Posts Tagged ‘Stream Restoration’

Monday’s Bankfull Flows

Posted on: December 4th, 2020 by Tim Koch

Mon­day Novem­ber 30th, 2020 was a rainy day in the Ashokan water­shed. A home rain gauge in Boiceville mea­sured approx­i­mate­ly 4 inch­es over the course of the day. 

In response to the sig­nif­i­cant pre­cip­i­ta­tion the Beaver Kill, Lit­tle Beaver Kill, Bushkill, and Eso­pus Creek at Cold Brook reached bank­full dis­charge. Bank­full dis­charge is the stream flow that com­plete­ly fills the chan­nel in a geo­mor­phi­cal­ly sta­ble stream. Any flow that exceeds bank­full will put water onto the adja­cent floodplain. 

Cross sec­tion of a geo­mor­phi­cal­ly sta­ble stream where the entire chan­nel is filled dur­ing a bank­full flow.

Streams that have berms or lev­ees, are incised, or oth­er­wise unsta­ble do not have such a clear rela­tion­ship between bank­full dis­charge and chan­nel geometry.

In the North­east, a bank­full or greater flow hap­pens once every 1.5 years, on aver­age. How­ev­er, “on aver­age” means that some years see mul­ti­ple bank­full events while oth­ers have none. Mon­day’s event was the sec­ond time in 2020 that the Lit­tle Beaver Kill has equaled or exceed­ed its bank­full dis­charge of 909 cubic feet per sec­ond (cfs).

2020 Hydro­graph of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill. From USGS.

Bank­full flow events are impor­tant because over time, these flows move more sed­i­ment than any oth­er dis­charge, larg­er or small­er. This is because bank­full flows hap­pen reg­u­lar­ly, every 1.5 years on aver­age, as opposed to big floods that move a lot of sed­i­ment but are more infrequent. 

Due to the geo­mor­phic impor­tance of bank­full dis­charge events, the AWSMP reg­u­lar­ly vis­its stream restora­tion sites, cul­vert replace­ment projects, and oth­er stream reach­es fol­low­ing bank­full events to take pho­tographs and mon­i­tor any changes observed in the channel. 

AWSMP staff from the Ulster Coun­ty Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict inspect a restora­tion site on Wood­land Creek fol­low­ing a bank­full flow in Novem­ber 2019. Pho­to by Tim Koch.


Do a Good Turn for Earth on Earth Day

Posted on: April 12th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

Vol­un­teer for a Trout Unlim­it­ed tree plant­i­ng on the Stony Clove Creek on Earth Day, April 22. The plant­i­ng is orga­nized but the Catskill Moun­tains Trout Unlim­it­ed (CMTU) chap­ter in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the AWSMP and the Arbor Day Foun­da­tion. CMTU and vol­un­teers will be plant­i­ng native trees and shrubs along Stony Clove Creek at the Wright Road stream restora­tion site upstream from Phoeni­cia, NY. CMTU’s goal for the project is to restore veg­e­ta­tion along crit­i­cal cold­wa­ter streams in the Catskill Moun­tain region. The plant­i­ng will help shore up the hill­side along a sec­tion of the creek that AWMSP repaired in 2016. The plant­i­ng runs from 10:00 AM — 2:00 PM. For more infor­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter for the event vis­it


AWSMP Repairs Damage on Stony Clove Creek

Posted on: January 7th, 2016 by Brent Gotsch

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) has com­plet­ed a project to halt bank ero­sion on the Stony Clove Creek near Lanesville.  The chan­nel was restored through a 2,500-foot cor­ri­dor heav­i­ly dam­aged dur­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Irene. Restora­tion of the stream chan­nel cost approx­i­mate­ly $1.5 million.

Dur­ing T.S. Irene, sev­er­al homes were dam­aged by ero­sion and flood­ing, and sed­i­ment accu­mu­lat­ed in the cen­ter of the chan­nel, push­ing stream flows toward the banks.

Stream banks con­tin­ued to retreat in front of three remain­ing homes and sev­er­al large hill­slopes. The rapid­ly slump­ing hill­slopes con­tributed sig­nif­i­cant amounts of fine sed­i­ment to the stream. The sed­i­ments trav­el miles down­stream to the Eso­pus Creek and Ashokan Reservoir.

