Baker watershed monitoring project wins engineering award

Jan. 12, 2009
Michael Baker Engineering Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation, was the recipient of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of North Carolina Honors Award in the 2009 Engineering Excellence Competition for their work on the Mitchell River Watershed Monitoring Project. The project was conceived and implemented by the Surry County Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD)...

CARY, NC, Jan. 8, 2009 -- Michael Baker Engineering Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation, was the recipient of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of North Carolina Honors Award in the 2009 Engineering Excellence Competition for their work on the Mitchell River Watershed Monitoring Project. The project was conceived and implemented by the Surry County Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD).

"This project showed that Baker's conservative restoration approach can allow restored streams to evolve into more stable forms, even under extreme conditions," said Will Harman, P.G., vice president in the Cary, North Carolina, office. "During the project, the sites experienced the remnants of two hurricanes and drought conditions in 2007, but still reduced overall sediment loads in the watershed."

Baker, the prime consultant for the project, provided design services for two reaches and oversaw monitoring for those sites and three additional streams in the Mitchell River Watershed. Data collected during the monitoring effort validated the 2001 ACEC award-winning design for the South Fork of the Mitchell River. Baker and SSWCD have used the Mitchell River sites as a real-world teaching laboratory, reaching hundreds of scientists and engineers through site visits, trainings and presentations.

SSWCD has used the information gleaned from the Mitchell River monitoring effort to develop additional restoration projects which support their overall goals of maintaining the water quality of the Mitchell River. Also, the recognition obtained by Surry County has helped its stated ambition of becoming one of the premier rural ecotourism destinations in North Carolina. The success of their efforts has also encouraged greenway construction and stormwater management projects.

Michael Baker Corporation provides engineering and operations and maintenance services for its clients' most complex challenges worldwide.

###