Stream Restoration

    WSW works towards the replication of natural stream dynamics within the application of restorative integrity. WSW assesses each river system’s physical and biological components in order to improve it, whether it is for water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, or bank stabilization efforts. We take pride in designing aesthetic and natural looking projects, and each stream project is unique.  Significant erosion may call for use of logs or boulders depending on the stream type. Sod matting and live willow staking may be best on another. WSW applies experience with successful stream applications, staying current and not repeating lessons learned. Relevancy within stream work requires improving constantly. 


WSW Project List

Camp Bird Stream Restoration - Mine Reclamation Project, Camp Bird, CO 2017-2018

    WSW asked to design stream restoration portion of EPA Removal Action at Camp Bird    Mine outside Ouray, Colorado. WSW design-building Imogene Creek, Sneffels Creek and Canyon Creek through the historic Camp Bird Mine for Caldera Mining. WSW utilizes natural channel design replicating natural conditions to restore channels and mitigate erosion.

Cottonwood Pass Federal Highway-Wetland and Stream Project, Cottonwood Pass, CO 2017-2018

   WSW performing consulting and oversight with United Companies completing required stream and wetland restoration for the CO Flap 209 project for central federal lands in Gunnison, CO.

Skyrocket Creek Design-Permit-Build Project , Ouray, CO 2017     

    WSW procuring ACOE Permit and design-building Skyrocket Creek below CDOT box    culvert for the City of Ouray to mitigate erosion.

 Dexter Creek Design-Permit-Build Project, lake Lenore, CO 2017    

    WSW consulted, design and procured Permit from USFS for Smith Ditch landowners.

 Sneffels Creek Stream Restoration Project, Ouray, Colorado 2013-2016

   WSW asked by the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) to locate an important   and beneficial local project. Funded by the CDPHE Nonpoint Source Program and DRMS   matching funds; WSW will design, permit and build a stream restoration project to           mitigate streambank erosion within Sneffels Creek by the mine tailings at Atlas    Mine. WSW working with UWP to build project and Ouray Silver Mines for the donation    of boulders for instream work.

 Click here to read the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership newsletter.     

 Click here to read the Ouray Plaindealer Newspaper Article.


Centennial Mine Reclamation Project, Colorado Dept. of Health and Environment (CDPHE) 2016

   WSW designed a stream restoration project for the CDPHE funded by the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) within a steep sloped valley through historic uranium mine tailings from the Centennial Mine, mitigating erosion and enhancing water quality. The WSW design met CDBG Design Guidelines criteria and utilized the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Topographic Survey of Stream Channels. The site within Disappointment Valley is a historic area of tailings storage with an actively eroding channel through the center. The effort is to create a stable ephemeral channel to mitigate downstream transport and aggradation of tailings.


Sun Cup Mine Reclamation Project, Colorado Dept. of Health and Environment (CDPHE) 2016

   WSW asked by the CDPHE funded by the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) to design a stream restoration project within a meandering valley through historic uranium mine tailings. . The resulting WSW design met CDBG Design Guidelines criteria and utilized the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Topographic Survey of Stream Channels. The site within Disappointment Valley is a historic area of tailings storage from the Sun Cup Mine with an actively eroding, meandering channel through the tailings pile. The effort is to create a stable ephemeral channel, by mitigating erosion and the downstream transport and aggradation of tailings, and to optimally enhance long term water quality. 


Stream Relocation Project, EPA Consent Decree Receiver, Ordot, Guam, 2014-2015

   WSW hired as Stream Restoration Specialist to consult and oversee construction of a large stream relocation project around a historic WWII dump in the US territory of Guam, the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands in Micronesia. WSW managed construction of the stream relocation portion of this $49 million dollar project. The project mitigated excessive erosion through area of toxic dump and was required by the EPA by the Territory of Guam to complete. The project also mitigated negative effects on outer reef ecosystem and protected valuable fisheries. This was the first stream project completed in this area of the Western Pacific.


San Miguel River Restoration Project, Town of Telluride Public Works Dept., CO 2013-2015

   WSW designed, procured ACOE permit and built a stream restoration project to mitigate excessive stream erosion, creating a public hazard within town bike path by entrance into Town Park.


Sunnyside Development, Colorado 2014

   WSW design-built large cascading waterfall feature with 15 stacked and lined drop structures into a pond. A benchmark for quality drop structure construction on the Western Slope.


Animas River Trail, Whitewater Park Project, City of Durango, 2014

   WSW hired by Russell Engineering to consult on riparian stability components of the Animas River Trail project that will interface the Animas River Whitewater Park.


West Fork of the Dolores River, Cieciuch Property 2013

   WSW completed design, acquired Army Corps Permit and will build bank stream restoration project for private land owner when pond was being threatened by erosion and channel was degrading where previous project failed.


