Cazenovia Creek Streambank Stabilization – Joint Board 18R
Erie County, NY

Grantee: Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $12,266
Non-federal Funds: $19,949
Project Duration: 07/2002 - 07/2003
Status: complete

Problem Statement
The project site is located on the West Branch of Cazenovia Creek, off of NY240 in the town of Colden. Approximately 300 feet of streambank at the outside bend of a meander is severely eroding. This erosion is occurring at the upstream end of the Erie and Wyoming County Joint Board project site 18-R. A large gravel bar has accumulated on the opposite bank that directs water towards the eroding bank. If the erosion is allowed to continue, the remaining portion of the project is in jeopardy of being undermined and subsequently failing.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 1996 Priority Water Bodies List (segment ID 0103-0009) designates the west branch of Cazenovia Creek as a Class B stream and identifies the primary use impairment as fish propagation. The primary pollutant is sediment. The primary source of sediment is streambank erosion. A remediation strategy exists but funding is needed. Cazenovia Creek has a drainage area of 135 square miles and joins the Buffalo River within the designated Area of Concern identified in the Lake Erie Management Plan. The Buffalo River joins Lake Erie near the mouth of the Niagara River. The Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan strategy has been developed with the goals of remediating bottom sediments, continuing ongoing programs to manage nonpoint source pollution and improving fish and wildlife habitat. The Lake Erie Management Plan acknowledges that sediment is impairing five of 14 beneficial uses of the stream, including restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption and on dredging activities. Cazenovia Creek is listed as a high-priority stream in the Erie County Water Quality Coordinating Committee’s Water Quality Strategy.

This location and design classification will allow us the opportunity to stabilize the streambank using strictly bioengineering techniques. The project location is excellent for a demonstration project utilizing these techniques, which will help educate local municipalities and other conservation partners. The project will incorporate shaping a new trapezoidal channel with 1V: 2H side slopes within a large gravel bar. The stream thalweg (the line defining the lowest points along the length of a river bed) will be relocated through the 3,000 cubic yard gravel bar over a distance of 600 linear feet. The new channel will be placed 60 feet west of the existing thalweg. The side slopes will be planted with live fascines and live stakes of streamco willows and red osier dogwoods. The top portions of the bank will be planted with a rye/fescue seed mix, which will serve as a filter to the stream.

In May 2003, 200 linear feet of streamco willow poles were placed and hybrid poplars were planted at the downstream end and along previous fascine areas to establish a riparian buffer on the plateau caused by channel reshaping. In addition, the final construction included 600 LF of channel reshaping and the installation of 200LF of willow poles, 300LF of fascines, 150LF of live stakes on toe, 600 LF of live stakes on the original bank and the planting of 12 red maples, conducted to the satisfaction of four property owners and in concert with the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as federal partners. It is estimated that soil reduction will be 1,100 tons per year, phosphorus savings 1,100 pounds per year and nitrogen savings 220 pounds per year.

High fall flows did slightly erode the new right bank. Some willow poles were lost and over 90 percent of the fascines were lost. The project was evaluated for repair work and repair was deemed not justifiable due to the wet spring. It was concluded that repair work may cause the project to become unstable.

Contact: Mr. Mark Gaston, 716-652-8480


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