Stream Ecology is the study of the function and health of stream ecosystems. Management involves the restoration, improvement, monitoring and maintenance of these systems. All stream systems flow through the landscape within a watershed providing water flow either through groundwater or over land as surface water. The amount and quality of water, habitat in the stream including stream bed substrate, woody debris and stream bank condition all relate to the health of the stream and are in equilibrium with the surroundings to create health streams for drinking water supply and recreation.
Management of these resources first involves quantification of overall water flow and quality. This analysis also includes surrounding land use and potential sources of contaminants, and often take many years to quantify. Once the assessments are complete, prescriptions for management are developed from minimization of pollutant loads to changes in land use and stream channel restoration. Overall goals are to allow reasonable and healthy levels of development while protecting these vital resources.