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New Tool Opens the Door for $9.6 Billion Ecological Restoration Industry


LIVINGSTON, MT, 01/20/2005 -- It’s been said before that the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stone, but because we found a better way of doing things. A small Montana company, calling for “an end to the Stone Age,” has developed a tool to enable better, faster, and less costly stream restoration.

RiverWorks Rapid Assessment System™ (RRAS™) is breakthrough technology that combines a waterproof, rugged, handheld computer, digital camera and GPS receiver with innovative software that enables the user to rapidly and efficiently collect, analyze, and report stream data. Applications include stream assessment, streambank stabilization planning and design, restoration or mitigation planning, conservation activities, permitting, and post-treatment monitoring.

Developed and tested in environments as diverse as the Yellowstone River and the Mississippi Delta, RRAS™ was recently purchased by the Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulic Laboratory (CHL) to assess restoration activities throughout the Mississippi Delta.

THI RiverWorks, Inc. of Livingston, Mont. developed RRAS™ out of an identified need for repeatable, efficient stream assessments that also generated scientifically-sound, defensible data appropriate to the stream restoration industry. With offices overlooking the magnificent Yellowstone River, RiverWorks is a small firm that thinks as big as its Paradise Valley vista.

“We’ve reached a stage in our nation’s growth where we are now going back and, in many instances, trying to repair the damage we’ve done. Nowhere is the damage more evident than along our nation’s waterways,” says RiverWorks CEO Michael Sprague. “It’s a daunting task to try to recreate natural systems, but it also represents a huge opportunity for those who recognize this trend, and are interested in innovative approaches.”

Sprague’s not kidding. Ecological restoration is nearing a $10 billion per year industry and annual spending in the U.S. for mitigation of erosion and sedimentation is estimated at an additional $13 billion. With clean water regulations and permitting requirements on the rise, RiverWorks’ aggressive investment in tools and technologies to assist the protection and restoration of rivers and streams dovetails perfectly with the growing opportunities for professionals entering the ecological restoration market. Technology like RRAS™ can provide an easy entry into this market.

During its official product launch through the end of February, RiverWorks is offering incentives including giveaways, nonprofit programs, free field trials, free training workshops and more. For more information visit RiverWorks’ website at or call toll-free 888-218-8507.


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