The Washington Region’s Nason Creek Upper White Pine River Restoration Project recently received a 2022 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The project earned an ACEC National Silver Award in the Water Resources category. The award was accepted by GBI’s project partner, Inter-Fluve, an engineering firm that specializes in the design and restoration of rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands.
Sponsored by ACEC’s Washington chapter, the annual Engineering Excellence Awards program recognizes projects that represent a range of engineering achievements and demonstrate a high degree of skill and ingenuity. The Nason Creek Upper White Pine River Restoration Project certainly fits the description. Completed in 2018, the two-phase project required some innovative engineering to increase the quantity and quality of fish habitat within the creek.
Located near Leavenworth, Washington, Nason Creek is home to endangered fish species like Chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. There are railroad tracks that run alongside the creek, roughly 30 feet from the riverbank. The Nason Creek Upper White Pine River Restoration Project accomplished two goals: It realigned the creek away from the train tracks and added a meandering portion to provide additional fish habitat.
GBI’s work on the first phase began in July of 2017 and ended in October of 2017. The second and final phase began in July of 2017 and was completed in August of 2018. GBI’s scope of work included, and was not limited to, excavating and stockpiling material to create a new channel alignment, placing and grading stream bedding aggregate, lining the banks of the new channel with logs and whole trees to prevent erosion, and installing log piles to complete the bank structures. Additionally, for the second phase of the project, GBI constructed a temporary bridge over the active new channel so material and equipment could be safely transported from one side to the other. When the work was completed, a crane was used to remove the bridge.
“It’s gratifying to know that the work we’ve done is being recognized,” said GBI Washington Region Senior Manager Ron Jordan. “It was a great team effort, and we are very proud of what we accomplished.”
The Nason Creek Upper White Pine River Restoration Project was one of 27 projects honored by the ACEC Washington chapter this year. Congratulations to GBI’s Washington Region for this well-deserved recognition!
Previous reports document impacts to riparian and streambank condition, channel function, floodplain connectivity, water quality, habitat diversity, and removal of large woody material as factors that have contributed to habitat degradation in Nason Creek (Andonaegui 2001; UCSRB 2007; UCRTT 2008; USBR 2008; USBR 2009). These conditions will persist into the future and are likely to continue to affect ESA-listed species if no action is taken to reverse these impacts. This restoration plan develops goals, measurable objectives, and actions that can be carried forward to improve the habitat conditions in Nason Creek. Further, the restoration plan will assist in working toward meeting tributary habitat commitments contained in the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (NMFS 2008).
Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and its partners are collaborating to develop a sequenced, reach-scale restoration approach on Nason Creek to restore salmonid habitat. This restoration plan focuses on the Upper White Pine Reach of Nason Creek.
Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service and Chelan