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5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems

Natural Channels - Linking Processes to Practice

The Natural Channels Conference is intended to explore the science and application of Natural Channel and stream corridor rehabilitation. Our understanding of the importance, complexity, and interconnectedness of watercourses, and their relationship with biological and ecological processes continues to evolve, leading to a growing emphasis on protecting Canada’s green infrastructure. The conference is part of a continuum of learning and advancement of the science and practice of channel rehabilitation in Ontario. This began in Ontario in the early 1990s and evolving in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and elsewhere over the last 25-30 years. It seeks to further explore innovations in science in an effort to better understand the importance of streams and their corridors to the health of watersheds.

Over the course of two days, we will hear from practitioners, scientists, academics, and policy makers who can share their knowledge and innovation in order to deliver new ideas and approaches to problem solving. The conference is composed of International Keynote Speakers, Concurrent Sessions, Panels and Workshops, as well as a Poster Session. Our Wine and Cheese social event will offer opportunities for networking with a diverse group of attendees.

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June 14, 2016 - Program and Registration Coming Soon

March 29, 2016 - Call for Abstracts, Sponsorships and Exhibits, and Accommodations Information

March 14, 2016 - Call for Abstracts Deadline Extended

February 25, 2016 - ACTION NEEDED - Subscribe to Our Mailing List

February 2, 2016 - Come Join Us as We Explore the Science and Applications of Natural Channel Systems Design

Sponsorships and Exhibiting

Network, Build Relationships, Share Information and Promote your Product or Service and Reinforce your Commitment to a Sustainable Future

Sponsorship and Exhibiting IconThis event could not happen without the support of partners and exhibitors, and we would love for you to become involved. The conference format includes a pre-conference ice-breaker evening reception, two full days of concurrent sessions, panels and workshops, international keynote speakers, a poster session, a living lab, and an exhibit hall. We will hear from practitioners, scientists, academics, and policy makers who can share their knowledge and innovation in order to deliver new ideas and approaches to problem solving.

The following provides information on sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities. Have a look – no matter what your budget is, there is always a way to promote your organization to the many delegates, speakers and exhibitors and display your organization’s commitment to a sustainable future. I hope you will consider the 5th International Natural Channel Systems Conference for these opportunities.

If you have any questions, or are interested in learning more, please contact Karen Anderson Conference Coordinator 1‑888‑274‑1364 ext. 103 |

- Sponsorship and Exhibitor Packages [Microsoft Word Word / PDF PDF]
- Sponsorship and Exhibitor Registration Form [Microsoft Word Word / PDF PDF]
- Exhibitors’ Guide [Microsoft Word Word / PDF PDF]
- Floorplan [PDF PDF]

List of Sponsors

List of Exhibitors

Natural Channels Exhibitor Floorplan

  1. North State Environmental
  2. Water’s Edge Environmental Solutions Team Ltd
  3. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ontario Ministry of Rural Affair (OMAFRA)
  4. R&M Construction
  5. Beacon Environmental Ltd.
  6. Filtrexx Canada Inc.
  7. Conservation Ontario
  8. Canadian Water Resource Association (CWRA)
  9. Verbinnen's Nursery
  10. GEO Morphix Ltd.
  11. Aquafor Beech Ltd.
  12. AHYDTECH Geomorphic
  13. Hoskin Scientific Ltd.
  14. Ecosystem Recovery Inc.
  15. Matrix Solutions Inc.
  16. Terrafix Geosynthetics Inc.

Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speakers

Master of Ceremonies Serge Metikosh

Serge MetikoshSerge Metikosh, is a Sr. Fish Habitat Biologist and President of Fish Habitat Solutions Inc. with more than 40 years of experience as a Fish and Fish Habitat Biologist and an environmental impact assessment practitioner. Before starting Fish Habitat Solutions Inc. in 2012, Serge Metikosh was a Principal and Senior Fish Habitat Biologist at Golder Associates Ltd in Calgary for 15 years. As a consultant, Serge Metikosh focus was on his clients with technical and strategic advice for obtaining regulatory approval for various resource development projects throughout Canada. He has been Project Manager and Discipline Lead on numerous pipeline, oil and gas, coal mining and diamond mining and has prepared Environmental Impact Statements and applications for authorizations under the Fisheries Act. This work included issue scoping, the design and implementation of baseline studies, analysis and reporting, development of mitigation strategies, determination of residual effects and development of Offsetting Plans. In addition to being involved with projects in the preconstruction and approval stages, Mr. Metikosh also participated in their construction and operation phases. Mr. Metikosh’s work in relation to the construction and operation phases of resource development projects focused on the implementation of mitigation measures for various aspects of construction, implementation of No Net Loss Plans, as well as the design and implementation of effects monitoring studies required as conditions of regulatory approval.

