Streams provide the citizens of Ohio with numerous benefits from our natural surface water systems including drinking water, industrial uses, flood attenuation, navigation and recreation. The stream management and morphology program builds awareness by providing comments on projects proposing to relocate streams for development and/or those proposing to restore streams, using scientific assessments of the ecological services that can be enhanced by maximizing morphology of the channel and its relation to site conditions. Technical assistance is provided, depending on the complexity of the request, either by review of proposed plans, phone calls or site visits.
Environmental, Economic and Public Importance
Streams are naturally self-purifying. Human disturbance can diminish a stream’s cleansing capacity; however, the morphology of human-impacted streams can be managed and enhanced to make them a very economical element of pollution control. Stream restoration work can be very costly, but DSWR staff have been successful in adapting restoration techniques for economical implementation in Ohio.
The benefits of healthy streams include clean water, reduced flooding, reduced streambank erosion, reduced river and reservoir sedimentation, and lowered infrastructure costs. Citizens pay for additional chemical treatment to remove sediment to make water drinkable and for channel and harbor dredging to remove excess sediment which occurs when streams are out of equilibrium and not able to provide “cleansing” services.
- Provided the technical framework for Ohio EPA’s draft Clean Water Act, Section 401 stream mitigation rules (2010).
- Produced a report, “A Functional Assessment of Stream Restoration in Ohio”, based on an evaluation of 54 restoration projects completed in first 10 years of regulation (12/2010).
- Monitored self-forming channel projects
- Tracked stream mitigation projects
- Completed environmental review of 350 development projects