River & Floodplain Restoration
ESA’s work on river and floodplain restoration formed the basis of what is often called the “living river” approach.
Living rivers are stable, but not static. They exhibit a combination of gradual evolution and periodic disturbances that create the foundation for ecological diversity. To recreate these processes in our restoration projects, we study the watershed context and the history of river systems to understand why they are impaired, how they will evolve on their own, and how to work with nature to aid recovery. We then combine this understanding with engineering practice to develop practical restoration plans.
Our expertise includes geomorphic assessments, channel and floodplain design, biotechnical bank stabilization and grade control, creek daylighting, fisheries habitat, and fish passage enhancements.
We have worked on a range of rivers, floodplain, and creek restoration and enhancements. We are designing the restoration of 13 miles of the Napa River and developing plans to restore native salmon to the Columbia and San Joaquin Rivers.
Related specialties and services:
The Central Valley, an enormous landscape feature dominating the state of California, experiences devastating floods on a fairly regular basis. It produces 25 percent of the nation’s food (including 40 percent of the nation’s fruit, nuts, and other table foods) from less than 1 percent of U.S. farmland, making it an agricultural powerhouse.