Prior to joining Golder Associates Ltd. in 1997 Mr. Metikosh was a Senior Fish Habitat Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in Burlington Ontario where he was responsible of the delivery of the Fish Habitat Management program in Ontario. He is familiar with the regulatory requirements of the Fisheries Act, DFO’s Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat (including the guiding principle of No Net Loss) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. He was also instrumental during his time with DFO in promoting and supporting major science-based guidance documents for watershed planning and the Natural Channel Systems Initiative. Mr. Metikosh has kept up to date with changes in Federal legislation that have taken place over the last several years and continues to provide advice to his clients on policy and implementation issues related to the fisheries protection provisions of the amended Fisheries Act. He has developed guidelines and procedural manuals for DFO and other government and industry organizations related to the Fisheries Act and CEAA.

Keynote Speaker Colin Thorne

Colin ThorneColin Thorne is Professor and Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Nottingham. His educational background is in environmental sciences, civil engineering and physical geography. He has published 9 books and over 130 refereed journal papers and book chapters. To date, his work has nearly 8,000 citations, including one paper that has been cited over 800 times. He has an h-index of 44 and an i10-index of 99. During a career spanning four decades, he has held posts with UEA, Colorado State University, the University of London, USDA National Sedimentation Laboratory, USACE Waterways Experiment Station, NOAA Fisheries, and currently, the University of Nottingham. He is also a visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, China and an Affiliate Professor at both Portland State and Colorado State Universities.

Professor Thorne is an environmental scientist with expertise in erosion, sediment transport and sedimentation in natural, modified and managed rivers, particularly with respect to the restoration of lost river functions, forms and habitat. Internationally, Thorne’s experience with rivers extends to the basins of the Awash, Brahmaputra, Clutha, Columbia, Ganges, Mekong, Mississippi, Missouri, Parana, Salado, San Juan, Toutle, Yangtze, and Yellow Rivers, including research on a number of the alluvial deltas associated with these watercourses.

Through his research and consultancy work, Thorne has acquired particular skills in expert knowledge elicitation, stakeholder engagement, multi-criteria analysis and risk assessment (qualitative and quantitative). He is adept at working with stakeholders in the co-production of knowledge and delivering key messages to non-specialist decision makers in ways they understand and can act on, as evidenced by uptake in the UK of the principles of ‘natural flood management’ and ‘working with natural processes’. He currently leads a 9-university consortium investigating the generation of multiple flood risk benefits using Blue-Green infrastructure (

Keynote Speaker Chester Watson

Chester WatsonChester Watson is an Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and presently is a private consultant. His career spans industrial water supply, construction of municipal water and waste water conveyance and treatment, teaching advanced level University classes, short courses and conference lectures pertaining to stream restoration. He has lectured in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and China, and has written numerous publications.

Dr. Watson is an engineer with experience in fluvial morphology, erosion, and sediment transport in modified and managed watersheds and streams. Much of his career has been spent in the study and rehabilitation of incised stream channels caused by watershed modification and channelization, and an equal portion of his career has been in the study of large rivers, particularly the Mississippi river. He is presently engaged with an advisory role in a physical model of the drainage from Mount St. Helens.

Keynote Speaker Marc Gaboury

Marc GabouryMarc Gaboury has over 28 years of experience in fish habitat restoration and enhancement, environmental impact assessment and research. He has worked throughout British Columbia, Yukon, Canadian prairies and eastern United States. He has worked cooperatively on research, impact assessment and restoration projects with First Nations in Manitoba and British Columbia, including Cowichan Tribes, Cree, Haida, Lheidli T'enneh, Huu-Ay-Aht, T'Sou-ke, Nisga'a Lisims Government, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Nuu‑chah‑nulth, and Uchucklesaht First Nations.

Marc has extensive experience in preparing integrated watershed restoration plans and the design and construction of fish habitat restoration structures. He has co-authored comprehensive restoration plans for the Okanagan, Englishman, Coldwater and Cowichan rivers in B.C. and designed specific treatments to restore stream habitats and watershed processes in another 58 watersheds in B.C. and 15 in Manitoba. He has also designed and constructed fishways for low head dams, as well as backwatering schemes for existing culverts to allow fish passage.

Marc is a Registered Professional Biologist with the College of Applied Biology of British Columbia.

