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Abstract: Session D  4:20 pm (Back to Session D)
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Naturalized Stabilization Measures and Their Effectiveness

Wade Burcham
Integrated Science & Engineering
Savannah, Georgia

Several naturalized stabilization measures have been constructed to restore severely eroded tributaries in Alabama.  These projects represent implementation of management measures recommended in a comprehensive watershed management plan (WMP) developed for the area and were supported wholly or in part by Mobile Bay National Estuary Program as part of a grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

The objective these systems were convert and dissipate, through storage pools and sand seepage filters, and other measures surface storm flow to shallow groundwater flow and reduce total suspended sediment.  Step Pool Storm Conveyance Systems were used predominately and are typically comprised of a series of shallow aquatic pools, riffle grade control, native vegetation, and an underlying sand/organic filter bed media.  An SPSC system is intended not only to provide a stable drainage pathway for higher flows, but to attenuate and/or retain lesser flows and facilitate water quality treatment.  SPSC systems have been used in other parts of the country.  Notably, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, there have been several applications spanning over a decade, and the County has developed specific design guidelines for their construction.

This presentation will discuss the engineering design and construction of the naturalized stabilization measures in Alabama.  Participants will be presented with information to identify when and why these systems may be an effective measure to stabilize and enhance hydrologic systems.  Post-construction stormwater monitoring as performed by the Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA) will be discussed, along with “lessons learned”.