Abstract: Session F  2:25 pm (BACK)

Headwaters Restoration of the West Virginia Coalfields: Adapting Restoration Techniques to High Gradient Appalachian Streams

Ian Turner
Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Bridgeport, WV

Troy Anderson
Ecosystem Investment Partners

Ecosystem Investment Partners, Inc. (EIP) has teamed with Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) and the Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) in the restoration and creation of over 65,000 feet of high gradient headwater streams in the Coalfield region of southern West Virginia. Upon completion, this project will represent the largest stream mitigation bank in the state. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the unique approaches EIP and its partners have taken to accomplish watershed-scale restoration in the heavily impacted landscapes of the southern Appalachians. Stream restoration in this region requires novel approaches to the design and construction of functioning, ecologically-sound fluvial systems. The corridor-based design instrument developed by CEC allows for the rapid design of streams in AutoCAD Civil 3D according to specific morphological criteria. These tools, combined with GPS-enabled earth moving equipment, will facilitate precise construction in the field. Slopes greater than 40% are common in this region; equipment that can function at these gradients (and the expertise to operate them) is critical to the project’s success. In keeping with the River Continuum Concept, the reconnection of perennial streams to disconnected intermittent and ephemeral tributaries was of utmost importance to the restoration goals of this project. To this end, CVI has designed alluvial fans across highwall benches in order to rejoin disconnected stream reaches. We believe this project will showcase innovative techniques for how best to achieve sound headwaters restoration in the challenging topography of the southern Appalachians.

About the Speaker: Ian Turner is an assistant project manager with Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc. in Bridgeport, WV. He works primarily on mining-related stream restoration projects in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mr. Turner holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Sewanee: the University of the South and a M.S. in Soil Science from Auburn University.