Cane River Bank and Berm Repairs Are Complete

Using FEMA disaster assistance funding, Yancey County has completed repairs to a 400 linear foot reach of the Cane River at the county’s Cane River Park. Flooding during Hurricanes Florence and Michael in the Fall of 2018 eroded the river bank, formed a large breach in a berm and caused extensive damage to the park facilities, including the deposition of thousands of cubic yards of sediment on a soccer field. The team of Headwaters Engineering, ClearWater Environmental Consultants, Site Design Studios and Kee Mapping & Surveying completed assessment, design, permitting and construction observation for the bank and berm repairs. Headwaters’ repair design incorporated bioengineering measures on the bank and extensive aquatic habitat structure along the restored toe in order to support the local Appalachian elktoe mussel, eastern hellbender and trout populations. The restored floodplain bench received dozens of river cane transplants from a nearby field. Construction was performed by Baker Grading & Landscaping of Old Fort, NC.

French Broad River Bank Stabilization Completed

Headwaters Engineering worked with a group of volunteers to stabilize bank erosion along the French Broad River that was threatening the Camp Stephens Boy Scout Troop 26 building. Work was completed in March 2020 and the bioengineering treatments are already well established.

Tomahawk Branch Restoration Phase 2 Underway

Construction of the second phase of a stream restoration project on the Town of Black Mountain’s golf course is underway. Work on a tributary to Tomahawk Branch was completed in early June. Construction is being performed by South Core Environmental

Two Shoreline Restorations Completed

Headwaters Engineering provided design and construction observation services for shoreline restorations on Fontana Lake in Swain County, NC (construction by Baker Grading & Landscaping ( and on Lake Toxaway in Transylvania County, NC (construction by South Core Environmental;

Winter 2019-2020 Stream Restorations

The winter of 2019-20 was busy despite the rainy weather. Four Headwaters Engineering designs have recently been constructed in Western North Carolina. Mitchell Branch through Ray-Cort Park in Burnsville was restored as part of a park renovation and water quality improvement effort. A collapsing bank on the Swannanoa River in east Asheville was stabilized using bioengineering techniques in order to protect the primary access road into a development. A tributary to Reed Creek was restored as part of an urban renewal project near downtown Asheville. And, a reach of Wolfpen Creek in Hendersonville was stabilized to protect buried utilities and a road.

2.4 Miles of Stream Restoration Completed in Asheville

Restoration of eight tributaries to the French Broad River was completed in July 2019. The streams had been badly damaged from excess stormwater runoff and the six-month effort included several thousand feet of newly constructed channel, installation of dozens of log and stone energy dissipation structures, and extensive bioengineering. Construction was completed by Land Mechanic Designs (

Stream and greenway repair in McDowell County

In August 2018, Headwaters worked with McDowell County, NRCS and Suttles Grading and Trucking to stabilize a tributary to Nix Creek that had eroded and undermined a greenway bridge.  The solution involved creating a series of boulder steps and pools through the eroding reach and installing a new culvert that is embedded below the stream bed.

Erosion undermined greenway bridge.

Boulder step and new culvert.