While attending the National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference last week in Louisville, Kentucky, I got an opportunity to visit a 5.4 acre stream restoration project located within the Daniel Boone National Forest. As I learned about the innovative restoration techniques and engineering to return degraded channels to some very impressive stream/wetland complexes we ran across this beaver dam, an extraordinary example of nature’s finest engineers.
Beaver damming is the natural way to restore freshwater wetlands, the land’s most valuable ecosystem. It costs about $10,000 to $100,000 per acre to build manmade wetlands, yet beavers make and maintain them for free. Beaver dam’s also moderate stream flows and keeps water on the land longer, which alleviates both droughts and major floods. Additionally, the dams are great at sediment and water filtration and increase biodiversity. Another great example that Mother Nature always does it best.