Program at a Glance

Pre-Conference - Sunday, September 25

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Ice Breaker

Reception Registration will be open

Day 1 - Monday, September 26

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Training Workshops:

- Engineering for Biologists 101

- Biology for Engineers 101

7:15 AM – 9:15 AM



9:15 AM – 10:30 AM

Welcome, Introductions and Opening Remarks (held in the Plenary Hall)

Master of Ceremonies Serge Metikosh
Senior Fish Habitat Biologist and Regulatory Advisor, Fish Habitat Solutions Inc., Calgary, Alberta

Keynote Speaker Colin Thorne
Professor and Chair of Physical Geography, University of Nottingham, UK

10:45 AM – 12.15 PM

Concurrent Sessions

M1A / M1B / M1C / M1D

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Luncheon – Part I

Held at Milestones (Located in hotel)

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Luncheon – Part II

Luncheon Keynote Speaker Chester Watson (held in the Plenary Hall)
Principal Investigator, Watershed & Channel System Instability, Biedenharn Group, LLC and Emeritus Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Concurrent Sessions

M2A / M2B / M2C / M2D

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Refreshment Break with Exhibitors

4:15 PM – 5:45 PM

Concurrent Sessions

M3A / M3B / M3C / M3D

5:45 PM – 7:15 PM

Wine and Cheese Networking Reception (held in Exhibitors’ Gallery)

Poster Display (Q & A Period)

Day 2 - Tuesday, September 27

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM



8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Concurrent Sessions

T1A / T1B / T1C / T1D

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Refreshment Break with Exhibitors

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions

T2A / T2B / T2C / T2D

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Luncheon – Part I

Held at Milestones (Located in hotel)

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Luncheon – Part II

Master of Ceremonies Serge Metikosh
Senior Fish Habitat Biologist and Regulatory Advisor, Fish Habitat Solutions Inc., Calgary, Alberta

Keynote Speaker Mac Gaboury
Fisheries Biologist/Restoration Ecologist, LGL Group British Columbia

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Concurrent Sessions

T3A / T3B / T3C / T3D

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Refreshment Break with Exhibitors

4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Discussion Panel (Held in the Plenary Hall)

5:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Closing Plenary and Wrap-Up (Held in the Plenary Hall)

Master of Ceremonies Serge Metikosh
Senior Fish Habitat Biologist and Regulatory Advisor, Fish Habitat Solutions Inc., Calgary, Alberta


Registration Rates

Two Days One Day
Early Rate Late Rate Early Rate Late Rate
Regular $300 $400 $200 $250
NGO $200 $200 $125 $125
Student $150 $150 $100 $100

Additional Registration Information

When Does Registration Open?

Registration is scheduled to open in late Spring. Sign up for the mailing list to be notified once registration is open.

About the Registration Rates

All registrations received after Wednesday, September 21, 2016 will be processed ON-SITE. Space is not guaranteed for onsite/walk-in registrations.

NGO's (Non-Governmental Organization) and students carrying at least 50% of a full-time course load qualify for half-price registration rates. Students must include their student identification number on the registration form, where indicated, in order to receive a discounted rate.

All rates quoted are in CDN funds and are subject to 13% HST.

Space Availability

Seating at all concurrent sessions is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis as registrations are received. Session substitutions will only be allowed if space permits.

Attendee Substitutions

Attendee Substitutions are allowed by contacting the Registrar prior to the symposium.

What Your Registration Includes

Your 1 or 2-Day Package includes admittance to all Conference sessions, lunch and coffee breaks for the day on which you are registered.

Contact Information

General inquiries, contact:
Karen Anderson, Conference Coordinator
Phone: 1-888-274-1364 ext. 103


Accommodations IconA discounted block of rooms have been reserved at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls, Niagara Falls. The single or double occupy rates of $139.00 for a city view and $159.00 for a falls view are available for Sunday September 25th and Monday September 26th. There is a $25.00 additional cost per person for triple and quadruple accommodations.

For delegates wanting to reserve for Saturday September 24th, please call the in-house hotel reservation office at 1‑800‑618‑9059.

Book by September 6th to reserve your room at the discounted rate! Book your group rate for Natural Channel Systems Conference.

Dates and Location

Dates and Location IconThe 5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems takes place September 26th & 27th, 2016 at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

TRIECA 2016 Conference

TRIECA ConferenceIf you are interested in the Natural Channels Conference, you might want to check out the annual TRIECA Conference.

TRIECA is Canada's premier stormwater and erosion and sediment control conference and tradeshow bringing together some of North America's leading experts, influential leaders and distinguished research partners in one event. The 6th annual TRIECA Conference will be held March 22nd and 23rd, 2017 at the Pearson Convention Centre, Brampton ON. Check out for more information.

