Stream and Wetland Habitat Restoration

What We Can Do:

Stream and wetland habitats provide highly valued ecological, recreational, and water quality benefits to society. These habitats are crucial to protect threatened and endangered species, and they face competing demands for water and land use. Their protection and restoration are key components of integrated water resources planning.

British Columbia:
Barry Chilibeck
Erik Rowland
Brad Hall

Ed Wallace

Gary Van Der Vinne
Marc Villeneuve
Asia and Africa:
Bruce Walsh
Latin America:
Mike Okun

NHC applies our technical expertise to understand physical processes, in both natural and man-made settings, to assist in protecting and restoring natural functions in streams and wetlands. We work with aquatic, riparian, and wetland ecologists to integrate physical processes and biological communities for use in restoration planning. We emphasize restoration designs that encourage self-sustaining evolution in both physical and biological systems.

NHC's specialized capabilities in this area include field investigations and hydrographic measurements, spatial and trend analyses in GIS, complex ecohydraulic analysis using 1-, 2-, and 3-dimensional numerical models, physical scale modeling in four hydraulic laboratories, and a full range of design services using the most current CADD software.


NHC conducts hydrologic, geomorphic, hydraulic, and sediment transport analyses to support preservation and restoration of rivers, creeks, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries. We also provide a full range of design services, from conceptual plans to final construction documents, for projects involving channel restoration, habitat features, and bio-engineered bank stabilization.

Our services include:

  • Hydrologic Modeling
    Detailed analysis of flow conditions to support habitat functions and biological life stages.
  • Geomorphic Analysis
    Examining the channel and wetland evolution and their effects on habitat values.
  • Hydraulic Modeling
    To address channel-floodplain interactions and natural processes.
  • Sediment Transport Analysis
    To assist with the design of stable channels in natural and modified settings.
  • Environmental Permitting
    Support for permitting processes.
  • Project Design
    Developing plans, specifications, and estimates for project implementation.


  • Geomorphic Restoration
    Technical analysis and design to restore natural stream channel conditions, recreate and restore floodplains, and maintain channel complexity in a variety of geomorphic and ecological settings.
  • Ecological Mitigation
    Planning, detailed design, and monitoring of projects to mitigate unavoidable impacts on stream and wetland environments, including projects targeting specific riparian and aquatic habitat communities and species.
  • Ecohydraulics
    Hydrologic, hydraulic, and sedimentation analyses specifically designed as indicators of ecological success, such as wetland hydro-period characteristics, tidal marsh evolution, floodplain inundation, and gravel transport for spawning, egg detachment and transport, and fish passage.
  • Multi-objective Restoration
    Many projects combining habitat restoration and flood management, recreation, channel stabilization, infrastructure development, and other objectives.
  • Special Status Species
    Analysis and habitat design services for salmonids, cyprinids, smelt, other special-status fish species, and threatened or endangered amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

Constructed riffle on tributary to the Mahatta River, Vancouver Island, BC

Wilson Canyon restoration, NV

Two-dimensional meadow inundation
modeling, Lake Tahoe, CA

Engineered log jam on
Nooksack River, WA

Benefits & Results:

  • Promotes preservation and restoration of physical conditions and processes to achieve ecological objectives sustainably.
  • Sound hydro-technical analysis supports effective ecological restoration for multi-objective projects.
  • Clients and stakeholders receive solid information to effectively plan, permit, design, cost, and implement their projects.