Our Story

We are an employee-owned, interdisciplinary firm that specializes in investigations, design, and restoration of rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands. Our team of scientists, engineers, and technicians collaboratively work with clients to develop solutions to complex aquatic challenges that balance human and environmental needs.

Our History

We got our start in 1984 when a few fly-fishing scientists combined their passion for rivers with knowledge of geomorphology, fish biology, and hydrology to return abused trout streams into the Blue Ribbon fisheries they once were. We took a team approach utilizing an array of disciplines that actively accounted for many interests, including natural processes. Our team took a risk on advancing this new approach. We launched the business with $4,000, an IBM typewriter, and desks made of old doors and file cabinets. Almost four decades later, we continue to develop cutting-edge designs for aquatic restoration projects that range from tidal restoration, to dam removal, to urban habitat improvements – just to name a few.

  • 1900

    130 stream restoration companies were operating in Washington. Their primary job: clearing logs from rivers.

  • 1930s

    On the brink of World War II, large dam construction accelerated.

  • 1960s

    "Detroit riprap" was used up until the late 20th century to stabilize river banks.

  • 1970s

    Growing concern about environmental degradation led to extensive federal legislation in the 1970s, including the National Environmental Policy Act (1970); Clean Water Act (1972); Endangered Species Act (1973); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1975).

  • 1980s

    Four fly-fishing scientists created Inter-Fluve to restore rivers to the blue ribbon fisheries they once were.

  • 1990s

    Large cities began integrating the natural environment with urban design in ways the Romans never dreamed of.

  • 2000s

    Nationwide, 2,025 dams have been removed from 1912 through 2022 (American Rivers). We’ve been involved in over 150 of them.

  • 2010s

    Throughout the Northeast, we’re restoring ecological processes to wetlands including degraded cranberry bogs.

  • 2020s

    In California, we’re working with wineries bordering Dry Creek and the Sonoma County Water Agency to provide critical habitat for young coho salmon and steelhead trout.


To be in service to a healthier planet.


We value vibrant and healthy places. We are drawn to learn and explore. We are driven by a shared passion, a sense of respect for ecosystems and a responsibility to future generations. We humbly and enthusiastically bring our individual expertise to the collective work of supporting healthy aquatic ecosystems.


We work to heal aquatic ecosystems through applied science and engineering.

Headwaters Program

Headwaters Giving

Inter-Fluve is an employee-owned company. We annually allocate 7% of our profit to promote aquatic restoration practice and education with public, private, non-profit, academic and various professional societies we engage with and are inspired by. A portion of this giving is being allocated to partners who are working with or for groups that have been historically underrepresented in aquatic restoration.

Headwaters Outreach

We recognize that educating and inspiring children and young adults is an important step in fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our staff visit schools in their communities and teach short lessons on restoring rivers that usually involve interacting with hands-on stream simulations. Our senior staff also teach their craft at universities including Northeastern, Harvard, Portland State University, and the University of Minnesota.

Headwaters Internship

Our newly formed internship program provides opportunities for hands-on experience in river and wetland restoration design for students or recent graduates. The program provides a range of potential opportunities, such as learning science and engineering methods from practitioners; meeting local, state, and federal project partners; conducting fieldwork; and observing project implementation. Inter-Fluve supports increasing diversity and inclusion in the river restoration design profession; to this end, the internship program strives to provide opportunities to historically underrepresented groups.

Celebrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Inter-Fluve is committed to delivering excellence in aquatic engineering and ecosystem restoration. We approach each project with a spirit of humility and a dedication to nurturing equity and inclusion within our workplace, within ourselves, and through our projects. We celebrate diversity in all its forms and are committed to fostering a workplace where everyone is comfortable being themselves at work.