Our Work

The Rice Creek Meander

re-establishing a stream's natural path and hydrology

EOR completed one of the largest stream restoration projects in the Midwest to date. Over 3/4 of a mile of Rice Creek, presumably straightened in the early 1900’s for agricultural drainage, was reconnected to its natural meandering flow path. EOR crafted a $500,000 plan to create a stable channel for present watershed hydrology & documented that the investment would return water quality, habitat, and recreational benefits well beyond cost.

Now over 5 years mature, the design successfully stabilized the stream channel and reconnected the channel to its 200 acre floodplain. Historic abandon water courses were identified and modified (via excavation & soil bioengineering) to recreate a stable stream profile, cross-section, and alignment.

Habitat enhancement has been documented via an improvement in fish and invertebrate scores (IBI) over pre-construction surveys. The successful project spurred interest in establishing a dedicated canoe route and has become a restoration precedent.

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