Hey All, James Here…

We are just putting the finishing touches on our latest Hydromulch episode.  Lots of great information.  Here is a little teaser, basically an early cut of the first 30 seconds or so.

We’ll have a lot more clips in the coming days.  Stay tuned!

Hey Everybody,  James here!

We are madly working away at our 2 new episodes, the Big Cover Up and Hydromulch 2 (read about them here).

They are looking great and are almost done.  The episodes are bursting with information.  So much so, that we have big chunks of content that we could not fit into the regular episode.  Great stuff, but we just can’t find room for it.   But there is always room on the Internet isn’t there?

So here is a bit we produced with John talking straw types….enjoy!


Oh, to learn more about that Straw Blower, check out this interview (Click Here)

Image: Fieldandstream.comHi all – James Here,

Back at EC08, the IECA brought in a guy named Chad Pregracke as the Keynote speaker.  Chad’s story is a pretty simple, but pretty awesome one.  Basically, Chad grew up on the Mississippi, and started out as a commercial clammer – which involves crawling on the BOTTOM of the river.

After awhile Chad began to notice the huge amount of garbage and trash littering the waterway.  So he decided to do something about.  His entire story can be found here at this link or watch the video below…

Every now and then, I check out the Living Land and Waters (LLAW) Website.  And recently I noticed a stat sheet that they posted listing the items of garbage that Chad and his team pulled.  It’s a fun (and scary) little read and can be found here.

If don’t know much about Living Land and Waters, check ’em out.  What they’re doing is absolutely amazing stuff.


Side Note:  You may have seen Chad and Co. featured on the Discovery Channel’s ‘Dirty Jobs’.  Well, apparently, LLAW made a nice impression as Chad told us there is talk of a Discovery series completely focused on LLAW and his motley river crew.  So stay tuned!

(Side, Side Note:  In fact, Chad tried to hook me up as a cameraman for the pilot episode, but unfortunately I couldn’t make the schedule happen… broke my heart, how cool would it be to document that stuff??!!)

G’day M8s,

John again from New Zealand. Here are a few more thing of erosional interest, call it “erosion control around the world”

During the big Hobson Highway Deviation Project field tour I learned they were trying an innovative “green wall” for a highway bridge. The six-inch thick reinforced concrete wall had holes it it. Behind the holes were Delta-lok geobags. The bags were filled with growth medium. Native plants “plugs” were then inserted into the bags. Another experiment they had going was to try it with an additional geotextile between the bags and the concrete. What do you think??

I got to hook up with Robert Coulson again. Robert had taken all of my classes at the IECA Conferences (and I think anything else IECA had to offer) and to see him again was so gratifying. Robert has brought all that knowledge and technical expertise to New Zealand. He has several hydroseeders, mulch/compost blowers, straw blowers AND he is growing and propagating a shrub willow that is very useful for Bioengineering projects – which he has done many!

Note Salix sp. are not native to NZ and most see them a s a nuisance. However, digging a little deeper I discovered that the “BAD” willow here are a tree willow growing along streambanks. These willow trees are referred to as “Crack Willow”, not a drug thing but they “crack and break off and then cause flooding”. Soooo Robert is using an shrub willow for brushlayering, and quite successfully. He is building ‘live walls’ for road repair using compost socks (Filtrexx) and brushlayering. These projects and all his others have been so successful and cost-effective that Robert’s company is getting quite a good reputation in this island nation. Maybe we can post some of these projects in the future?

Also, check out some of the cool stuff the North Shore City Council has going on.

Robert and I got invited to visit some sites with some of the North Shore City Council planners. This was really the high point of my trip. These guys had attended my full day class – Environmentally-Sensitive Streambank Stabilization. The attendees got a free manual on CD, the NCHRP Report 544 on Environmentally-Sensitive Channel and Bank Protection Measures. Nothing like going out in the field and discussing solutions to real world problems. It was raining also during the trip so it was a real rain slicker/ mud boots trip.

Typical urban problems – water quality and stream incision. However, the North Shore Council has a really progressive stream restoration and park development project just about ready to go. This project will (over 800 meters of stream work) get implemented BEFORE full urbanization in the area is experienced. This is a great example of good planning and environmental sensitivity.Check out this regional stormwater detention that the North Shore City Council did. This project “has it all going on” – stabilized pool/riffle stream, floating gabion islands, and habitat galore. Good Job!!Hey it is raining so hard and cold. I rented a camper van. Last night, driving down to Palmerston North the winds were gusting 60 mph and the rain was sheeting horizontal, whoa! Check out all the flooding rivers!! I’m guessing more than bank-full discharge, or above mean annual high water or 1 in 5 yr storms!!! new plymouth, my favorite so far.

