While the use of natural materials is the preferred method of Coastal Hydrology, our hybridized treatment, incorporating elements of both natural and hardened structures, has proven successful in preventing erosion in higher energy systems while maintaining the environmental benefits often lost with stone revetments or seawalls. In such cases, geotextile containers, filled with sand on-site, are placed to control erosion, and are unique in that a composite layer surrounds the container, trapping sand and providing a suitable foundation by which seagrasses and shoreline vegetation may securely take root. Coastal Hydrology has recently teamed with Little Environments of Raleigh, North Carolina to further the use of geotextile containers in coastal erosion protection, restoration, and enhancement with the Waterways to Reefs Initiative, an initiative that is combining both companies experiences and expertise to utilize common spoils, such as from dredging and other coastal civil projects, and converting them into artificially stabilized natural reefs. With this initiative, Coastal Hydrology and Little Environments are able to offer municipalities and states more economical options for dealing with the waste their waterway activities generate while promoting marine production and reef enhancement. The Waterways to Reefs Initiative was recently featured in Geosynthetica magazine (http://www.geosynthetica.net/waterways-to-reefs-initiative/) and our official initiative flyer may be downloaded.
Coastal Hydrology developed and refined these methodologies based on extensive field experience. General habitat evaluations are performed on watershed stream segments with visual evidence of impairment observed from on-the-ground and aerial interpretation surveys. Often, identification of water quality threats included active bank erosion, sediment deposition and degradation (i.e., stream channel departure from stable state), compromised riparian zone, channel alteration, floodplain connectivity, road crossings (i.e., unpaved and paved), fish passage (i.e., dams and culverts), stormwater conduits, build out density and other potential non-point source pollution sources.
Coastal Hydrology, Inc. built its professional platform on field and scientific research experience surrounding all aspects of aquatic resources. A holistic approach to watershed management planning, which includes rigorous knowledge of the physical, chemical and biological interrelated attributes, is the cornerstone of successful long-term projects. This is the foundation of Coastal Hydrology’s approach to resource management and our continued excellence in partnership development with entities interested in healthy ecosystems. Coastal Hydrology’s ability to construct restoration projects with the concept of design/build capacity is a beneficial streamlining process for our clientele. With direct management of full project implementation, the ability to be adaptive and creative in restoring fish and wildlife habitat is infinite. Coastal Hydrology, Inc. provides full scale site construction for stream and wetland related projects in the southeastern United States. We construct both small and large scale restoration and enhancement projects with extensive experience in mimicing natural stream function and tendencies. Coastal Hydrology, Inc. provides design-build services for turn key projects which reduces project budget costs and seamless design implemenation. We are also a Licensed Contractor in the State of Alabama.
Coastal Hydrology has become a leader in advocacy and implementing natural shoreline treatments for erosion control, providing landowners the dual roles of long-term shoreline protection AND environmental stewardship. In contrast to hardened structures such as stone revetments or seawalls that offer no benefit beyond erosion control, are aesthetically displeasing, and have a limited lifespan, our natural shoreline treatments provide permanent solutions to coastal erosion, enhance and/or restore the vegetated shoreline habitat, and preserve the natural connection between marine and upland ecosystems. Treatments typically entail re-grading of the shoreline slope, re-planting of coastal vegetation, and natural materials such as large woody debris, oyster shells, or fiber logs strategically placed to dissipate the impact of erosive processes such as tidal or wave action.
Coastal Hydrology has been involved with several watershed assessments, water quality threats inventories and in developing management planning tools for waterbodies in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The purpose of these assessments and inventories were to identify impacted stream segments (i.e., threats to aquatic habitat and channel stability) in order to assign priority ranking for further evaluation and lead to the development of potential restoration scenarios using best management practices (BMPs). These assessment and planning tools are not limited to aquatic habitat analysis but extend to the surrounding landscape influences in the watershed that affect both hydrological and biological interactions.
Whether considering small projects in urban settings or larger scale endeavors in rural areas, Coastal Hydrology, Inc. offers expertise in natural channel engineering techniques. Natural channel engineering techniques were adopted by Coastal Hydrology, Inc. as the preferred methodology for assessing stream impacts and restoring stream habitats. The natural channel concept is based on applied fluvial geomorphology principles, which seek to mimic nature’s stream patterns as blueprints for restoration.
Typically, watershed projects consist of single objective methodologies that do not successfully restore complicated watershed functions. However, using a multi-objective approach that is consistent with natural, stable conditions is achievable by incorporating habitat, hydrology, floodplain, and wetland function for restoration purposes. Coastal Hydrology, Inc. promotes healthy natural resources and can offer both public and private sectors successful natural resource management tools along the Gulf coast and throughout the Southeast region.