Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve has been notified of a recent grant award from the Healing Our Waters Coalition healthylakes.org to support the preserve’s efforts to restore an eroding stream bank in the Yellow Dog River. The grant amount is $15,000 to plan, secure permits, collaborate with partners, monitor the site, and seek restoration funding to reduce the flow of sediment entering the water at a site near Bear Lake beginning in May 2014.Sedimentation is the accelerated erosion of streambanks and hillslopes which causes excessive material to be deposited in the stream bottom. This accumulation disrupts natural fish spawning and aquatic organism habitat in cobbles and gravel. Although it is a natural process, acceleration can be caused by humans due to tree removal along stream margins, impaired road crossings, lose road surfaces and other factors. Sedimentation is the single largest contributor to pollution of our nation’s rivers (CEPA, 1987). Also, the accelerated accumulation of sediments in aquatic ecosystems leads to a decline in surface water quality and biodiversity (Waters, 1995). The Yellow Dog River Watershed Planning Project has identified sediment as the number one priority pollutant of known concern in the watershed in 2014. There are other known and potential pollutants on our list, but this is the priority known pollutant to address.
This grant will also support our efforts to monitor other sedimentation issues in the watershed and continue prioritizing problem areas. The Preserve will continue to seek funding opportunities to restore the streambank at the Bear Lake site, which could cost upwards of $200,000. We have already communicated with the Natural Resource Conservation Service who has also investigated the site and intends to support the engineering design process. YDWP is excited to continue working on this project and will be looking for interested volunteers to support the implementation of best management practices. If you are interested in learning more about the impacts of sedimentation, please see the EPA Water WARSSS link here: Introduction to Sediment and River Stability