In 1996 and 1997, the Yellowstone River in Montana surged forth in back-to-back, record-breaking floods that caused millions of dollars in damage (HCN, 3/27/00: The last wild river). Floodplain landowners scrambled to secure their property in an epidemic of bank-stabilization measures.
river scientists believe that stabilization measures actually
exacerbate floods, and can accelerate erosion and stifle natural
systems. According to Montana Audubon, which has written an
eight-page guide, Learning to Go with the Flow: Streams and Bank
Stabilization, there are better ways to minimize damage from flood
preparation. The booklet describes the effects of bank
stabilization on dynamic river systems, reviews different types of
bank-stabilizing structures, such as riprap, gabions, weirs and
revetments, and explains their intended functions and harmful
impacts, both individually and cumulatively.
a copy or additional information, contact Montana Audubon at
406/443-3949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.