Northwest Land & Water, Inc.

water resource solutions for people and the environment

Our Services: Stream & Habitat Restoration

NLW offers services for stream and habitat restoration projects requiring an understanding of hydraulic systems. Adequate, high-quality water supplies are needed to support fish and other aquatic life; unfortunately, their habitat has been compromised in many areas because of land use practices. We work with clients to identify impacts to streams and to develop strategies for restoring flows.


Client: Montgomery Water Group

Location: King County, Washington

Restoration activities for this project included realigning the channel of Meridian Valley Creek, which drains into Big Soos Creek via a concrete flume. As part of the proposed realignment and channel design, Jim characterized soil and shallow groundwater conditions in the project vicinity — in particular, the expected surface water-groundwater interactions. Work included:

  • Drilling / logging 15 boreholes, completing 12 shallow wells, and monitoring seasonal surface and water levels
  • Measuring soil permeability (in situ)
  • Evaluating soil and water data to estimate expected flow gains and losses along the proposed creek
  • Assessing the effect of the proposed creek on wetland hydrology
  • Recommending a design for the creek

Client: City of Kent
Location: King County, Washington

Restoration activities for the Lake Meridian outlet area include realigning the lake outflow through a forested area to improve fish habitat. The current outlet, Cow Creek, flows through a series of wetland detention basins within a highly developed commercial / residential neighborhood.

NLW supervised a six-person Washington Conservation Corps crew, who worked together to characterize the soil and shallow groundwater and construct piezometers. We drilled and logged soil boreholes, installed 14 piezometers in upland and wetland soils, and measured surface water and groundwater levels.

Client: Local landowner

Location: Snohomish County, Washington

Blue Slough, a former side channel of the North Fork Stillaguamish River, is an ideal area for restoring habitat for salmon and steelhead. NLW examined site features and hydrologic conditions to assess the feasibility of reconnecting the slough with the river. The success of these measures depended on many factors; however, water needed to be available in sufficient quantities to flow to the through the culvert. NLW's work on this project included:

  • Investigating the status of water rights in the area
  • Constructing hydrogeologic cross sections to conceptualize subsurface flow to Blue Slough
  • Compiling and analyzing water level data to assess the relationship between slough water levels, groundwater, and river stage
  • Helping the landowner write grant applications for a sediment removal project

Blue Slough