Case Studies

The easiest way to understand what Stillwater does is to show you. We’ve selected a variety of watersheds and problems to give you a sense of the scope and depth of our science.  Please feel free to contact the project scientists whose names can be found on each page if you have additional questions, or want to know more about the project.

Willamette Falls Legacy Project—Habitat Assessment and Design

Stillwater supported the master plan for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project by assessing baseline habitat conditions and developing habitat restoration designs throughout the 22-acre former industrial property.

Vegetation and Shade Monitoring at Watershed Enhancement Sites

A water resources management utility contracted with Stillwater Sciences to conduct vegetation and shade monitoring for riparian planting projects that were conducted primarily for water quality permit compliance.

Hydrology Monitoring for Floodplain Enhancements in the Tualatin Basin

Stillwater conducts hydrological and biological monitoring for a project that seeks to restore eco-hydrological conditions at the 100-acre PCC Rock Creek Floodplain Restoration Site in Washington County, Oregon to retain more water on-site and establish a more functional wetland.

Floodplain Restoration Monitoring on the Napa River

Stillwater Sciences completed year 15 of the long-term vegetation and habitat monitoring for floodplain restoration along the Napa River using UAS-collected aerial imagery and botanical field surveys.

Redwood Creek Habitat Enhancement Project Design

Stillwater Sciences is designing a salmonid habitat enhancement project for a 2,000 foot stretch of Redwood Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Eel River. 

Baker Creek Upslope Groundwater Recharge Design and Implementation

Stillwater Sciences is designing and overseeing a groundwater recharge project in Northern California that addresses dry season water scarcity, one of the main threats to coho salmon recovery.

Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog Environmental DNA Surveys

Stillwater Sciences performed Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog Visual Encounter Surveys and environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling to inform discussions of potential effects of Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project on reservoirs and stream reaches.

Glenoaks Greenway Conceptual Design Plan

Stillwater designed the Glenoaks Greenway concept to demonstrate how to transform the rights-of-way along urban river systems to linear greenway parks and landscape them appropriately to allow for recreation, biodiversity, and sustainability.

Carbon Sequestration Protocol for Mountain Meadow Restoration

Healthy mountain meadows provide many ecological benefits. Stillwater is researching whether one of those benefits is sequestering carbon, which would result in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

More Case Studies

San Luis Obispo Stormwater Resource Plan

Stillwater Sciences developed a stormwater resource plan that protects health and safety and promotes conservation of water resources for human and ecological benefits in the San Luis Obispo Creek watershed.

Arroyo Seco Watershed Restoration

Stillwater Sciences is passionate about native fish restoration and is currently working on habitat restoration in the Arroyo Seco, Trabuco and San Juan Creeks, Los Angeles River, San Gabriel River, Santa Clara River, and Ventura River Watersheds.

Multi-species Habitat Quantification Tool

Stillwater is developing habitat assessment tools for multiple listed species as part of an initiative to increase the extent and quality of habitat in the Central Valley using market incentives.

San Geronimo Creek Habitat Enhancement Engineering Design Project

Stillwater Sciences prepared design plans for four habitat enhancement and erosion control sites located within the San Geronimo Creek watershed.

San Pablo Reservoir Water Quality Improvement Project

Due to the recent increase of geosmin concentrations in the San Pablo Reservoir, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is planning to determine the best options for reducing geosmin, MIB, and soluble manganese.  Stillwater Sciences is leading a team of consultants contracted to assist the District in this project.

Effectiveness Monitoring of Oregon Conservation Reserve Enhancement Projects (CREP)

Stillwater Sciences was contracted to develop and implement an effectiveness monitoring project to evaluate conservation measures implemented on riparian areas in private lands in Oregon.

Habitat Status and Trends Monitoring Design and Implementation Planning for the Lower Columbia Region

Stillwater Sciences and the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (LCFRB) have been leading a collaborative project to develop a Habitat Status and Trends Monitoring (HSTM) design and implementation plan for Southwest Washington.

Integrating Water Reclamation with Special Status Species Habitat in the Santa Clara River Estuary

Beginning in 2010, the City of Ventura selected Stillwater Sciences and Carollo Engineers to embark on several phases of biological and engineering study to inform the development of a sustainable discharge regime, balancing fish and wildlife habitat needs with its mission to continue to provide a source of reclaimed water for other uses.

Deschutes River Experimental Gravel Augmentation

An experimental gravel augmentation program downstream of the Pelton-Round Butte Hydroelectric Project is helping our client evaluate project-related effects on spawning habitat for salmon on the Deschutes River.

Lower Putah Creek Restoration Project

Stillwater Sciences is working to restore 25 miles of lower Putah Creek and 300 acres of tidal wetlands to improve salmon habitat, floodplain connectivity, and ecological function within the creek and Yolo Bypass.

Humboldt Bay Pipeline Removal and Habitat Restoration

We developed a comprehensive mitigation and monitoring plan to efficiently satisfy regulatory requirements for an idle fuel pipeline removal in Humboldt Bay.

Clear Creek Aquatic Habitat Assessment and Fish Population Monitoring

Stillwater Sciences conducted a large-scale, comprehensive fisheries monitoring program in Clear Creek watershed on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

Humboldt Bay Power Plant Decomissioning Project

Stillwater biologists have been supporting the Pacific Gas and Electric Company during the decommissioning of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant’s (HBPP) nuclear and oil-fired generating units in King Salmon, California.

