Water is the lifeblood of Earth. The arteries, veins, and capillaries it flows through are our oceans, rivers, and streams.
Just like the circulatory system within our own bodies, protecting those life-giving waterways is vital for the health of our surrounding ecosystems and, overall, our planet.
One of GreenVest’s areas of expertise is stream restoration. By restoring and protecting streams, we rebuild the vitality of the affected area and ensure the waterways connect to maximize the well-being of the entire region.
To better illustrate the importance of stream restoration, we wanted to hear from a few individuals about their thoughts on the topic. The first two people we asked were Laura and Max, two of GV’s Project Managers. With extensive knowledge and experience working on our stream restoration projects, their insights are invaluable:
“Stream restoration is a great tool to transform a degraded stream system to a functioning one. Before a restoration project, streams which are good candidates for restoration often have raw, eroded stream banks and other forms of channel degradation that will only get worse without drastic change. Systems like this offer minimal habitat value for aquatic life. Eroding sediment and nutrients cause problems for downstream waterways. If left on their own, these systems could take decades or more to become stable. Stream restoration enhances these streams and often their floodplains too, providing benefits for stormwater runoff retention, nutrient cycling, reduced erosion, aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Stream restoration projects may not look pretty during construction or even a few months after, but come back in a year, two years, five years, and you will see a big difference in the stream itself and the plant and animal life the restored area supports.
In general, it is obvious from working within the stream restoration industry that people in this industry genuinely want to improve the environment. I have spent a lot of time on construction sites where the crew and I will spend time picking up fish from isolated pools in the work area and moving them outside the work area, so they live to swim another day.” -Laura
“Stream restoration to me means preserving the resources that meant so much to me as a young boy and dictated my career path, and ensuring those resources remain viable for my children and the next generations. It represents an efficient way to provide multiple simultaneous environmental benefits (habitat, load reduction, stabilization, etc.) to impacted headwater systems, and preserve them afterwards for extended periods of time. Stream restoration is ultimately an acknowledgement of humanity’s inexorable impact in its’ natural environments, and a best attempt to repair and heal the land around our built environment and preserve it for the future. My favorite experiences in stream restoration are any scenario where we can preserve trees or incorporate them into the design. The most rewarding element of all projects is the ability to come back years later and observe a stable, highly productive, and biodiverse environment function around the project you helped build.” -Max
In our next blog post, we will hear from some of GV’s strategic partners and gain further insight into the importance of stream restoration.