Balancing Stream Restoration with Floodplain Ordinances

As streams incise and erode, their vital interaction with the abandoned floodplain, or terrace, continues to decrease. This not only flushes excess sediment and pollutants downstream but separates the floodplain ecosystem from its source of life: the stream. Reconnecting the stream to a floodplain is critical for a successful restoration and has been incentivized through the Protocol 3 nutrient and sediment reduction crediting mechanism.


However, the goals of local and federal floodplain ordinances can contrast with those of the restoration community. Reversing erosive damage by raising streambeds can often lead to increases in water surface elevations during storm flow events. This presentation will focus on how to balance these two ideologies throughout the design and construction of stream restoration projects.