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Rice Creek Restoration

Rice Creek Restoration

EOR has completed one of the largest stream restoration projects in the Midwest.  Over 2-miles of Rice Creek, presumably straightened in the early 1900’s for agricultural drainage, has been reconnected to its natural meandering flow path.  In response to the legacy ditching this 7-mile reach of Rice Creek was laterally and horizontally unstable and thus transporting an abundant sediment load to downstream resources.  

EOR utilized and paired multiple models (HECRAS, XP-SWMM, RIVERMorph, & CONCEPTS) to confirm field assessments and fine tune natural channel parameters for stability.  Historic abandon water courses were identified and modified (to match present hydrology) to recreate a stable stream.  The 1st restoration phase is over a decade mature and the most recent restoration was brought online in 2018.

Client Benefits

  • Improved IBI (fish & invertebrate) scores and water quality. 
  • Reduced dredging frequency of downstream lake. 
  • Project spurred interest in resource and the establishment of a water trail.
  • Same core project team spanning over a decade.
  • Direct and indirect (stream aggradation) wetland hydrology restoration.

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