Rivers and their associated floodplains serve a variety of important natural functions including conveying water and sediment, storing flood waters, and providing diverse habitat. Floodplain and sediment studies are often essential to successful design and management of engineering works along rivers, lakes, and reservoirs to help meet environmental objectives, including conserving and improving aquatic habitat and restoring physically and biologically degraded streams.

NHC’s first project in 1972 involved hydraulic and sediment analysis of water crossings along the Alyeska pipeline. Nearly 50 years later, river engineering remains central to our identity and our business. We emphasize process-based approaches to river and stream projects, working within the natural hydraulic and sediment context where possible to create solutions that are resilient and self-sustaining. NHC investigates and analyzes rivers and floodplains ranging in size from small urban streams to the world’s largest rivers, in geomorphic settings from alluvial fans to major river deltas. We participate in floodplain reconnection and restoration projects, evaluate channel and reservoir sedimentation, and assess impacts of natural or engineered channel modifications on long-term stability and physical and biological function.

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