One of the largest sources of sedimentation into the Great Lakes comes from stream bank erosion along the sides of creeks, streams, and rivers. In western New York the second largest watershed is Cattaraugus Creek, covering 303,380 acres in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Wyoming counties.Most efforts to control stream bank erosion have been a result of public safety issues, where eroding streams threaten roads, bridges, public utilities, or public buildings, all of which are highly visible and accessible. Little attention has been given or action taken to protect the miles of streams and creeks that are inaccessible or rarely seen from roadsides.
|The 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality prevails; yet some of these are the areas of highest sedimentation loads. One 4-mile long tributary named Monkey Run provides a prime example of excessive stream bank erosion on an inaccessible stream. The only way to easily see the extent of the erosion problem occurring on Monkey Run is by accessing the Attica and Arcade Short track railroad bed as the majority of the creek is within close proximity, 300 feet or less, to the railroad.|
||Approximately 10 critical areas were treated with a combination
of longitudnal peak stone toes, rock l-heads, coir rolls, erosion control
blankets, large scale plantings, and other bioengineering practices.
Eroding banks were treated in a manner that retained the natural channel
design. The disturbance to the floodplain and surrounding vegetation
was minimized wherever possible. There are two locations in the upper
section of the creek that were used for side by side comparison of bioengineering
practices. Both locations are approximately 300 feet in length at a
point where the creek is shallow and has a slower velocity suitable
for vegetative techniques. Because each location experiences the same
erosion potential, these sites will be ideal for comparison of the suitability
and reliability of each practice.
The Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District directed
the construction of the conservation practices.