Thirty years ago, the best thinking on urban stream management prescribed cement as the solution to flooding and other problems of people and flowing water forced into close proximity. Urban streams were perceived as little more than flood control devices designed to hurry water through cities and neighborhoods with scant thought for aesthetics or ecological considerations. Stream restoration pioneers like hydrologist Ann Riley thought differently. She and other like-minded field scientists imagined that by restoring ecological function, and with careful management, streams and rivers could be a net benefit to cities, instead of a net liability. In the intervening decades, she has spearheaded numerous urban stream restoration projects and put to rest the long-held misconception that degraded urban streams are beyond help.
What has been missing, however, is detailed guidance for restoration practitioners wanting to undertake similar urban stream restoration projects that worked with, rather than against, nature. This book presents the author’s thirty years of practical experience managing long-term stream and river restoration projects in heavily degraded urban environments. Riley provides a level of detail only a hands-on design practitioner would know, including insights on project design, institutional and social context of successful projects, and how to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Early chapters clarify terminology and review strategies and techniques from historical schools of restoration thinking. But the heart of the book comprises the chapters containing nine case studies of long-term stream restoration projects in northern California. Although the stories are local, the principles, methods, and tools are universal, and can be applied in almost any city in the world.
Conventional engineering solutions to problems of flooding and erosion are extremely destructive to natural environments. Restoring Streams in Cities presents viable alternatives to traditional practices that can be used both to repair existing ecological damage and to prevent such damage from happening.Ann L. Riley describes an interdisciplinary approach to stream management that does not attempt to "control" streams, but rather considers the stream as a feature in the urban environment. She presents a logical sequence of land-use planning, site design, and watershed restoration measures along with stream channel modifications and floodproofing strategies that can be used in place of destructive and expensive public works projects. She features examples of effective and environmentally sensitive bank stabilization and flood damage reduction projects, with information on both the planning processes and end results. Chapters provide: background needed to make intelligent choices, ask necessary questions, and hire the right professional help history of urban stream management and restoration information on federal programs, technical assistance and funding opportunities in-depth guidance on implementing projects: collecting watershed and stream channel data, installing revegetation projects, protecting buildings from overbank stream flowsProfusely illustrated and including more than 100 photos, Restoring Streams in Cities includes detailed information on all relevant components of stream restoration projects, from historical background to hands-on techniques. It represents the first comprehensive volume aimed at helping those involved with stream management in their community, and describes a wealth of options for the treatment of urban streams that will be useful to concerned citizens and professional engineers alike.
Many cities across the globe are rediscovering their rivers. After decades or even centuries of environmental decline and cultural neglect, waterfronts have been vamped up and become focal points of urban life again; hidden and covered streams have been daylighted while restoration projects have returned urban rivers in many places to a supposedly more natural state. This volume traces the complex and winding history of how cities have appropriated, lost, and regained their rivers. But rather than telling a linear story of progress, the chapters of this book highlight the ambivalence of these developments.
The four sections in Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained discuss how cities have gained control and exerted power over rivers and waterways far upstream and downstream; how rivers and floodplains in cityscapes have been transformed by urbanization and industrialization; how urban rivers have been represented in cultural manifestations, such as novels and songs; and how more recent strategies work to redefine and recreate the place of the river within the urban setting.
At the nexus between environmental, urban, and water histories, Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained points out how the urban-river relationship can serve as a prime vantage point to analyze fundamental issues of modern environmental attitudes and practices.
Dam removal was not a realistic option in the twentieth century, and people who suggested it were dismissed as radical dreamers. Over the past twenty years, dam removal has become increasingly common, with dozens of removals now taking place each year nationwide.
How did this happen? Same River Twice answers this question by telling the stories of three major Northwestern dam removals—the politics, people, hopes, and fears that shaped three rivers and their communities. Author Peter Brewitt begins each story with the dam’s construction, shows how its critics gained power, details the conflicts and controversies of removal, and explores the aftermath as the river re-established itself.
Each dam removal offers a unique case study. On the Elwha and Rogue Rivers, dam removal was a multi-decade political brawl; on the Sandy River it was swift and amicable. A key controversy in every case was the loss of the recreational lake created by the dam. Local communities loved their lakes and felt that they were natural, public spaces rather than industrial creations. They fought dam removal with passion and ingenuity. To be successful, dam removal advocates had to learn to weld together mega-coalitions that embraced most interest groups and moved forward together.
While the dams profiled here are all in the Pacific Northwest, dam removal is a national and international phenomenon, and Brewitt’s findings apply everywhere. Written for both a scholarly and a general audience, Same River Twice presents invaluable case studies for scholars of environmental politics, wildlife and public land professionals, environmental activists, and anyone interested in the intersection of politics, public policy, and dam removal.