated with the restoration of a saltmarsh in San Francisco Bay as a basis for conceptualizing what it would take to restore two degraded deep-sea ecosystems (deep-sea stony corals on the Darwin Mounds off the west coast of Scotland, deep-sea||Deep-Sea Ecological Restoration Workshop||Bioworks,||Séte, Languedoc-Roussillon, France||featured-project featured|
|Delaware City Eco-Tourism and Ecological Restoration Plan|| |
New Castle County, Delaware , United States Main Street Delaware City, Inc., a non-profit revitalization organization formed, wanted to improve and market historic and cultural attractions that bring new residents, visitors and businesses to Delaware City. A main component of the town’s revitalization is the development of an eco-tourism program. Main Street Delaware City, Inc. turned to Biohabitats to assess the status of ecological resources in the project area, establish priorities for the protection of existing ecological infrastructure, and develop recommendations for ecological restoration and management measures in order to support a thriving eco-tourism program. The project included a science-based evaluation of existing natural and cultural resource conditions. The ecological assessment examined at regional landscape ecology using GIS. It involved collecting, reviewing and extracting pertinent natural resource information and augmenting the infomation with site investigations of existing ecological conditions. Biohabitats developed a concept plan highlighting ecological protection needs and restoration opportunities that would be compatible with eco-tourism initiatives. Proposed ecological restoration initiatives included wetland restoration and enhancement, shoreline stabilization, stream restoration and invasive species control. The concept plan supports bird watching, other wildlife observation, canoeing, kayaking, sport fishing, walking, jogging, native vegetation viewing and environmental education.
|Delaware City Eco-Tourism and Ecological Restoration Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||New Castle County, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|Delaware River Riparian Buffer Restoration|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States The Delaware River Riparian Buffer Restoration project was performed as a part of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway project, a pilot effort kicking off a plan to convert industrial riverfront to an ecological rich and sustainable greenway corridor spanning more than 10 miles along the Delaware Riverfront. Biohabitats was retained by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to design and implement a riparian forest planting project adjacent to Lardner’s Point in Philadelphia. The project involved aesthetic improvements to the river bank which was once contained by a concrete and steel bulkhead. Over time the bulkhead had deteriorated and fallen into the river, thereby leaving large pieces of concrete and steel along the shoreline. Several of the larger pieces of debris were removed prior to planting the riparian buffer. The buffer planting was performed in a grassy meadow area that is part of a memorial garden site. The landowner entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to allow them to plant the buffer as a part of the development of the greenway. In addition to the removal of debris and the planting of a riparian buffer, the project included management of invasive vegetation on the site. Japanese knotweed had taken over a large portion of the property and was threatening plans for native vegetation along the greenway. Invasive species management was, and still is, being performed to control the reestablishment of knotweed at the site.
|Delaware River Riparian Buffer Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Denver CityCraft|| |
Denver, Colorado , United States Revitalization of the 6,000-acre Sun Valley and Greater West Denver area is a priority for the City of Denver and the Denver Housing Authority. Cut off from Denver’s nearby central business district by a lack of road connectivity, and plagued with low income and high levels of unemployment, the area’s neighborhoods have become both physically and psychologically isolated. Biohabitats helped a partnership group–including CityCraft, the City and County of Denver, the Gates Family Foundation, the Denver Housing Authority, the Denver Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners–to assess the potential for West Denver to become a model for sustainable and resilient urban regeneration at the district scale. The first phase of this effort involved collecting data and information to assess current conditions at the systems-level scale and understand how those conditions evolved. In the second phase, the information was analyzed, and a framework for strategically integrating solutions for issues was recommended. Recommendations centered around a long-term, collective impact approach to restore the area’s economic, environmental, and social health. Biohabitats led the evaluation of the project area’s natural capital and ecosystem services. This included describing the natural systems and ecological history including current conditions, key ecosystem services, and opportunities for restoration and regeneration of urban ecological systems. In addition to reviewing available documents, conducting site visits, and performing asset mapping, analysis, and synthesis, the Biohabitats team was asked to identify previously undetected economic/environmental/social links related to the revitalization and to develop integration initiatives to address these issues. Core assets identified included parks and open space, gulches, the South Platte River, trails and corridors, schools, and other community centers. Integration opportunities were developed that included cross-sector ideas for improving green infrastructure, ecosystem health, education, art, job creation, healthy lifestyles, food supply, and safety. Informed by Biohabitats findings, the study highlighted the need
|Denver CityCraft||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Denver, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Denver Ecological Services On-Call|| |
Denver, Colorado , United States The City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department manages designated natural areas and priority landscapes representing over half of the acreage within the City Parks network. Some of the parcels have significant but compromised ecological potential, but the possibilities for their restoration had never been systematically examined. As part of an on-call contract to provide the City with ecological restoration services, Biohabitats assessed its holdings and developed a prioritization scheme for future restoration projects. Biohabitats assessed 21 priority properties, interviewed the district staff, met with partner organizations and departments, updated the database describing the sites’ vegetation, and worked with the City to synthesize this information into specific recommendations for each site. An important aspect of the project was identifying potential projects in proximity to schools to enhance educational opportunities. Biohabitats also conducted assessments of four gulches that traverse multiple jurisdications as they flow through Denver natural areas. The sites had impairments ranging from erosion and incision because of channel alteration, to encroachment by urban development, to invasive species. The restoration concepts for these sites will be used to prioritize the maintenance and restoration activities for the Program’s upcoming planning period. Biohabitats’ living systems approach to the project resulted in collaboration with other City partners. The City and Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, which shares maintenance responsibilities with the Natural Areas Program, is initiating a broader collaboration to improve its ecological approach to managing City lands, and Biohabitats is assisting with vegetation management planning. Biohabitats is also providing assistance to the City and their partner, Groundwork Denver, to assess the feasibility of a pilot stormwater best management practice project to reduce E coli in Bear Creek.
|Denver Ecological Services On-Call||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Denver, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Determination of Federal Interest Fact Sheets|| |
Various locations, Ohio , United States Biohabitats recently helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s (USACE) Buffalo District in an effort to determine if a Federal Interest exists in pursuing six potential ecological restoration projects within the Lake Erie watershed and the USACE’s jurisdiction. The USACE’s primary goals for these projects are to enhance fish and wildlife resources and restore and protect aquatic ecosystems that improve the environmental quality and are in the public interest. Biohabitats developed Determination of Federal Interest (DFI) fact sheets for each site, performing data collection and review, field reconnaissance/plan formulation, and evaluation of alternatives including reconnaissance level cost estimates and ecosystem benefit scenarios for each alternative. The six project sites included Mentor Marsh (Lake County, Ohio), Dugway Creek (Cuyahoga County, Ohio), and Buffalo Outer Harbor, Cornelius Creek, LaSalle Park, and Scajaquada Creek (Erie Co., New York). The DFI fact sheets will help the USACE prioritize restoration options and guide the implementation of initiatives that will result in improved water quality and habitat conditions for the plant, animal and human communities in those watersheds.
|Determination of Federal Interest Fact Sheets||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Various locations, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Dickens Farm Park Master Plan|| |
Longmont, Colorado , United States The adoption of the St. Vrain Greenway Master Plan in 2004 set the stage for the creation of a recreational greenway along the St. Vrain Creek corridor that would connect the City of Longmont and the town of Lyons, Colorado. Today, eight miles of the envisioned greenway have been completed, including a section that passes through the heart of downtown Longmont. An integral component of this section is a 58-acre site now known as Dickens Farm Park. Originally home to a gravel mining operation, the site included three gravel pits that had become degraded ponds, and an eroding riverfront offering little in terms of aquatic and terrestrial habitat, recreation, or beauty. Bordered by Main Street on its western edge, Dickens Farm Park presented tremendous potential for both urban renewal and ecological enhancement. As a key member of the master planning team focused on site ecology, Biohabitats provided detailed assessments of the riparian vegetation and physical condition of the creek, performed a jurisdictional wetland delineation and prepared the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit application. Biohabitats then developed concepts for stream and wetland restoration. Biohabitats also worked closely with Colorado Parks & Wildlife fish biologists to develop opportunities to protect, restore, and regenerate native fish habitat for the state-listed Iowa darter (Etheostoma exile), stonecat (Noturus flavus) and common shiner (Luxilus cornutus). Biohabitats re-assessed the site after it experienced record floods in 2013, and made design recommendations that adjusted the plan to the new creek alignment. In addition to the ecological enhancements, the master plan calls for hiking trails, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, and an in-channel water park for paddlers and tubers. When complete, the park’s proposed recreation features and restored natural habitat are expected to attract two million visitors annually.
|Dickens Farm Park Master Plan||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Longmont, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Dicks Creek/Monroe Ditch Ecological Restoration Plan|| |
Middletown, Ohio , United States ENVIRON called on Biohabitats to develop a conceptual restoration plan for two streams in southwest Ohio. Both streams, which had been channelized, are part of a remediation project to remove historical contamination from a nearby steel mill. Biohabitats performed the data collection, field reconnaissance, and discharge and sediment assessments to guide the conceptual design development. As part of the field reconnaissance, Biohabitats surveyed stream morphology and assessed existing vegetative communities. Applying a depth and breadth of ecological restoration expertise unique to Biohabitats, the team completed a conceptual design that works with the remediation activities and meets the ecological objectives to restore warm water habitat. Biohabitats developed final stream restoration plans based on the conceptual design.
|Dicks Creek/Monroe Ditch Ecological Restoration Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Middletown, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Downtown Columbia Planning, Restoration, and Design|| |
Columbia, Maryland , United States The recent completion of a new master plan for Downtown Columbia marked the beginning of an historic revitalization effort. At the heart of the plan is the vision to create a community that fosters the growth of its people, respects the land, and promotes economic prosperity while celebrating the diversity of life. Biohabitats has worked closely with The Howard Hughes Corporation and a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers and general contractors to ensure integration of ecological restoration and regenerative design into the community as it is redeveloped. Early in the master planning process, Biohabitats’ team of landscape architects, scientists, water resource engineers and GIS specialists produced a body of ecological information to inform and guide design and planning. Over a nine-month period, Biohabitats spearheaded the engagement of state and county agencies, community stakeholders, and the general public on watershed, woodland and sustainability issues related to redevelopment activities. Biohabitats worked with various stakeholders to reach consensus on balancing redevelopment with environmental enhancement initiatives. Through rigorous field investigations, community participation and design team collaboration, Biohabitats developed a Watershed Restoration and Management Plan for two sub-watersheds within Columbia, an Environmental Enhancement Plan for Columbia Town Center, and Ecological Sustainability Guidelines. When applied in an integrated and thoughtful manner, the sustainability guidelines will lead to regenerative conditions that create a more healthy and vibrant Downtown Columbia. Moving from the planning phase to design, Biohabitats has been coordinating and collaborating with the design team in preparing phased design documents since 2013. For this effort, Biohabitats prepared site development plans and/or waiver petitions, as well as required permits from State and Federal authorities. To date, Biohabitats has designed and overseen twenty acres of forest restoration, including three full seasons of invasive species management. We completed a design-build stream restoration of two thousand linear
|Downtown Columbia Planning, Restoration, and Design||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Columbia, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Easton Park Riparian Restoration|| |
Austin, Texas , United States More than 13 miles of trail systems and outdoor amenities, and over 300 acres of pathways, parks, and green space connect and enliven the vibrant, master-planned community of Easton Park. Through the heart of Easton Park flows Cottonmouth Creek, a tributary to the Colorado River, that has undergone decades of impact related to the agricultural history of this area. Riparian habitat throughout the Blackland Prairie region is increasingly rare and provides a critical ecological resource. As ecological restoration consultant for Easton Park, Biohabitats is charged with the restoration of the riparian corridor of Cottonmouth Creek. We have worked closely with the City of Austin to help ensure a viable restoration project that provides water quality protection as well as a natural amenity for the overall community. For example, early in the project we visited creek reference sites with City staff to inform design. As part of the planning process, Biohabitats developed an initial restoration concept for part of the creek and also participated in a design charrette to help guide future phases of Easton Park.
|Easton Park Riparian Restoration||Ecological Restoration,||Austin, Texas, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center|| |
Reisterstown, Maryland , United States The Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center is a Jewish retreat and sustainable farm in Baltimore County, Maryland that fully integrates environmental stewardship into its operations and educational programming. When management of the entire property (which includes events pavilions, a day camp with camp sites, swimming pools, athletics fields, forest conservation easements, a pond, and wetlands) was delegated to the Pearlstone Center by the land owners, the Center’s staff initiated a campus master planning process. For help in creating a long-term vision for the property that reflects Jewish values, which include environmental stewardship, they turned to Biohabitats. Biohabitats assessed the campus’ ecological resources and identified opportunities for sustainable and regenerative design, as well as approaches to more sustainable management of resources. An important goal of the master plan is to ensure that future development and maintenance efforts align with the Center’s core values: connectedness, living Judaism, environmental stewardship, and loving warmth. Innovative approaches to ecological resource management, organic farming, and alternative management techniques using grazing animals were identified as priorities. At a planning charrette hosted by the Pearlstone Center Biohabitats provided input on natural resource opportunities including restoration and management of native meadow, wetlands, and forest areas, as well as feedback on integrated stormwater management and sustainable techniques to manage water and nonnative species. The master plan provides a comprehensive and forward-thinking vision of a landscape that connects visitor experience with the natural world, spirituality, mindfulness, and resilience, while prioritizing conservation of natural resources.
|Ecological Master Planning Services for the Pearlstone Center||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Reisterstown, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Fernhill South Wetlands Natural Treatment System|| |
Portland, Oregon , United States “Fernhill represents the very essence of Clean Water Services, where we couple the power of Mother Nature with technology in partnership with others to create elegant and beautiful water solutions.” —Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, Deputy General Manager, Clean Water Services When Clean Water Services (CWS), an Oregon utility, wanted to restore three former sewage lagoons associated with the Forest Grove Wastewater Treatment facility, they turned to Biohabitats to lead the design team. Though the ponds were occasionally visited for wildlife viewing, they held untapped ecological and recreational potential. Biohabitats’ design transformed the lagoons into a rich, 90-acre mosaic of riparian wetlands that provide natural wastewater treatment while also enhancing ecological function and recreational and educational opportunities along the Tualatin River floodplain. The restoration first involved draining the lagoons, drying more than 200,000 cubic yards of soil, and moving the soil to create precise contours and depths. Control structures were strategically place to encourage the growth and establishment of 750,000 native wetland plants and 3.5 billion seeds that were planted for water quality and habitat. 180 logs and snags were anchored into place to provide wildlife habitat. The diverse habitats created by the restoration include open water, mudflat, emergent marsh, scrub-shrub, and upland areas that support wildlife. The enhanced habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds, has helped make the wetlands an important stopover site in the Pacific Flyway. Birds and wildlife have taken to the site, and human visitors are flocking to enjoy trail improvements, new outdoor classroom areas and views of the emerging wetlands. In terms of water quality, the wetlands reduce the temperature of the treated wastewater flowing into the Tualatin River, and serve to regenerate the complex systems of life and nutrients that exist in healthy waters. The treatment facility will treat 5-18 million gallons per
|Fernhill South Wetlands Natural Treatment System||Cascadia Bioregion,||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Portland, Oregon, United States||featured-project featured|
|Floyds Fork Greenway Landscape Conservation and Restoration Management Plan|| |
Jefferson County, Kentucky , United States Spanning 3,200 acres and stretching over 19 miles, Floyds Fork Greenway is poised to become the nation’s largest urban park. Despite the Fork’s beauty and abundance of life, the quality of its water has been degraded by development and pollution. Without a plan in place to manage and capitalize on the opportunities its rich natural resources present, the Fork is at risk of losing some of the very features that make it so special. Recognizing that the landscape provides the ultimate foundation for the Floyds Fork Greenway, 21st Century Parks retained Biohabitats to develop a Landscape Conservation and Restoration Management Plan (LCRMP) to bridge the gap between the Greenway’s master plan and the implementation of specific initiatives. The LCRMP is a GIS-based, interactive tool that provides specific prescriptions for conservation and restoration initiatives throughout the park. It is based on the vision of the Greenway as a legacy forest, a wild and scenic Fork and a living laboratory. Adaptive management is an important component and guiding feature of the plan. The LCRMP empowers 21st Century Parks to identify the Fork’s treasured historical, geological, and environmental sites, and continue to preserve, restore and enhance them in harmony with planned park development in perpetuity. Biohabitats is also responsible for developing ecological restoration and mitigation designs for the park, assisting with permitting, and providing details and specifications for various environmental, soil bioengineering and wildlife habitat features in the park. Taking complex restoration initiatives and converting them into easily understood drawings and specifications that achieve the desired outcome is critical to the success of the park.
|Floyds Fork Greenway Landscape Conservation and Restoration Management Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States||featured-project featured|
|Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan|| |
Jefferson County, Kentucky , United States As a key member of a multi-firm consultant team for the Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan, Biohabitats performed a GIS-based inventory and analysis of natural resources within the project area to help identify conservation and restoration opportunities and guide the master plan’s arrangement of park uses, programs, and facilities. The work included GIS data collection and interpretation of items such as geology, soils, water resources, and landscape ecology within the watershed. The project team used this information to help develop greater understanding of interpretive opportunities, and identify the area’s natural resources. Biohabitats has also helped field-identify existing wetlands and develop map exhibits for the ongoing ecological baseline study. This project earned a Merit Award for Master Planning in the National Park Service’s “Designing the Parks” competition.
|Floyds Fork Greenway Master Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States||featured-project featured|
|Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan|| |
Arlington County/Alexandria, Virginia , United States Over the past century, Four Mile Run has changed dramatically. Human development has transformed the channel and its watershed. A once relatively natural river corridor is now shaped and controlled by urban infrastructure, with resulting changes in channel form and decreased riparian vegetation buffer widths. Artificially elevated peak flows are currently confined within the flood control project boundaries. The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan focuses on restoring a 2.3-mile levee corridor along the Potomac River. Biohabitats, as a subconsultant to Rhodeside and Harwell, created design recommendations to increase ecological, aesthetic, and cultural values in and near the stream without diminishing its flood control capabilities. Biohabitats worked collaboratively to assess current ecologic, geomorphic and hydrologic conditions within the project area, create hydraulic models that assess the risk of flooding to nearby communities, and determine the feasibility of retrofitting flood control structures to enhance ecologic and geomorphic function and enhance wetland and riparian habitat along the length of the channel.
|Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Arlington County/Alexandria, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Freshkills Park Landscape Restoration|| |
Staten Island, New York , United States At 2,200 acres - almost three times the size of Central Park - New York’s Freshkills Park will be one of the most ambitious public works projects in the world, combining state-of-the-art ecological restoration techniques with extraordinary settings for recreation, public art, and facilities for many sports and programs that are unusual in a city. While nearly forty-five percent of the site was once used as a landfill, the remainder of the site is currently composed of wetlands, open waterways, and unfilled lowland areas. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Biohabitats led the ecological components of the project. The many facets covered included soils standards and specifications, restoration of native and indigenous plant communities, and control of invasive species. Other design contributions included innovative stormwater practices utilizing native vegetation for the planned network of roads that run through and around the site. The Biohabitats team also performed natural resource assessments of the North and South Parks, developed ecological schematic designs for North Park, and created strategies for native community restoration and soils management. Biohabitats’ ecological restoration efforts also emphasized the restoration of stream, shorelines, and regionally important freshwater and tidal wetlands.
|Freshkills Park Landscape Restoration||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Staten Island, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Freshkills Park–North Park Wetland Restoration and Living Shoreline Design|| |
Staten Island, New York , United States Biohabitats helped New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation (NYCDPR) restore two acres of coastal wetland habitat within Freshkills Park, a site once known as the world’s largest landfill. This pilot project, which will guide further wetland restoration in the park by demonstrating successful, cost-effective measures for restoring tidal marsh, was made possible by a grant from the New York Department of State’s Office of Coastal, Local Government & Community Sustainability. Biohabitats’ transformative salt marsh and coastal habitat restoration design included “living shoreline” stabilization features and ecologically viable wetland habitat and coastal upland grassland. Biohabitats designed the site to function in the face of rising sea levels and other climate change scenarios, and then obtained all of the required permits for construction. Biohabitats also developed the full design and specifications required to put the project out to bid according to NYC protocol. Another element of the project involved a unique experiment. Before restoration construction began, NYCDPR conducted a test to determine if goats would harvest the site’s invasive species, including the dominant common reed (Phragmites australis). While the goats did graze on the common reed, the experiment only lasted one month, so the site still required the use of some herbicide in order to clear all invasive plant species before construction began. A living shoreline, constructed with coir fiber logs, bags of mussels, and trucked-in sand, addresses multiple objectives simultaneously: dissipation of water energy, creation of aquatic habitat, stabilization of the shoreline, and additional erosion control. Native grasses and forbs, such as salt marsh cordgrass and sea lavender, were then planted to further secure the site and provide additional habitat. Constructed in the spring of 2012, the restoration at Freshkills Park has already yielded benefits. The park was credited with protecting nearby Staten Island neighborhoods
|Freshkills Park–North Park Wetland Restoration and Living Shoreline Design||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Staten Island, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Grand Teton Resort Community Ecological Assessment and Master Planning|| |
Teton County, Idaho , United States Recognizing the value of developing sustainable landscapes and practices, Mahogany Ridge LLC called on Biohabitats to spearhead the ecological master planning effort for a resort community in the Teton River Valley. Biohabitats provided research and review of readily available information relevant to the ecology of the site. In order to establish habitat targets and associated design metrics, Biohabitats met with wildlife experts and discussed regional conservation and restoration strategies for a wide range of species including greater sandhill cranes, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, deer, and elk. Biohabitats performed a field characterization of the site and surrounding landscape and identified habitat conservation considerations which were included on the existing conditions plan. We focused on identifying vegetation communities and common associated wildlife species, wetland areas, drainage features, and major areas of noxious weed infestations, soil erosion, and human impact. We also identified and characterized similar, relatively undisturbed vegetation communities to be used as reference sites in developing restoration and conservation targets. Biohabitats, working with a team of planners and landscape architects, forged a master plan that incorporated conservation measures for the protection of sandhill crane habitat, feeding plots for sandhill cranes, wildlife corridors to allow movement of megafauna across the site, small mammal and song bird pathes, restoration concepts for Mahogany Creek including habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and stormwater management facilities that take advantage of the natural character of the site.
|Grand Teton Resort Community Ecological Assessment and Master Planning||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Regenerative Design,||Teton County, Idaho, United States||featured-project featured|
|Greenspring Quarry South Tributary Stream Restoration|| |
Baltimore County, Maryland , United States A large limestone quarry was to be converted into a residential and commercial development. In decommissioning quarry operations, the Maryland Department of the Environment required that a tributary on site be restored. The South Tributary had previously been channelized to prevent flooding and to keep it out of the way of quarry operations. Its restoration required a totally new plan form, cross section and profile. The design had to be scientifically sound and developed in a timely manner so it would not hinder progress of the development. Biohabitats worked closely with the site planners and engineers to obtain the necessary riparian area and alignment for the South Tributary. We also worked closely to establish the proper location and elevations for storm drain outfalls, sewer lines, road crossings and an innovative cold water discharge from the proposed lake. Using comprehensive measurements taken from a reference reach, Biohabitats designed the channel to look and function naturally. Details for natural, in-channel structures such as gradual boulder steps and various downed log features were also developed. Biohabitats teamed with Meadville Land Service (MLS) and Ecological Restoration and Management (ER&M) to provide the construction and planting services. MLS’ attention to detail and ecologically oriented construction practices helped ensure proper installation of the natural log and boulder structures.
|Greenspring Quarry South Tributary Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Baltimore County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Gulf State Park Lodge & Meeting Center–Ecological & Sustainability Assessment|| |
Gulf Shores, Alabama , United States In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subsequent environmental effects along the Gulf Coast, early restoration funds were made available for planning and development projects that restore and enhance the 6,000-acre Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. This includes the redevelopment of the 1970’s-era lodge and conference facilities that were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. This overnight and meeting facility is envisioned as a welcoming place that improves public access to the park’s beaches, trails, freshwater ecosystems, and other natural resources, while serving as a model for context-sensitive, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable coastal development. The Lodge will be located on one of the most unique and sensitive natural resources within the state of Alabama–the Gulf Shores dune system. This dynamic system is the first coastal defense against flooding, sea level rise, and the impacts of major storms. It also provides important habitat for rare and threatened species unique to the Alabama Gulf Shore including the Alabama beach mouse. Working with the owner’s agent, the University of Alabama’s Gulf State Park Project, a Project of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Biohabitats provided ecological assessment of the dune system at the lodge site and feedback on the design and development of the Lodge facilities–focusing on promoting ecological health, enhanced dune function, sensitive wildlife habitat needs, and integrated restoration opportunities and best practices.
|Gulf State Park Lodge & Meeting Center–Ecological & Sustainability Assessment||Regenerative Design,||Gulf Shores, Alabama, United States||featured-project featured|
|Gulf State Park Master Plan|| |
Gulf Shores, Alabama , United States In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, early restoration funds were made available for a master plan to restore and enhance over 6,000 acres of Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. The master planning process aims to create a national model for natural resource restoration and economic revitalization along the historic Alabama Gulf Coast. The goal is for the park to be an international benchmark for economic and environmental sustainability, demonstrating best practices for outdoor recreation, education, and hospitable accommodations. The Park sits at the nexus of some of the most unique and sensitive natural resources within the state of Alabama. The ravaging effects of hurricanes over the last several years have devastated the park’s woodlands, destroyed the dunes, and inundated lowland areas with saltwater. Working with the owner’s agent, the University of Alabama’s Gulf State Park Project, a Project of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Biohabitats is providing an ecological assessment of the beach/dune portion of the park–focusing on ecological health, dune function, sensitive wildlife habitats, and integrated green infrastructure and restoration opportunities. Biohabitats is also evaluating sea level rise, as well as the primary and secondary dune movement over time and how that can inform future development at the park. These considerations are integrated into the Park master plan to ensure a holistic approach to environmental management and future sustainable development.
|Gulf State Park Master Plan||Conservation Planning,||Gulf Shores, Alabama, United States||featured-project featured|
|Gwynns Falls Tributaries at Gwynnbrook Avenue Stream Restoration|| |
Baltimore County, Maryland , United States Gwynns Falls, a 25-mile long stream that empties into the Patapsco River in Baltimore City, was identified by the state as impaired by nutrients, sediments, bacteria, and impacts to biological communities. In an effort to mitigate erosion, reduce sediment yield, protect sanitary lines, and reduce bacteria loads, the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS) undertook efforts to improve the quality of the stream system. Chronically eroding stream banks, an exposed sanitary sewer line and manholes, and a piped section of channel along two Gwynns Falls tributaries made the site a prime candidate for restoration. Operating under an EPA consent decree, DEPS turned to Biohabitats for help in restorating these first-order tributaries Biohabitats began by conducting a fluvial geomorphologic assessment, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, sediment transport analysis, geotechnical investigations, water quality analysis, and ecological assessments. Informed by the studies, the team then applied a natural channel design approach to return stability, habitat, and ecological function to the degraded tributaries. To inform the community, seek input, and garner support for the project, Biohabitats met with the residential property owners at the site to discuss findings and the restoration design approach. The restoration construction, which was supervised by Biohabitats, was completed in 2010. Subsequently, Biohabitats was contracted to evaluate the site and develop additional bank stabilization measures and channel cross section modification along one residential property to mitigate bank retreat.
|Gwynns Falls Tributaries at Gwynnbrook Avenue Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Baltimore County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Gwynns Falls-Leakin Park Forest Management Plan|| |
Baltimore, Maryland , United States Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls–Leakin Park (GFLP) is one of the largest urban forested parks in the eastern U.S. Though it began in 1901 as a small pocket park for residents of the city’s west side, it has since grown to span nearly 1000 acres. It is now home to an abundance of natural, cultural, and historical features and a number of outdoor education facilities. As in many urban parks, human and natural disturbances have hindered native forest regeneration, resulting not only in habitat and biodiversity loss, but also in changes to forest succession, soil microbiology, plant-animal relationships, and hydrologic and fire regimes. As part of its mission to safeguard Baltimore’s tree canopy, and in an effort to chart a course for a resilient forest park system, the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks turned to Biohabitats for help in crafting a plan to guide future forest management actions. After reviewing all existing information related to the biology and landscape ecology of GFLP, Biohabitats began by conducting a forest assessment to determine forest composition/diversity, forest regeneration, invasive species presence and soil impacts. This involved using the US Forest Service’s NED-3 forest ecosystem decision support software to collect forest stand data from over 200 sampling locations. The Biohabitats team then mapped and analyzed the data to help determine forest conditions, both quantity and quality, and identify associated management needs. Based on the analysis, Biohabitats will recommend restoration and management strategies and techniques to improve species diversity, reduce negative impacts, and improve overall forest health and resiliency. The Gwynns Falls-Leakin Park Forest Management Plan will not only provide the City with an assessment of current conditions and a plan for long-term sustainability to support abundant species/age diversity and ecological services; it will also strengthen GFLP’s resilience to human disturbances and
|Gwynns Falls-Leakin Park Forest Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Baltimore, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Hawthorne Valley Farm Feasibility Study|| |
Harlemville/Ghent, New York , United States Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 400-acre biodynamic farm and creamery, with associated educational and outreach programs. The farm includes a Waldorf School and a farmscape ecology research program. As they plan for future development, the Hawthorne Valley Association wanted to be sure to expand in a way that supports a symbiotic relationship with the land and water in this river valley landscape. To help them achieve this goal, Biohabitats assessed the site’s natural systems and explored wastewater treatment opportunities. Biohabitats’ assessment and planning study focused on wastewater and water cycle assessment, infrastructure design and landscape ecological opportunities for the farm. The team participated in a community visioning process, meeting with members of the community, as well as school staff and faculty. During this community process the team was able to learn and share observations of opportunities that can strengthen the farm’s commitment to a biodynamic landscape, one that promotes a stable balance between the land, plants, animals, and humans, through the onsite production of all energy and nutrients to sustain operations and community life. Biohabitats performed both field reconnaissance as well as desktop data review in order to provide an assessment of existing ecological conditions and identification of opportunities for innovative water and wastewater infrastructure. Key priorities included restoration and preservation of important ecological and hydrologic features in the natural environment, as well as integrated design of the food and farming systems.
|Hawthorne Valley Farm Feasibility Study||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Harlemville/Ghent, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Hog Island Ecological Restoration Master Plan|| |
City of Superior, Wisconsin , United States Biohabitats prepared the first ecological restoration plan for one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) designated Areas of Concern (AOC) in the Great Lakes. Located within the City of Superior, WI, Hog Island was one of the first AOCs to be remediated for contaminated sediment. Using a stakeholder-driven process, Biohabitats led a collaborative and participatory process in developing an ecological restoration plan for Hog Island and adjacent Newton Creek. Biohabitats spearheaded three public workshops; engaged local, state and federal government agencies; and built community consensus on a variety of ecological restoration initiatives. In addition, we developed, hosted, and supported a web-based interface which provided a method of posting all information as indiated by EPA and for receiving input from the general public and stakeholders. The final Ecological Restoration Master Plan provided a framework of specific action items that can be carried out by the City of Superior and various community organizations. These action items included the restoration of native plant communities, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, water quality best management practices, recreation amenities and educational initiatives. The Master Plan also served as a catalyst for fund raising and educating the general public on the importance of Hog Island to the environmental and economic well being of the community.
|Hog Island Ecological Restoration Master Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||City of Superior, Wisconsin, United States||featured-project featured|
|Hominy Swamp Creek Greenway and Stormwater Park Master Plan|| |
Wilson, North Carolina , United States Biohabitats, as a subcontractor to Alta Planning+Design, contributed concepts to the City of Wilson’s submission for a grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The proposal consisted of a greenway/stormwater master plan for Hominy Swamp Creek, a Clean Water Act Section 303d listed stream, which flows through the City of Wilson, NC. The intent of the proposal was to capitalize on the water quality benefits of 2,230 feet of stream restoration that had previously been done on an upstream portion of the project. Upon grant award, Biohabitats surveyed the entire project reach, totaling approximately 2.8 miles. Locations were identified for an array of water quality and ecological improvements- stream restoration in areas of channel instability, buffer restoration/enhancement in disturbed riparian areas, invasive species control areas, and stormwater BMP retrofit sites. Alta Planning designed a greenway/park system that was integrated into the stream/buffer restoration and stormwater BMP locations. The concept for a large stormwater treatment BMP in a flood-prone area of the reach, that doubles as a public park and greenway area, was developed as a centerpiece of the master plan. The project team provided the City of Wilson with a blueprint for improving water quality, providing recreational greenspace, and potentially providing enough ecological uplift to remove Hominy Swamp Creek from the 303d list.
|Hominy Swamp Creek Greenway and Stormwater Park Master Plan||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Wilson, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Horseshoe Farm Park Master Plan, Natural Resource Management Options Study|| |
Raleigh, North Carolina , United States The City of Raleigh’s Parks and Recreation Department enlisted Biohabitats to help in transforming a historic farm into a nature preserve park. The City appointed a Wildlife Habitat Zone Advisory Team of local experts consisting of university professors, state wildlife agency scientists, NC Natural Heritage Program scientists, the Audubon Society and the Wild Turkey Federation to study the site. This advisory team provided recommendations for the protection and preservation of the site’s natural resources, the creation of a butterfly meadow and restoration of native warm season grass habitat in the existing pasture. Biohabitats was tasked with exploring management options to achieve the vision and recommendations of the advisory team. Using decades of experience in conservation planning, interviews with experts, and scientific literature research, Biohabitats provided management options to guide the transition from farm to nature preserve. Objectives included preserving the floodplain forest on the Neuse River, protecting pristine floodplain wetlands in the forest, creating the butterfly meadow with native species, and converting approximately 55 acres of pasture into native, warm season grass habitat. To improve the site’s ecological sustainability, Biohabitats also provided information regarding the control of invasive plant species, the impacts of deer on native vegetation, and the design and maintenance of low impact trails.
|Horseshoe Farm Park Master Plan, Natural Resource Management Options Study||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Raleigh, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Howard Community College Campus Master Plan|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States Biohabitats provided integrated stormwater management and ecosystem enhancement planning services for Howard Community College in support of the Campus Master Plan effort being led by Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects and Planners. Using existing electronic data, coupled with an extensive on-the-ground field review of the campus, Biohabitats’ engineers, ecologists, and landscape architects began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions and green infrastructure resources of the campus and surrounding areas, examining pre-existing stormwater related infrastructure, key drainage and stormwater management features, potential stormwater retrofit opportunities that provide improved water quality, ecological function, and habitat connections. Biohabitats then explored opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campus while also providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls within the context of expected expansion. An emphasis was placed on “green infrastructure” practices that provide shallow groundwater recharge, volume reduction, and restoration and reconnection of natural landscapes that provide vegetative filtering and uptake of pollutants. The recommended green infrastructure strategies consider fiscal efficiency of treatment measures that optimize treatment capability, ecological function and landscape position. The overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, stream restoration and retrofitting for BMPs, and sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development.
|Howard Community College Campus Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Hudson High School/Tinkers Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build|| |
Hudson, Ohio , United States The Cuyahoga County District Board of Health called upon Biohabitats to help restore of approximately 2,000 linear feet of a degraded tributary to Tinkers Creek. The tributary, which flows through the Hudson High School campus, had been channelized, incised, and disconnected from its floodplain. The goals of the project were to improve water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat; dissipate stream energy; minimize erosion and sedimentation; protect existing infrastructure; provide a minimum of 2,000,000 gallons of storage to reduce storm flows. The project also enhances the high school’s Land Lab, a living outdoor classroom. Biohabitats’ design met these goals in a way that maximizes ecological benefits, minimizes disturbance, and inspires and facilitates ongoing stewardship and education. The site was divided into three reaches, each associated with an ecosystem indicative of Ohio’s riparian systems: wildflower meadow, forested wetland, and scrub/shrub emergent wetland.
|Hudson High School/Tinkers Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Hudson, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Jamaica Bay Floating Wetlands Wave Attenuator Pilot Project||Biohabitats led the implementation of a range of ecosystem restoration pilot projects within the Jamaica Bay watershed in New York City. The pilot projects were first identified in the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, which is focused on cleaning the water of the Bay and restoring ecological habitats. One of the pilot projects implemented by our Joint Venture team, which included partners HDR and Hazen & Sawyer, was a floating wetlands wave attenuator. This innovative ecological technology will be tested to study the efficacy of deflecting and reducing the energy of waves in order to better protect critical wetland shorelines and habitat. Brant Point was chosen as the location for the wave attenuator project, as its shorelines and marshes are actively eroding due to wave energies. Our team developed a wave attenuator design that uses a series of buoyant mats planted with Spartina alterniflora, whose roots are then available to the subaqueous community for habitat purposes. The introduction of an active biological system to the wave attenuator adds many ecological benefits including the ability of the system to assist in the removal of pollutants from Jamaica Bay. The team is using remote acoustic monitoring devices to measure how the attenuators perform in deflecting and reducing the energy of waves, as well as the anticipated decline in erosion along the wetland edge. If the attenuators succeed in diminishing the strength of the waves and slowing the rate of erosion, that information will be used to determine whether oyster beds and other breakwater offshore structures could be planted in similar areas to protect other critical wetland and shoreline areas.||Jamaica Bay Floating Wetlands Wave Attenuator Pilot Project||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||New York City, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Jamaica Bay Oyster Restoration Pilot Project|| |
Queens, New York, New York , United States Biohabitats led the implementation of a range of ecosystem restoration pilot projects within the Jamaica Bay watershed for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP). The pilot projects were first identified in the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, which is focused on cleaning the water of the Bay and restoring ecological habitats. Oysters, which serve as natural water filters, once thrived in Jamaica Bay. Due to overharvesting and other human disturbances, self-sustaining oyster populations are no longer found in the Bay. In an effort to research the potential to restore oyster habitat in Jamaica Bay, Biohabitats and our joint venture partners helped NYCDEP initiate pilot oyster restoration projects in two locations within Jamaica Bay. In October 2010, Biohabitats installed an oyster bed off of Dubos Point in Queens and 12 oyster reef balls in Gerritsen Creek in Brooklyn. The oyster bed was constructed with spat-on-shell to mimic a small reef off the shores of Dubos Point, while the reef balls had been previously set with spat and were placed just off shore in Gerritsen Creek. Three years of comprehensive monitoring and ongoing annual monitoring suggests that the oysters are not only able to survive, but reproduce, improve water quality, and enhance the ecology of the Bay. Laboratory testing also indicated that the oysters were relatively disease-free. Throughout the effort, the team has been coordinating with other organizations and researchers undertaking similar efforts in the New York/ New Jersey Harbor Estuary, and the pilot project is now informing other attempts to restore this significant habitat type to Jamaica Bay.
|Jamaica Bay Oyster Restoration Pilot Project||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Queens, New York, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan|| |
Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, New York , United States When Mayor Bloomberg signed a City Council bill requiring the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to create a watershed protection plan for Jamaica Bay, the City turned to Biohabitats to help lead the efforts. Jamaica Bay is one of America’s most important estuaries. Encompassing the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Jamaica Bay has been important to the cultural and economic development of New York City and the nation for more than 200 years. Jamaica Bay is an estuary within the jurisdictional boundary of New York City, immediately adjacent to the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The 142-square-mile watershed supports one of the most densely populated urban areas in the United States. The effluent from numerous water pollution control plants, combined sewer overflows, and augmented stormwater runoff has severely degraded water quality in the Bay. Land filling and dredging operations has reduced the historic wetland complex by 50%, and the remaining salt marshes are rapidly eroding. Nevertheless, the estuary remains an important ecological, cultural, and recreational resource for the citizens of New York City. Biohabitats was tagged to assist the City with the technical components of the Plan and to build a consensus among a variety of stakeholders to implement multifaceted protection and restoration initiatives. More specifically, Biohabitats’ role included researching the ecological systems in Jamaica Bay Estuary, quantifying impacts, and making recommendations for sustainable ecological restoration and management. We helped organize and lead workshops aimed at addressing both technical issues as well as cultural and regulatory impediments to implementing a fully fledged restoration program. Biohabitats worked with DEP to prepare and assemble the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, a guide for future conservation and restoration actions that will return Jamaica Bay to an ecologically rich, diverse and resilient estuary.
|Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|James Farm Preserve Master Plan|| |
Ocean View, Delaware , United States James Farm Ecological Preserve, a 150-acre site long the shore of Delaware’s Indian River Bay, was established to promote environmental preservation, education, and recreation. One of 28 National Estuary Programs around the coastal U.S., the Preserve features mixed hardwood forest, tidal salt marsh, sandy beaches, a saltwater cove, and upland fields. Farmed for generations, the Preserve has more recently seen the restoration of warm season grasslands and upland forests. Having already completed a management plan for the Preserve, the Center for Inland Bays wanted to develop a Master Plan to ensure that future development would be sustainable and cohesive, and would integrate updated facilities, trails, and public access areas with the site’s unique and sensitive ecosystems. The potential effects of sea level rise in the Inland Bays added to the challenge of long-term planning for the Preserve. Working collaboratively with Oasis Design Group whom served as the project’s master planner, Biohabitats developed a series of maps that describe the existing vegetative communities, landscape ecological connections, and the potential effects of sea level rise. The maps informed the master plan, and helped set the stage for an iterative design process and holistic approach to capacity building which seamlessly integrates public access, recreation, ecosystem conservation, stewardship, and education.
|James Farm Preserve Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Ocean View, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|Jennifer Branch Stream Restoration|| |
Carney, Maryland , United States Under an on-call contract with the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS), Biohabitats developed a stream restoration design for over 6,000 linear feet of Jennifer Branch, a tributary to Gunpowder Falls. Biohabitats was selected by Baltimore County to develop this design due to its complexity and numerous site constraints. The project combined two previous stream restoration projects for which preliminary design work had begun but was not completed. Over several decades, Jennifer Branch had experienced bed degradation, bank erosion, straightening, encroachment, and severe flooding as a cumulative impact of development in the watershed. Much of the project was constrained by private properties, sheds, fences, utility poles, sanitary sewer lines, culverts and mature trees. The design drew from Biohabitats’ extensive experience with urban streams to support DEPS’s goals of stabilizing eroding banks, minimizing disturbance to private property, maintaining mature trees, increasing aquatic and riparian habitat, and providing a natural and stable stream system. Specific tasks included detailed fluvial geomorphic field analyses; hydrologic and hydraulic analyses; sediment transport analysis; ecological and vegetative assessments; development of concept design drawings and a design justification report; and preparation of design and construction drawings, specifications, and cost estimate. Other responsibilities included the preparation of regulatory permits, assisting DEPS with public meetings, and construction inspection.
|Jennifer Branch Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Carney, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan|| |
Audubon, Pennsylvania , United States Mill Grove is the historic home of artist naturalist John James Audubon, and the site of a 175-acre bird sanctuary. Located along Perkiomen Creek and the Schuylkill River and designated a historic place on the National Register, the ecologically rich site serves as a true living memorial to the achievements of an American legend. In 2005, as the Center was planning to move forward with plans for a new museum, they wanted to refine a previously crafted, heritage-driven master plan to incorporate a greater focus on Audubon’s conservation mission. To help the Center refine its vision to include ecology, Biohabitats, a key member of a team led by Wallace, Roberts & Todd, helped prepare a site and natural resources management plan that addressed the ecological, heritage, recreational, and educational aspects of Mill Grove. We began by participating in interviews, meetings, and presentations with the Center’s staff, board, stakeholders, and community members. Biohabitats provided field reconnaissance surveys to identify and document the natural resources and ecological processes occurring within the site. Biohabitats also identified and mapped the opportunities and constraints associated with improvements, conservation initiatives, and educational opportunities related to the site’s ecology. The team also provided guidance pertaining to the land use plan, overall site circulation, visual amenities, educational space siting, and trail integration. This included the development of strategies for trail improvements, landscape management, and habitat initiatives, including adaptive management techniques, restoration approaches, conservation initiatives, along with regenerative site design strategies. Biohabitats provided final documentation including methodology, results of data collection, technical surveys, opportunities, and constraints alternatives in addition to the master plan recommendations.
|John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove: Site & Natural Resource Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Audubon, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Joint Society for Ecological Restoration/SETAC North America Technical Workshop–Restoration of Impaired Ecosystems; an Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure|| |
Joint Society for Ecological Restoration/SETAC North America Technical Workshop–Restoration of Impaired Ecosystems; an Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of CureJackson, Wyoming , United States In the spring of 2014, Biohabitats president Keith Bowers was among a select group of experts in the fields of restoration ecology and environmental toxicology invited by the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) to collectively define best scientific practices for integrating the practice of ecological restoration with the remediation of contaminated sites. Restoration of aquatic and terrestrial landscapes contaminated by the extraction, energy, and chemical industries, along with land and water contaminated by industrial accidents and neglect, are a high priority. Both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems will potentially become even more imperiled due to a diverse suite of stressors likely to unfold over the coming years. As a result, there is a growing interest to integrate ecological restoration with site remediation activities to ensure that contaminants are fully remediated while simultaneously providing a foundation for restoring full ecosystem functions and processes. There is also interest in utilizing restoration techniques to prevent contamination of ecosystems during extractive or exploratory activities. The workshop aimed to link two areas of study, restoration ecology and environmental toxicology, to begin addressing important questions raised by the integration of ecological restoration and remediation–both preventing contamination during restoration activities and restoring contaminated ecosystems. These include: Will an attractive nuisance be created for life that inhabits a restored area? Can the restoration process have potential to release additional contaminants over time? What baseline should be used in an ecosystem that was altered hundreds of years ago? (This is in addition to some restoration questions about ever-changing baselines and influences of climate change.) Expert participants from both disciplines exchanged ideas and lessons learned, identified key areas of research, and outlined a path forward to go beyond remediation. The workshop produced a series of joint papers published in
|Joint Society for Ecological Restoration/SETAC North America Technical Workshop–Restoration of Impaired Ecosystems; an Ounce of Prevention or a Pound of Cure||Bioworks,||Jackson, Wyoming, United States||featured-project featured|
|Kellogg Creek Tributary Restoration|| |
Lake County, Ohio , United States Kellogg Creek is a primary headwater tributary to the Grand River, the most biologically diverse Lake Erie tributary in Ohio. Headwater streams like Kellogg Creek provide valuable ecological services including wildlife habitat and retention of sediment, water, pollutants and organic matter. Since development began in its watershed, however, Kellogg Creek has experienced increased flooding and erosion, diminishing its capacity to perform these services. In response to residents’ concerns over erosion and standing water, county officials chose this stream as a candidate for restoration and turned to Biohabitats for help. In an effort to engage and inform residents, Biohabitats presented ideas at a community meeting during the concept development phase. Biohabitats solicited input and questions from residents regarding the stream’s function and ultimate appearance. Using input garnered from the community and information gathered during field work, Biohabitats produced three restoration concepts for the tributary. The concepts identified sections of the channel where a buffer of native trees and shrubs would be planted to stabilize eroding banks. Biohabitats also chose strategic locations along the channel to create wetlands where stormwater would be collected and naturally treated. Biohabitats’ concepts also depicted off-channel low impact development stormwater management features such as rain gardens, to be constructed within and adjacent to existing swales in the surrounding neighborhood. The proposed restoration will reduce erosion and flooding, filter pollutants and provide valuable wildlife habitat.
|Kellogg Creek Tributary Restoration||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Lake County, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Kelsey Creek Design-Build|| |
Summit County, Ohio , United States The City of Cuyahoga Falls called upon Biohabitats to restore approximately 1,000 linear feet of degraded Kelsey Creek. This tributary to the Cuyahoga River, which flows through Kennedy Park, was experiencing significant bank erosion and channel downcutting, primarily due to the removal of a downstream dam in 2009. These conditions were not only hazardous to the people visiting the park and were aesthetically unappealing, but limited the biological communities and ecological services provided by the stream. This downcutting also exposed gas lines and threatened a sanitary sewer line that runs both parallel to and under the stream channel. This project restored approximately 1,000 feet of degraded Kelsey Creek in Kennedy Park. Ultimately the stream can become an environmental education centerpiece for an adjacent school and in the future Bicentennial Arboretum. The restoration rehabilitated the stream through slightly raising the channel invert to reconnect the channel to existing floodplain benches, making minor adjustments to the alignment to protect the sewer line and adjacent ball fields, excavating floodplain benches where feasible, and grading some eroding banks to a stable angle. This restoration has established native riparian vegetation on both stream banks and limited mowing to take advantage of the benefits provided by a natural forest buffer to slow overland flow, process nutrients and sediment from the channel, and eventually provide shading and woody debris to the channel. Construction was completed in August of 2013 with a volunteer planting completed with students from the adjacent Schnee Learning Center in November of 2013.
|Kelsey Creek Design-Build||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Summit County, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Kenilworth Marsh Design-Build Tidal Wetland Restoration|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States In 1989, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) recognized the need to coordinate a multi-agency effort to restore the Kenilworth Marsh system to improve its productivity and water quality functions within the watershed. The project was a cooperative effort by the Washington D.C. Department of Public Works, the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the COG. Biohabitats conducted a historical and environmental assessment to identify key challenges in restoring the marsh and developed detailed plans to restore approximately 30 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands. Biohabitats researched and characterized existing and historical conditions of the marsh for four periods from 1890 to the present. Biohabitats monitored the ecological and physical conditions within the marsh relative to human influences so that a reasonable restoration goal/design could be established for the remaining phases of the project. Biohabitats then devised a conceptual restoration plan based on these findings. Biohabitats conducted two charettes to review data, solicit alternative ideas and solutions, and develop a unified goal and implementation strategy. Biohabitats developed detailed grading plans, planting plans and plant specifications for the experimental restoration construction. Restoration included bioengineering techniques such as “brush fences,” the use of dead plant material for structural stabilization for the short term and live plant material for the long term. After implementation, physical and biological monitoring was conducted for one year. Based on the documented success, Biohabitats developed the final restoration design and specifications and managed construction for the Phase III full-scale restoration.
