Perkiomen Creek Watershed Stream Restoration
The Lehigh County Conservation District, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, and Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited received Growing Greener Grant funds to continue implementation of watershed restoration in the Perkiomen Creek watershed. The project focuses specifically on restoring a 415 linear foot reach of an un-named tributary to the Hosensack Creek and 0.50 acres of adjoining land.
The site is owned by PPL and is located directly under high tension power lines. Past management included aggressive vegetation removal that led to increased erosion to the stream banks in this immediate area. Lack of vegetation allows stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution, specifically sediment, salt, fertilizers, and pesticides from urban development, agriculture operations, and impervious surfaces to regularly enter this section of the creek, causing vertical stream banks, a buildup of sediment on the creek bottom, and loss of aquatic, fish, and wildlife habitat.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission conducted a survey and design of the site last summer, and is planning on conducting in-stream work early July. Proposed work includes construction of modified mudsills, log vane deflectors, and root wad deflectors. Existing rock dams will be breached, and stream banks will be regraded, seeded, and mulched.
A native riparian buffer will be established by the Conservation District, Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., and local volunteers this fall.
In-stream work will increase fish and aquatic habitat value and will allow a more free-flowing channel with increased riffles and runs, and less sediment deposition. Streambank stabilization will aid in the stabilization of existing vertical streambanks, and the establishment of a native riparian buffer will help ease the impact of stormwater runoff, providing habitat for native species.
Funding from this grant will allow project partners to continue to improve the overall water quality in the Perkiomen Creek watershed through similar projects reducing the amount of sediment from eroded streambanks and minimizing stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution that regularly enter the Perkiomen Creek watershed from increased development in Lehigh County, agricultural runoff, and road maintenance. Restoration efforts such as this will not only improve the water quality of the creek, but will enhance fish, aquatic, and wildlife habitat, while expanding the wild trout populations in this watershed.
In addition to project partners, the landowner (PPL), Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Water Supply System serving residents in the Perkiomen Creek watershed), and the Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) fully support this project.