LEWIS CENTER — Stream and floodplain restoration is underway at the recently named McCammon Creek, located along Bale Kenyon Road (near the Delaware County bicentennial barn) west of Alum Creek in Orange Township.
The project will restore approximately 1,250 linear feet of previously ditched stream channel and restore nearly 2,500 linear feet of floodplain along both banks of the stream.
“This is the first step in the development of the McCammon Creek Park,” said Mary VanHaaften, deputy director at Preservation Parks. “We would like to thank the United States EPA for making the funds for this project available. This restoration will reduce the silt and sediment and other nonpoint pollutants loads into McCammon Creek and Alum Creek.”
This cooperative project has been funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Preservation Parks received $269,000 in grant funding.
This project will improve in-stream habitat conditions by restoring riffles and pools while improving fish and macroinvertebrate communities such as dragonflies, mayflies, and others. Using bio-engineering methods that include woody materials and boulders, streambanks will be stabilized and planted with native species to reduce erosion and improve floodplain habitat.
Calculations performed using the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Load Reduction Spreadsheet indicate that the project will improve water quality in the Alum Creek watershed by reducing annual loads of silt and sediment by 100 tons/year, reducing nitrogen by 230 pounds/year, and phosphorus by 115 pounds/year. Nonpoint source pollutants such as these are the most common cause of poor water quality in Ohio’s streams.
“One hundred tons of sediment a year sounds like a lot, however, given the impaired condition of the stream and the steep and seriously eroding stream banks, that figure is pretty close to reality,” said Russ Gibson, senior grants manager at Coldwater Consultants.
Restoration of McCammon Creek will help to improve water quality in Alum Creek as it flows southward through Westerville and Columbus.
“In addition to improving water quality and creating wildlife habitat, this stream restoration project will provide another unique feature in McCammon Creek Park that the public will enjoy for years to come,” said Matthew Simpson, senior park planner at Preservation Parks.
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