Best Management Practice Category: Conservation


The water trail provides opportunities for communities to develop and implement strategies that enhance and restore the health of the local waterways and surrounding lands.

American Rivers Conservation Strategies

A very informational webpage by American Rivers listing many conservation strategies related to water trails.


A two-page summary of key questions and examples when addressing the Conservation Best Management Practices.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to filter water, reduce flash-flooding, prevent sewer overflows, and create healthier urban environments. 

De Soto Rain Garden

The Friends of the Kaw built a rain garden at the boat ramp in De Soto, Kansas in order to improve water quality and reduce runoff.


Rain Barrel Sale Flyer

St. Clair county health department sold rain barrels to homeowners in the community around the Island Loop Water Trail.

Water Quality, Cleanups, and Invasives

Water quality monitoring, cleanups, invasive plant monitoring and removal.

Chattahoochee Bacteria

Chattahoochee River bacteria count information. The Chattahoochee water trail provides flow and water quality information through model partnerships.

Sweep the Hooch

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area partners with the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers on a number of conservation strategies, including a yearly clean-up of the river.

Stream Monitoring Day

Island Loop trail put on a stream monitoring day and created this stream leaders flyer.

Clean Drain Dry Video

Northern Forest Canoe Trail “Clean Drain Dry” video for paddlers shows simple steps to take to help protect water quality and prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.

Trash Trap on Nash Run

The Anacostia Watershed Society operates a trash trap on Nash Run. The trash is sorted into several categories, allowing staff to study its characteristics by volume.

Stream Monitoring Day

A flyer for a stream monitoring day on the Island Loop Water Trail.


Methods of protecting land may include acquisition, conservation easements, local ordinances for riparian protection, zoning changes, and other legal acts.

Metropolitan River Protection Act (Georgia)

The Chattahoochee National River and Recreation Area is partnering with the Trust for Public Land to help protect land along the river.


Ecological restoration initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem's health, integrity and sustainability. Often the ecosystem has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed as a result of human activities and cannot recover its predisturbance state or its historic developmental trajectory. 

Bronx Oyster Reef Construction

Oysters filter large amounts of water, cleaning it and creating a better habitat for fish, crabs, worms and barnacles. In 2010, partner groups worked together to construct a reef in the Bronx River so that young oysters would have a place to attach and grow.

Million Trees Project

The Rock River Trail Initiative has distributed 40,000 oak trees to be planted within sight of the Rock River or near one of its tributaries. The goal of the project is to improve the health of rivers in the Midwest by re-establishing hardwoods.


Natural Fish Passage Around Dams

Originating in Europe, "nature-like" fishways are now being constructed on some U.S. rivers where removing dams is not an option. Unlike traditional fish ladders, these passages use a natural approach aimed at significantly increasing once-abundant runs of migratory fish.

Middle Channel Reef Project

Island Loop Water Trail. The goal of this project is to enhance fi€sh reproduction and help rebuild native €fish populations. Project partners will restore an acre of €sh spawning habitat by constructing and studying nine rock reefs in the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River.

Native Plant Sale Flyer

Flyer for a native plant sale event put on by the St. Clair County Health Department along the Island Loop Water Trail.


Planning documents specifically focused on conservation. Also listed in the planning section of the toolbox.

Ecological Restoration & Management Plan

In 2005, the Bronx River Alliance published the Bronx River Ecological Restoration and Management Plan and the Bronx River Greenway Plan, companion documents laying out a vision for a restored river and a continuous Bronx River Greenway in the lower Bronx River.

Bronx River Watershed Management Plan

The Bronx River Watershed Coalition developed a comprehensive watershed management plan which lays out a strategy for limiting the amount of pollution entering the river and its tributaries via stormwater runoff.

EPA Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans

This handbook is intended to help communities, watershed organizations, and state, local, tribal and federal environmental agencies develop and implement watershed plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resource.s


Everything else

Composting Toilets on the Atchafalaya Water Trail

The Atchafalaya water trail planned to install composting toilets built by staff and volunteers. These composting toilets can be installed in locations without running water, they do not waste freshwater, and they require no energy to run, although they do require some maintenance.

Rock River Summer Webinars

The Rock River Coalition and Environmental Law Institute present four monthly webinars that identify opportunities for emergency, floodplain, and wetland management agencies to better work together to maximize the flood control and ecosystem service benefits of our wetlands.