Call for Abstracts - NOW CLOSED

Call for Abstracts Deadline Extended Until April 1st

Call for Abstracts IconThe steering committee is soliciting leading edge and topical oral and poster abstracts from practitioners, scientists, academics, and policy makers from across Canada and beyond who can share their knowledge and innovation in order to deliver new ideas and approaches to problem solving. We welcome applications in the following conference streams:

Current Science and Understanding

    Advancing the understanding of flooding and flood risk management in the context of urbanization and associated land use changes. Examples include:
    1. Urban systems challenges – floodplain encroachment
    2. Headwater system protection / rehabilitation
    3. Landowner expectations
    4. Urban system connectivity and planning
    5. Revising historical trends – is expropriation needed?
    Science and applied research into river mechanics and response mechanisms to known disruptors of the balance between flow and sediment.
    1. Sediment transport in response to hydromodification
    2. Time scale for rivers
    3. Restoring for sediment supply deficiencies
    4. Understanding erosion thresholds
    5. Understanding channel forming flow
    6. Impact of surrounding land use on sediment and erosion
    7. Laboratory study of the complex flow and sediment interactions
    8. Water quality considerations
    9. Technological advances
    Integration of floodplain dynamics, specific to ecological function and the interactions between flow stage and ecological productivity.
    1. Riparian zone interactions
    2. Effects of riparian vegetation on channel form and function
    3. Hyporheic zone exchange
    4. Designing to enhance stability
    5. Post construction monitoring of riparian vegetation
    6. Importance of choosing the right vegetation for the right spot at the right time
    7. Management of invasive species
    8. Effects of riparian areas on water quality

Applied River Management and Rehabilitation

    Insights and innovation from the perspective of the construction industry. Methods, lessons learned, opportunities and challenges that promote the successful implementation of construction projects in valley corridor settings.
    1. Construction practices. Construction limitations
    2. Mitigating impacts during construction.
    3. Oil and gas – challenges working in / around watercourses
    4. Working in remote areas
    5. Erosion and sediment control BMPs
    6. Technological advances
    Design tools, techniques and insights that advance the science and understanding of natural channel systems in the context of stream and river rehabilitation.
    1. Technological advances
    2. Detailed design of aquatic habitat creation and enhancement
    3. Pre-design data requirements (biological, geomorphic, etc.) to suit NCD
    4. Cost comparisons integrating natural channel design (C/B analysis or value added approach)
    5. Maximizing what we can accomplish on a small budget
    6. Rural natural channel design challenges and opportunities
    7. Innovations in rehabilitation techniques
    8. Field methods
    9. Remote sensing for geomorphological purposes
    10. Flow training tools
    11. Precision technology for data collection
    12. Main channel and floodplain linkages
    Advancing the understanding of landuse, hydrology, sediment supply, and the regulatory environment as it pertains to agricultural settings.
    1. Challenges and opportunities in applying NCD principles to agricultural drains
    2. The economic case
    3. Impact of agricultural practices on the resiliency of agricultural drains
    4. Demonstration site promotion
    Dam removal examples and research into the evolutionary response of streams to dam construction and dam removal.
    1. Stream response to low head dam removal
    2. New opportunities for Natural Channel Design in Dam removal
    3. Processes and permitting challenges specific to dam removal
    The integration of habitat-based design criteria into natural channel design projects
    1. Technological advances
    2. Interrelation between hydraulics and fluvial geomorphology in natural channel design
    3. Water crossing design for fish passage
    4. Eco-hydraulic modeling
    5. Hydrology, water quality and habitat usage
    6. Using natural materials in construction and design

Governance, Asset Management and Education

    Challenges and opportunities generated by legislative and funding mechanisms in support of (or as a roadblock to) improvements natural channel science and application.
    1. Innovative legislative drivers for successful projects
    2. Innovations in funding models benefiting natural systems
    3. Advocacy opportunities – NCI and beyond
    4. Permitting process
    5. Education and Awareness
    Insight into risk management surrounding waterways, as it applies to the built environment
    1. Risk management
    2. Issues of liability
    3. What design storm is a new project supposed to withstand without damage. What is damage
    4. Changes to the insurance industry

What We Have Learned / Knowledge Sharing

    Telling the story of restoration failure or success though post construction monitoring.
    1. What’s been learned. Are we making a difference in urban systems
    2. What’s been learned. Are we making a difference in rural systems
    3. Geomorphic, biological, water quality
    4. Meta-analysis – will it be helpful?
    5. Remote sensing and precision data
    Knowledge gaps and opportunities for advancing knowledge of river science, ecology, engineering, land use planning as it pertains to successful project implementation.
    1. Engineering for biologists 101
    2. Biology for engineers 101
    3. Remote sensing

All interested presenters are asked to complete the Call for Abstract form and submit by Friday, April 1, 2016 (previously Friday, March 11, 2016).

Please review the following 3 documents necessary to prepare your abstract submission.

- Overview [Microsoft Word Word / PDF PDF]
- Sub-topics [Microsoft Word Word / PDF PDF]
- Abstract Template [Microsoft Word Word]

Please send questions and completed abstracts to

Contact Us

Contact Us IconKaren Anderson
Conference Coordinator, 5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems
1-888-274-1364 ext. 103

2010 Conference

To view the 2010 Natural Channel Systems conference website, please click here.