Ginger Davis, Conservation Administrator
Stony Creek feasibility study was brought forth through our office to investigate whether alterations to Stony Creek’s past have created some natural resource concerns and what potential solutions might be necessary to address any concerns of erosion, flooding, wildlife habitat, and quality of place. Over the past decade, Stony Creek has gone through some tremendous barriers and changes as any stream does in its lifetime. The difference is that in this case the alterations were all done by us and not natural changes typically seen in rivers.
In the 50’s and 60’s influence from the Firestone plant caused a major impact on the river health of Stony Creek. The impacts to the stream from the mitigation of these pollutants were incredible, our fish population has rebounded in this area and a reduction of PCB’s are showing up in fish tissue. However, alterations seen with land improvements have created major erosional features on the stream. In the 1960’s there was construction of a low head dam to create a ponded area for area residents. Next was a stream realignment in late 1980’s early 1990’s under Greenfield Ave during road and bridge reconstruction. In the Early 2000’s several utility crossings of the stream have also created some excess stone buildup within the channel, blocking the flow through. The once main channel in the meander totaling approximately 1,900 feet of linear stream length is now running in a much shorter 500 foot route.
During the feasibility study we have been exploring these influences on the channel and have looked at the bank erosion and channel erosion within the newly constructed channel. The COVID pandemic have caused a large delay on the progress of the project since public input was a large part of the study. However, our residents were resilient through the crisis and provided some very helpful feedback. Most people very much appreciate the value of the creek for wildlife and for its quality, but they have concerns with its health and future potential erosion.
We have conducted a study of the Bank Erosion Hazard Index through the area and will have the results of this survey shortly, but as you can see from the image below there are some very high banks that are exhibiting significant erosion.
We will be holding a public meeting and live virtual event on December 2, 2020 in the late afternoon/early evening and encourage all to join us for this event. We will have an in-person portion at the Annex building on the Fairgrounds and a virtual option online. More details of this event will be advertised on our website, through social media, and with direct email mailings. If you have not had a chance, please sign up for notifications here and keep informed of the progress of this project.