Announcements / Progress

Un-muddying the Water!

Sometimes, it only takes a little bit of misdirected water to cause very big problems. This was more than evident in Brattleboro just off Route I-91, where runoff from a parking lot and the highway collected in a tiny two-foot wide ditch leading to Crosby Brook. Within a few hundred feet, the accumulated runoff effectively carved out a gully thirty feet wide and fifteen feet deep, dumping an estimated 64 tons of sediment into the brook each year.

Thanks to the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District, with funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the site has been re-constructed into a rock-lined drainage channel, eliminating the gully and stopping the sediment discharge into the brook.

Cleaning up sediment from Crosby Brook is a high priority for the Watershed Management Division (WSMD) because it does not meet Vermont Water Quality Standards due to the excess sediment. This project addressed a major sediment source. This, along with others recently implemented along the brook, should go a long way to improving water quality and habitat conditions and bringing the brook back into state compliance.

Gully erosion before restoration – Note the layering in the deep clay soils in this picture. This is common in lower CT River Valley soils, and is a phenomenon known as “varving.”

Gully erosion before restoration – Note the layering in the deep clay soils in this picture. This is common in lower CT River Valley soils, and is a phenomenon known as “varving.”

 

Stabilized drainage channel in same location.

Stabilized drainage channel in same location.