Site Stabilization and Revegetation

Site Stabilization and Revegetation

Site stabilization and revegetation

The Flood Control District works to incorporate natural stable channel design elements into its flood damage reduction projects wherever feasible. The goal of natural stable channel design is to restore a stream channel so that it transports water and sediment delivered by its watershed in a manner that does not aggrade or degrade the channel bed over a long period of time. The Stormwater Quality Department works with project planners, design engineers and contractors to integrate ecologically driven soil management and planting techniques to encourage vegetation establishment that will protect the basin and bayou slopes against erosion. Too much soil erosion and sedimentation within our waterways and detention basins can decrease the efficiency of flood damage reduction projects and impair water quality. For more information on natural stable channel design principles, consult the Flood Control District’s Streambank Stabilization Handbook.

The Stormwater Quality Department often provides a planting strategy within the design plans for major projects to create specialized native habitats. These native habitats include stormwater treatment wetlands, reforestation zones, riparian zones, and coastal prairies, all of which are managed through the Stormwater Quality Department’s Sensitive Habitat Maintenance program. Specific signage is installed to exclude these native habitats from routine operation and maintenance such as frequent mowing. Free of disturbances, these native habitats are allowed to grow naturally while reducing the frequency and costs associated with a more intensive and long-term maintenance program. Water quality and stability of bayous and stormwater detention basins benefit through improved ecosystem services, and the native habitats provide wildlife refuge in pleasantly unexpected locations throughout the county.

Natural stable channel design principles were incorporated to repair this eroded stretch of Rummel Creek. Time-lapse photos show the creek’s evolution (hover over image to read description)

The Mason Creek flood damage reduction channel combines both stormwater conveyance features and riparian habitat

The Willow Waterhole Prairie: A native coastal prairie restored and managed by the Stormwater Quality Department

Signage used in the Sensitive Habitat Maintenance program to exclude native habitats from frequent operations and maintenance

A family of black-bellied whistling ducks and a great blue heron take advantage of constructed stormwater treatment wetlands at Ranchstone Detention Basin

Showy blooms of Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata) established as part of constructed stormwater treatment wetlands in Brickhouse Gully Detention Basin