The Alliance has received a Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Grant to stabilize two eroding banks below along Mill Brook in Rupert. The approaches taken will include extensive planting of trees and bushes, log stabilization structures at the foot of the bank, and improving flood plain access.
The goal is to lessen the excess sedimentation that enters Mill Brook and then White Creek during floods. The erosive force of the current is greatest at the outside of the curve against the bottom of the bank, and material falls from the top of the bank and then is carried away in high water. This excess sediment can cause difficulties downstream through accumulations of gravel bars that block culverts or bridges, or cause disruptive channel migrations. And all such sediment carries with it excess nutrients that can compromise downstream water quality and affect trout habitat.
This project emerged from the White Creek/Mill Brook corridor planning process. Two other projects will also likely move forward: one to remove excess sediment deposits remaining from Irene flooding and excavations, and one to stabilize the Mill Brook channel up on top of Merck Mountain where incision is affecting the road embankment. It is to be hoped that such projects might contribute to mitigation of the difficulties downstream in both Rupert and Salem, NY.
Thanks to the Town of Rupert, Bennington County Conservation District, Bennington County Regional Commission and the Vermont river scientist Shannon Pytlik for partnering on these projects. Thanks to Eugene & Jean Ceglowski for allowing us to undertake this project on their land.
The photographs in the slideshow above show each of the two failing banks, and then a view of one of them looking downstream along Mill Brook.