GreenVest, Biohabitats and EQR, LLC make up the dream team.
The following was written by EQR’s Jason Harman. EQR is especially thankful for the folks on the GreenVest team and Doug Streaker with Biohabitats.
The Bacon Ridge stream restoration project at Elks club restored over 7,800 linear feet of stream. When EQR arrived on site in July 2019 the stream was in bad shape. Both the main stem and the main tributary were extremely incised by years of heavy rains. This degradation of the stream was accelerated by the two man made stream crossings under Chesterfield road. The erosion led to decrease in water surface elevation. The stream was no longer connected to its flood plain.
Biohabitats created a design to raise the elevation of the base flow by installing modified log jams. These 61 log jams were built using trees harvested onsite. Logs were stacked in the stream and capped with sharpen upside down root wads. Brush and dirt were installed in layers upstream and downstream to create a watertight seal. Sometimes referred to as beaver dam analogs, BDA’s.
These dams raised the water level at base flow up to 11 feet. The elevation of the water table in the surrounding areas also increased. The stream during high flow events will now escape the banks and flow gently across the floodplain. Before it was unable to do so, which led to a lot erosion and sediment transport.
The floodplain has also become home to many wetland species of plants and animals. There is evidence that beavers have returned to the area along with yellow perch. Not only has this project reduced sediment load entering the bay, it has also created a healthy habitat.
The stream restoration was completed January 2020. Through hard work of EQR and the gracious support of the Elks Club Barrett, another tributary of the Chesapeake Bay has been restored.