So, you have a stream on your property that constantly floods, or maybe its banks are constantly changing due to erosion. You want to fix the problem—a commendable goal! Whether due to negligence or ignorance, streams can be damaged by things like land development, chemical runoff, or agricultural practices which upset the delicate balance of the natural ecosystem. Restoring streams to their natural balanced state benefits us all.

But it’s important to approach stream restoration correctly. Before beginning the endeavor, there are five important things to consider that will lay the groundwork for a successful project:

  1. Regulatory Compliance – Find out the local, state, and federal regulations related to environmental protection and land use as they pertain to your property and obtain the necessary permits and approvals before starting any restoration activities. Your town, municipality, or county offices will likely have resources to help you understand the steps that are expected and required in the restoration.
  2. Site Assessment – Examine the current condition of your property’s stream, soil, water quality, and habitats. Your local conservation district or an environmental group can be a valuable resource for site assessment. They may offer pointers or even hands-on support to conduct an evaluation of the property. There are also resources and tools to collect and analyze this data on your own, such as the Izaak Walton League of America, which offers guidance and various kits to test your stream. Visit their website at
  3. Ecological Goals – Define clear ecological goals for the restoration project, such as improving water quality, enhancing native habitats, or reducing erosion. Keeping the scope of these goals in mind will guide you to stay on target and keep you from becoming overwhelmed or discouraged. Remember, every small contribution makes an impact.
  4. Budget & Resources – Develop a realistic budget and allocate sufficient resources—including funding, equipment, materials, and labor—for the restoration effort. Explore potential funding sources and partnerships (e.g., grants from government agencies and environmental groups) to support the project. Communicating your goals locally can also help get your community involved. Engaging a local Scout troop, school, or club will help to propel your efforts and spread the word about restoration and conservation to the next generation, creating awareness and encouraging lifelong interest in maintaining clean streams. Flyway is pleased to offer assistance with budget planning and resource acquisition at no charge, on the condition that objectives 1-3 outlined here have been taken into account.
  5. Restoration Techniques – Select the appropriate restoration techniques and management practices based on site conditions, project goals, and ecological requirements. These may include streambank stabilization, riparian buffer planting, erosion control measures, or invasive species management. Having experienced assistance will be beneficial throughout your project, particularly during the crucial stage of planning the physical restoration work.

An Experienced Partner for Stream Restoration

If the above considerations feel overwhelming, don’t worry. An experienced partner can guide you through each step, offering advice and tailoring solutions to your restoration needs, budget, and goals.

At Flyway Excavating we have more than 30 years of experience in stream restoration, wetlands restoration, dam removal, and other waterway improvement projects. To get started on yours, contact us today.