Remine Creek Stream Restoration Project, Sunnyside HOA, Telluride, CO 2013

   WSW completed design, acquired Army Corps Permit and built stream project to ensure discharge into diversion structure designed by WSW to facilitate discharge into storage pond and provide irrigation water for development.


Animas River Trail Project 29th Street, City of Durango, Colorado 2013

   WSW contracted as stream restoration consultant to meet permit compliance with Army Corps and City, WSW managed dewatering coffer dams and demolition of historic water pump station intake gallery.


Animas River Water line Repair Project, City of Durango, Colorado 2013

   WSW contracted as stream construction consultant to oversee dewatering activities and manage coffer dams for emergency repair of water line break.


Dolores River Restoration Project, Stanly Legro Property, Montezuma County, Colorado 2010-2013

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit fordesign-build flood and stream bank erosion mitigation project. Protect home site along a historic oxbow channel, restore balance within the main channel, protect and enhance viable wetland habitat within beaver dams by maintaining sloughs.


Coronet Creek Erosion Mitigation Project, Glenn Property, Telluride, CO 2012-2013

   WSW procured Army Corps and Town of Telluride permits and designed and built erosion mitigation project to stabilize degraded channel and mitigate head cut threatening owner’s property. Sinuosity was reestablished and instream rock techniques dissipated sheer stress.


Beaver Creek Phase II Restoration Project, EPA 319 Program, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Water Quality Control Division, Ignacio, Colorado 2012-2013

   WSW awarded project to create a design and build project collaborating with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Water Quality Program. WSW also procured an Army Corps Permit for this EPA 319 grant funded project. 

   Our primary focus and objective was to reduce the amount of sediment entering Pine River downstream by stabilizing the eroding banks on Beaver Creek, which improves the water quality and the trout fishery on Pine River. Our approach was to protect highly erodible areas by creating a more stable system, replicating natural fluvial geomorphology and limiting impacts of construction activity by applying restorative integrity.


Corbett Creek Debris Slide Mitigation, Ouray County, Colorado

   WSW voluntarily gained Army Corps permission and design-built sediment detention ponds with stable instream structures with County personnel. The effort helped reduce the amount of times County Road 17 washed out and saved Road and Bridge repair expenses.


Dolores River Restoration Project, U. S. Forest Service, Dolores, Colorado 2009-2013

WSW asked by the U.S. Forest Service to acquire U.S. Army Corps permit;design and build restoration project for the within heavily used recreational reach within the Town of Dolores, CO. The project created fish habitat, stabilized bank erosion, created boater recreational features, and enhanced riparian vegetation; the project was partially funded by the Greater Dolores Action Group, working with the USFS to fund stream improvement projects.


Coronet Creek Restoration Project, Town of Telluride, Colorado, 2012

   WSW acquired Army Corps permit for the Town of Telluride and designed/built project to mitigate erosion and protect Town utilities that cross Coronet Creek.


Coronet Creek Restoration Project, Pryor Property, Colorado, 2012

   WSW designed and built erosion mitigation project for private landowner to restore and stabilize property along Coronet Creek, on the highly erodible, alluvial fan which Telluride is built upon.


Cow Creek Stream Restoration Project, Ouray County, Colorado 2011-2013

   WSW hired by the County of Ouray to design, permit and build a stream bank stabilization project to protect a County Road 3 from excessive erosion damage: the project reestablishes sinuosity within a high bedload transfer system and builds protective instream features; fish habitat creation and riparian vegetation enhancement simultaneously occurs within the project.


Uncompahgre River Restoration Project, Sander’s Property, Ouray County, Colorado 2011-2012

   WSW designed bank stabilization, procured an Army Corps permit, and constructed in-stream features to mitigate excessive erosion downstream of gravel mining operation. This project is built within a highly unstable reach of the Uncompahgre River, with a long history of erosion and previous work problems.


Uncompahgre River Bank Erosion and Floodplain Mitigation Project, Montrose, Colorado 2011-2012

   WSW designed, permitted and built a flood mitigation project to protect a private vineyard from excessive erosion from the Uncompahgre River. Fifty foot vertical cut banks and significant property loss occurred in 2010 from dam release flows. This project utilized a less is more philosophy within natural channel design to create a minimum of instream structures and dense willow transplants to stabilize this very erosive channel.


Bear Creek Erosion Mitigation Stream Project, Glenn Property, San Miguel County, Colorado 2011

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit and San Miguel County Permit;designed and built erosion mitigation project by creating an enhanced floodplain to pond water at varying flow volumes, creating fish habitat, with waterfalls and wetlands and a high flow channel as Bear Creek enters the San Miguel River.


