Rifle River Streambank Stabilization Demonstration
Ogemaw and Arenac Counties, MI

Grantee: Saginaw Bay Resource Conservation & Development Area Inc.
Basin Program Funds: $12,000
Non-federal Funds: $63,306
Project Duration: 06/1996 - 05/1997
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Sediment deposition at the mouth of the Rifle River is interfering with navigation. Sedimentation has increased turbidity and clogged gravel beds, reducing fish reproduction habitat and invertebrate populations. Sources include streambank erosion caused by ice, water and foot traffic, agriculture erosion, road crossings, and off-road vehicles.

The Rifle River watershed is located in Ogemaw and Arenac counties, draining an area of approximately 246,000 acres that outlets into Saginaw Bay. The river itself stretches over 600 miles and its tributaries cover almost 140 miles. There are 29 inland lakes covering 2,564 acres. Much of the watershed has a clay pan which results in rapid runoff. There are many high, exposed sand banks, particularly in the lower portion of the river. The Rifle River watershed is a popular recreation destination and hosts over 1,200 private camp sites and numerous canoe liveries.

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate streambank erosion control and promote the Rifle River Restoration Committee efforts. The Rifle River Restoration Committee selected 10 to 12 sites to be targeted for this project from the 354 erosion sites identified through the Rifle River Streambank Erosion Inventory. Various erosion control techniques were applied including rock rip-rap, tree revetments, bank shaping and seeding, and vegetative planting.

Under this project, six sites were identified for streambank stabilization: Stoddard, River Bend Campground, Turtle Park, River View Campground, White's Canoe & Campground, and Moffat Bridge Canoe Launch. Engineering plans and designs were prepared and stabilization work was completed. A total of 1,750 tons of soil per year were saved as a result of this project.

Stoddard: Two hundred feet of streambank on state owned land were stabilized with rock rip-rap and vegetation. A stairway to be used as a canoe launch was installed and a natural groundwater seep outlet was stabilized. A total of 200 tons of soil per year were saved.

River Bend Campground: Three hundred feet of streambank was stabilized with rock rip-rap, saving a total of 300 tons of soil per year.

Turtle Park: One hundred feet of channel was stabilized with rock rip-rap and land shaping, saving a total of 50 tons of soil per year.

River View Campground: Eight hundred feet of streambank was stabilized with rock rip-rap and vegetation, saving a total of 800 tons of soil per year.

Moffat Bridge: Completed stabilization of a canoe launch site and diverted runoff from the driveway and road. One hundred and fifty feet of channel and 200 feet of streambank were stabilized, saving a total of 250 tons of soil per year.

Whites Campground: One hundred and twenty feet of streambank stabilized with rock rip-rap, saving a total of 120 tons of soil per year.

Contact: Jim Hergott, Project Coordinator, (517) 684-5650


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150.  projects.glc.org. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner