Abstract: Session F  3:55 pm (BACK)

Overcoming Hurdles in Headwater Restoration – Plumtree Run Case Study

Brian Bartell
WRA, Inc.
San Rafael, CA

Restoring functioning headwater systems is a key component of any stream corridor scale restoration effort.  As the point of origin for a channel, healthy headwaters are critical in maintaining water quality and channel stability.  Degraded headwaters almost always contribute to poor water quality and channel degradation in downstream areas.  Unfortunately, in urbanized areas most headwater systems have been piped, paved and channelized to provide efficient drainage for the built environment.  Opportunities for restoration are rare amongst the roads, sidewalks, businesses, homes and utilities that hem in urbanized headwaters.  When the plan was hatched to restore 700 feet of the headwaters of Plumtree Run that lay buried in a pipe in a community park, no one imagined the roadblocks that lay ahead.  This case study offers a glimpse of the battles fought and alliances forged to bring life back to the headwaters of Plumtree Run.  The results provide proof that life can be brought back to headwater systems (as well as the surrounding landscape), and that the effort is worthwhile.