Project Description

South Fork Shenandoah River Restoration

Elkton Virginia

The South Fork Shenandoah River project in Elkton, Virginia had been the site of a historic landfill. This waste material was being eroded into the river and impacting aquatic life. The outer meander of the River was excessively eroding, and the floodplain was disconnected from more frequent storm events. The River watershed also has impacts from historic mercury contamination. The S.F. Shenandoah is a popular river for recreation and the Town of Elkton was interested in making the project site a Town amenity.

Ecosystem Services worked with an inter-agency partnership including the Town of Elkton, DGIF, DEQ, USFWS, and others to acquire funding and develop project goals. The riverbank and stream corridor was assessed using a ground survey, aerial drone flights, geophysical surveys, and monitoring equipment. A design solution that reconnects the floodplain through the development of a floodplain bench, deflection of flows using rock vanes, and accomplishing initial establishment with soil lifts and brush layering. The excavation of the bench required removing much of the landfill material. This method will protect the riverbank and prevent the landfill material from continuing to erode into the River. The riverbank will be planted, and the site will be converted to a park for the community to enjoy.


  • Water quality and habitat improvements to the South Fork Shenandoah River
  • Improve public safety
  • Improve recreational opportunities

Services: Assessment, Regulatory, Stream and Wetland Design