Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank

Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. restored 11 miles of streambank using natural channel design techniques, resulting in the first dedicated stream bank in Virginia.

Project Narrative:

Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank (NVSRB) was the first dedicated stream bank in Virginia and is comprised of approximately 11 miles of restored streams, that were restored using a phased construction approach that began in February 2008.

The streams have been restored through the use of natural channel design (NCD) techniques that include raising the bed to reconnect higher storm flows with the floodplain. Design flow rates were developed through assessment of various design protocols, including hydrologic modeling using HEC-HMS. Hydraulic performance of the restoration designs were confirmed using HEC-RAS.

Some reaches have completed their 10th growing season – and all reaches have met (and exceeded) monitoring requirements.

Reach 12 of Snakeden Branch - Reston, Virginia

Before restoration, erosion of this urban stream's bed and banks exposed buried utility lines, damaged adjacent walking trails, and exposed tree roots, causing healthy trees to topple.

1.5 Years After Restoration Construction

During restoration construction, the stream bed was raised to reconnect with the floodplain. Placement of rock structures directs flow away from channel banks and creates riffles and pools.

Five Years After Restoration Construction

The stream ecosystem is healthy and the riparian vegetation is abundant and flourishing. The restored stream system is a community asset. 

>> Learn more about the WSSI team’s work

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