I am GOING to Fiji, no kidding
More from there, Ciao John

John Here –

Hello Friends or as they say in Kiwi-land ” G’day Mate “

The IECA / NZIHT conference in Auckland was well attended, about half Aussies, half Kiwis, one Californian (Callie) and one South African – by my math it was 102% attendance! But then I’m a geologist/erosion control specialist!

There was lots of interest in all things erosion and I learned a lot from presentations. The New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology was co-sponsor, their mission is education so this conference was a perfect match for these two groups.

For instance, there is a lot of erosion control and restoration work in the Auckland area, “good on you mates!” Also, the Highway Agencies are using and implementing many state-of-the-art BMPs. Silt fence for instance. Never saw one shoddy silt fence installation and the filter fabric was strong, made of good quality geotextiles. The Wall Mart-type, pre-attached stakes would never pass muster here. Auckland Regional Council (ARC) has some really comprehensive BMP Manuals. TP-90 has BMPs for temporary construction site management and TP-10 has permanent Stormwater BMPs.

Lot of emphasis on what they call alliances, which is parallel to what we are attempting in CA – especially in the area of “watershed restoration”. We try to build Cooperative Resource Management plans and Technical Working Groups. Nothing worse than having a really great restoration project get funded (grants are so competitive!), permitted, etc. and then have an agency delay or make costly changes because they were “not in the loop”. Oops, I’ll stop my too personal commentary. Back to NZ.

Auckland is really comprised of several local city councils, each one regulates development over its area but then the developments are also regulated by the ARC and council representing the indigenous peoples.

For a conference field trip we got to visit a big Highway “Deviation” project (we’d call it a bypass me thinks). This project was a huge example of an alliance, most of the work being a design-build with much oversite by ARC, Northshore Regional Council, and the indigenous group. As you will see from the photos, it is now rainy season and almost all bare soil has been surface stabilized with straw mulch – good on ya! They also rely heavily on sediment basins. The “TP-90 Basins” are designed with a 3:1 L:W ratio, have a chamber called forebay, level spreader, main pond area and a decant. The decants you’ll notice are somewhat similar to the Faircloth Skimmer outlet devises. I can’t understand why we in the west keep designing ponds with slotted risers – don’t get me started!.

Check out the Photos:

Straw mulching bare areas during winter

they got the Cilverts in before winter, good “Phasing and Scheduling”. Note the proper silt fence!!Michael Francombe, President of Australasia IECA. Michael is a most experienced erosion professional and very knowledgeable leader. Conference is in Noosa, Queensland, Australia next year.this ponds “fore bay” is full. No floc used on this sediment trapThis is a typical ARC TP-90 Sed Pond with flocculant shed (meters floc into the inflow based on rainfall) up by group, level spreader forming fore bay, the black pipe is leave catcher, and then Triple-level decant. It is possible that this pond will be converted into a permanent stormwater basin at end of construction.floc shed, really an ingenious idea for metering the flocculant. The floc is poly-aluminiun chloride (PAC). I don’t know how it compares to PAM. I do know that aquatic organisms and the substrate habitat is a ket driver for regulating construction site runoff.

Cheers Mates!  More to come, stay tuned!


Hey Guys,

Just wanted to post a quick update about what’s going on with Dirt Time.  There are a lot of exciting projects going through Dirt Time and the BlinkWorks studios. It’s going to be a really busy summer.  This site will be brimming with content. 

For Dirt Time, we’re currently working on 2 episodes right now.  Things are going great and we hope to have some sneak peak footage sometime next week.

  • The first episode coming out is a second Dirt Time video on Hydromulch.  Think of it as Hydromulch: Redux!  Basically, we looked back at our 3-year old Hydromulch video and thought it was time to update, give it the HD treatment and just simply do it much better.  The hydromulch episode is our most popular to date, so we’re thinking this one will be well recived also.
  • The second episode we’re working on is something called:  The Big Cover Up.  What do you do when you have large areas of exposed soil and a limited time to button it all up?  Well, in this video we take you through the options.  We have 4 major techniques (RECPs, Hydromulch, Straw blowing and Compost) that we are going to explain, compare and install.  It’s a very cool episode, you won’t want to miss it!

And in addition to that, we have some other projects in the hopper that we can’t wait to announce…but unfortunately can’t just yet.  But do stick around, and check in often, because things are going to get pretty busy around here!

Take Care,



Well, let’s keep the destruction videos coming, shall we?

We recently received this video via David Derrick.  It’s a demolition of the Yazoo River Bridge in Redwood.  It’s not really erosion and sediment control related, nor WYD related, but who doesn’t like watching things blow up and fall down?

Here’s the video:

I also, did a quick search to see what else is out there.  So, in case, that one video didn’t do it for ya, here is a fantastic, Operatic video done by Virginia Department of Transportation.  Great Stuff!


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