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Innovative Stream Restoration in Mansker Creek (with Adam Spiller and Zach Mryncza, KCI Technologies)

October 15, 2021


The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2021–2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The Decade positions the restoration of ecosystems as a major nature-based solution towards meeting a wide range of global development goals and national priorities. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people.

The Cumberland River Compact addresses the root causes of water quality issues often through restoration. Our goals with restoration are to mimic nature, protect vital habitat, and replenish stream flows. Depending on the situation, we use a variety of techniques to do this from green infrastructure to dam removals to streambank stabilization. We complement our restoration work with community engagement across a watershed to address these issues on a broader level.

Mansker Creek is a well-known and well-loved stream in Goodlettsville, TN, that meanders through neighborhoods and communities before entering the Cumberland River near Moss-Wright Park. Like many of our urban streams, Mansker Creek has several water quality impairments, including high levels of sediment and pathogens. Heavy urbanization and increased runoff in the area created conditions of severe bank erosion in parts of Mansker Creek, contributing to sedimentation in the creek among other problems. To address the problem, we worked with the City of Goodlettsville and KCI Technologies to repair the eroded bank in Moss Wright Park and restore the creek.

In this podcast, Will Caplenor, Field Operations Supervisor with the Cumberland River Compacts, speaks to Adam Spiller and Zach Mryncza with KCI Technologies about this stream restoration project and how it addressed the root causes of water quality issues in Mansker Creek. We explore the process of restoration and how these projects can make our streams more resilient into the future.

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About KCI:

KCI is a 100-percent employee-owned engineering, planning, and construction firm serving clients throughout the United States. Their multi-disciplined service offerings provide expertise to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as institutional and private-sector clients. Their core purpose is to care for and improve the built and natural environment to better our society.

About Adam Spiller and Zach Mryncza:

Adam Spiller is an environmental scientist and the natural resources regional practice leader. Working out of the firm’s Raleigh, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee offices, he has extensive experience in stream and wetland restoration design and project management, dam removal, natural resource mitigation banking, and water quality projects. Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of William & Mary and his master’s degree in ecosystem science and management from Duke University.

Zach Mryncza is an environmental construction project manager with KCI. He works out of the Nashville, Tennessee office and has extensive experience in all aspects of the firm’s work, and specializing in construction management. He has a psychology degree from St. Andrew’s University and a Master’s in Construction Management from Western Carolina University.

In this podcast:

  • Explanation of the major issues found at Mansker Creek in Goodlettsville. 
  • The way streambank stabilization addressed these issues. 
  • How the solution was conceived, designed, and constructed. 
  • The impact of the nearby confluence with the Cumberland River on the project’s design.  
  • Ways to make streams more resilient to increased flows from extreme weather.
  • How restoration varies on small versus large streams.
Learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode:

Project Highlight Video: