Ecological restoration and water resource solutions delivered by the RES team involve a specific land-based restorative activity. RES comprehensive turnkey ecological restoration supply beginswith project design and continues from build through project monitoring and ongoing stewardship. From ecological construction and stream restoration projects to shoreline plantings and stabilization, RES monitors and manages project sites through site preparation, hydrologic and soil manipulation, selective restorative vegetative plantings and invasive species control. Our environmental stewardship efforts have resulted in excellent survivorship rates and delivered outstanding ecological success.
Ecological Construction combines heavy construction operation with careful navigation ofenvironmentally sensitive areas. Delicate yet dynamic in nature, these projectsrequire a highlevel of implementation precision and knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, both of which arefound at RES.
More than any other ecological construction project, stream restoration demands precision. Construction must be exact in every detail to meet the natural challenges of stream channel movement, persistent erosive forces, and periodic flooding. Given an incorrect angle, a rock vane can increase a stream’s erosive effects upon the opposite bank, while too much of a gap between stones in a flow control structure can result in its degradation and collapse.
For stream restoration projects, RES applies both Rosgen natural channel design and floodplain approaches, rigorous oversight, and years of experience to achieve precise results. In addition, because we own small and more maneuverable equipment, we are able to preserve as much existing forest as possible within a stream corridor. These machines also have smaller buckets and arms to increase the degree of our precision during installation. These lighter machines allow us to reduce overall impact to stream corridors, while crossing streams easily on temporary bridges.
The use of Low Impact Development (LID) design is increasing significantly across the country.LID seeks to manage stormwater by maintaining or restoring natural hydrologic function onsite. More and more often, developers are required to include LID features in their projects, yet potential complications such as expensive retrofits or dead biofilters have earned these projects a negative reputation. The RES team has over 17 years of experience constructing LID projects that really work.
RES LID projects have ranged in size and scope from small, urban projects to expansive commercial facilities. We have the knowledge to correctly install complex designs, including those involving level spreaders, under-drain systems, observation wells, and cleanouts. We collaborate extensively with other designers to optimize their plans,ensuring lasting integrity and minimal maintenance costs. We also renovate LID facilities that have been installed incorrectly by contractors without proper experience.
RES builds and maintains ponds, lakes, and dams to combine healthy plant and animal habitats with natural beauty. Our construction teams, along with our in-house designers and fisheries biologists, know how to provide the delicate, behind-the-scenes care to maximize a pond or lake’s structural function, recreation potential, and aesthetic appeal.
Coastal shoreline is under constant attack by erosive forces, from tides and wave activity to harsh storms, including hurricanes. Shoreline preservation requires careful maintenance and design, along with an understanding of how to work in delicate habitats during changing tidal conditions.
RES’s construction team understands the physical components of aquatic habitats and the effects of erosion. We focus on points where our structures tie in with the existing grade and ensure that structures are built and anchored for integrity in the roughest conditions. Our experience also includes living-shoreline techniques, and we work with a number of different stabilization materials and manufactured shoreline products.
Anacostia River Northwest Branch Phase 1: Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration
Under contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District, RES restored over 5,000 linear feet of stream channel on three individual stream reaches in the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River watershed. Overall construction activities included clearing and grubbing, site grading utilizing excavators and bulldozers, installation of wood and stone in-stream grade control structures, creation of pocket wetland features, and final stabilization.
Anacostia River Northwest Branch Phase 2: Bank Stabilization
After completing approximately 5,000LF of stream restoration on the Upper Northwest Branch of the Anacostia in 2011 for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), RES was selected to complete Phase II of the project in late 2012. During 2013, RES completed the restoration of approximately 8,000LF of stream channel on three sites in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, MD. Sites included Batchelors Run Phase 1 and 2 (Phase 2 was on a golf course), Woodlawn, and Sherwood. Each site was completed on time and within budget. Tasks included installation of mulch access roads, log structures, stone structures, and riffle grade structures. Installed wood structures included log toe protection, log j-vanes, log meander bends, live stakes, and root wads. Rock vanes, rock toe protection, and stone sills were installed as well. RES performed all bank grading and excavation and oversaw planting efforts by an MBE firm. Live fascines were installed to initiate bank stabilization on the golf course.
