Why is it so important to consider protection of our waterways and drainageways on a website devoted to lakes? These are the main conduits from which key constituents are delivered to our lakes. These constituents include sediment and various debris, of which are the primary delivery mechanism for nuisance nutrients such as phosphorus. Well know for aiding in, and speeding the process of eutrophication, minimization of the direct input of sediment should be a primary goal. Not only does sediment deliver the direct phosphorus, excess phosphorus that cannot serve as an immediate nutrient is further deposited on the lake bottom where it becomes subject to resuspension and uptake by nuisance vegetation, algae and of course bacteria associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs).
What are left of streams within our urban corridors is little of what one might imagine when we envision a flowing stream, a winding creek, or a babbling brook. Many of the entrance streams into lakes have been widened and dredged to accommodate additional access and boat piers. In the suburbs and metro area we have bottled up many creeks in extensive pipe systems and treatment wetlands have been tiled and farmed. Some shorelines and creek banks are sheet piling, seawall, or concrete bulkheads. This effect tends to speed up the velocity of the stream or creek creating additional deepening. Hardened shoreline creates a more intense wave or wake impact; this creates a significant downward wave movement which can be destructive to habitat and potentially undermine the structure.
While it may seem intuitive to just bombard an eroding creek with stone, there is a specific technique to properly employ armoring to combat scour and offset increases in velocity while properly maintaining or creating habitats. Streams can mean many different things to many different people and groups. A summary list of services or potential projects as they relate to streams:
- Stream restoration, stabilization, and/or enhacement
- Stream analysis, hydraulic review, and stability assessment
- Watershed Planning and watershed management
- Stream biological and habitat assessments
- Stream permitting in association with modification, restoration, etc.
- Grant writing and grant management for improvement proposals or projects
- Design review and cost estimating