The listing of several Pacific Northwest salmonid populations as threatened or endangered has elevated habitat protection to a primary requirement of all stream and river related engineering projects. The need to address aquatic habitat protection has led river scientists and engineers to modify conventional techniques and develop alternative methods to engineer solutions to infrastructure and public safety problems.
At WSE we see ourselves serving clients in projects that require advanced technical expertise in hydrology, hydraulics, fluvial geomorphology, sediment transport, and channel stability. Our approach to these projects is to identify the physical processes at the root of the problem and then use this understanding to design habitat enhancing, low maintenance, cost effective solutions that enhance the ongoing and future morphology of the aquatic system.
WSE staff have both led and provided significant technical input to many such projects, including the design of side channel reconnections, fish-passage culverts, bridge waterways, restored channels, bank protection measures using large woody debris and bio-engineering, enhanced sediment management concepts, and similar projects.
Some examples of our work in habitat enhancement
The Lones Turley levee reach of the Middle Green River has been identified by King County as one of its top high-value salmon recovery habitat restoration projects for potential implementation.
An existing CMP culvert which carries Lodge Creek under Via Kachess Road near Snoqualmie Pass was damaged during a spring flood in 2016.
King County's River and Floodplain Management Section retained WSE and Herrera Environmental Consultants to develop a Corridor Management Plan for the lower six miles of the Tolt River near Carnation, WA.
Kittitas County Public Works and partners seek to develop an integrated vision / plan to reduce flood hazards and improve habitat along a three mile reach of the Yakima River near Ellensburg, Washington.
The creeks that enter the Kittitas Valley near Ellensburg form a naturally complex system. Over 100 years of manipulation for irrigation, including canals, ditches, diversions, and returns, has increased the hydraulic complexity of the valley.
An earlier study for Grays Harbor County concluded that removing a revetment on WDFW-owned property could put Keys Road and other infrastructure at risk without addressing erosion problems of downstream landowners.
WSE was retained to provide hydraulic engineering services for three culvert replacements along the Upper Hoh River Road in Jefferson County, Washington.
The City of Bellingham completed design and construction of a mile long relocation of Squalicum Creek, coincident with designs for a regional rail trail along with a future major roadway connection.
The Kittitas County Conservation District (KCCD) led an investigation to develop a corridor plan to guide the implementation of habitat enhancement and flood hazard reduction actions along 13 miles of Manastash Creek, near Ellensburg, WA.
Jefferson County identified Andrews Creek culvert at MP 3.78 on Snow Creek Road as a barrier to fish passage.
Hart Crowser, under contract to the USDA Forest Service, is conducting a peer review of engineering analyses related to remedial design of the Holden Mine site in Eastern Washington.
Filbert Creek passes under SR-524 through a 14-foot wide, three-sided box culvert that was constructed in 2007.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife developed guidelines to help hydraulic engineers and geomorphologists design bridge crossings that will preserve aquatic habitat or minimize impact.
WSE was selected as part of the Anchor QEA study team to evaluate a broad range of options for flood hazard reduction in the Chehalis River basin.