Mr. Rocky O. Powell, the founder of Clear Creeks Consulting, received a BS in Biological Sciences/Ecology and an MS in Biological Sciences/Aquatic Ecology from Towson University. He completed additional training and coursework in hydrology, open channel hydraulics, fluvial geomorphology and engineering practices.
He has over forty-four years in the environmental field and offers the firm’s clients a unique blend of experiences that include wildlife and fisheries research; biological stream surveys; water quality monitoring; stream habitat assessment and enhancement; natural resources protection; watershed management; wetland delineations and functional assessments; wetland restoration/creation; stream bank bioengineering; geomorphologic stream assessments; stream restoration and stabilization design utilizing the natural channel design approach; local, state and federal permitting; construction management; public outreach and teaching.
His extensive training and experience have provided him with a solid understanding of ecological, geomorphological, engineering principles and practices. This knowledge, in addition to his years of project management and construction experience, allow him to guide each project through the various phases to a successful completion. It also provides him with the ability to overcome constraints or problems encountered during the life of a project.
Ms. Valarie M. Klein earned both a BS and MS in Biology from Towson University, focusing her course work in ecology. She completed additional training in wetland delineations and forest stand delineations.
She has over 17 years in the environmental field and offers the firm’s clients a unique blend of experiences that include aquatic research; biological stream surveys; water quality monitoring; natural resources protection; watershed management; wetland delineations; local, state and federal permitting; public outreach, environmental education, and teaching.
You don’t need to be an ecological professional to recognize a stable, functioning riparian ecosystem. The appealing character of a stable stream draws you to it. Walking along its banks you anticipate and often experience a chance encounter with a Great Blue Heron or Kingfisher hunting for fish. Peering into the clear waters you can enjoy watching schools of dace, chubs or minnows maneuvering in unison along the bottom of the deep pool in front of you. Listening to the rhythm of the flowing water as it runs its course around and over the cobble and boulder substrate of a riffle is a soothing experience that invites you to linger and enjoy the moment.
Our approach to restoring stream, wetland, riparian meadow and forest ecosystems is often referred to as a blend of art, science and engineering. Our goal is to recreate and restore natural landscapes that provide habitat where plant and wildlife communities can thrive and people come away with an emotional connection to the surrounding landscape they have just encountered. We accomplish this by studying and understanding natural, functioning riparian ecosystems and using them as a guide in developing our designs for restoration projects.
Over many years we have developed a collaborative relationship with highly qualified and experienced surveyors, engineers, scientists and planners. This allows us to select a team of professionals whose expertise is best suited to the needs of any client and individual project. We also team with construction contractors we know and trust on specific design-build projects. Our involvement in all phases of our projects (planning, assessment, design, permitting and construction management) has significantly contributed to our long-term record of success.
As we go about our business of managing and restoring landscapes let’s all heed this advice …
“Everyone ought to be dissatisfied with the slow spread of conservation to the land. Our “progress” still consists largely of letterhead pieties and convention oratory. The only progress that counts is that on the actual landscape of the back forty, and here we are slipping two steps backward for each forward stride.” Aldo Leopold – The Ecological Conscience, 1947.
“The practice of conservation must spring from a conviction of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the community, and the community includes the soil, waters, fauna, and flora, as well as people.” Aldo Leopold – The Ecological Conscience, 1947.
“There is no theory of river action and behavior to guide river improvement. We in the United States have acquiesced to the destruction and degradation of our rivers, in part because we have insufficient knowledge of the characteristics of rivers and the effects of our actions that alter their form and process.” Luna Leopold – View of the River, 1994.
“We all tend to learn directly from the past experience of trial and error, but if we do not understand – if we do not take a closer, quantitative look at our rivers over time – we have a tendency to unknowingly repeat the errors of the past. For the good of the river, as well as our profession, we have to remove ourselves from the darkness of some of those desk bound offices and spend more time in the field.” Dave Rosgen – Applied River Morphology, 1996.
Over more than forty years in the environmental field, I’ve learned that despite our best efforts natural systems are complex and often unpredictable and they will always teach us that persistence and humility are virtues. As environmental professionals we must strive to learn more, understand better, and improve our craft so that we can make a real difference. We owe it to our kids and the earth to leave it a better place than it was when we entered it. – Rocky Powell