IECA Region One Announces 2019 Presenters of the Year
Denver, Colo – The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Region One is proud to announce 2019 Presenters of the Year Jason Lederer, CPESC, LEED AP and Troy Thompson, MS, PE for their session Turning the River Right-Side-Up – Restoring the Swan River After a Century of Mining Impacts.
The session describes the first phase of restoration work on the Swan River Restoration Project near Breckenridge, Colorado. The Swan River Valley endured dredge boat mining in the early 1900’s that left the valley bottom void of natural resources. The project the session is based on focuses on showcasing techniques to reclaim and naturalize a severely mine-scared landscape to a geomorphologically appropriate channel, floodplain, riparian fringe and upland corridor.
“Due to the impacts of historic placer mining Swan River through the project reach had been flowing subsurface for the last 100 years. A major portion of the field evaluation prior to the project focused on defining the elevation for the restored river to ensure that groundwater would flow in, creating a live river above ground.,” explained Thompson who lead the design/build efforts of the project. “The most exciting moment of the project for me was after the initial channel excavation was completed and being able to see this underground river return to the surface.”
The project objectives focused on utilizing natural stream design principles, materials and techniques to provide opportunities for temporal geomorphologic adjustment, as would have occurred in the pre-mining landscape. The restored Swan River valley bottom will serve as public open space providing recreational opportunities as well as provide critical habitat for a myriad of aquatic and terrestrial species.
“Colorado River cutthroat trout and molted sculpin, a small native fish species that are an important indicator of stream health are recovering well,” stated Lederer who works for Summit County Open Space and Trails. “Because the restoration project constructed an entirely new channel, the recently conducted fishery survey tell us that all fish occupying the restoration reach had to be migrants from either upstream or down-stream. The three sculpin that were documented during our survey migrated from downstream because the species is not known to occur upstream of the restored channel in the Swan River drainages. We are hopeful that future surveys will document increasing numbers proportionate with the numbers we have found below the restoration area.”
Work continues on the multi-year restoration effort. When completed the project will restore continuity to three tributaries and over seventeen miles of the Swan River in Colorado.
The award for the 2019 Presenters of the Year will be presented during the 2020 IECA Annual Conference and Expo in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit, member organization that provides education, resource information and business opportunities for professionals who specialize in natural resource protection. For more information about IECA, please visit ieca.org.