Stream Restoration: Applications for Watershed Conservation

Presentation by Steve Herrington, Director of Science and Impact Measures, The Nature Conservancy of Missouri

Steve Herrington will give a broad look at the power, potential and importance of stream restoration in our wild and urban landscapes.

Published: January 14, 2020

LaBarque Creek
Bioengineering stream restoration solutions at LaBarque Creek just south of St. Louis, MO. Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

From small streams in a suburban backyard to the largest rivers in the world, human impacts to streams and rivers often require restoration work to bring back natural ecological function.

Steve Herrington, the Director of Science and Impact Measures for the Nature Conservancy in Missouri, joined us to take a broad look at stream and river restoration work. He addressed what the benefits of this work are and why it is worth the expense and effort. He also explored the benefits of “bioengineering”, or looking beyond “piles of rock” bank stabilization to incorporating natural materials and processes and targeted revegetation.

As with all natural and engineered infrastructure, looking at anticipated future impacts of climate change, such as an increase of extreme weather and precipitation events, is also a crucial component of restoration efforts. Herrington and The Nature Conservancy also look to the services river ecosystems provide in reducing downstream harm from pollution, sediment and bed degradation.

Steve Herrington is the Director of Science and Impact Measures for The Nature Conservancy in Missouri. An aquatic ecologist with over twenty years’ experience in fish and stream ecology, Steve completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and doctoral degree at Auburn University in Alabama. Steve joined The Nature Conservancy in 2004 and currently directs all science actions in Missouri, as well as leads and collaborates on several large‐scale freshwater initiatives across the U.S., including dam removal and stream restoration, environmental flow development for water resource protection and allocation, and legal protection of priority freshwater habitats.

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Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

And a special tip of the hat to volunteer David Owens who has been doing the sound for the Speaker Series for several years.

Our thanks to Dave and the good people of MoRivCC who are video recording these presentations when possible.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.


The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.


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