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.


For more than 40 years, ESA has been collaborating with clients to protect, enhance, and restore natural ecosystems. We have remained at the forefront of the ecosystem restoration practice by providing an integrated, multi-discipline approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of ecology and geomorphology.

Related specialties and services:

  • Biotechnical bank stabilization and grade control
  • Channel and floodplain restoration design
  • Creek daylighting
  • Design specifications and construction bid packages
  • Fish passage design
  • Fisheries and aquatic science
  • Geomorphic assessments
  • Wetland restoration

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