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Restoration Glossary

Restoration, conservation, and watershed ecosystems include complex processes that can be challenging to understand. Below is a restoration glossary, complete with definitions of keywords that we often use to describe the watershed restoration we do. 


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Fish such as salmon, trout, or lamprey that migrate up rivers from the sea to spawn.


An area or land drained by a river and all of its tributaries

Ecological Restoration

The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.


An area of land adjacent to a river. Floodplains stretch from the banks of a river channel to the base of the enclosing valley, and experience flooding during periods of high flow.

Gravel Push-up Dam

Gravel pushup dams are a historical water diversion practice that allows landowners to divert water from the stream for use on their property. These dams can be more than six feet tall, and span the entire stream channel, presenting a barrier to fish passage and aquatic organism movement.

Hyporheic Flow

Active exchange between the main stream channel water and groundwater within the hyporheic zone (usually underground).

Hyporheic Zone

The saturated sediment-filled space under the streambed and adjacent riverbanks where there is an exchange between the main stream channel water and groundwater.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Integrated pest management (IPM) combines the use of water-safe chemical and mechanical practices to control noxious weeds.

Large Wood Structure

Complexes comprised of multiple large and medium-sized logs and trees that are installed into rivers and streams using machinery, according to designs developed by engineers.


A nest for salmonid eggs.


A riparian zone/area is the interface between land and a river or stream or body of water.

River Mile (RM)

A river mile is a measure of distance in miles along a river from its mouth. River mile numbers begin at zero and increase further upstream. We use RMs to name projects and protect landowner anonymity. 


The shortened name of the family Salmonidae which includes over 200 species collectively. Among salmonids, are salmon, trout, and steelhead. 


A river or stream that flows into a larger river or body of water.


An area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet.

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