Project Prioritization and Stream Restoration Success


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The Silver Creek Super Project, in the Ocqueoc River Watershed (Presque Isle County, Mich.), embodies how locally driven efforts lead to broad partnerships and collaboration, successfully accomplishing full restoration of this highest quality tributary by treating stream impacts, invasive species, erosion, and by promoting many other conservation techniques. Protecting and restoring sensitive coldwater ecosystems is more important than ever, with increasing threats and ever dwindling financial support for that type of work. Yet, with the foundation of a system-wide inventory of watershed impacts and a watershed management plan in place, local partners have taken the lead in protecting their high-quality coldwater ecosystem, garnering interest from national organizations and agencies, including Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.

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Project Prioritization and Stream Restoration Success

  1. 1. Conserving the Forests, Lakes and Streams of Northeast Michigan
  2. 3. <ul><li>Large scale attempt </li></ul><ul><li>Bundles different project types </li></ul><ul><li>Geography based </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Broad partnership </li></ul>
  3. 5. <ul><li>7 miles of high-quality tributary stream reconnected </li></ul><ul><li>100 tons of sediment source eliminated from stream </li></ul><ul><li>20 acres of invasive species treated </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly a mile of instream habitat and buffers installed </li></ul>
  4. 7. <ul><li>Process of collecting data across a watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic approach </li></ul><ul><li>Used to guide future project selection </li></ul><ul><li>If this was in your favorite watershed and I handed you $25,000 for a project, would you replace this culvert? </li></ul>
  5. 8. <ul><li>Talk with your neighbors and compare your site to theirs. </li></ul><ul><li>If you had $25,000, would you still replace your site? </li></ul>
  6. 10. <ul><li>Ocqueoc River Watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Completed by Huron Pines </li></ul><ul><li>State - Approved In 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Inventories </li></ul><ul><li>Public Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Zoning Review </li></ul><ul><li>Set forth Recommendations </li></ul>
  7. 11. <ul><li>Acreage: 94,394 </li></ul><ul><li>Miles of stream: 30 miles of mainstream </li></ul><ul><li>Land use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Farming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forestry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% public land </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limestone bedrock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karst formations </li></ul></ul>
  8. 12. <ul><li>Public meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Ocqueoc River Watershed Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer-led steering committee </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Habitat Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal group of the “hands on” partners </li></ul></ul>
  9. 14. <ul><li>Celebrated success </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalized on momentum </li></ul><ul><li>Revisited the plan </li></ul><ul><li>Wanted to “bite off more” </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Explored options </li></ul><ul><li>Dissected the watershed </li></ul>
  10. 17. <ul><li>Site 36 </li></ul><ul><li>Silver Creek/Spens Rd </li></ul><ul><li>Sediment issues from long steep approach </li></ul><ul><li>Fish Passage: velocity barrier </li></ul>
  11. 18. <ul><li>10 sites on Silver Creek </li></ul><ul><li>3 miles of stream </li></ul><ul><li>Major Sediment issues at 3 sites </li></ul><ul><li>No Fish Passage at 3 sites </li></ul><ul><li>4 with moderate issues </li></ul><ul><li>Bundled for 1 project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sites 29-37 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also includes 2 driveways </li></ul></ul>
  12. 19. <ul><li>10 sites </li></ul><ul><li>Road work for sediment </li></ul><ul><li>Realignment </li></ul><ul><li>Increase capacity of culverts </li></ul><ul><li>$500,000 total </li></ul>
  13. 20. <ul><li>Grants were submitted to Several Initial Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Paul H. Young Chapter of Trout Unlimited </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$2,600 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$1,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Michigan Fly Fishing Club </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$3,000 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 22. <ul><li>Began meeting with individual funders </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed ORWC and Habitat Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Letters of Support </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Advisors Review </li></ul>
  15. 26. <ul><li>Township Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Partner Excitement to begin work </li></ul><ul><li>Community Site Tours </li></ul>
  16. 28. <ul><li>National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Sustain Our Great Lakes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$133,510 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Truly became watershed approach </li></ul><ul><li>Included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Streambank erosion control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stream buffers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private landowner meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invasive species removal </li></ul></ul>
  17. 32. <ul><li>6 total sites complete </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 full replacement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 road resurfacing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 crossings permitted and culverts on order </li></ul><ul><li>Over 400 landowner contacts </li></ul><ul><li>2 acres of invasive species treated or removed at 8 sites </li></ul><ul><li>36 tons of sediment prevented </li></ul><ul><li>Public meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent “stop-bys” </li></ul>
  18. 46. <ul><li>2 Culverts permitted and on order </li></ul><ul><li>Driveway work planned for 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Streambank erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Instream Habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive Species </li></ul><ul><li>Landowner involvement </li></ul>
  19. 49. <ul><li>Coordinating most knowledgeable partners </li></ul><ul><li>Motivating and Inspiring </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Staying focused </li></ul><ul><li>Believing </li></ul>
  20. 50.