Before stream restoration After stream restoration

Our green works aren’t confined to stormwater infrastructure such as tree trenches and rain gardens. PWD’s Office of Watersheds recognizes the need to preserve and restore our remaining streams to ensure a high-quality water supply and provide a healthy environment for recreation and wildlife.

Last year, a 2,200-foot stretch of Tacony Creek just south of Roosevelt Boulevard was given a natural makeover. Like many urban streams, the Tacony is “flashy”—large volumes of stormwater runoff quickly enter the creek and erode its banks—and suffers from a degraded habitat for fish and other aquatic life. Trash and abandoned automobiles littered the creek banks, which were being overtaken by Japanese knotweed, an invasive bamboo-like plant species.

The Ecological Restoration Unit designed a plan to remove abandoned railroad abutments and stabilize the banks with specially placed stones and the planting of more than 3,000 new trees and shrubs. Rock vane structures were placed at bends in the stream and boulder clusters were placed in the stream center; both redirect flows and improve habitat for aquatic life.

As a result, this portion of the Tacony is not only healthier and more attractive, but the creek’s restoration also saves taxpayers money when compared to traditional structural solutions.

Learn more about degraded waterways and PWD’s other restoration projects.