Our River Program staff work collaboratively with partners from diverse interest groups representing agricultural, municipal, environmental and recreational uses to build resilience in our river and riparian corridors now and in the face of future climate driven impacts such as flood, drought, and fire. Scroll down to learn more about our river planning and projects!
Climate Adapted Restoration
We plan and implement on-the-ground projects that advance watershed restoration practices and incorporate climate change scenarios such as future flood, drought and fire.
Climate Resilience on South St. Vrain
Enhancing watershed resilience in the face of flood, fire, and drought. This restoration project aims to build watershed resilience and advance watershed science through the creation of climate adapted features in an unconfined depositional river reach and ecological monitoring. . Through these practices, this project will build watershed resilience for post-fire and other climate-change impacts that threaten ecosystem function and community values and safety. Throughout this project, we will be monitoring the ecological responses to restoration as well as their impacts to water quality and geomorphology.
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.
Left Hand Creek Adaptive Restoration
A first of its kind restoration project in the St. Vrain Basin. In 2019, we constructed a geomorphically and ecologically diverse “stage 0” restoration project in the foothills of Left Hand Creek Watershed. This project advanced river restoration practices to include diverse climate adapted features and watershed science through applied restoration. Since construction, our key research question is how does a stage zero site increase geomorphic complexity, ecological resilience, and attenuation of fluxes? We partnered with professors and students at CU Boulder and local agencies to answer this research question.
Left Hand Creek Feasibility Study
Haldi and Left Hand Valley Diversion Projects
A guide to future passage projects that serves as a starting point for building collaboration and trust with ditch company partners and other community interest groups and important considerations for successful project development and implementation. This Playbook memorializes more than 40 years of professional water resource experience from Boulder County, City of Longmont, and St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy staff as well as lessons learned from The Watershed Center’s projects and Left Hand Creek Feasibility Study.
Mines in Upper Left Hand Watershed
Captain Jack Superfund Site
We are working to help our community understand, analyze, interpret, communicate, and respond to information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) related to the Captain Jack Superfund site.
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.