Snakeden Branch Stream Restoration

The Situation

Located in suburban Washington, D.C., Reston has experienced the explosion of urbanization shared by the rest of the region. With increased development has come severe channel erosion, high rates of sediment deposition in lakes, and a decrease in overall water quality.

To help reverse the trend, the government of Reston asked GKY to develop a community watershed plan. Our analysis allowed us to identify several severely impacted areas as key potential project sites. The client then asked us to lead mitigation efforts for one of these sites, the headwaters of Snakeden Branch in the Difficult Run watershed.

The Solution

After conducting an assessment of Snakeden Branch, GKY used natural channel design techniques to determine planform and channel reconfiguration for stabilizing over 800 feet of stream and re-connecting the stream with its floodplain.

We proposed a combination of measures: in-stream rock structures, such as rock and cross vanes, as well as more “green” solutions, such as log vanes and coir biologs. We also provided a comprehensive planting plan and schedule. Once implemented, these measures work together to reduce continued bed and bank erosion and provide both short-term and long-term stabilization.

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