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Featured Project: Eighteenmile Creek Streambank Restoration and Erosion Control

Grantee: Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District
State: NY
Basin Program Funds: $30,000
Project Duration: 18 months
Project Type: Demonstration
Contact Information: james.sroka@ny.nacdnet.net, (716) 652 8480, ext. 5

Streambank erosion has been a documented on-going problem in the Eighteenmile Creek Watershed. Erosion threats to properties, roads and bridges have become a recurring concern. Excessive sedimentation negatively impacts water quality and aquatic habitat for the local fishery resources. The watershed has received a high priority designation in the County’s water quality strategy and has been ranked as a primary watershed of concern by the Local Working Group for over eight years. Minimal restoration projects have occurred on the South Branch of the Eighteenmile Creek as previous stabilization efforts have focused on the more urbanized lower watershed areas.


Streambank slope before construction

Activity
Located south of Buffalo, NY, Eighteenmile Creek drains directly to Lake Erie. The watershed, subdivided by the South and Main stream branches, contains 268 miles of waterways and as an important fishery resource, supports trout populations in the upper watershed and migratory runs of salmon and trout from Lake Erie. Since 2005, the District has been implementing a streambank stabilization program.

This project utilized fluvial geomorphology techniques recognized by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, including the Rosgen stream classification system, to restore approximately 400 linear feet of streambank on the South Branch of Eighteenmile Creek. Plantings were an integral portion of this project. The particular location and design classification resulted in the stabilization of the streambank using bioengineering techniques in conjunction with longitudinal peaked stone toe protection.


Streambank before and after construction. Photos courtesy of Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District

Results
Construction began in early September of 2010 and lasted for approximately 3 weeks. The completed project stabilized 400+ feet of severely eroded streambank utilizing longitudinal peaked stone to protect the toe and upper bank up to the 10 year storm event. The installation of a riparian buffer along the channel, which included over 600 Streamco Willow live stakes planted above the rock and whips planted along the toe, will improve the aquatic environment by shading the stream and rock as the plants develop.

The water quality benefits of this project also include the reduction of an estimated 5 tons of sediment per year from entering the stream thereby improving habitat for the local fisheries.


Streambank slope after construction

 

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.  www.glc.org. GLIN Partner