At a Glance

A collaborative design-build effort restores stability, habitat, and function to 1,000 LF of stream and three acres of forested wetlands in a flashy, urbanized watershed.

Project Description

In the Greenbriar at River Valley neighborhood, development and changes in local land use practices impacted the hydrology and water quality of a crucial headwater stream to the East Branch Rocky River. This flashy, urbanized watershed experienced decreased capacity for storm events, erosion from strong flows through the channel, habitat loss, and a disconnected floodplain vulnerable to colonization by invasive species. The neighborhood’s homeowner’s association identified these issues and collaborated with the Cuyahoga Valley Soil and Water Conservation District to address them. Utilizing a grant through the Ohio EPA and additional funding from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, project partners chose Biohabitats to lead a design-build team to restore this important tributary to the East Branch Rocky River Watershed.

Working with project partners, Biohabitats permitted and proposed a design for the forested floodplain system that would restore a Stage 0 stream and wetland complex to replicate historic hydrology and allow stormwater to easily access the reconnected floodplain wetlands. To accomplish this, the project team relocated ~700 LF of stream, created new wetland pools, stabilized the relocated streambank using native vegetation and riparian plantings, installed grade control structures in the abandoned channel, and removed invasive species in ~3 AC of wetland.

Large wood structures and riffles were used to raise the incised stream channels to allow better connectivity, create habitat, and promote flow diversity. Adding log jams to the anabranching stream network reconnected and reactivated the wetlands and floodplain, improving the local watershed. Biohabitats’ design restored the stream to a self-sustaining system that can flourish with minimal human intervention.



Great Lakes

Expertise Areas

Design & Build, Ecological Restoration


Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District


North Royalton, Ohio, United States

Project Team
  • Meadville Land Service
  • Chagrin Valley Engineering
  • ASC Group, Inc.
  • Crowley's Vegetation Control