Restore RiversWe plan and implement on-the-ground projects that advance watershed restoration practices and incorporate climate change scenarios.
We have designed and implemented more that 20 flood recovery and restoration project following the 2013 floods which devastated both our watershed and our community.
High flows and sediment/debris inputs caused the creek to migrate and experience deposition, erosion, and loss of riparian vegetation and habitat. Agriculture, homes, and infrastructure were damaged or destroyed throughout the watershed.
We led design and implementation of flood recovery and restoration projects to jumpstart and maintain our watershed’s trajectory towards resilience. These projects aim to increase flood resilience, restore long-term stream health and stability, and improve aquatic and riparian habitat in out watershed. Projects spanned both private and public properties, and included extensive outreach and community engagement.
River Restoration Projects
We are finding balanced solutions for working rivers. Many of Colorado’s Front Range rivers are considered “working rivers” because in addition to providing ecological benefits such as habitat and water quality, they also provide considerable economic and recreational benefits for our communities and enhance our community’s quality of life. As beneficiaries of the services provided by our working rivers, it is our responsibility to explore ways to balance river health with societal needs.
We are advancing watershed science through applied restoration. Our key research question is how does a stage zero site increase geomorphic complexity, ecological resilience, and attenuation of fluxes? We are partnering with professors and students at University of Colorado Boulder to answer this research question by quantifying comparing ecological and geomorphic complexity at a stage zero and traditional restoration site.
Building Headwaters Resilience at Camp St. Malo
Enhancing forest and river resilience in the headwaters. The purpose of the project is to increase ecological and geomorphic complexity in a high-elevation unconfined river reach located adjacent to high-fire-risk forests. The project area is on a low-gradient portion of Cabin Creek, which flows into the North St. Vrain. The project area was impacted by excessive sediment deposition during the 2013 floods. The floodplain in this reach remains unproductive and unable to accommodate flows. The project area is also directly adjacent to high-fire-risk forests in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) boundary.
Building Resilience in South St. Vrain Creek
Enhancing watershed resilience in the face of flood, fire, and drought. This restoration project aims to build ecological and geomorphic complexity in an unconfined and depositional river reach using process-based restoration practices. This is a multi-objective river restoration project that aims to build watershed resilience to post-fire and other climate-change impacts that threaten ecosystem function and community values and safety.