Project: White Creek Habitat Restoration in Vermont
Location: White Creek & Mill Brook watersheds in Rupert, VT.
Time frame: 2012 -- 2014
Partners: Bennington County Conservation District, Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program, Bennington County Regional Commission.
Problem description: These watersheds have significant problems of poor channel dynamics from lack of flood plain access, erosion, mass bank failures, excess sedimentations, undersized structures, and related problems with trout habitat due to insufficient cover and shelter and other factors.
Planned project work: This project will build on previous studies of geomorphology and habitat to develop a corridor management plan for these watersheds. This plan will include identification of reaches of most importance for action, protection, or conservation, development of specific projects to improve dynamics and habitat in particular reaches, and an immediate outreach program to landowners to undertake planting of trees and bushes in the riparian buffer zones. Four projects have been initiated and completed to address some of these issues. Work is ongoing but particular projects will be featured as they are designed and implemented. So far: BCCD has removed berms of material from tropical storm Irene, BCCD has improved the roadside channel erosion of Mill Brook up on Rte 315, the Alliance has stabilized two mass bank failures (see VT Mill Brook project), and BCRC has been inventorying stormwater issues.
Photo slideshow: Shows mass bank failure on White Creek in Rupert, a tributary with barrier to fish passage and no buffer zone on straightened stream, White Creek up against a road, and a washout of Rail Trail on Mill Brook. [Photo file WCVT]