Stop 6 - River Channelization
This is an example of channelization and straightening of the river’s course. It was necessary, in this case, because of the need for a highway bridge crossing. In the past, channelization and altering of a river’s course was done by people in the attempt to control its path and direction. This only made things worse downstream because of the increase in velocity of the water. Flood waters need to over-flow the river’s banks, which helps to slow the water down and recharge adjoining aquifers. Destruction of habitat in one location can make things worse downstream. There are many examples of attempts at taming the river, especially as you enter more developed areas. Channelization may also remove habitat along the banks of the river for wildlife and damage the river bed habitat for fish.