Avey's Run Stream Restoration Project

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Clermont SWCD and the East Fork Watershed Collaborative are happy to announce that construction has been completed on the Avey’s Run Stream Restoration Project.  On August 15th, 2007 ground was broken to inagurate the enhancement and restoration of the East Branch of Avey’s Run located at the Cincinnati Nature Center Rowe Woods property in Clermont County.

This section of stream channel was relocated in the late 1800’s and is currently de-stabilizing.  As a result, the stream has lost contact with its floodplain and provides minimal value for habitat, stormwater management and flood control.  The primary goals of the stream restoration project are: 1) to improve water quality in the Lower East Fork watershed by improving stream and riparian function of this headwater stream; and 2) to enhance stream and riparian habitat consistent with the educational mission of the Cincinnati Nature Center. 
The East Branch of Avey’s Run is currently experiencing bank erosion due to channelization, downcutting, and widening (click here to view Stream Channel Evolution diagram).  The sediment released from the erosion of the banks and stream bed contributes to downstream siltation, as well as harmful increases in nutrients in the water.  In order to reduce erosion and downstream siltation, and thus improve water quality, natural channel design techniques are being be used so that the channel can return to a stable, self-maintaining form that can transport its flow and sediment discharge without eroding or aggrading.

Since the beginning of construction nearly two acres of bush honeysuckle has been removed from the riparian zone and floodplain along Avey’s Run and 1,800 feet of stream has been restored.  Within this section of stream eroding banks are being stabilized, and the channel elevation is being raised by excavated pools and the building up of riffles by installed log and rock cross vanes (click here for picture of a rock/log cross vane installed in Avey's Run).  This will prevent future downcutting and (by raising the channel) allow floodwaters to access to the floodplain where waters can settle out their sediments rather than flushing them downstream.  While log vanes and rock cross vanes are used to stabilize outside meander bends, they have added benefits of habitat creation.  They create calmer pools that provide the necessary depth for fish and other aquatic animals to thrive, and they provide cover over those deep pools.  They also provide surfaces for macroinvertebrates and other insects to thrive.

Funding for this project is provided by a Non-point Source Pollution 319 Grant from Ohio EPA for improving water quality and stream function in the Lower East Fork watershed (portion of East Fork watershed from Stonelick Creek to the confluence with Little Miami River at Milford).

For more information regarding the Avey’s Run Stream Restoration Project or for further information regarding the East Fork Little Miami River Watershed contact Jason K. Brown, Watershed Coordinator, at 513-732-7075 or jason.brown@oh.nacdnet.net.

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