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Keywords:

  • restoration;
  • rivers/streams;
  • geomorphology;
  • Natural Channel Design

Lave, Rebecca, 2009. The Controversy Over Natural Channel Design: Substantive Explanations and Potential Avenues for Resolution. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 45(6):1519-1532.

Abstract:  The controversy over Natural Channel Design (NCD) has perplexed, and sometimes paralyzed, the stream restoration community in the United States for more than a decade. Despite the high level of energy expended by participants on both sides, the content of the discussion has not advanced significantly. The two sides seem to be talking past each other, rather than engaging in constructive conversation. This paper attempts to start that conversation. Based on five years of primarily social science research, this paper explains the key components of the NCD approach, evaluates a number of the most common objections raised by its critics, offers a brief explanation for the widespread use of NCD, and concludes with suggestions about how to bring the controversy to a close.