April 2001

Volume 10, Number 4

Daylighting: New Life for Buried Streams

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by Richard Pinkham. Rocky Mountain Institute, 2000. Spiral-bound, 64 pages. Available printed for $12 plus shipping from RMI, 1739 Snowmass Creek Rd., Snowmass, CO 81654; 970/927-3851; or available for free in PDF format from the RMI Web site: www.rmi.org

The term “daylighting” is far more commonly used to refer to natural lighting, but it can also refer to exposing culverted streams to daylight. That’s the subject of this report from the Rocky Mountain Institute. In Daylighting: New Life for Buried Streams, water resource expert Richard Pinkham concisely describes what daylighting is, explains why it’s a good idea, and presents detailed information on 18 completed projects around the U.S. in which 14,000 feet (4,300 m) of culverted streams were liberated and restored. Several dozen other projects in various stages of consideration are also described.

While daylighting of streams is expensive, it is a growing trend, both here and in Europe, and it offers some important environmental benefits, including support of wildlife habitat, improving water quality, and reducing sediment load.

– AW

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April 1, 2001