Stream Restoration

At SAWIG, stream restoration begins with surveys that involve in-depth assessments of the stream's current state. These surveys include water quality analyses, habitat assessments, and biodiversity surveys to identify native and invasive species. Recognizing the significance of these findings, we develop a restoration plan that outlines specific goals and strategies.

To enhance stream structure and flow, we selectively remove woody debris, carefully considering its ecological importance and habitat value. We also implement various management techniques, such as brush mats, which helps to stabilize streambanks and prevent erosion. A crucial part of our restoration efforts involves strategic riparian zone planting, using native plants to promote biodiversity and create resilient ecosystems.

Stream restoration is a long-term commitment, so we plan for years of dedicated work, involving ongoing monitoring, adaptive management, and active community participation to ensure the sustained health and vitality of our watersheds. 

Post Hurricane Fiona Restoration

In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, our stream restoration priorities have undergone a shift towards mitigating the impact of excess woody materials on stream ecosystems. The aftermath of the hurricane has left a substantial amount of dead and downed wood (logs, uprooted stumps, snags, large branches, all in various stages of decomposition) within our waterways.

Removing excess woody debris in our watercourses will help to maintain natural bank meandering and ensure fish passage. By addressing these issues, we hope to not only enhance the ecological health of the streams but also contribute to the overall resilience of aquatic habitats impacted by Hurricane Fiona. 


A brush mat, brush layer or brush mattress, is a structure created from natural materials. By bundling and securing branches, twigs, and other woody vegetation and bundled together and secured to the inside bend of streams (also known as point bars) where sediment naturally deposits. Brush mats have a number of ecological benefits.

Stabilizing Streambanks & Erosion Control:

Natural Filtration & Sediment Retention:

Vegetation Establishment:

Brush mats are often used in combination with other erosion control and stream restoration techniques as part of a integrated approach to ecosystem rehabilitation. Their implementation is tailored to the specific needs and conditions of the stream and its surroundings.