Erosion and Sedimentation Control
Fenton-Livingston Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds:
Sedimentation and nonpoint pollution is listed by the Michigan DNR as a cause
for stream degradation for seven miles of the Red Cedar River and for 6 miles
of Honey Creek. Additionally, the Red Cedar River is the only watercourse in
the Grand River watershed where fish have died from oxygen depletion due to
biochemical oxygen demand from both point source and nonpoint source pollution.
The Erosion and Sedimentation Control project is an example of an interagency/citizen
effort to reduce soil erosion, the accompanying sedimentation, and fertilizer
runoff into the Red Cedar and Huron River watersheds. The Red Cedar and Huron
River watersheds contain a combined total of approximately 50,000 acres of
cropland in Livingston County. At present, 92,500 tons of soil loss (66 percent
of the total soil loss) is accounted for on 10,350 acres (only 21 percent
of the total cropland). Program efforts will focus on these 10,350 acres where
soil erosion is occurring at twice the tolerable rate. By implementing a filterstrip
incentive program and other erosion control structures (e.g., grassed waterways
and a no-till program), it is estimated that this project will reduce sediment
loadings into the Red Cedar and Huron River watersheds by approximately 14,000
tons in one year (10,000 tons from filter strips alone).
The Great Lakes Basin Program is allocating $34,164 over a 15-month period
to the following areas: program planning, design planning, evaluation, education/information,
implementation and administration. These tasks will provide farmers with the
necessary resources and technical assistance to implement an erosion control
strategy on their land and will inform interested citizens about sustaining
this program past the designated timeline.
Filterstrips were the primary means identified to achieve the project's sediment
reduction goals. 10,389 linear feet of filterstrips (14 acres) have been established
in the Red Cedar River watershed. This represents 124% of our goal on an acreage
basis and 70% of our linear feet goal.
Four drainage outlet stabilizations (rock chute design) were also installed
and a grassed waterway system of approximately 3000 linear feet has been designed.
A district conducted informal phone survey of farmers and custom no till providers
(as well as the Districts direct experience with their own no till service)
estimated a 24% increase in no till planting in the Red Cedar watershed over
the past two years. It is estimated that 3,100 acres are now planted no till
or approximately 18% of the total row crop acres.
The above erosion control measures resulted in a sediment reduction of 3,679
tons, and a reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen loadings of 4,283 pounds, and
6,247 respectively for 1996. These results were obtained using the 319 calculation.
Total savings for the 2-year project period include a sediment reduction of
7,148 tons and a reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen loadings of 6,998 pounds
and 10,412 pounds respectively.
The project will not achieve the goals outlined in the grant proposal of
a sediment reduction of 14,000 tons per year, for the following reasons: 1)
fewer linear feet of filterstrip were installed than originally planned due
to participants desire to install 66 foot wide filterstrips rather than the
anticipated 33 foot wide filterstrip; 2) the drainage areas affected by the
filterstrips were smaller than anticipated; and 3) the 319 calculation was
not used when the grant proposal estimates were derived. The assumptions were
far more generous than projections would have been had the 319 formula been
To inform and educate local farmers about the filterstrip program, the district
included articles on the program in its newsletters and the local newspaper
with a circulation of 6,300. The District technician also spoke at several
public events and made contacts with several citizen environmental groups
such as Friends of the Red Cedar to inform them of the program, highlight
successes and solicit input.
The Great Lakes Basin Program funds have leveraged $10,617 from non-federal
sources over the life of the grant.