|Kenilworth Marsh Design-Build Tidal Wetland Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Kingman Lake Wetland Restoration|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Biohabitats provided ecological planning and design services for an open-end contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District Planning Division to restore wetlands in the watershed and enhance aquatic habitat in several tributary streams of the Anacostia River. The restoration of the Anacostia River was the largest urban waterway restoration project in the country. Biohabitats’ responsibilities included analysis of a 120-acre tidal embayment (Kingman Lake) on the Anacostia River. The project involved a comprehensive inventory and analysis of existing conditions including: monitoring of biological and geomorphological conditions; high, low, and mid-marsh plant communities; water quality monitoring and analysis; and sediment transport and deposition. Design tasks addressed measures to increase terrestrial and aquatic habitat, enhance water quality, investigate the use of dredge material to create mid - high marsh and upland vegetative zones. Biohabitats prepared detailed concept designs, cost/benefit analyses of restoration techniques, specifications, final comprehensive conceptual restoration plans and maintenance/monitoring programs. The habitat enhancement project involved agency coordination, negotiation, and design workshops involving regulators, owners, and project sponsors such as the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County governments, Maryland National Capitol Parks and Planning, the National Park Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
|Kingman Lake Wetland Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Laird Acres Woodland Restoration and Design|| |
Alexandria, Virginia , United States Recognizing the ecological, educational and cultural value of a 35-acre woodland on its campus in Alexandria, Virginia, Episcopal High School turned to Biohabitats to develop a plan for its protection, restoration and full integration into the campus infrastructure and community. Biohabitats mapped and characterized the vegetative complex, identified the primary ecological drivers and threats to the forest, quantified the economic functional value of the woodland and developed a comprehensive management plan. Episcopal High School subsequently contracted with Biohabitats to design and construct a mile long, organic substrate, walking and cross-country trail through the woodland. Biohabitats also created a planting plan for the eastern gateway entrance to Laird Acres and a windbreak planting plan for the western forest edge. As invasive species were identified as a major threat to the native biodiversity, Episcopal High School has contracted with Biohabitats to implement suppression treatments. A phased, selective approach was utilized by Biohabitats during 2007 and 2008 to address the invasive plant understory. An adaptive monitoring program was put in place to assess changes in the plant composition resulting from these interventions. Episcopal High School is currently evaluating curriculum modifications suggested by Biohabitats to maximize the educational potential associated with this unique campus asset.
|Laird Acres Woodland Restoration and Design||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Alexandria, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan|| |
Baltimore County, Maryland , United States Measuring over 57 square miles and supporting over 153 miles of tributaries, the Little Gunpowder Falls watershed is located along the eastern edge of Baltimore County, Maryland. Spanning both rural and urban land uses, the river eventually makes it way to the Chesapeake Bay. Using a watershed conservation and restoration framework, Biohabitats developed the Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan for the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability. The comprehensive plan not only satisfied National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System obligations, but provided the County with a blueprint for balancing future growth and ecological health. The two-year study identified and evaluated non-point source stormwater pollution and stream degradation; determined management measures to reduce non-point source pollution and re-establish stream stability; and provided a watershed restoration framework for the County’s Capital Improvement Program. Engaging stakeholders, including community groups and government agencies with jurisdiction within the watershed, was critical to the development of water quality management strategies. Biohabitats worked to achieve consensus among the various competing stakeholder interests throughout the planning process.
|Little Gunpowder Falls Watershed Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Baltimore County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Lower Booker Creek Watershed Study|| |
Chapel Hill, North Carolina , United States The Booker Creek watershed covers a relatively large area in the Town of Chapel Hill’s jurisdiction, extending from the north to the eastern area of the Town’s limits. Except for a comparatively small area in the headwaters, the watershed is highly developed, and Lower Booker Creek, the subwatershed focused on in this project, is on the NC 303d Impaired Water Bodies list. It is also subject to problematic flooding during larger rain events. Biohabitats, a project team member, performed the following tasks for the study. Engineering Field Investigation and Stream Walk–all intermittent and perennial streams in the subwatershed were assessed for geomorphic stability, stream channel characteristics, riparian buffer condition, aquatic habitat quality and buffer/stream restoration opportunities. In addition, outfalls to the stream channel 12 inches or greater were documented and described. All data was georeferenced in GIS. Pre-survey Desktop Screening–A GIS analysis of residential street right-of-way (ROW) characteristics was used to determine potential green infrastructure retrofit opportunities before doing the field survey, to increase the survey’s efficiency. Green infrastructure opportunities were located using an array of factors such as road width, ROW width, slope, catch basin locations and tree canopy coverage. Outfall Analysis–outfalls 18 inches and larger were analyzed in GIS using multiple factors to assess retrofit suitability. Engineering concepts were developed for the higher ranking sites. Impervious Area Analysis–Impervious areas larger than one-half acre were identified in GIS which were feasible candidates for stormwater treatment retrofits. Water Quality Modeling–Existing conditions were modeled in the watershed and then modeled again with proposed stormwater retrofits, to estimate water quality benefits of candidate retrofits. Public Outreach–Biohabitats participated in several public information meetings to present project findings and answer stakeholder questions. The project team provided the Town of Chapel Hill with a multi-faceted plan for improving
|Lower Booker Creek Watershed Study||Southeast Atlantic Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States||featured-project featured|
|Lower Kingman Island Habitat Restoration|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States In the 1920s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Kingman and Heritage Islands as part of the Anacostia Tidal Flats Reclamation project. Management of the 45-acre Lower Kingman Island and five-acre Heritage Island was transferred to the District of Columbia Government in 1996. In an effort to enhance existing ecosystem processes and functionality while providing well-designed, usable open space for passive recreation and environmental education, the Corps and the District of Columbia Parks and Recreation turned to Biohabitats for help. Through an Indefinite Delivery contract with the Corps’ New York District, the Corps’ Baltimore District retained Biohabitats to evaluate an existing master plan, conduct environmental assessment and monitoring studies and develop a full set of construction documents for the implementation of ecological restoration initiatives and passive recreation features for the islands. Biohabitats performed environmental inventories, biological resource surveys and habitat evaluations. Data was synthesized through a series of environmental analysis and assessment exercises to develop an ecosystem restoration design that focused on habitat restoration. Working with the Corps to direct engineering investigations, hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, surveying & integration of typographic/bathymetric surveys and geotechnical engineering, Biohabitats formulated a full set of construction plans. The plans, prepared in accordance with Corps regulations, guidelines and procedures, included habitat restoration along with shoreline stabilization and erosion control. Biohabitats prepared construction cost estimates using Micro-Computer Aided Cost Estimating System (MCACES). Biohabitats also prepared a Natural Resource Management Manual detailing an adaptive management regime for the long-term management of the specified restoration initiatives.
|Lower Kingman Island Habitat Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Lower Spring Branch Stream Restoration|| |
Baltimore County, Maryland , United States As part of an on-call stream restoration contract, Biohabitats designed a restoration plan for Lower Spring Branch, a Class III Trout Stream that is a tributary to the Gunpowder River. Located downstream of an earlier Biohabitats stream restoration project, Lower Spring Branch is a large, hydrologically flashy channel within a suburban neighborhood. Biohabitats’ design focused on creating a self-maintaining channel, providing in-stream and riparian habitat, and protecting urban infrastructure. The project involved coordinating with numerous property owners, and accounting for multiple constraints posed by ultilities, outfalls, and road crossings. Specific tasks included the application of Rosgen Stream Classification System, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, sediment transport analysis, ecological assessments, soil bioengineering, preparation of design and construction drawings including complete specifications, channel geometry, site grading, engineers’ cost estimate, regulatory permit applications, and a maintenance and monitoring program. Biohabitats also prepared final plans for bid and managed construction. All construction documents and details were CADD-generated by Biohabitats technicians following County standards. Biohabitats’ construction oversight services included daily site visits and as-built review. Construction was completed in fall of 2008, and the project is functioning as designed.
|Lower Spring Branch Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Baltimore County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|LSU Burden Center Campus Master Plan|| |
Baton Rouge,, Louisiana , United States When Louisiana State University (LSU) decided to revise their Campus Master Plan, they contracted Biohabitats to provide insight into the sustainability of the effort on a landscape scale. Biohabitats conducted an ecological assessment of the Burden Center property, developed ecological management recommendations, and created a sustainability framework. Hurricane Gustav struck in the middle of the process, which allowed an opportunity to examine the structural changes caused by a massive storm. As part of the site assessment, Biohabitats evaluated the landscape context and connectivity of the site, described the existing forest cover, soils and hydrology, and evaluated the designated wetlands there. Biohabitats then made specific recommendation on how to maximize the site’s ecological attributes in the campus master plan. Although the site was relatively isolated from other woodlands at the landscape level and there was little riparian habitat along its central creek, Biohabitats recommended the restoration of a native woodland corridor to improve the habitat for wildlife and native plants.
|LSU Burden Center Campus Master Plan||Conservation Planning,||Baton Rouge,, Louisiana, United States||featured-project featured|
|Mariners Marsh Park and Arlington Marsh–Design, Master Planning and Environmental Services|| |
North Shore, Staten Island, New York , United States The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) is engaging the local community in reimagining two former brownfield sites along the North Shore of Staten Island. Through a master planning process, NYC Parks is exploring the best and most innovative opportunities to enhance public access and environmental conditions for Mariners Marsh and Arlington Marsh. As ecological and restoration design consultant on a team led by SWA/Balsley, Biohabitats is helping NYC Parks craft a strategic approach to restore and remediate the sites in a way that transforms the land for the benefit of the local ecology and adjacent human community. Balancing the magnitude and impact of interventions, the team is developing a phased restoration and remediation strategy and a plan for site-sensitive landscape design that provides safe public access to the site and leverages its significant ecological assets and improvements to date. To inform the plan, Biohabitats is performing an assessment of the site’s ecology. In addition to studying ecological assets, the team is also evaluating factors such as potential coastal resiliency measures, access and circulation, community park needs, and opportunities for integration with regional systems. Biohabitats will communicate findings in plain English to an audience of stakeholders, public agencies and the local community. Biohabitats will work with SWA/Balsley to develop holistic design plans that integrate function, maintenance, material, and operations considerations into innovative and sensitive designs. Design plans will aim to spark public imagination, foster waterfront access and environmental education, and create opportunities for partnerships and local stewardship. The final result of our efforts will be an actionable master plan that compiles plan goals, prioritizes investments, identifies capital inefficiencies, includes recommendations for balance of restoration/protection and public access/reactivation, and presents an implementation strategy, phasing plan, and preliminary cost estimate.
|Mariners Marsh Park and Arlington Marsh–Design, Master Planning and Environmental Services||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||North Shore, Staten Island, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|McMurry Natural Area Restoration|| |
Fort Collins, Colorado , United States The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program manages over 1,000 acres of open space along the Cache La Poudre River. As the on-call consultant for Riparian and Wetland Restoration, Biohabitats has been working with the City since 2008 to help the Natural Area Program protect its natural resources, enhance aquatic and riparian habitat, and improve wetland function along the river. As part of this effort, Biohabitats assessed all of the City’s Natural Areas along the Poudre River and identified opportunities for ecological restoration. One top priority site was the McMurry Natural Area, located within the City’s urban greenbelt, where decades of gravel mining scarred the landscape and left open water gravel pits with very little biological diversity and minimal ecological function. Working closely with the City, Biohabitats led a design-build effort to convert the gravel pits into an ecologically functioning landscape. The restoration design focused on lowering elevated berms (artifacts of the mining operation), creating shallow wetlands, and revegetating the riparian area. A diverse assemblage of five vegetated zones were created including emergent wetland, wet meadow, willow, cottonwood, and upland grasses. To facilitate public use and stewardship of the site, the design included a pedestrian trail and designated fishing areas. Grading and planting of Phase 1 was completed in June 2011. The City is currently expanding the restoration project to an adjacent gravel pit and implementing riverbank improvements including channel realignment and visitor amenities.
|McMurry Natural Area Restoration||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Fort Collins, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|McMurry-Poudre Restoration Phase 1 & 2|| |
Fort Collins, Colorado , United States McMurry Natural Area is a 44-acre site in the western part of Fort Collins that includes two floodplain ponds and a half-mile of riparian corridor along the Cache la Poudre River. Former sand and gravel mining had scarred the landscape and left high armored riverbanks, containing concrete and automobiles, and steep pond edges with minimal ecological function and little biological diversity. In Phase 1, Biohabitats worked closely with the City and led a design-build effort that targeted the western pond and areas outside of the floodway. The restoration design focused on lowering elevated pond edges, creating shallow wetlands, and revegetating the riparian area. A diverse assemblage of five vegetated zones were created including emergent wetland, wet meadow, willow, cottonwood, and upland grasses. To facilitate public use and stewardship of the site, the design included a pedestrian trail and designated fishing areas. Grading and planting of Phase 1 was completed in June 2011. Phase 2 of the project was initiated by the City in 2013 to expand the restoration to the eastern gravel pit as well as include streambank and channel improvements. Biohabitats led this effort which included preparing the Phase 2 design-build plans, coordinating floodplain modeling analysis, and implementing all aspects of construction including erosion control and soil management. The project included removing concrete and debris from the stream bank, lowering high berms to reconnect the floodplain, regrading the ponds’ shorelines and berms to more gradual slopes, and using the excavated soils to create shallow water wetlands along the edges of the ponds. The 2011 Poudre River Master Plan found that the cottonwood riparian forest regeneration has been negatively affected by the urbanization and alterations in the flow regime, and the diversity of the Poudre’s native vegetation is limited. Accordingly, the full design included planting native wetland vegetation and upland
|McMurry-Poudre Restoration Phase 1 & 2||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Fort Collins, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Mercer County Park Northwest, Interpretive Design|| |
Lawrenceville, New Jersey , United States Biohabitats contributed landscape assessment support and ecological recommendations for an interpretive design guidance developed for Northwest Park, a part of Mercer County Parks, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The goal was to create a deep connection to the site through a deeper understanding of its ecological character, landscape legacy, and existing patterns of woods, meadows and waterways, while creating a framework for ongoing enhancements that enable visitors to connect to the natural resources of the County Park’s system. As part of the design team Biohabitats assessed and characterized the existing conservation and restoration activities being performed at the park through field assessments, interviews with key stakeholders and the Park Commission, and a review of collected information. New site features were considered that would balance ecological function with visitor experience. From this assessment, a set of preliminary restoration guidelines were developed, which provided the basis for the draft interpretive design guidance. Biohabitats prepared a report on the ecological processes, natural resources and wildlife habitat in the park, including conservation and restoration strategies which informed the suggested design guidelines. The guidance included an evaluation of the character and relationship of existing and proposed park elements, proposed concepts and precedents for park improvements, connections and linkages to areas within the park as well as other adjacent open space and recreational facilities and destinations, a conceptual park-wide planting strategy, and preliminary design guidelines for site features.
|Mercer County Park Northwest, Interpretive Design||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Lawrenceville, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Middle Bass Island Mitigation Design-Build|| |
Middle Bass Island, Ohio , United States The Lake Erie Marina, located on Middle Bass Island just north of Port Clinton, Ohio, was in need of safety upgrades to fulfill the pressing needs of a growing boating community. In addition to replacing the marina, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources needed to add campground facilities and related grading, paving and storm drainage. Biohabitats and its sister construction company, Ecological Restoration & Management, devised a revegetation plan to allow for marina upgrades and campground construction while also enhancing the site’s ecological function and satisfying federal and state permit and mitigation requirements. After examining restoration approaches and details with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Biohabitats developed a technical memorandum documenting the best approach, or ‘value engineering,’ for the site’s planting plan. The plan recommendations, which maximized planting success and optimized project costs relative to satisfying permit and mitigation requirements, included: vernal pool planted with 133 trees; category 3 wetland planted with 37 shrubs; vegetated shallows planted with 6,898 submerged aquatic plants; and 0.24 acres of American lotus replacement. With Biohabitats’ planting plan installed, the upgraded marina not only has improved safety and value, but also ecological function as a harbor refuge.
|Middle Bass Island Mitigation Design-Build||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Middle Bass Island, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Mill Creek Connector Trail and Ecological Restoration|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States Mill Creek has a drainage area of over 20 square miles and flows through nine communities within southern Cuyahoga County, Ohio. This tributary to the Cuyahoga River has played a considerable role in the industrial development of the region. Since human development of the area, the Lower Mill Creek Valley from Mill Creek Falls to the Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation has undergone significant environmental degradation. Impacts to the watershed and stream include, poorly regulated industry, landfill operations, and combined sewer overflows. These actions resulted in impaired ecological condition throughout the Mill Creek Valley. Using the framework provided in a prior study, the project team executed an ecological restoration and greenway plan for the Lower Mill Creek Valley. The work included restoration and conservation of native vegetation and wildlife habitat, designing and constructing a stable, natural channel for Mill Creek, and constructing a bike and hike trail to connect people from the upper Mill Creek Valley to the larger Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation. The plan reclaimed and enhanced a once abused landscape, and created a greenway corridor within an urban center that expands recreation opportunities for approximately 450,000 people living in the surrounding communities.
|Mill Creek Connector Trail and Ecological Restoration||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Miquon School Stream Restoration|| |
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania , United States Built in 1932 by parents disillusioned with traditional education, the Miquon School is an independent, progressive elementary school nestled within a ten-acre, wooded campus. With a mission to create confident, life-long learners who will move out into the wider world with strong academic and social skills, intense personal interests, a love for the arts and environment, and a commitment to building inclusive and peaceful communities, the school views immersion in nature as integral to learning. Miquon Creek, a first order tributary to the Schuylkill River, serves as the heart and soul of the campus, providing a multitude of opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration. But decades of mill farming and development in the watershed has degraded the creek’s safety and ecosystem health. After reviewing available data, assessing the health of the creek and adjacent landscape, and documenting soil conditions and erosion issues, Biohabitats crafted a design to restore stability, ecological function, sustainability, and safe access to the creek. The restoration approach, which involved stabilizing the channel bed, grading select banks, and raising the channel invert, also maximized in-stream and riparian habitat by creating stable micro-topography. By integrating a series of riffles and pools to retain water and create shallow aquatic beds to dissipate erosive energy, the design also helps protect nearby wetland and groundwater seeps, which in turn protect water quality. The restoration design creates new, safe opportunities for student stewardship, education, and play.
|Miquon School Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Muskegon Lake Corridor Ecological Restoration Master Plan|| |
Muskegon, Michigan , United States After working with Biohabitats to develop an Ecological Restoration Master Plan for Hog Island in Superior, Wisconsin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again teamed with Biohabitats to prepare a similar plan for Muskegon Lake, a 4,149-acre inland coastal lake located along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Muskegon Lake, an EPA-designated Area of Concern (AOC), has suffered water quality and habitat problems associated with the historical discharge of pollutants. To develop an ecological restoration plan for Muskegon Lake and a tributary, Ruddiman Creek, Biohabitats spearheaded three public workshops; engaged local, state and federal government agencies; and built community consensus on a variety of ecological restoration initiatives. The master plan not only provided a framework for restoration but also served as a catalyst for fund raising and educating the public about the importance of Muskegon Lake to the environmental and economic well being of the community. The final ecological restoration master plan recommended specific action items that can be carried out by the City of Muskegon and various community organizations. These action items include the restoration of native plant communities, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, water quality best management practices, recreation amenities and educational initiatives.
|Muskegon Lake Corridor Ecological Restoration Master Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Muskegon, Michigan, United States||featured-project featured|
|National Fish And Wildlife Foundation–Technical Assistance Program|| |
Various locationsChesapeake Bay Watershed , United States Biohabitats is a Technical Assistance Provider to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and its partnering entities including the Bay Stewardship Fund, the Chesapeake NEMO (Network of Education and Municipal Officials) and the National Park Service. This program delivers appropriate technical assistance to both Chesapeake NEMO clients and stewardship fund grantees on an as-needed basis to quickly address challenges and opportunities as they arise. Biohabitats is a Technical Assistance Provider for habitat restoration including coastal and riparian habitat issues. In this program Biohabitats is available to provide expertise to community groups, local governments and others engaged in restoration, conservation and watershed planning. Under this contract, Biohabitats has successfully executed several projects focused on addressing stormwater and erosion control best practices, green infrastructure opportunities, and coastal ecological restoration needs. For example, biohabitats helped the community of Oyster Harbor, MD address low-lying coastal community resource issues related to drainage, flooding, ponding, storm surge vulnerability, protection from erosion, localized improvement of water quality, and retrofit and restoration opportunity identification. After reviewing issues, needs and goals with community representatives, Biohabitats assessed site conditions and developed recommendations for future implementation. Biohabitats met with the community group to present the results of the study and provided recommendations for collaboration with other potential stakeholder organizations (including the County). Biohabitats also identified additional grant funding sources to support implementation.
|National Fish And Wildlife Foundation–Technical Assistance Program||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Various locations, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, United States||featured-project featured|
|Nemours Mansion & Gardens Water Management Plan|| |
Wilmington, Delaware , United States The former estate of Alfred I. du Pont, the Nemours Mansion and Gardens include an arboretum, woodlands, meadows over 225 acres of gardens designed to complement French domestic architecture of the eighteenth century. This important historic and cultural resource provides an excellent example of the Beaux-Arts movement in American landscape architecture. Sustainable land and water planning have become an important focus for the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. New approaches are being devised for the next century of stewardship of this important cultural asset. Existing facilities are being restored and repaired with the goal of minimizing water demand while maintaining and restoring the original character of the gardens in mind. During the development of a Master Action Plan which identified areas in the gardens that required immediate attention, it became apparent that a comprehensive water management plan was needed. Biohabitats, working in collaboration with Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects and the Nemours Foundation team, developed a Water Master Plan which addressed issues associated with stormwater, water use in reflecting pools, pond habitat, pond edge restoration, water demand, and overall seasonal irrigation demand. To minimize demand for municipal potable water, Biohabitats developed additional on-site water supplies from well water, stormwater harvest, groundwater recharge, and use of reclaimed water from the adjacent Children’s Hospital. This collaborative venture fused landscape architecture, planning, ecological engineering, and cultural resource management in a dynamic and progressive fashion.
|Nemours Mansion & Gardens Water Management Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Wilmington, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|Nereid Shoreline Stabilization|| |
Rutherford, New Jersey , United States The Nereid Boat Club, established in 1866, was reconstructed in the 1990s with a bulkhead along its Passaic River shoreline. Not long after its construction, the bulkhead began to deteriorate. Also during that time, severe flooding occurred on a more frequent basis in the area. Rather than simply reconstructing the failing bulkhead, the Club called on Biohabitats to design a more cost-effective and ecologically sound alternative. After a thorough site analysis, which included studies of soil and sediment, Biohabitats discovered that upland stormwater forces, rather than river forces, were compromising the bulkhead. To resolve the site’s stormwater management problems, Biohabitats designed a natural system featuring a rain garden and a living shoreline. Using native plantings, strategic grading, and ecological restoration techniques, Biohabitats designed, constructed, and installed a “living shoreline” to replace the dilapidated bulkhead. This new shoreline simultaneously prevents further erosion, enhances stormwater management and local ecology, and restores the river bank to a more natural state.
|Nereid Shoreline Stabilization||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Rutherford, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Ecological Pilot Projects|| |
New York City, New York , United States Working with our joint venture partners, Biohabitats is leading the effort to implement a range of ecosystem restoration pilot projects within the Jamaica Bay watershed in New York City. These pilot projects were identified as part of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, which is focused on cleaning the water of the Bay and reestablishing previously lost ecosystems. A range of projects is being pursued. Efforts that have occurred include harvesting macroalgae from the Bay interior to convert to biofuel, introducing algal turf scrubber technology at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), placement of eel grass plantings, installation of an oyster bed and oyster reef balls, and installation of floating wetland wave attenuators. Algal turf scrubbers® (ATS™) are unique wastewater treatment devices that mimic a stream ecosystem in a constructed environment designed to promote the growth of algae. Harnessing the natural abilities of algae, bacteria, and phytoplankton to remove pollutants from water, the system filters nutrients from a small portion of the effluent from a WWTP. The microalgae from the Algal turf scrubbers are periodically harvested and can be used as a source of biofuel, along with the macroalgae harvested from the Bay, creating a sustainable, “green” technology. Efforts to reestablish eelgrass and oysters within the Bay are ongoing. To date, approximately 1,000 eelgrass plants, an oyster bed and oyster reef balls have been installed in the Bay. Additional eelgrass plantings are planned.
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Ecological Pilot Projects||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||New York City, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas|| |
New York City, New York , United States The Jamaica Bay watershed contains one of the largest coastal wetland ecosystems in New York, provides habitat for wildlife, and acts as a protective buffer to Brooklyn and Queens in the event of a storm. In accordance with the Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection contracted Biohabitats to inventory the lands within the watershed that are owned by city agencies and to assess them for both ecological restoration and stormwater management potential. Biohabitats used GIS to create a comprehensive database of the watershed’s ecology, landcover, hydrology and infrastructure. After using these data to locate vacant lands, Biohabitats staff conducted field surveys of over 2,000 city-owned lots, developed sketches of their existing conditions, and created GIS data for proposed restorations and stormwater management practices at each site. These data were then incorporated into the database. The mapping product is a living document that can easily be updated and used by restoration practitioners to compare sites and track projects. The next step was to create site selection metrics and a prioritization scheme to close in on the best sites for restoration and conservation. To narrow the hundreds of parcels into an actionable and prioritized list, Biohabitats staff developed transparent site-selection criteria and a prioritization scheme based on a combination of GIS data and the information gathered during the field assessments. The site selection model is executable within GIS, and is extremely versatile. It allows for adding and removing variables as needed and weighting the variables according to their desired importance. It was also accurate. The final model was able to classify over 90% of sites to match subjectively assessed control sites. Biohabitats generated new data and a concise analysis for thousands of vacant parcels, and provided NYCDEP with robust tools for future
|New York City CSO-PlaNYC Green Infrastructure Initiatives– Jamaica Bay Watershed Ecological Atlas||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||New York City, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration|| |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States “Perhaps the most striking opportunity noted for a large park is the valley of Nine Mile Run,” wrote renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. in his 1911 Master Plan.* Over the next 90 years, the Nine Mile Run valley was under constant assault from both urban and industrial development. Crumbling and leaking infrastructure, encroaching urban development and over 20 million tons of slag all found their way into the Nine Mile Run stream valley. In the early 2000s, Pittsburgh City Government officials began exploring new uses of the site. One of the products of this exploration was a bold vision to restore the ecological integrity of Nine Mile Run and establish a permanent greenway connection between Frick Park and the Monongahela River. Under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 206 Ecosystem Restoration program, Biohabitats was commissioned to develop a comprehensive ecological restoration plan for Nine Mile Run and its riparian corridor. Biohabitats helped prepare an Ecosystem Restoration Report and Environmental Assessment and then developed a comprehensive ecological restoration design and construction package for the project. The project included stream channel restoration, stream channel daylighting, wetland restoration, riparian habitat restoration, invasive species management, water quality best management practices, and park infrastructure improvements including athletic fields, trails and interpretive signs. *Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1911) Pittsburgh Main Thoroughfares and the Down Town District; Improvements Necessary to Meet the City’s Present and Future Needs. Pittsburgh Civic Commission Report.
|Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration||Ohio River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|North Delaware Riverfront Greenway–Lardner’s Point Park|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States The North Delaware Riverfront Greenway–Lardner’s Point Project converts an industrial riverfront into an ecologically rich and sustainable greenway park. It is part of a corridor that spans more than 10 miles along the Delaware Riverfront in northeastern Philadelphia. The park will add four acres to the City’s inventory of open space–a major goal of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Green2015 plan. To bring the transformation to life, the Biohabitats team assessed the site, developed schematic design recommendations, and prepared a final design and construction package for a park along the greenway corridor and trail network that will ultimately connect the site with future parks to the northeast and southwest. The greenway design incorporates many habitat enhancement and restoration components, including meadow creation, riparian woodland plantings, wetland enhancement and invasive species management. The waterfront portion of the park is protected and enhanced by a ‘living shoreline’ where native riparian and marsh plants provide stabilization, habitat, and localized water quality improvement. In addition to park amenities such as a walking trail loop and picnicking areas, the design integrates many ecologically sound, sustainable design elements, including solar lighting and porous pavers that facilitate retention and filtration of stormwater.
|North Delaware Riverfront Greenway–Lardner’s Point Park||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|North Korea Seminar on Forest and Landscape Restoration||In March of 2012, Biohabitats president Keith Bowers was invited by the Pyongyang International Information Center on New Technology and Economy (PIINTEC) and the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), an international NGO based in Beijing, to participate in an International Seminar on Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPKR), more commonly known as North Korea. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was instrumental in providing funding for the seminar, the first international conference in DPRK since Kim Jong Un took power in December of 2011. The seminar’s primary purpose was to exchange technical information with 85 of North Korea’s leading scientists and top government officials on best management practices for restoring degraded landscapes and improving the country’s food security. Our delegation consisted of 14 ecological restoration practitioners, researcher experts and policy-makers from around the world. The delegation concluded that restoring North Korea’s destroyed environment will take time, resources and money, but it can be done. To improve people’s lives and the landscape, the group recommended that two types of restoration be given priority: biodiversity and agro-forestry focused on food, fiber, and wood. The delegation agreed that the restoration of the North Korean landscape held great potential to lift people out of poverty, enhance the region’s food security and ecology, and catalyze further positive change despite the repressive control of its leaders.||North Korea Seminar on Forest and Landscape Restoration||Bioworks,||Pyongyang, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of||featured-project featured|
|Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel Overflow Outfall and Associated Sewer and Restoration Project: Restoration/Compensatory Mitigation Plan (Little Cuyahoga River)|| |
Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel Overflow Outfall and Associated Sewer and Restoration Project: Restoration/Compensatory Mitigation Plan (Little Cuyahoga River)City of Akron
Akron, Ohio , United States After suffering from more than 200 years of human modifications to its hydrology and taking a pounding from increased stormwater runoff from its surrounding urban landscape, the Little Cuyahoga River along a stretch of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail had suffered a cyclical pattern of channel degradation and bank erosion. Evidence of the damage was abundant: a 7-foot drop caused by a perched, concrete-encased sewer crossing, undermined rip rap, and vertical eroding banks measuring as high as 10 feet. To help the City of Akron address the degraded stream and proposed OCIT outfall impacts, Biohabitats was asked to prepare a restoration/compensatory mitigation plan. Biohabitats developed a design that would not only achieve specific goals such as bank stabilization and safe conveyance of 100-year flows, but also improve the ecological conditions of the Little Cuyahoga River. The design, focused on restoring fish migration by removing a concrete encased sewer line which crossed the site and maximizing the benefits of bioengineering, also restores aquatic and riparian habitat, improves water quality, and allows the Little Cuyahoga River riparian zone to better function as a wildlife corridor. The design also enhances the towpath user experience, by creating a “green” corridor of native vegetation along the River, as opposed to rip rap. Biohabitats shepherded the project from the initial geomorphic assessment through concept development and permitting strategy to final design document production. The project is scheduled for construction in fall 2018, spring of 2019.
|Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel Overflow Outfall and Associated Sewer and Restoration Project: Restoration/Compensatory Mitigation Plan (Little Cuyahoga River)||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Akron, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Orleans–Floating Wetlands Feasibility Study|| |
Orleans, Massachusetts , United States Biohabitats is helping AECOM provide water quality and wastewater planning and engineering services to reduce excessive nitrogen discharges to the Town of Orleans’ ponds, estuaries and embayments. The first implementation of a “Hybrid” approach under the Cape Cod 208 Water Quality Plan, approved by USEPA and MassDEP, the project consists of conceptual and preliminary design to update the town’s 2011 Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan to reflect its 2015 Consensus Plan (Water Quality Management Plan). The goal is to minimize the proposed sewered footprint (area of Town and number of properties to be sewered) to the greatest extent possible by maximizing the use of several the non-traditional technologies: Coastal Habitat Restoration, Aquaculture, Floating Constructed Wetlands, and Permeable Reactive Barriers. The Project includes two areas for sewers: (1) about 280 parcels encompassing Downtown Orleans (100,000 gpd) to be treated at a new wastewater treatment facility and groundwater effluent disposal area; and (2) about 360 parcels within the Meetinghouse Pond sub-watershed (50,000 GPD), to be treated at a new satellite treatment facility and groundwater effluent disposal area. A variety of collection, treatment, and disposal system alternatives are being evaluated. The team is also evaluating septage handling, treatment and disposal requirements as much of the town will continue to rely on septic systems. The septage facility may be developed with sufficient capacity to handle regional needs of the lower Cape. The project also includes conceptual design for three non-traditional demonstration projects to be implemented in 2016 to determine the feasibility of full scale installation. Tasks include siting, engineering design, initial permitting, cost estimating and development of monitoring plans. The monitoring plans will be incorporated into an overall Adaptive Management Plan which will evaluate the impacts of the technologies on reducing nitrogen. The project team is working closely with stakeholders and regulators to
|Orleans–Floating Wetlands Feasibility Study||Regenerative Design,||Orleans, Massachusetts, United States||featured-project featured|
|Park Drive RSC Gully Restoration Design-Build|| |
Southeast Washington, District of Columbia , United States Stormwater runoff is the primary source of degradation to local waterways within the District of Columbia. When the DC Water Planning Division needed to restore a 300-foot long, 15 to 20-foot deep gully on an ecologically sensitive hillslope of Fort Dupont Park (National Park Service land) carved by heavy storm flows from an outfall located near two busy streets, they turned to Biohabitats for help. The team began by conducting a physical and biological assessment of the degraded site. With a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) approach, Biohabitats then developed a design that would not only improve stormwater attenuation and treatment, but restore ecological function and stability to the degraded ephemeral outfall channel in a way that enables it to continue developing habitat and natural water treatment as it evolves. Crafted to ensure minimum disturbance to the site’s existing forest resources, the design utilized the existing gully for construction access, filled the channel to the surrounding top of bank during construction using sand and mulch supplemented with bio-char to further filter out pollutants, and created a series of cascades and pools to restore stable conveyance to the valley bottom. While attenuating and filtering polluted stormwater, the pools also provide aquatic and terrestrial habitat. After permitting the design, the design-build team of Biohabitats, ARRC, and ER&M constructed and planted the project for DC Water.
|Park Drive RSC Gully Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion, Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Southeast Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Patuxent River and Patapsco River Watershed Assessments|| |
Howard County, Maryland , United States Howard County’s Storm Water Management Division set an ambitious goal of performing comprehensive assessments of the County’s watersheds over a two-year period to satisfy their NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit requirement. To tackle the daunting task that encompassed a 253-square-mile study area, Howard County turned to their team of on-call consultants. Working closely with the County and their other on-call engineering consultants, Biohabitats conducted stream assessments of the County’s two watersheds: the Southern Middle Patuxent, and the Patapsco River South Branch. The goal of the assessments was to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve water quality through stream restoration, outfall stabilization, new stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP), tree planting, and BMP conversion projects. The assessments integrated elements of the Stream Corridor Assessment (SCA), Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (RBP), Bank Assessment for Non-point source Consequences of Sediment (BANCS), and Retrofit Reconnaissance Inventory (RRI) with other qualitative site data on the feasibility of a project including land ownership, constraints, and ease of access. For the second phase of each watershed assessment, Biohabitats developed concepts for the highest priority proposed retrofit and restoration opportunities. The concepts, which included approaches such as channel stabilization, Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC), bioretention facilities, and tree plantings, were designed to provide ecological habitat and stormwater filtration while also helping the County estimate implementation costs and meet TMDL targets established for phosphorus and sediment in the local watersheds.
|Patuxent River and Patapsco River Watershed Assessments||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Howard County, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Philadelphia Parkland Forest Management Framework|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States With its emphasis on natural resources planning and green infrastructure, the City of Philadelphia is ahead of many municipalities in efforts to protect and enhance the natural resources in its system of parks. Philadelphia’s 5,600 acres of parkland forest have benefited from years of preservation, enhancement and restoration. However, in order to maintain a healthy urban forest additional efforts are needed. After a history of significant deforestation and land conversion in the region, there has been an extended period of forest re-growth, including invasion by nonnative species. In an effort to help the City’s Parks and Recreation Department (PP&R) bolster its ability to plan, acquire funding for, and effectively manage parkland forest resources in the face of emerging challenges and competing demands, Biohabitats developed a Parkland Forest Management Framework. Biohabitats team began by reviewing existing plans and data, and assessing forest needs based on site visits and detailed GIS analysis. Based on the findings, Biohabitats developed the Philadelphia Parkland Forest Restoration Framework, a plan to guide long-term, holistic management of the City’s parkland forest resources. The plan addresses resource conditions in need of ecological enhancement, restoration and management, and provides recommendations and strategies to protect, maintain and restore parkland forests for the benefit of the citizens of Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Unique strategies proposed include adaptive management through techniques such as deer exclosures, tree plantings, stream restoration, improved trail connections, parkway connectivity, invasive species management; innovative pilot projects such as the creation of a public food forest. The framework, which integrates stewardship throughout, also provides publicly accessible documentation of PP&R’s approach to and rationale for park forest management.
|Philadelphia Parkland Forest Management Framework||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Pittsburgh Regional Parks Master Plan|| |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States Biohabitats served as ecological restoration expert on a team that provided a Master Plan for Pittsburgh’s Regional Parks. After collecting relevant information, maps, historic documents, and aerial photographs for each park, Biohabitats performed on-site assessments to identify hydrologic and hydraulic conditions, soils, vegetation, and landscape maintenance activities. The site assessments focused on hydrologic/hydraulic resources (site drainage, streams, ponds, and storm drain system), soils (soil erosion, soil compaction), vegetation (including tree composition and evaluation), landscape management (turf, woodland, ponds, streams, stormwater runoff), and wildlife habitat. Biohabitats then mapped these ecological components. Biohabitats also participated in client and design team meetings to review site assessments and mapping and develop strategies for the protection, restoration, and management of the Parks’ natural resources. Biohabitats helped prepare a report describing findings and recommendations. The report highlighted strategies for the protection, restoration, and management of the following resources: stormwater quality and quantity management, streams, ponds, soils, vegetation, tree replacement and landscape management. Biohabitats also prioritized protection, restoration, and management strategies for each park; identified key demonstration projects that feature specific restoration strategies; developed implementation guidelines, prepared preliminary cost estimates; and identified staffing requirements for maintenance and operation.
|Pittsburgh Regional Parks Master Plan||Ohio River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Pope Branch Stream Restoration|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States Pope Branch Stream Restoration is a design project on the Pope Branch tributary to the Anacostia River for DCWATER and the District Department of the Environment. The stream restoration is being done in conjunction with a sewer line replacement along the stream valley. The project objectives are to stabilize nearly 5,000 linear feet of stream channel within Pope Branch Park, thus reducing the sediment load carried to the Anacostia River; enhance in-stream habitat for resident fish and benthic communities; and enhance the riparian and floodplain habitat. All these objectives work towards improving the overall ecological value of the Pope Branch stream and floodplain area. The project will provide the City with a unique, aesthetically pleasing community space that would serve as a showcase for ecological restoration being done in the City.
|Pope Branch Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Spartina Alterniflora Planting|| |
Sussex County, Delaware , United States The 10,144-acre Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, located on the western shore of the Delaware Bay, is an important stopover site for migratory birds as they travel up and down the Atlantic Flyway and provides protected breeding habitat for federally and State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neo-tropical migrating bird species. Hundreds of native plant and animal species thrive in its mosaic of salt marsh, freshwater marsh, ponds and impoundments, wooded swamps and upland grasslands and forest. The Refuge was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Coastal dunes were significantly eroded and large dune breaches and severe flooding converted the refuge’s freshwater marsh system into an altered open tidal saltwater habitat. With emergency funding provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, USFWS initiated the restoration of a healthy and resilient salt marsh that would be able to handle more intense and frequent coastal storms. Using a National Park Service Revegetation Services contract, the USFWS hired Biohabitats to implement one phase of the restoration. Partnering with the firm’s sister company, Ecological Restoration and Management, Biohabitats will work to re-establish Spartina alterniflora in a low marsh zone. To accomplish this, the team will plant a 13.5-acre section of the breached impoundment with more than a quarter of a million plugs. The road adjacent to the planting area provides the only access to and from the refuge, as well as the beach community of Prime Hook. So to avoid obstructing traffic along this narrow road, the team is establishing a temporary nursery on site. The nursery will be placed within the upper intertidal zone, which, during normal tidal conditions, will expose the plants to inundation twice daily. This will keep them protected and properly watered, and allow them to better acclimate to actual site conditions.
|Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Spartina Alterniflora Planting||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Sussex County, Delaware, United States||featured-project featured|
|Proctors Creek Stream Restoration|| |
Chester, Virginia , United States Proctors Creek was relocated in the mid 1980s as a result of roadway interchange improvements. The relocation placed Proctors Creek in between a primary state highway and an overhead utility right of way, in an area with highly acidic soils. The soils prohibited vegetative recruitment in the newly disturbed area, which led to erosion and widening of the stream channel. The site was also influenced by beavers, which had entered the area and created impoundments in the Proctors Creek watershed. Biohabitats was selected to help the Virginia Department of Transportation preserve highway assets, return normal hydrologic function to the stream, control erosion, reestablish riparian vegetation and mitigate the acidification of riparian soils. The restoration design, which took into account the beaver population, created a new channel that would remove the influence of the acidic soils, thereby promoting vegetative reestablishment and reducing erosion. The new channel focused on numerous ecological influences within Proctors Creek corridor, helping to ensure a more successful restoration.
|Proctors Creek Stream Restoration||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Chester, Virginia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Red Jacket Natural Habitat Park Shoreline Restoration|| |
Erie County, New York , United States Restoring the shoreline of Red Jacket Park is one of the final steps in a larger effort to improve habitat quality along a stretch of the Buffalo River that was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern. The effort began with dredging to remove contaminated sediment from the river bottom. Once that effort was complete, the County Department of Environment and Planning hired Biohabitats, working as a subconsultant to Wendel, to restore Red Jacket Natural Habitat Park’s 800 linear feet of shoreline. The overall goal of the project is to improve fish and wildlife habitat by creating a mosaic of escape and forage habitat and by restoring valuable shallow-water areas and their rich vegetation community. Biohabitats is leading the restoration design efforts and was responsible for completing an ecological assessment of the park, including an invasive species inventory. Biohabitats will also be responsible for planning the management and monitoring of the restoration. A new series of bendway weirs along the shoreline will encourage the deposition of sediment and help restore the critical shallow-water habitat that was lost during the dredging. Submerged aquatic vegetation and emergent vegetation will then be planted to provide additional habitat. Large woody debris will be added in the shallows and existing constructed wetland to provide additional habitat for wildlife. In the riparian areas, invasive species will be treated and a “living” fence will be planted along the property lines to limit encroachment from adjacent invasives, while providing habitat and a native seed source.
|Red Jacket Natural Habitat Park Shoreline Restoration||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Erie County, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Workshops|| |
Annapolis, Maryland , United States Biohabitats, working with Underwood & Associates and the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, developed and delivered a set of five training workshops on the theory and design of open channel coastal plains outfalls using elements of stream restoration, bioretention, and wetland restoration. Over 400 participants, including development engineers and local, state, and federal regulators, attended the workshops. This innovative approach to today’s stormwater management challenges, which combines stream channel restoration with improved sediment and nutrient processing, is called Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance (RSC). With conventional stormwater conveyance, runoff from impervious surfaces travels through systems such as pipes and concrete channels, magnifying and transferring energies to the discharge or outfall. This energy causes erosion, failure of structures and stream channel degradation, which can ultimately lead to lowered shallow groundwater levels, destabilized soils, reduced native vegetation and degraded water quality. Alternatively, RSC incorporates natural stream channel design techniques and materials, minimizing soil destabilization, vegetation disturbance and invasive plant establishment. RSC optimizes the conversion of stormwater to groundwater, reduces erosive energies and increases natural capital. A truly regenerative approach, RSC results in a system of physical features, chemical processes and biological mechanisms that dramatically enhance the ecological and aesthetic value of a drainage area. RSC is generally less expensive to construct and easier to secure permitting for than conventional stormwater conveyance projects. RSC is a win-win-win approach in terms of ecology, economics and aesthetics.
|Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Workshops||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Annapolis, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Restoration of Lower Lower Stony Run|| |
Baltimore, Maryland , United States Stony Run is a small, but ecologically and historically important stream that flows through three miles of northern Baltimore before joining the Jones Falls and ultimately Baltimore Harbor. In the early 1900s, the stream valley was home to the Maryland and Pennsylvania (‘Ma and Pa’) Railroad’s passenger and freight line. Today, it has become a lush, green corridor that connects many neighborhoods. Though some portions of the stream are buried, much of it flows visibly through City Parks, neighborhoods, and school campuses, where it has become a treasured natural, recreational, and educational resource. Over the last century, however, Stony Run had suffered severe erosion due to stormwater and various infrastructure projects. The City has already restored the upper and middle branches of Stony Run following waste water utility improvements. Biohabitats worked with the Baltimore City Department of Public Works to address the downstream portion, which runs through Wyman Park and the campus of Johns Hopkins University. With the goals of restoring stability, ecological function, and water quality (nutrient reduction credits), Biohabitats developed a design to restore the lower 5,000 feet of Stony Run. The design incorporated stream bank stability, riparian wetlands, utility protection, aquatic and terrestrial habitat improvement, and invasive species control. Biohabitats also developed an innovative terraced stormwater wetland by retrofitting existing and undersized storm drains. Rather than increase the size of the pipe to convey large stormflows, our design reduces the capacity of the pipe, causing the flow to bubble up more than ten feet into the terraced wetlands. This system will provide 100% of the water quality volume from more than 20 acres of existing impervious area.
|Restoration of Lower Lower Stony Run||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Baltimore, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Ringling College Master Plan|| |
Sarasota, Florida , United States Biohabitats is working with Ayers/Saint/Gross to provide a comprehensive master plan for Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Through a combination of field and data analysis examining the campus’s ecological character, stormwater drainage, and landscape management issues Biohabitats is developing green infrastructure planning and design guidelines. An emphasis is on “green infrastructure” practices that provide groundwater recharge, volume reduction, and restoration and reconnection of natural landscapes that provide vegetative filtering and uptake of pollutants. The recommended green infrastructure strategies consider fiscal efficiency of treatment measures that optimize treatment capability, ecological function and landscape position. The overall planning approach for this project focuses on restoring native vegetation, retrofitting for BMPs, and sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development. Responding to the context of this unique place the green infrastructure guidelines recommend a variety of sustainable stormwater and landscape management design concepts and practices to be woven into the comprehensive master plan.
|Ringling College Master Plan||Conservation Planning, Regenerative Design,||Sarasota, Florida, United States||featured-project featured|
|RiverBend Commerce Park Site Development Plan|| |
Buffalo, New York , United States As a key member of a planning/design team led by Sasaki Associates, Biohabitats oversaw the ecological restoration and green infrastructure components of the site development plan for this a 260-acre vacant brownfield site on the banks of the Buffalo River. Though the Buffalo River suffered neglect and abandonment throughout Buffalo’s industrial growth, it is now poised for a dramatic comeback. The RiverBend development will play a critical role in this revitalization process. Regeneration of the site and river’s ecological health will not only bring environmental benefits, it will also provide RiverBend with an array of recreation, cultural heritage and economic opportunities. RiverBend is intended to be a model for sustainable development that fosters long-term economic growth by leveraging the assets of the site and region. Place-making principals were applied to create special public spaces and a new community on the banks of the Buffalo River. The project aims to achieve the vision of the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area Master Plan in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts while fostering on-going remediation and environmental restoration of the Buffalo River. Biohabitats worked closely with Sasaki and other team members to ensure integration of ecological restoration and green infrastructure into the overall plan for the site. Biohabitats is also working with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper as they pursue restoration of 2,800 linear feet of the Buffalo River riparian zone at the RiverBend site.
|RiverBend Commerce Park Site Development Plan||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Regenerative Design,||Buffalo, New York, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rivers Casino Ecological Restoration|| |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , United States In 2007, the 4,000-square-foot Rivers Casino was constructed along Pittsburgh’s North Shore of the Ohio River. A trail running between the casino and the Ohio River is an extension of the Allegheny Heritage Trail, a prominent feature of the North Shore Riverfront Park. This park is one of many sections of the Three Rivers Park, a former brownfield site that was transformed into a 10-mile network of public and private green space along the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. In an effort to restore and protect the river bank while abiding by guidelines established for the Three Rivers Park area, Biohabitats provided a bank stabilization and riparian buffer restoration plan for approximately 900 feet of riverfront associated with the casino’s construction. The plan included stabilization control measures, riparian planting plans, soil amendments, meadow restoration plans, and maintenance specifications. The native, riparian planting scheme not only fits into the local setting and provides improved habitat and trailside aesthetics, but it also can withstand the flow of water and ice along the Ohio River.
