Our Work
River Program

Implementing long-term river improvement projects for flood recovery, river resilience, wildlife habitat, and community enjoyment

River Projects

Based on initial plans and assessments, Big Thompson Watershed Coalition identifies potential funding sources, obtains and manages grants, manages and oversees contracts with engineering firms and contractors to build long-term projects that improve river function, and monitors the effectiveness of restoration projects.

These projects benefit Big Thompson watershed residents, stakeholders and visitors.

Since 2016, Big Thompson Watershed Coalition has completed over a dozen river improvement projects across the watershed and continues to develop and implement new river projects in multiple locations.


Program Goals

Reducing risk of loss of life and property damage from future floods

Increasing capacity and connection of the river to its floodplain

Reducing erosion and stabilizing river banks and channel

Improving aquatic and riparian habitat

Enhancing recreation and aesthetics along the river corridor


River Projects

Moodie Street

The project associated with the Moodie Reach spans from just upstream of the original Moodie Street bridge downstream to the Rose Hall bridge, a stream length of approximately 1,300 feet. The flood flows caused heavy erosion to occur along the banks of the Moodie Reach resulting in significant loss of property for several residences…
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Jasper Lake

The 2013 Flood led the Big Thompson River to change alignment due to natural processes of widening and sediment depositing. The purpose of the Jasper lake project was to protect vulnerable infrastructure located within the river corridor from future flood damage while repairing and enhancing aquatic and riparian habitat.
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Cedar Cove

The Cedar Cove reach of the Big Thompson River lies in a canyon pocket, where the steep, narrow upstream canyon walls open up and the valley flattens before constricting once again. During large flood events, such as in 1976 and more recently in 2013, this section of the river deposits and stores sediment…
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Sylvan Dale

The Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is a historic site that currently hosts a working ranch, as well as the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning, a hands-on learning organization working to engage local youth and community members in history, arts, leadership, agriculture, and environmental conservation to name a few.
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Waltonia and Mountain Shadows

In both the 1976 and 2013 major flood events, the communities of Waltonia and Mountain Shadows were heavily impacted by flood damage. Known for its mountain homes that line the river edge, many seasonal and year-round homes were threatened, damaged, or completely lost by rising water levels and the flush of sediment and debris.
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North Fork

This project is located at the confluence of the North Fork and main stem of the Big Thompson River near the Town of Drake, and contains several private properties and local businesses. The 2013 flood event produced large deposits of sediment and debris which completely blocked the US 34 bridge, and damaged private and public infrastructure…
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Glen Haven

Three streams converge near Glen Haven, Colorado: Fox Creek, West Creek, and the North Fork of the Big Thompson River. The 2013 flood caused damage along all three stream corridors as floodwaters overflowed banks, swept trees and debris downstream, and destroyed many structures, bridges, culverts, and roads.
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Wild Natural Area & Neighbors

This project site is located east of the river canyon and west of the City of Loveland, and includes properties such as the Sweetheart Winery, private landowners, and a future City of Loveland Open Space area. This 5,000 foot long segment of the Big Thompson suffered extensive damage from the September 2013 floods.
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Rossum to Wilson River and Rist-Goss Ditch Improvement

The Rossum to Wilson River Restoration projects will be constructed in conjunction with Rist-Goss Ditch/Diversion Project to deliver a combined two miles of river restoration and the removal of a 6 ft high cement ditch diversion structure. This exciting project, implemented by BTWC…
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