Engi­neers used a com­bi­na­tion of instream grade and flow con­trol struc­tures designed to mim­ic nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring stream fea­tures to sta­bi­lize the chan­nel and erod­ing stream banks. The chan­nel was engi­neered to pass both low and high stream flows, and the sed­i­ment car­ried by those flows, with­out sig­nif­i­cant­ly eroding.

Kingston Equip­ment Rental, Inc. (Bak­er Broth­ers Exca­vat­ing) out of West Hur­ley built the project. The project was designed by con­sult­ing firm Milone & MacB­room, Inc. The Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (SWCD) pro­vid­ed over­all project management.

In 2016, the Ulster Coun­ty SWCD will work with landown­ers at the project site to tai­lor plant­i­ngs to their prop­er­ties and reveg­e­tate areas scoured dur­ing T.S. Irene. They will also con­tin­ue mon­i­tor­ing the site.

Long-term mon­i­tor­ing wells were installed on a major fail­ing hill­s­lope at the site, and a sep­a­rate phase of restora­tion is being planned for that hill­s­lope in 2016.

The stream restora­tion was fund­ed by the New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and the Nat­ur­al Resources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice Emer­gency Water­shed Pro­tec­tion pro­gram. The Town of Hunter spon­sored the project.

Over the past four years, AWSMP has pro­vid­ed local match to fed­er­al funds to com­plete six stream restora­tion projects total­ing $6.8 mil­lion in the Stony Clove Creek water­shed. The AWSMP is a part­ner­ship between Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty, Ulster Coun­ty SWCD, and New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Protection.

The AWSMP plans to car­ry out a stream restora­tion project in the Beaver Kill Water­shed in the Town of Wood­stock in 2017.

Stony Clove Creek near Wright Road looking upstream before steam restoration.

Stony Clove Creek near Wright Road look­ing upstream before steam restoration.


Stony Clove Creek near Wright Road looking upstream during steam restoration.

Stony Clove Creek near Wright Road look­ing upstream dur­ing steam restoration.


Stream Restoration Project Advances

Posted on: October 6th, 2015 by Leslie_Zucker

A project to restore chan­nel sta­bil­i­ty and stop bank ero­sion on the Stony Clove Creek at Wright Road is mid-way through com­ple­tion. Sed­i­ment that accu­mu­lat­ed dur­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Irene was moved from the chan­nel’s cen­ter and water now flows in a sin­gle thread down the val­ley. The project is locat­ed about one-mile north of Lanesville in Greene Coun­ty. Work is expect­ed to con­tin­ue through October.


Kingston Equip­ment Rental, Inc.-Baker Broth­ers Exca­vat­ing out of West Hur­ley is build­ing the project. The project was designed by con­sult­ing firm Milone and MacB­room, Inc.

The chan­nel has been engi­neered to pass dif­fer­ent sizes of flows, while main­tain­ing a sta­ble dimen­sion and pro­file. The chan­nel bed and banks were unsta­ble and erod­ing before the project began.


A Bak­er Broth­ers oper­a­tor pre­cise­ly regrades a fail­ing hill­s­lope with an exca­va­tor, over­seen by site fore­man Mike Van­de­bog­a­rt. This new­ly cre­at­ed flood­plain bench will be reveg­e­tat­ed after stream work ends.


Sur­veys are done and logs main­tained to con­firm the project is built as planned.


Each day a num­ber of project staff are on-site, includ­ing equip­ment oper­a­tors and the site fore­man for Bak­er Broth­ers Exca­vat­ing, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from engi­neer­ing firm Milone and MacB­room, and a project man­ag­er with the Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion District.


Ver­non Bevan (left) is the on-site rep­re­sen­ta­tive for engi­neer­ing firm Milone and MacB­room. Adam Doan (right) is the stream project man­ag­er with Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion District.

This stream restora­tion is fund­ed by the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram and the Nat­ur­al Resources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice, Emer­gency Water­shed Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram. The Town of Hunter is the project sponsor.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact the AWSMP at (845) 688‑3047.