|Rivers Casino Ecological Restoration||Ohio River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rockburn Branch Park Stream Restoration Design-Build|| |
Elkridge, Maryland , United States Located along the densely-populated Baltimore-Washington corridor, Rockburn Branch Park is a 400-acre wooded oasis containing freshwater marshes, stream valleys, miles of trails, several multipurpose athletic fields, and numerous recreational facilities. When stormwater from surrounding development began degrading and severely eroding an un-named tributary to Rockburn Branch, a tributary to the Patapsco River that flows through the park, the Howard County Stormwater Management Division took action. With funding through the County’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the County initiated a project to restore stability and function to Rockburn Branch. Working alongside the County and construction contractor Angler Environmental throughout the design and construction process, Biohabitats crafted and implemented a design to reduce erosion while creating opportunities for ecological uplift and nutrient processing. The design incorporated constructed riffles to raise the stream invert using soil from nearby Bonnie Branch stream restoration, saving money on both projects. The riffles also formed deep backwater pools to drive hyporheic and riparian exchange and restore hydrology to adjacent wetlands. In addition, coarse woody debris was salvaged and placed in both the in-stream and riparian areas to improve structural complexity and reduce haul off during construction. The restoration not only stabilized the eroding channel, but enhanced the stream and riparian corridor and yielded nutrient and sediment removal credits toward the County’s MS4/TMDL requirements. Recognizing opportunities for potential uplift coupled with our efficient design process delivered a shovel-ready project in less than one year, saving the County approximately 20% of the allotted budget.
|Rockburn Branch Park Stream Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Elkridge, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rowan University Stormwater Management & Landscape Master Plan|| |
Glassboro, New Jersey , United States From its modest beginnings in 1923 as teacher training school, Rowan University has grown to become a comprehensive public research university with a strong regional presence and reputation. Along with this growth has come substantial reduction of pervious surfaces and inadequate stormwater management, which has adversely impacted the quality and biodiversity of Chestnut Branch, the stream system that runs through the center of campus. Having developed in spurts, Rowan’s 225-acre campus includes buildings of various styles and open spaces of several scales and types. A major roadway bisects the campus, impacting mobility and safety, as well as ecological and campus connectivity. With significant growth predicted for the future, and several capital improvement projects in the planning phases, the University called upon Biohabitats to develop a master plan to guide the creation of sustainable, functional campus landscapes that integrate stormwater management, open spaces, and connectivity. Biohabitats began by dividing the campus into zones, based on watershed catchment areas. Within each zone, we evaluated the interrelationships and environments of open spaces, performed hydrologic analyses to determine potential impacts on current, ongoing and future development by 5, 10 and 100 year storms, and examined overall campus connectivity. The Biohabitats team then identified opportunities for restoration, retrofitting, conservation, and new development within each zone, as well as opportunities to connect the zones to create integrated, functional, and aesthetic open space environments. The team also developed a strategy to guide the implementation of these campus improvements. Inherent in the master plan is the goal to protect, enhance, and create functional or “working” landscapes that demonstrate and embrace water as a natural resource, while also providing benefits such as habitat, microclimates, aesthetics, recreation and respite, social spaces, and learning landscapes. The plan provides a framework for future campus management and planning, while also defining
|Rowan University Stormwater Management & Landscape Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Integrated Water Strategies,||Glassboro, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rutgers University Busch & Livingston Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan|| |
Piscataway, New Jersey , United States Applying a holistic, ecosystems-based approach, Biohabitats developed a Stormwater and Landscape Management Master Plan (SWLMMP) for the Busch and Livingston Campuses of Rutgers University. The Biohabitats team began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions and green infrastructure resources of the 1,700 acres of campus and surrounding areas. The Biohabitats team was then able to explore opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campuses while also providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls. The recommended strategy considered fiscal efficiency of treatment measures that optimize treatment capability, ecological function and landscape position. Long-term operation and maintenance considerations were also factored into the strategy to account for desired longevity and performance. The overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, restoration and retrofitting and sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development. Biohabitats identified principles and techniques that could be applied throughout various University settings, yet were specific enough to reflect the unique ecological characteristics and opportunities on the Busch and Livingston campuses.
|Rutgers University Busch & Livingston Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||Piscataway, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Rutgers University Cook/Douglass Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan|| |
New Brunswick, New Jersey , United States Biohabitats developed a Stormwater and Landscape Management Master Plan (SWLMMP) for the Cook/Douglass campus of Rutgers University, utilizing the same holistic, ecosystems-based approach that it employed to successfully develop SWLMMPs for two other Rutgers’ campuses. The Biohabitats team began by developing a sound understanding of the existing ecological conditions, which included GIS basemap analysis of existing topographic, geologic, soil, and watershed data. The team then conducted field assessments to gain an understanding of current green infrastructure resources and further opportunities for on-campus stormwater management. To conduct a thorough watershed assessment, Biohabitats divided the Cook/Douglass campus into six major drainage basins or catchments, based on their unique discharge points. Various storm events were modeled for each catchment in order to understand how stormwater flow of different magnitudes occurs throughout the campus. In the field, the Biohabitats team examined existing conditions and identified opportunities for the implementation of stormwater management techniques, such as constructed wetlands, bioretention, and biofiltration swales. Following the field assessments, the Biohabitats team was able to explore opportunities to enhance and integrate these assets throughout the campus while providing the highest level of water quality and quantity controls. Biohabitats worked closely with a separate team of planners looking at campus wide facilities improvements to ensure that landscape and stormwater opportunities and needs were recognized and incorporated into the facilities master plan update. Inherent in Biohabitats’ master planning approach for the Cook/Douglass campus is the focus on green infrastructure and the need to protect, enhance, or create functional or “working” landscapes that demonstrate and embrace the manner in which water serves as a resource. For this reason, the overall planning approach for this project focused on conservation, restoration, and retrofitting that results in sustainable landscape and stormwater management for future development. Biohabitats identified principles and techniques
|Rutgers University Cook/Douglass Stormwater & Landscape Management Master Plan||Hudson River Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Integrated Water Strategies,||New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
Redwood City, California , United States Biohabitats provided ecological restoration and sustainable design services for a 1,400-acre property in the San Francisco Bay region. Using a green neighborhood development approach, the program encompasses a variety of mixed uses seamlessly integrated into a green infrastructure of stormwater management, wildlife habitat, parks, open space and landscape restoration buffers. Biohabitats composed a set of sustainability guidelines for the project outlining water, energy, ecology, transportation, materials, and livability goals, most of which surpass LEED Gold certification requirements for Neighborhood Development. The project not only involves a significant landscape restoration and conservation component, but also a commitment to sustainable design throughout the development. Innovative and comprehensive stormwater management strategies were integrated throughout the development and water harvesting and reuse is a significant component of the program. Biohabitats participated in and led community design charrettes, public workshops, government agency workshops, and roundtables on ecological restoration, water quality, sustainability and habitat throughout the design process.
|Saltworks||Regenerative Design,||Redwood City, California, United States||featured-project featured|
|Saltworks Carbon Emissions Comparison|| |
Redwood City, California , United States Biohabitats provided ecological restoration and sustainable design services for a 1,400-acre property in the San Francisco Bay region. Using a green neighborhood approach, the development encompasses a variety of mixed uses seamlessly integrated into a green infrastructure of stormwater management, wildlife habitat, parks, open space and landscape restoration buffers. As part of the sustainability guidelines Biohabitats evaluated the carbon reduction and sequestration potential of the proposed project. A final report calculated and compared the projected carbon footprint of the proposed transit-oriented development to that of an average local greenfield commuter development. The research results indicated that providing residences close to jobs significantly reduces transportation-related carbon production. These carbon savings, combined with those based on projected residence and business energy efficiency, made the case for locating residences near jobs even stronger. The final report also included a comparison of the development’s projected annual net reduction in carbon production to that of the carbon sequestration potential of restored saltmarsh ecosystems. To help ensure true stakeholder involvement in the project, Biohabitats participated in and led community design charrettes, public workshops, government agency workshops, and roundtable discussions on ecological restoration, water quality, sustainability and habitat throughout the design process.
|Saltworks Carbon Emissions Comparison||Regenerative Design,||Redwood City, California, United States||featured-project featured|
|Sandusky Bay Initiative–Area 3 Project|| |
Sandusky, Ohio , United States Located along the south shore of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay is a major commercial and recreational hub for northern Ohio. Over the years, however, its coastal wetlands and nearshore aquatic habitat have been degraded by high Lake Erie water levels, infrastructure construction, shoreline hardening, and changes in land use practices. In addition, the Sandusky River watershed has contributed substantial nutrient and sediment loads into the Bay, stimulating harmful algal blooms. In launching the Sandusky Bay Initiative, the City of Sandusky, with the support of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), is taking a proactive leadership role in restoring ecology and aquatic habitat in Sandusky Bay. The Initiative aims to transform the Bay ecosystem through the beneficial reuse of sediments to restore coastal wetlands in a way that enhances nutrient assimilation, improves fish and wildlife habitat, and reduces suspended sediment loads. The Initiative begins with a series of pilot projects involving the design and eventual construction of nature-based/living shoreline and nearshore wetland enhancement projects to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Biohabitats is developing conceptual plans and construction documents for the most ecologically diverse pilot site, the Putnam Marsh Nature Preserve located in East Sandusky Bay. After conducting a baseline assessment and setting project restoration goals and objectives, Biohabitats will prepare conceptual plans and construction documents. This includes preparation of a permit strategy, management and adaptive management plan, and cost estimates, and working with a wide variety of stakeholders. The project aims to cost-effectively maximize ecosystem services and community benefits such as aesthetics, environmental learning, and recreational opportunities. Key indicators for fish and wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and water quality improvements will be identified, and used for monitoring, maintenance, and guidance of future Sandusky Bay Initiatives.
|Sandusky Bay Initiative–Area 3 Project||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Sandusky, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|South Boulder Creek Aquatic Habitat Design-Build|| |
Boulder, Colorado , United States South Boulder Creek is a major stream corridor that provides significant ecological and recreational benefits for the City of Boulder. The City Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department wanted to improve aquatic habitat in approximately two miles of the creek which had suffered the impacts of water diversions, channel modifications, and grazing. Of particular concern was the lack of available overwintering fish habitat during low-flow winter months. To address the low flow concerns, the City negotiated a minimum flow of seven cfs in the winter--an improvement from the previously common low flows of 1 cfs. The Colorado Division of Wildlife, which awarded a ‘Fishing is Fun’ grant to help fund the project, will stock the project area with a Whirling Disease-resistant rainbow trout (Hofer-strain) to try to establish a self-sustaining population for recreational fishing. Biohabitats was selected as the design-build contractor for this major fish habitat restoration project. Because the channel morphologic conditions varied within each reach of the project area, a spectrum of solutions was required. The overall approach is to enhance, create, and maximize fish habitat throughout four reaches by leveraging existing stream features and applying treatments in targeted locations to address specific morphologic issues. Techniques such as boulder clusters, a low flow meander channel, side pools, meander cut off, log pools, log wing deflectors, and woody debris clumps will be used to improve aquatic habitat. Biohabitats completed all Section 404 permitting, including biological assessments for Federally Endangered Species.
|South Boulder Creek Aquatic Habitat Design-Build||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Boulder, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|South Meadow Lake Restoration Design-Build|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States As part of an on-going effort to ecologically restore degraded landscapes within Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park system, the Natural Lands Restoration and Environmental Education Program (NLREEP) targeted South Meadow Lake. Over the past 50 years, the freshwater lake had been reshaped, and filled and armored to facilitate its conversion to a swimming pool. The lake bottom had been lined with concrete to provide a hard bottom surface. What was once a fully functioning, six-acre lacustrine ecosystem had been systematically converted to a neighborhood swimming pool. Recognizing the ecological and historical significance of South Meadow Lake, NLREEP selected Biohabitats in a design-build capacity to restore South Meadow Lake to a fully functioning lacustrine ecosystem. Biohabitats’ restoration approach began with an assessment of the historical condition of the lake prior to modifications and an examination of current ecological, hydrological and morphological conditions. From there, the Biohabitats team developed concept drawings and a final design and construction package suitable for permitting. The restoration involved removing the concrete bottom, re-contouring the lake bottom and shoreline, and restoring the lake littoral zone by amending soils and revegetating with native freshwater marsh species. A pedestrian trail and interpretive signs were designed and installed, providing the neighborhood with new opportunities for recreation and education.
|South Meadow Lake Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Spring Garden Street Pier Initial Feasibility & Concept Plan|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States Biohabitats performed a preliminary concept and feasibility review of the Spring Garden Street Pier to support meetings with government officials to discuss riverfront revitalization opportunities along the Central Delaware. The site is located on approximately 16 acres of strategically important pier property located along Columbus Boulevard at Spring Garden Street. This exciting project proposes sustainable in-fill development, ecological enhancement of the riverfront, and riverfront greenway public access as the key drivers for economic revitalization. Biohabitats assisted in exploring DRWC’s contemplated ideas for preparing the site for mixed-use development including a combination of residential and commercial/retail uses in an economically and environmentally sustainably manner. The initial use opportunities contemplated include progressive residential living, premier commercial space and vibrant entertainment including fine dining, performance venues, and social gathering spots. The waterfront edge of the project will be dedicated to environmental protection of the river buffer zone which will act to provide water quality protection, native vegetation habitat, public greenway trail access, informative environmental education displays and potentially non-motorized boat, kayak and canoe access. The site presents significant opportunities to employ innovative sustainability practices including integrated stormwater best management practices such as rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, cisterns, native landscape plantings/planters, and grey water re-use techniques, among others. In accordance with likely federal, state and local permitting requirements the potential mitigation opportunities we identified at this site include tidal wetland restoration, river buffer plantings, fish habitat structures, living shoreline, and measures to reduce the impacts of combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharge. The site provides an opportunity for stakeholder collaboration, community revitalization, environmental education & stewardship and sustainable development demonstration. Biohabitats also developed some preliminary planning level costs, along with our consultant Urban Engineers, for site revitalization including demolition, sheet pile, capping, drainage system, living shoreline, buffer, trail and habitat mitigation potential cost
|Spring Garden Street Pier Initial Feasibility & Concept Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Regenerative Design,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|
|Spring Hill Farm Restoration and Enhancement Design|| |
Gaston, Oregon , United States In 2015, Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, purchased 247 acres of farmland adjacent to the Tualatin River, near a wildlife refuge and upstream from a water treatment plant. Recognizing that the purchase presented an opportunity to protect more than a mile of the Tualatin River and 1,250 feet of Harris Creek, Metro partnered with Clean Water Services (CWS), the region’s water resources management utility, on an effort to enhance the site’s riparian and in-water wildlife habitat. To undertake the assessment and design work, CWS turned to Biohabitats. Biohabitats began by reviewing existing data, conducting a site assessment, and performing a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the site and inlet tributaries. Biohabitats and CWS crafted a 60% design to enhance floodplain connectivity, remove man-made water control structures that limited ecological function, and improve and diversify instream and riparian habitat by restoring the tributary, daylighting a portion of a tributary that is currently piped, removing invasive species and floodplain berms, and installing habitat structures. Including agricultural set asides accommodated the community’s desire to maintain active agricultural use on some portions of the property. After facilitating review of the permit-ready designs by stakeholders and regulators, final, construction-ready plans were prepared.
|Spring Hill Farm Restoration and Enhancement Design||Cascadia Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Gaston, Oregon, United States||featured-project featured|
|St. Mary’s College Water Quality Comprehensive Plan|| |
St. Mary’s City, Maryland , United States The St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus lies in an historically significant and environmentally sensitive area along the shoreline of the St. Mary’s River. The campus history includes the colonial settlement of Historic St. Mary’s City, the first capital of the state of Maryland. Campus activities influence localized water quality in an important drainage to the Chesapeake Bay. Over the last decade the campus facilities have expanded significantly under the facilities master plan. Biohabitats assisted the campus with managing water resource issues and environmental stewardship by producing a Water Quality Comprehensive Plan with A. Morton Thomas. In the plan, Biohabitats addressed shoreline protection stabilization and restoration, water quality protection through best practices, stormwater management facilities/retrofit integration and needs for ecological resource conservation, restoration and management of campus streams, ponds, shoreline zones and tidal wetlands. Additionally, Biohabitats integrated recommendations for green design standards, sustainable facilities operations and maintenance, landscape planning and management, and volunteer stewardship opportunities. A significant component of this Plan was the application of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Law and its standards for resource protection, stormwater improvement and Critical Area buffer management. Biohabitats also assisted in reviewing the plan with the State Critical Area Commission and addressing comments related to campus-wide planning. Biohabitats completed a Buffer Management Strategy document for the campus. This guidance document included definitions of the types and benefits of aquatic buffers. It also outlined campus conditions, specific buffer improvement strategies and priority implementation recommendations in light of the Critical Area program compliance. Biohabitats also made recommendations for long-term management and operations and maintenance needs for the campus buffers.
