2019-2020: In collaboration with personnel of Trout Unlimited (TU), and local consultants, the student team researched current river restoration practices and designed remediation measures for several sites along a one-mile reach of the West Branch North River in Heath, MA. TU had recently partnered with the Franklin Land Trust to acquire the land surrounding this stretch of the river, which is considered to be an essential component of the eastern brook trout’s habitat. The damage to the river was a result of Hurricane Irene.
Using land surveying techniques and aerial drone surveys, the team identified ten sites along the mile stretch of river that had clearly been impacted by Irene. For each of the ten sites, the team designed remediation measures utilizing only logs, rocks and boulders, and plants available in the land adjacent to the river. Essential elements of some of the designs were modeled numerically to better understand potential effect(s) on river flow. Construction drawings and specifications were developed for three of the ten sites. The team also started the process of checking the compliance of their designs with local, state and federal regulations.