Animas River Restoration Project, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ignacio, Colorado 2011-2012

   WSW was awarded the contract to design and build a stream project within an EPA 319 Water Quality Grant for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Environmental Programs Division.  WSW worked with the Tribe’s Water Quality Program to enhance the stream’s fish habitat and riparian vegetation, and mitigate silt transfer by creating two silt detention basins and a treatment wetland in an upstream tributary so that trout populations may prosper.


Dolores River Restoration Project, Stoner Ranch, Stoner, Colorado 2010-2011

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit;design and built large fish enhancement project for Stoner Ranch within a meandering reach of the Dolores River. We utilized logs and boulders to replicate natural stream dynamics. WSW completed Phase One of the project, including over twenty fish habitat features, during summer 2010. We constructed every variation of fish structure. We will monitor these different structures for fish use and gather information from fly fisherman. We will utilize this information while building Phase Two.


Dolores River Restoration Project, Empire Electric Association, Stoner, Colorado 2010-2011

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit;design and build project to mitigate excessive erosion threatening the Empire Electric Association’s power line, which is located beneath the river, and is subject to erosive force within a meander of the stream: the utility line powers the entire north end of the Upper Dolores River valley.

The project was completed fall 2010 and monitoring will continue for three years.


Deadhorse Creek Headcut Mitigation Project, Dry Creek Basin Wildlife Area, Colorado, 2010

WSW was asked by the CDOW to design a project within Deadhorse Creek’s highly eroded upper basin. We completed a design for a Sage Grouse habitat enhancement project for the Colorado Department of Wildlife.


Dexter Creek Debris Slide Mitigation and Stream Restoration Project, Ouray, Colorado 2010

WSW created a design and obtained a permit to mitigate a sixty-year event debris slide.  A private home along Dexter Creek lost significant property and remaining was fourteen foot vertical cut banks within twenty five feet of the home. The project is being phased over several years to be completed within a limited budget.


Animas River Restoration Project, Wilhelm’s Property, Durango, Colorado, 2010

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit;design and build erosion mitigation, fisheries enhancement and recreational feature-boater takeout on the Animas River in Durango.


Coronet Creek Stream Restoration Project, Ryan Property, Telluride, Colorado, 2008-2010

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built stream restoration and flood mitigation project to protect private property from excessive bank erosion. Completed instream work to reestablish grade and decrease degradation within the Town of Telluride’s Coronet Creek flood mitigation effort. Landscape design and installation of riparian vegetation to stabilize bank and create aesthetic and diverse riparian corridor.


Animas River Restoration Project, Between 9th St Bridge and Hwy 160 Bridge, City of Durango, Colorado 2009

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit, designed and built stream restoration project for the City of Durango, Trout Unlimited and Animas River Keepers. Created stream access, boating and fishing improvements along heavily used recreational reach within the city limits, including revegetation, trails and habitat improvements in collaboration with CDOW. Mitigated stream bank erosion and enhanced riparian vegetation. Created traffic control plan and created and implemented storm water management plan. Project awarded Colorado Trout Unlimited “Exemplary Project of the Year”, for efforts to naturalize instream work to look and function within existing channel morphometry.


West Fork of the Dolores River Stream Restoration Project, Griffith Property, 2009

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built project to re-establish sinuosity and create high flow channel protecting bridge from stream erosion.Created log debris-fish habitat that appear and function naturally.


Coronet Creek Stream Restoration Project, for the Town of Telluride, Colorado, 2009

WSW designed and built bank stabilization along a confined area with a 15’ vertical drop to the river, three feet from a building corner, developed heavy equipment maintenance access for the Town’s flood mitigation project in conjunction with Mussetter Engineering’s flood and debris slide analysis.


West Fork of the Dolores River Restoration Project, United States Forest Service, 2008-2009

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built stream access at trailhead, including enhancing and creating fish habitat, mitigating erosion, and enhancing riparian vegetation, access across the stream channel into Geyser Trailhead for pedestrians to enter Federal Land for the Dolores Public Lands Office, Cortez, CO.


West Fork of the Dolores River Restoration Project, Devereaux Property, 2008

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built restoration project mitigating historic beaver dam breach with subsequent property damage. Created and enhanced trout habitat, utilizing erosion as additional enhancement opportunity utilizing woody debris for natural function and appearance.


Uncompahgre River Restoration Project, Town of Ridgway, Colorado, 2008

WSW within U.S. Army Corps Nationwide permit compliancedesigned and built instream structures to maximize stream flow volume towards effluent discharge location ensuring State of Colorado dilution requirements, create floodplain and minimize stream-braiding during peak discharge events.


Silverbell Mine Reclamation, PacifiCorp Inc., Ames, Colorado, 2006-2007

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built stream bank stabilization-vane arm construction to protect mine tailing retaining wall, involved lowering boulders with 100’ cable and long reach excavator over 150’ cliff.  Utilized stream restoration techniques to protect toe of mine reclamation project. Transferring skills from diverse environmental projects also created opportunity to use alluvium from stream flood mitigation on treatment wetland berm improvements. Implemented storm water management and BMP’s.