|St. Mary’s College Water Quality Comprehensive Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||St. Mary’s City, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Sterling Pond and Josh Ames Structure Ecological Restoration Design-Build|| |
Larimer County, Colorado , United States Throughout the early 20th century, Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River was heavily manipulated for irrigation and mining, particularly in the Fort Collins area. Today, the City of Fort Collins is taking steps to restore flows, fish passage, and ecological function to the river. After working with the City to assess its natural areas and identify opportunities for restoration, Biohabitats implemented the restoration of this priority site: along a 2,000 linear foot reach of the Poudre that had been disconnected from its floodplain by a high berm that was originally constructed to protect an adjacent gravel pit. With mining operations long since completed, the pit had become a pond that offered habitat but did not meet its ecological potential in terms of ecosystem processes. In separating the river from its floodplain, the berm diminished the river’s ecological function and value by reducing the potential for overbank flooding. To make matters worse, a defunct, abandoned, concrete diversion structure for irrigation was located just downstream, creating a barrier to natural ecological and physical processes. Biohabitats’ approach to this design-build project involved three key strategies: widening the riparian zone along the Poudre, creating additional shallow wetland habitat in the pond, and working with The Colorado Water Trust to remove the abandoned dam. Biohabitats and our subcontractor, Budhoe Backhoe, lowered the steep berm on the river bank and placed the excavated material in the adjacent former gravel pit pond to create a mosaic of riparian woodland, wet meadow and emergent wetland. Following the dam removal, Biohabitats restored the channel to recreate a pool and riffle system that offers improved aquatic habitat and fish passage and allows for better sediment transport. Using the sediment from behind the dam, Biohabitats also created benches along the banks, to not only restore a more natural
|Sterling Pond and Josh Ames Structure Ecological Restoration Design-Build||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Larimer County, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Swedish Embassy Rock Creek Bank Stabilization Design-Build|| |
Washington, District of Columbia , United States The nation of Sweden selected a site along the banks of Rock Creek near the Potomac River in Washington, DC for its new embassy in the U.S. Rock Creek, under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, serves as a valuable natural and recreational resource for the Washington metropolitan region. Concerned about the potential impacts of the new embassy on the physical stability and ecological integrity of Rock Creek, the developers of the site, Armada Hoffler Construction, contracted with Biohabitats to develop a streambank stabilization plan utilizing a natural materials approach. Challenges included a very short construction schedule, logistical constraints, and the project’s high profile, urban location adjacent to the confluence of Rock Creek and the tidal Potomac River. Biohabitats monitored site conditions, including tidal fluctuations, biological benchmarks, and reference sites. We developed alternative design concepts and worked with the designer, architects and developers to develop a shoreline/streambank stabilization approach and hiking/biking path consistent with the site development envelope and building features. We also obtained Federal and local permits, developed conceptual restoration plans, and solicited proposals from five contractors to participate in the completion of the design and construction of the project.
|Swedish Embassy Rock Creek Bank Stabilization Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||featured-project featured|
|Task Order #1: Detroit District, Underwood Creek Section 206 Feasibility Study|| |
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin , United States Biohabitats has partnered with Short Elliot & Hendrickson (SEH) to provide ecological restoration services for the Underwood Creek Rehabilitation and Flood Management Project. To rehabilitate the channel and floodplain within a highly developed, urban watershed outside of Milwaukee, Underwood Creek has been altered considerably since the mid-1960s. The creek’s channel has been widened, realigned, and-along a significant portion of its eight mile length until its confluence with the Menomonee River-lined with concrete. These alterations have limited fish migration and viability contributed to downstream flooding conditions along portions of the Menomonee River, as well as, limiting fish migration and viability. To make life safer for the public and friendlier for fish and aquatic life, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District are removing nearly one mile of concrete from the creek channel and rehabilitating the creek to restore a more natural meandering system with pools and riffles and wetland and riparian habitat. The project also includes the design and installation of an extensive floodwater storage facility adjacent to Underwood Creek. Biohabitats and SEH will prepare a feasibility study for approximately 4,400 linear feet of Underwood Creek, starting at its confluence of the Menomonee River. The study will address key concerns such as embankment stability, sediment transport, existing fish migration barriers, riparian restoration, and flood management.
|Task Order #1: Detroit District, Underwood Creek Section 206 Feasibility Study||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, United States||featured-project featured|
|Teaneck Creek Park Wetland Restoration|| |
Teaneck, New Jersey , United States Located less than 10 miles from New York City, the 46-acre Teaneck Creek Park is one of the last remaining open spaces along Teaneck Creek. While the site provides birding and other recreation opportunities, it has been dramatically altered over time by human impacts and its adjacency to the surrounding heavily urbanized landscape. The site was once dominated by a tidal wetland system, but due to the installation of a tide gate downstream and alteration of the creek channel and surrounding areas, its hydrology was changed. The site now receives water inputs primarily from six storm drains. Erosion and degradation has been so severe at one outfall that it has been dubbed “stormwater canyon.” The site has also been altered by years of dumping. Biohabitats is helping the Bergen County Department of Parks and the Teaneck Creek Conservancy restore both ecological function and safe public use of this evolving urban oasis. Biohabitats is crafting a plan to restore fully functioning freshwater wetlands on site, while also replacing invasive plant species with native vegetation appropriate for this riparian wetland system. Building upon a concept created by Rutgers’ Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability, Biohabitats is developing a design that uses the site’s existing topography and hydrology to retain and treat water before it enters Teaneck Creek. The design focuses on restoring wetlands within the original creek bed and riparian areas. In addition to bringing habitat, recreation, and water quality benefits, Biohabitats’ design also saves money and time by minimizing excavation. Tasks for this project, which include creating the design, obtaining the required final permits, and supervising construction, also include collaborating with the County, the Conservancy, and other stakeholders to ensure that the park meets the needs of its many users, preserves their conservation efforts, and celebrates the ecological art
|Teaneck Creek Park Wetland Restoration||Hudson River Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Teaneck, New Jersey, United States||featured-project featured|
|Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure Assessment|| |
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Porcupine, South Dakota , United States Biohabitats provided a sustainable wastewater infrastructure assessment for the proposed Thunder Valley Regenerative Community development located in the Porcupine District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This project aims to incorporate sustainable, affordable wastewater infrastructure for treatment and reuse into the planned mixed-use development site. Thunder Valley, comprised of 34 acres, contains 86 multi-family units, 31 single family units, commercial space, a gym and a youth center. Driven by a need for more housing, business opportunities and services on the Reservation, the goal of this Lakota-led project is to create a community with sustainability, interconnectedness, and healthy and supportive environments for youth, elderly and families at the center. The project seeks to build on traditional Lakota values while promoting innovative, homegrown Native solutions. A triple bottom line intent has been adopted by the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation to ensure the project considers social needs (People), environmental responsibility (Planet), and economic vitality (Prosperity). Biohabitats explored multiple on-site wastewater treatment, reuse and discharge options, keeping in mind not only cost and space requirements, but also environmental and aesthetic benefits to the community. The client desired a wastewater treatment and reuse system that was affordable, simple to operate and maintain, energy and space efficient, and capable of providing reuse- and surface-water discharge quality effluent on a consistent basis, even in the cold winters of South Dakota. Sludge generation and electricity consumption were of concern due to not only their ecological impacts, but to their associated long-term and ongoing operational costs. The technologies were evaluated based upon USDA criteria for seeking funding that included water quality, environmental impacts, footprint, budgetary costs, O&M costs, and sludge production. Biohabitats took the evaluation a few steps further, however, to outline options for water reuse, irrigation and effluent discharge that reduced
|Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure Assessment||Regenerative Design, Integrated Water Strategies,||Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Porcupine, South Dakota, United States||featured-project featured|
|Towson University Garage Addition Stream Restoration & Water Quality BMPs|| |
Towson, Maryland , United States Due to a projected increase in student enrollment, Towson University is entering a period of rapid changes and the need for new and updated facilities. As a part of a desire to incorporate more ecologically sustainable projects, Towson University has engaged Biohabitats in a variety of initiatives including the development of a campus-wide water resources management plan, participation in the Facilities Master Plan, and the restoration of the Glen tributary. With the expansion of an existing parking garage located in a sensitive ecological area along Towson Run, Towson turned to Biohabitats to help make it a project that would honor their commitment to environmental stewardship. Working in collaboration with the project architects, civil engineers and structural engineers, Biohabitats integrated regenerative design features into the parking garage upgrades including a bioretention facility to treat stormwater, a natural step-pool channel and bioengineering of the streambanks. Biohabitats native vegetation restoration plans also included indigenous forest planting along the riparian areas to stabilize adjacent slopes. Working with the regulatory agencies, Biohabitats led efforts to restore a reach of Towson Run, including the removal of concrete from the channel and the integration of aquatic habitat features.
|Towson University Garage Addition Stream Restoration & Water Quality BMPs||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Towson, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|University of Maryland Facilities Master Plan|| |
College Park, Maryland , United States Biohabitats collaborated with architects, planners, and transportation planners to prepare a master plan for the University of Maryland College Park Campus in College Park, Maryland. Biohabitats’ responsibilities included an ecological assessment and inventory, and the preparation of an Ecological Master Plan. Biohabitats’ scope of services included an assessment of natural resources including hydrology (streams, ponds and groundwater), wetlands, forests and other vegetation communities, soils and geology, and rare, threatened and endangered species. Biohabitats assessed past and present impacts to these resources, as well as addressed potential impacts of the Facilities Master Plan. Biohabitats also provided recommendations for priority protection areas for sensitive resources and identifying ecological enhancement and restoration opportunities. The Ecological Master Plan included a prioritization of recommendations, a preliminary cost estimate, sketches and graphics, and was incorporated into the Facilities Master Plan.
|University of Maryland Facilities Master Plan||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning,||College Park, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|Valley Road Channel Restoration Design-Build|| |
Fairgrounds Park, Hagerstown, Maryland , United States Biohabitats was chosen by the City of Hagerstown to lead a design-build effort to restore an unnamed tributary to Hamilton Run, which is a tributary to Antietam Creek. The stream begins at a storm drain outfall and flows approximately 1,000 feet along the edge of a park to Hamilton Run. The two-acre, wooded site was infested with non-native plant species such as Catalpa, Osage orange, Bush honeysuckle, Multi-flora rose, and Clematis. Because the stream channel was mostly on bedrock, Biohabitats recommended enhancing the floodplain with forested wetlands in order to achieve the project’s ecological improvement goal. The project also included a hiker/biker trail with educational signage through the site. Biohabitats assembled from its staff a diverse and experienced project team with a fluvial geomorphologist wetland scientist, forest ecologist, landscape architect, and invasive plant specialist. The design-build team included Meadville Land Service, Ecological Restoration & Management, and Invasive Plant Control. This assemblage of experts in ecological design and implementation provided the City of Hagerstown with a Supplemental Environmental Project that was beyond their initial expectations yet within budget.
|Valley Road Channel Restoration Design-Build||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Fairgrounds Park, Hagerstown, Maryland, United States||featured-project featured|
|West Creek Stewardship Center|| |
Parma, Ohio , United States In the mid 1990s, the last remaining large undeveloped area in Parma, Ohio near the headwaters of West Creek, was slated to become a shopping center and golf course. Thanks to the efforts of citizens who ultimately formed the West Creek Preservation Committee, the 360-acre swath of land became the West Creek Reservation, and one of the newest jewels in Cleveland Metroparks’ famed “Emerald Necklace” of linked nature preserves. Because West Creek flows through densely populated and developed suburbs of Cleveland, it had suffered severe degradation of both water quality and natural beauty over the years. Signs of this degradation included erosion, stream channelization, infestations of invasive species, and illegal dumping. Recognizing the need to catalyze the restoration of West Creek and reinforce the community’s strong connection to the site, Cleveland Metroparks and the West Creek Preservation Committee decided to develop a stewardship facility on the site. Envisioned as a community center, the facility will house naturalist programs, community gatherings, and restoration activities. As a key member of the design team led by Portico Group, Biohabitats provided ecological planning, conservation biology, and landscape ecology services through master plan refinement, programming, and concept design. Biohabitats’ ecologists, geomorphologists, and conservation biologists performed a site reconnaissance to gather information about the proposed site’s ecological characteristics. The Biohabitats team also assessed land use and land cover maps to characterize the site’s ecological connectivity and juxtaposition within its watershed. Biohabitats then collaborated with the Portico Group to lead two design charrettes that included stakeholders from the community. The charrettes explored a range of topics and formed an overall vision for the project.
|West Creek Stewardship Center||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Parma, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|West Creek Stream Restoration|| |
Cleveland, Ohio , United States West Creek is a tributary of the Cuyahoga River that flows nine miles through the Cleveland, Ohio suburbs of Parma, Seven Hills, Brooklyn Heights, and Independence. This densely populated watershed is part of the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor giving it historic significance within the region. Due to development and suburban growth, the West Creek Watershed has undergone severe environmental disturbance. Impacts to the watershed and stream include, failing septic systems, uncontrolled stormwater runoff, landfill operations, combined sewer overflows, and channel modifications including concrete armoring, significant relocation and straightening. These actions have resulted in impaired ecological condition through much of the West Creek Watershed. As part of a multidisciplinary team Biohabitats prepared stream restoration designs for 10 reaches, totaling over one mile of West Creek. The primary goal of the project was to restore channel stability and ecological functions to the impaired stream. Specific objectives included reducing channel and bank erosion, improving fish passage, enhancing in-stream and riparian habitat, protecting existing infrastructure, and minimizing long term maintenance.
|West Creek Stream Restoration||Great Lakes Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration,||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||featured-project featured|
|Wetland, River, & Floodplain Ecological Restoration Design-Build|| |
Fort Collins, Colorado , United States The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department manages over 1,000 acres of open space along the Cache La Poudre River, including numerous former gravel pits with significant water resources and habitat values. For several years, the City had been performing small planting projects to enhance natural resource values and the visitor experience. In 2008 and again in 2014, Biohabitats was retained to provide on-call professional consulting and construction services to assist with the assessment, planning, design, permitting, and construction of wetland and riparian restoration projects. Overall project objectives vary and include protecting the City’s natural resources, improving water quality, enhancing aquatic and riparian habitat, and restoring wetland and floodplain functions. Biohabitats performed vegetation assessments, hydrologic evaluations, and geomorphic assessments to support a Conservation Action Planning approach to identify conservation priorities and restoration strategies. Biohabitats prioritized potential restoration projects based on locations where a water source is most predictable and/or controllable; maintaining and expanding previous restoration areas to protect gains; and selecting high visibility locations with partnering or educational opportunities. To date we have designed, permitted, and constructed three projects within two of the natural areas along the Poudre River. These projects have included the removal of flood-control levees to restore floodplain connection, placement of fill material in abandoned gravel pits to create wetland benches, and removal of an old water diversion dam in the river to provide fish passage. These projects created 10 acres of willow shrubland, wet meadow, and emergent wetland; restored 13 acres of riparian forest including native cottonwood regeneration; and improved 1 mile of the Poudre River.
|Wetland, River, & Floodplain Ecological Restoration Design-Build||Southern Rocky Mountain Bioregion,||Ecological Restoration, Design-Build,||Fort Collins, Colorado, United States||featured-project featured|
|Wissahickon Creek Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study|| |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States Biohabitats is helping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Philadelphia Water Department in an effort to improve the water quality and habitat conditions of Lower Wissahickon Creek, which travels through Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park to its confluence with the Schuylkill River. The creek has long been a beloved scenic and recreational waterway and a drinking water source for Philadelphians. However, decades of development within the Wissahickon watershed have taken an ecological toll on the creek. Several segments of the creek are included among Pennsylvania’s 303(d) listing of impaired waterways due to excessive erosion and nutrient input. As a result, many stream segments are unstable, with degraded aquatic habitat. Biohabitats is identifying opportunities to address these impairments through the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as stormwater wetlands, stream restoration, and riparian and floodplain enhancement. A total of 40 BMP restoration alternatives are being developed and evaluated based on habitat valuation and cost-benefit analysis. The analysis involves the use of the Corps MII (MCASES second generation) for cost estimates; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Habitat Evaluation Procedure for habitat valuation; and the Corps Incremental Cost Analysis model for cost benefit analyses. Once complete, the study will prioritize restoration options and guide the implementation of initiatives that will result in improved water quality and habitat conditions for the plant, animal and human communities within the Wissahickon watershed.
|Wissahickon Creek Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study||Chesapeake / Delaware Bays Bioregion,||Conservation Planning, Ecological Restoration,||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||featured-project featured|