MM-7B (6/29/05 version)
Stream Integrity Management Systems

Evaluation, Stream Integrity Management Options

When habitat and/or hydromodification (watersheds or large rivers) have been identified as the key cause of water quality impairment, the first step in resolving the problem should be a watershed-based evaluation of the existing situation so that applicable management options can be selected. Long-term solutions to impairments caused by habitat or hydromodification rarely occur without adequate consideration of the stream system as a whole versus an individual stream segment. Therefore, collection, analysis and distribution of stream morphology data to determine whether the fundamental characteristics necessary for a self-sustaining stream channel are present or can be restored should be completed prior to finalizing a stream integrity management system.

Site-Specific Implementation, Stream Integrity Management Systems

Nevertheless, individual components of Stream Integrity Management Systems (e.g. channel/floodplain restoration, ditch maintenance, conservation easements to allow for passive stream channel restoration, stream protection ordinances, stormwater regulations, etc.) are often implemented one site, stream segment, or political jurisdiction at a time.

Local stream integrity implementation should be designed based on:

  • the dominant causal factors that control aquatic life use impairment/attainment;
  • the stream integrity goals (i.e. affecting an outstanding state waters or superior high quality water; TMDL targets, highly prized recreational area, etc.)
  • whether intervention is feasible (including operation, maintenance and durability) to alter the limiting factors;
  • the level of interest of and cooperation between adjacent streamside landowners;
  • any available data on the results of previous implementation;
  • any regulatory constraints; and
  • the experience of the system designers.