Stream realignment, sometimes referred to as channel modification, has wielded a big hand in the development of Canada, just as it has in other countries worldwide. In certain cases, land drainage has been required in order to transform swampland into revitalized communities.

Streams that are crucial to our environment can often produce dangerous flood waters. Channel realignment can reduce the velocity of these streams, reducing risk from flooding, without disrupting its flow. The local community will benefit from the increased public land. This new space provides more recreational ground for gardens, parks, bicycle routes, and sport arenas. Stream realignment has also proved a frequent requirement to allow the highway department to create right-of-ways and bridge crossings too

Maintaining the Natural Balance

During the process of stream realignment the following aspects of a reach may be changed:

• Channel hydraulics
• Water quality
• Aesthetics
• Channel shape, width, depth and direction
• Erosion of sediment
• Habitat of aquatic creatures

Fortunately, many of the negative effects caused by stream realignment can be circumvented without having to change the original plan. All it takes is the dedicated use of guidelines for channel design which do not upset the natural balance that streams create for themselves. Among these guidelines are those listed below:

• Doing as little channel reshaping as possible
• Doing as little straightening as is possible
• Allowing trees to remain in place for bank stability

With proper stream realignment planning, construction and maintenance, Geoscape reduces the probability of negative impacts towards the environment.

While improving the flow of the stream, steps are taken in environmental restoration and native habitat regeneration. Native species of plant life are grown from local nurseries by expert horticulturists, lowering delivery emission with more control over the plants grown. These are then planted and monitored during growth and restoration, unimpeded by the urban growth in the community.

The ultimate goal of stream realignment is to create a design that improves living space while building a community where residents coexist with nature.

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