Major Stream Restoration Project Begins

Posted on: August 19th, 2015 by Leslie_Zucker

A massive hillslope bordering the Stony Clove Creek in the Town of Hunter is actively eroding and contributing sediment to the stream. The AWSMP is supporting a major stream restoration project at the site about one mile north of Lanesville on NY-214. The project uses the last of federal Emergency Watershed Protection funds available for fixing streams badly damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The repairs cover 2,000 feet of stream. Construction will run from August-October, 2015.

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The Stony Clove is heavily clogged with sediment and woody debris at the project site. The stream runs through a narrow valley flanked by two large, failing hillslopes covered in tilted trees and slumping clay and sand-filled banks. Large bars of sediment deposited in the channel by Irene are forcing water toward the vulnerable stream banks.

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Currently, the site is choked with invasive species and the channel braids through storm debris with little pocket water or shaded habitat for fish.

The project will restore a single channel and the riparian vegetation needed to shade the stream. Sediment piled in the channel will be incorporated into the stream bed and banks. Floodplain benches will border the newly shaped channel to further dissipate the energy of fast flows.

A replanted floodplain bench on Warner Creek immediately after construction.

A replanted floodplain bench on Warner Creek immediately after construction.

 

Rock “vanes” will angle into the stream bed to deflect water away from banks. Some eroding banks will be stabilized with rock. Eventually, replanted streamside vegetation will further hold the banks.

The project will cost $1.8 million to construct. Total project cost is over $2 million including design and survey. The Town of Hunter is sponsoring the project, but the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which administers the Emergency Watershed Protection fund, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will cover all of the project’s cost.

Kingston Equipment Rental, Inc.-Baker Brothers Excavating out of West Hurley will construct the project, which was designed by consulting firm Milone & MacBroom, Inc. About 13 streamside landowners supported the project to halt the march of eroding banks toward their property.

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