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A Framework for Stream Corridor Restoration (000091)


Natural resource planners, specialists and soil scientists will learn how to integrate stream corridor processes, dynamics and restoration principles into their local conservation work.  This introductory course provides the student with the ability to understand the physical and biological processes, structure, and functions forming stream corridor systems including river valleys and head waters.  The course focuses on the initial steps of the NRCS Conservation Planning Process (Collection and Analysis phase, steps one through four) as it pertains to stream corridor restoration. It provides students with tools for characterizing and analyzing stream corridor conditions to identify problems, develop and define objectives, and develop conceptual stream corridor restoration goals and objectives.  The scope includes active channels, floodplains, riverine wetlands, riparian areas, and all other elements of a typical watershed. The class objective is accomplished through a balance of classroom lecture, discussion, and hands-on in class and field exercises.  The primary publication used in this course is Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices (National Engineering Handbook, Part 653) and the NRCS Soil Survey.  


Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and explain stream corridor issues and opportunities as part of the NRCS conservation mission, programs, and policy; 
  • Facilitate cooperative planning between soil scientists, engineers, and ecologists; 
  • Describe the basic characteristics of a stream corridor, the processes that shape it, and natural and human-induced disturbances that can influence its condition and the functions it provides;
    • Summarize key steps in forming plans for stream corridors.
    • Describe how to apply the stream corridor principles, tools and practices on the job.
  • Select appropriate tools to characterize and analyze stream corridor condition.  Be able to interpret the output from the tools;
  • Identify and describe the required characteristics of a successful plan;
  • Identify dominant processes and functions that contribute to the problem or are goals for restoration; 
  • Assure that goals and any associated objectives are understandable, measurable, specific and achievable. Be able to define the measurable objectives as they relate to an increase or decrease of a certain function. Define the successful restoration in terms of the goals and relate this to positive changes in stream corridor functions; and 
  • Describe approaches to restoration in terms of progressive levels from passive to active. Describe similar categories of management, practices and techniques based on their function.


There is no prerequisite for this keystone course, however it is recommended that trainees have a good working knowledge of NRCS Conservation Planning process. 


4 days

Target Audience

There are no limitations based on course content. Target audience are NRCS employees looking for an introductory course on streams, wetlands and riparian areas. 

NEDC Contact

Training Specialist
PH: (620)431-6180

Technical Specialist

Civil Engineer
Design Engineer

Course Advocate 

national Water Quality Specialist