Blackjack Wetland Bank
The Blackjack Mitigation Bank provided a unique challenge to create/restore 57 acres of headwater wetlands that were hydrologically independent of any major stream or floodplain. RESprovided “turn-key” services for the Virginia mitigation bank, including site feasibility assessments, bank approval, design of hydrology and construction plans, environmental and county site plan permitting, the actual construction/restoration of the wetlands, and success-criteria monitoring and ongoing maintenance.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge: Bank Stabilization
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) commissioned RES to restore and enhance a degraded dike located at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Significant erosion was evident along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, which was bordered by “Wildlife Drive,” a scenic roadway used by visitors. To safeguard the bank from further erosion and maintain the integrity of the roadway, RES installed riprap, coir fiber logs, Spartina plantings, and a native seed mixture to stabilize the main façade of the dike facing the Chesapeake Bay.
Booze Creek Stream Restoration
Working under an on-call contract with Montgomery County, MD, RES restored approximately 3,640LF of Booze Creek, which is located on lands owned by Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). The project required extensive bank grading and fill operations, along with the installation of over 2,500 linear feet of access roads and multiple stream crossing bridges. Restoration features installed by RES included cross vanes, j-hooks, riffle grade control structures, and soil wraps. Utilizing E&S inspections from its Stormwater Division, RES provided National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) inspections to ensure client compliance with stormwater regulations. Upon completion of restoration activities, all disturbed areas were seeded, matted, and replanted with trees, shrubs, and livestakes.
Cow Branch Stream Restoration
RES provided construction services to Prince William County for the restoration of 1,000LF of Cow Branch, an upper coastal plain stream in an urban watershed, which had become extremely degraded with increasing urban development. The purpose of this project is to improve water quality and habitat along a degraded reach of Cow Branch between Opitz Blvd. and Mellott Road.
Dover Air Force Base Shoreline Stabilization
In response to significant bank erosion and fears of a wash-out along the St. Jones River, RES performed a shoreline stabilization within a residential sector of the Dover, DE United States Air Force Base. Three distinct segments of the shoreline were fortified by RES, who coordinated regularly with military officials for acceptable scheduling and implementation strategy. In total, this shoreline stabilization required class one rip-rap revetment, 604 live stakes, and 2800 brush bundles, cumulating in 565 linear feet of soil lifts with coir matting.
Locust Shade Stream Restoration
As the first project in the Prince William Environmental Bank (PWEB), RES completed the design and construction of 5,160 LF of stream restoration at Locust Shade Park. This stream restoration is the first project in a Public-Private Partnership between Prince William County, VA and RES to restore, enhance, and preserve approximately 147,000 linear feet– well over 20 miles – of stream on almost 2,000 acres of public park land. All ecological design, permitting, planning, and construction associated with the PWEB are being implemented by RES.
Miller Farm Wetland Grading
Miller Farm is one of three wetland mitigation bank sites included in the Northern Virginia Regional Environmental Bank (NVREB), owned and operated by RES. The Miller Farm Wetland Bank Site is comprised of over 18 acres of mixed palustrine forested (PFO) and emergent (PEM) wetland habitat situated within the floodplain of Town Run. Historically, the spring fed surface hydrology within the project area was drained with agricultural ditching and drainage tile to increase cattle pasture. These agricultural practices were neutralized as part of the wetland design, which incorporated low profile surface berms to capture the surface hydrology. Existing vegetation was preserved where appropriate to increase seed sources and the entire wetland was replanted with woody vegetation after construction. All wetland design and construction was performed by RES, who continues to monitor and maintain the site for ecological success.
Mitigation & Nutrient Bank Monitoring
For the past 15 years, RES has maintained a substantial, and growing, mitigation monitoring and maintenance workload. We have garnered design and permitting approvals for each of our internal wetland and stream mitigation banks (11), as well as 58 outside development projects that required mitigation. In the process, we have developed an excellent rapport with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and other Interagency Review Team (IRT) member agencies. Based on this extensive experience, RES has an intimate understanding of the stringent success criteria that compensation projects must adhere to and the extensive monitoring and maintenance requirements that are involved to ensure project success.