Elk River Recovery Assessment and Implementation Framework

Elk River, the largest tributary to Humboldt Bay and natal stream to four species of anadromous salmonids, is undergoing intensive watershed-wide recovery efforts to remediate impacts associated with excessive channel sedimentation that occurred between 1986 and 1998.

Ten Mile Coho Restoration

Working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Stillwater Sciences developed a scientifically-based framework to guide restoration of winter habitat for coho salmon in the Ten Mile River basin of Mendocino County, California.  

Mokelumne River Ecosystem Services

Stillwater scientists are developing tools to quantify environmental benefits of restoring the Lower Mokelumne riparian corridor as part of a voluntary payment for ecosystem services program that links public and private money to participating landowners.

North Umpqua Lamprey Habitat Evaluation

Habitat in the upper reaches of the North Umpqua River became available after the construction of a fish ladder over Soda Springs Dam. Stillwater biologists evaluated and mapped suitable spawning and rearing habitats for lamprey in this newly accessible reach. 

Green River Spawning Habitat

Working with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, we evaluated the impacts of fine sediment on the survival of salmonid eggs on the Green River in Washington in order to guide future habitat protection and management.

Missouri Flat-Gold Hill Reconductoring

Stillwater Sciences is conducting biological resource surveys, preparing environmental compliance documents, and providing construction compliance for the reconductoring of the Missouri Flat–Gold Hill 115 kV power line in El Dorado County, CA.

SLO Instream Flow

Using existing data and a field assessment, we developed a predictive model to estimate instream flow requirements for steelhead throughout all watersheds in San Luis Obispo County. 

Virgin River Restoration

Combining ecological, hydrological, and geomorphic analyses to prioritize restoration locations and strategies for the flood-prone and ecologically sensitive Virgin River flowing through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.

Hydrology and channel conditions

We helped our client understand effects of sediment and hydrology on fish habitat in the Sultan River, Washington to better manage river reaches downstream of dams on the Jackson Hydroelectric Project.

Alaska salmon habitat

Using spatial data sets and GIS analysis that was corroborated with field data, we developed a monitoring plan that identified and characterized risks for salmon habitat in the Copper River Watershed.

Bay-Delta levee restoration

We have developed numerous environmental permitting documents and an aquatic habitat assessment model, provided conceptual design support, and performed bank surveys and mapping for over 50 levee repair sites in the Delta and Sacramento River system.

Climate change and stormwater infrastructure

We developed a series of recommendations to help the state of Washington effectively allocate funding to reduce potential impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure as part of this multi-disciplinary study.

Sediment transport following dam removal

We evaluated possible impacts of removing Marmot Dam – one of the first large-scale releases of dam-impounded sediment in the United States.

Instream flows in semi-arid stream

We have recently begun a study in northern Santa Barbara County to identify the flows necessary for steelhead passage through the Santa Maria River during their winter/spring adult and juvenile migration period.

Dam removal and fish

To understand the potential effects of various dam removal scenarios on the Klamath River, we applied our DREAM-1 suspended sediment transport model, and assessed the potential biological effects of sediment release and water quality impacts.

Klamath River Water Quality Workshop and Feasibility Study

Stillwater led a team of technical experts to develop and evaluate approaches for reducing nutrient loads and improving water quality in the Klamath River Basin.

Fish passage for endangered steelhead

Through geomorphic, fisheries, and engineering studies, Stillwater is supporting the development of a detailed watershed assessment and set of restoration alternatives for southern steelhead passage in the Santa Paula Creek Watershed.

Wildfire and flood risk

In order to evaluate the Sespe Creek watershed’s response to the 2006 Day Fire, Stillwater is conducting a geomorphic assessment to understand the fire-related effects on hydrology, hydraulics, and sedimentation in the watershed.

Watershed sediment budget

We hypothesized that sediment infiltration into redds may be causing low coho and steelhead returns in certain years, and implemented a pilot study to assess possible mechanisms.

Wetland restoration

We developed the conceptual restoration design and are currently monitoring post-implementation revegetation success on Bradford Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Hydroelectric project relicensing

Stillwater is supporting the Eugene Water & Electric Board in its relicensing of the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, located on the McKenzie River in the western Cascades of Oregon.

GIS and watershed management

To help guide the discussion and establish baseline conditions, Stillwater is conducting a limiting factors analysis on four focal species in the basin and has developed an innovative on-line tool for managing information related to the project.

Floodplain Restoration

Stillwater Sciences is evaluating ecological conditions in the lower Santa Clara River to inform and develop a Floodplain Restoration Feasibility Study.

Instream flows downstream of dams

Stillwater is overseeing the compilation and delivery of the license application for PG&E's McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project.

Streambank Stabilization

A geomorphic evaluation and site-specific hydraulic modeling were used to develop bank protection and stabilization measures along an eroding bluff on the lower Mad River.

Sediment transport modeling experiments

A flume provides a small-scale version of a stream reach and enables researchers to investigate specific geomorphic questions with applicability to large-scale restoration projects.

Wood and boulder habitat enhancement

Most of the large woody debris and boulders have been placed in a reach of Rock Creek, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, to test juvenile coho salmon population response to large-scale habitat enhancements.

Corridor restoration planning

From developing the nearly 300-page Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan, to implementing on-the-ground vegetation and channel restoration and establishing baseline ecological conditions, Stillwater has been a key player in helping to guide the management of the Merced River.