Diversion Structures Project, Cornerstone, Colorado, 2007

WSW designed and built multiple concrete and steel headgate diversion structures to ensure water right and mitigate erosion for land development project.


Ouray Town Homes Stream Restoration Project, Ouray Colorado, 2007

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,provided consultation to Buckhorn Engineering on design, and built stream project mitigating excessive erosion resulting from the Uncompahgre River’s peak flows through the City of Ouray where condominiums encroach on natural floodplain. Prior to construction one building’s foundation was completely exposed from erosive activity, now the bank is stable with a high degree of structural integrity.


Oak Creek Stream Restoration Project, Ouray Colorado, 2007

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,provided consultation to Buckhorn Engineering on thedesign, and built a high gradient stream restoration project on severely degraded reach of Oak Creek resulting from flood event peak flows.  Successful project involved facilitating collaboration between three different, disparate property owners in highly erosive, high altitude setting mitigating significant property loss.


Boulder Procurement for Instream Fish Habitat Project, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, 2006

WSW supplied rock material for structures scheduled for the San Juan River for a created spawning channel.


Coronet Creek Flood Mitigation Project, Ryan Property, Telluride, Colorado, 2006

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built a stream bank restoration project to protect house from potential stream erosion damage for a private landowner. A high flow event occurred in 2007 which resulted in the Town of Telluride’s Coronet Creek Flood Mitigation Project.  WSW’s instream work not only survived the flood of 2007, it also prevented significant structural damage and property loss.


Uncompahgre River Restoration Project, Ridgway, Colorado, 2001-2006

WSW acted as Project Manager and Town Representative during all phases of project in excess of $1,000,000. Led land owner meetings leading to subsequent approval of land easements, pursued and attained U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, Division of Wildlife approval, Colorado Department of Transportation approval, budget development, budget expenditures, rock procurement, heavy equipment contracting, managed all phases of construction following a National Park Service Design including: stream channel meanders, cross veins, J hooks, riffle reaches, bank stabilization, pond creation, wetland creation, etc.; solicited grants, grant writing, site walks, educational outreach, and media contacts.


Alamosa River Restoration Project, La Jarra, Colorado, 2005

WSW completed construction management for Riverbend Engineering during one mile of stream restoration, including the oversight of instream feature placement and construction, which created conditions that stream discharge could enter several landowners’ head gates and supply irrigation water to ranch property for the first time in decades, successful project completed in an extremely degraded reach of the Alamosa River.


Boulder Procurement, Montrose, Colorado, 2005

WSW provided boulders, delivered on site to the City of Montrose Stream Diversion Project.


Stream Creation Project, San Juan River Ranch, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, 2004-2005

WSW acquired U.S. Army Corps permit,designed and built water features, managed construction of project.  Procured all materials and coordinated all aspects of State and Federal Permitting Requirements.


Stream Diversion Project, Mountain Village, Colorado, 2005

WSW designed and built water diversion on U.S. Forest Service Property.


Utility Line Crossing Emergency Repair, Town of Telluride Public Works Dept., Colorado, 2005

WSW built instream structures in the San Miguel River, designed by Ecological Resource Consultants, Inc. to protect utility crossing in emergency pre runoff conditions.


 San Miguel River Restoration Project, Telluride, Colorado, 2000-2001

WSW acted as Town Representative, Project Management on a $700,000 Stream and Wetland Restoration Project. Organized and managed all boulder acquisition, mobilization and best management practices. Over saw all construction activities, planting efforts, re-vegetation, in-stream work, etc. WSW offered guidance to contractor while insuring quality control for the Town of Telluride.  Led Town meetings, gave radio and TV presentations, led informational site walks, handled all public relations. Managed emergency response logistics with local fire department, contractors, and wrote reports for state and federal review agencies.  Managed budget, expenditures, coordinated project logistics and material supplies.  Consulted on adaptive management and warranty issues, represented Town interests in contractual negotiations.  WSW received Town of Telluride commendations for providing services in excess of original contract agreement to insure project success.


Project Manager, Gondola Stream and Wetland Mitigation Project - Town of Mountain Village, Colorado, 1996

Completed a $200,000 wetland and stream mitigation project: rebuilt stream channels, rebuilt a pond establishing wetland terraces, and diverted a stream into created swales and meadows maximizing square acreage through grading techniques. Monitored surface hydrology and managed erosion control.

"I’ve been looking at river restoration projects since the early 1980’s and I can’t stand overly contrived river work. I could hardly tell that WSW was in the river and completed the stream work, and that is my idea of a really good river project. I was very impressed." Owner of Duranglers, a fly fishing retail and guide business in Durango, CO

Naturalized River Projects

Vane Arm Examples

River Restoration Gallery


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