Paint Branch Stream Restoration
RES provided all construction services required to restore roughly 1,800 LF of Paint Branch stream in College Park, MD for the Baltimore District of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In addition to this segment, damage from Hurricane Sandy necessitated significant repairs on a previously restored, adjacent channel spanning 4,250 LF. RES performed repairs on this reach as well. This project was co-funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers – Baltimore District and Prince Georges County, MD as part of a watershed-wide effort to improve fish passage and water quality.
Peters Farm Wetland Bank
Peters Farm is one of three wetland mitigation bank sites included in the Northern Virginia Regional Environmental Bank (NVREB), owned and operated by RES. Peters Farm was developed in two phases to create over 26 acres of mixed palustrine forested (PFO), shrub (PSS), and emergent (PEM) wetland habitat. Historically, the bottomland area was drained with agricultural ditching and drainage tile to increase cattle pasture, and these agricultural practices were neutralized as part of the wetland design. After completing all design, permitting, and construction of the Peters Farm wetland bank site, RES continues to monitor and maintain the site for ecological success.
Stansbury Park Living Shoreline
The shoreline at Stansbury had eroded to the point that it was undercutting a walking path between a pond and Lynch Cove. In response, Baltimore County designed a living shoreline to control erosion and stabilize the shoreline. RES constructed two 48-foot long by 10-foot wide sand containment groins, one 52-foot long by 28-foot wide stone outlet swale containment structure, and filling/grading along 320 feet of eroding shoreline with 1,300 cubic yards of clean sand. Other tasks performed by RES included managing a subcontractor (Waters Edge Nursery) to plant 6,980 square feet of marsh vegetation, including 1,400 square feet of Spartina alterniflora and 5,570 square feet of Spartina patens, all within 48 feet channelward of the mean high water line.
Many parts of Louisiana are losing wetlands at an alarming rate of 3.9 square miles per year. In Louisiana, RES is a leader in supply of wetland offsets. We deliver offset solutions for large project sites and linear projects, including those crossing regulatory jurisdictions. RES works closely with landowners to supply ecological offsets to permittees operating in and transporting from the Haynesville Shale to waiting markets. From wetland mitigation banks to custom, turnkey sites, our proactive approach helps permittees reserve project mitigation before permitting, leading to timely permits, reduced operational risk and lower mitigation costs.
In South Carolina, RES provides wetland, stream, and endangered species solutions.
North Carolina is home to more than 40 different types of wetlands—including saltwater, brackish tidal, and freshwater wetlands. As such, North Carolina has established many programs to protect riparian buffers and reduce nutrients. RES was one of the earliest ecological offset providers to work in North Carolina.
Since its explosive growth in the 1940s, Maryland lost approximately 60,000 acres of ecologically diverse wetlands. RES works with the Maryland Department of the Environment among other state and federal agencies to restore, recreate, and enhance these lost wetlands.
RES was the first to offer commercial off-the-shelf offset solutions for stream crossing and wetland impacts throughout Pennsylvania. In addition to supplying the first mitigation-banking instrument approved in Pennsylvania, RES launched a statewide instrument that streamlines approvals of additional locations as mitigation banking sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Largely dominated by the Appalachian Mountains, the biggest challenge in West Virginia is supporting economic growth while mitigating impact to one of the most biologically diverse mountain ecosystems on the continent. We provide proactive, innovative stream mitigation solutions for operators and developers to obtain permits from multiple state and federal regulatory agencies.
In Texas, RES supplies offset solutions for projects along the East Texas Corridor, where hydrocarbons are delivered to processing plants in Pasadena, Baytown, Mont Belvieu, Beaumont and Port Arthur. In northeast Texas, RES supplies mitigation solutions for development of interstate oil pipelines, residential communities, oilfields, and highway and water reservoir projects.