Urban Riparian Symposium Workshops on Feb 15th

Wimberley walking in Trees picture

The Urban Riparian Symposium, set for February 15-17, 2017, provides an opportunity for natural resource professionals to share ideas, discuss management and policy issues, lessons learned in urban riparian and stream planning, assessment, design, construction, and evaluation. The symposium will include presentations, panel discussions, receptions and pre-conference workshops/field tours.

Pre-conference workshops on Wednesday February 15, 2017. Workshops 1 and 2 are $25 and are offered concurrently from 9:00 – 4:30, while workshop 3 is $20 and will be held over lunch hour (12:00-4:30 PM). These workshops include a combined outdoor field trip to stream restoration sites on tributary to Big Gulch, Big Gulch, and Greens Bayou. The field portion will be in the afternoon from 1:30-4:30 PM. Costs of $20-25 will include a boxed lunch, materials, and field trip transportation to afternoon field location.

Field Trip Site:

The restoration and biostabilization of Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) Unit # P107-03-00, a tributary of Big Gulch, is located northeast of downtown Houston in the Greens Bayou watershed, adjacent to Jim and Joann Fonteno Family Park and Tice Elementary School/Cunningham Middle School. Constructed to receive stormwater runoff from storm sewer drainage, the channel severely eroded the tributary’s streambanks and channel bottom, causing trees to collapse and deposit an excessive amount of sediment in the channel. The erosion impacted the adjacent public properties and prevented maintenance access. Tree loss and sedimentation adversely impact flooding, in addition to reducing water quality and aquatic habitat.
The overall goal of the project was to restore and stabilize the streambanks and channel bottom using natural channel design techniques, while introducing water quality enhancement features to improve stormwater quality and to protect aquatic habitat. The streambanks were re-vegetated with a blend of wildflowers and grasses. Wetland plugs, live stakes, and native woody trees were also planted to help stabilize the channel bottom and riparian zones. Project construction was completed in December 2015, and the tributary is being re-vegetated in phases, with the latest phase implemented in January 2017.

Workshop Table URS17

Three workshops are available including:

1. Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology 101

Urban channel systems experience altered flow and runoff conditions in contrast to less developed watershed systems.  Therefore, urban channels present unique challenges and opportunities to manage and maintain stability while promoting natural stream functions.  This workshop will cover the basics of watershed hydrology, including rainfall and runoff patterns, and how flows shape channels, also known as fluvial geomorphology.  The instructors will include discussions on channel erosion, sediment transport, channel evolution, basic hydraulics, regional curves, and natural channel design tools using local and regional examples.

Cory Stull, P.E., C.F.M., Freese & Nichols, Inc.
Brett Jordan, Ph.D., P.E., CPESC, HydroGeo Designs, LLC
Lee W. Forbes, P.E., D.WRE, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Inc.

2. Riparian Vegetation ID and Function

Instructors: Steve Nelle, Kenneth Mayben, and Ricky Linex. This workshop will cover how to use wetland indicators, stability ratings, and plant communities to help design restoration projects that provide stability for the system based on local objectives.

3. Working with Stakeholders and Communities – Techniques for Engagement

Instructors: Katie Coyne and Eric Leshinsky, Asakura Robinson Company. This workshop will address the importance of community engagement in successful implementation of environmental projects. Case studies in the Houston area will be used to outline a path to successful community dialogue and how to better connect communities to environmental systems while also promoting optimal ecological and economic performance.

Parking Options for Wednesday:
The BRC has a three-level underground garage. The rate for the BRC Garage is $1 per 12 minutes, $11 daily maximum or you may select to pre-purchase validated parking during conference registration — This option is at a reduced rate of $7.50 daily, please select each day needed. If staying at Best Western that is only 3 blocks away you can walk and utilize their complimentary parking during the conference. For additional transportation options please check our Website.