Project Description

Murray Run

Ecosystem Services has collaborated with HHHunt and Roanoke County to develop the first stream restoration project funded through a public private partnership (P3). The project consisted of restoring approximately 1,250 linear feet of Murray Run adjacent to the Pebble Creek Apartments in Roanoke County, Virginia. Murray Run, tributary to the Roanoke River, has an existing TMDL for bacteria and benthic-macroinvertebrates and contributes sediment from streambank erosion and urban runoff to the Roanoke River, which has a benthic impairment and a waste load allocation for sediment.

This project was funded through private funds and the Department of Environmental Quality’s Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF). Prior to project completion, the stream was incised, experiencing lateral migration and excessive shear stress on the bed and banks, had limited riparian buffer along the left stream bank and limited bed-form diversity. Existing infrastructure and underground utilities were subject to future damage and exposure from the unstable stream reach and large flows contained within the incised channel.

Construction included the creation of a new channel geometry, floodprone benches, specialized structures and treatments (constructed riffles, j-hooks, rock/log sills, imbricated wall, soil lifts) and the planting of stream banks and riparian buffers.

Ecosystem Services provided existing data review and field reconnaissance, engineering analyses, SWPP preparation, cost estimates, preliminary and construction design plans, pre-and post monitoring, bid support and construction administration and permitting services. Ecosystem designers made every effort to reduce costs including balancing cut and fill, sourcing materials onsite or locally, and going above and beyond on construction administration to avoid change order and time delays.

The project has met the primary goal and objectives of stabilizing the existing eroded stream to prevent/reduce nutrient and sediment loading to the watershed while preserving existing native vegetation to the extent practicable. As well as secondary goals including flood attenuation, ecological improvement using native materials and natural channel design practices, to provide an educational example of ecological restoration to the community, and accommodating the future development of a greenway through the property.


  • Protect infrastructure and underground utilities and provide public safety
  • Reduce sediment and nutrient loading to downstream receiving waters
  • Re-establish native plant communities

ServicesWatershed and Floodplain Studies, Plan Production and Mapping, Stream and Wetland Design