"a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena" Merriam-Webster


Through both experimental and applied research, Sustainable Streams designs and conducts investigations to explain the events of nature in a predictable way.


Featured Article

Addressing the Urban Stream Disturbance Regime.jpg

Addressing the Urban Stream Disturbance Regime

Robert Hawley and Geoff Vietz

Featured Project

Hydromodification Assessment and Management Program
in Northern Kentucky

Sanitation District No. 1, Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Co., KY


Matthew Wooten | | 859.578.6887


In collaboration with SD1, Sustainable Streams designed a ‘hydromodification’ monitoring program to document the effects of conventional Stormwater management on stream ecosystems. The data and analyses have contributed to several peer-reviewed journal articles and are the foundation of SD1’s Hydromodification Management Program. The research has illuminated an important mechanism for stormwater management: the so-called critical discharge for streambed disturbance, which has become a guiding design target for stormwater management.


Biotic Integrity at a forested reference site (red diamonds) is typically excellent, but fell to poor in 2011 when the sample was collected just 25 days after a streambed disturbance event. The 2011 reference site score of 30 was more similar to sites in watersheds draining 20-30% impervious area than to reference site samples collected during more typical years, indicating that excess streambed disturbance is likely a dominant driver of impacted biological communities in many urban and suburban streams. Figure adapted from Hawley et al. (2016).