Genesee RiverWatch has several streambank restoration projects underway in 2020. These are important because restoring the banks of the river reduces sediment and phosphorus loads in the river, improving the quality of the water for recreational use and wildlife habitat along with preserving valuable farm land.
Streambank Restoration – Town of Angelica, NY
Genesee RiverWatch has begun work on its part of a US Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) project to restore a 2,720 foot section on eroded Genesee River bank in the Town of Angelica, NY. This project is funded by $523,000 from the Kodak Environmental Response Trust. USF&WS is responsible for the design and construction of the project and is using bio-engineering techniques over rock riprap to stabilize the river bank. Genesee RiverWatch has secured the necessary environmental permits and archeological reports and will design and install the riparian buffer. Construction began the week of July 20th and is expected to take 6-7 weeks to complete. The riparian planting work will occur in the fall.
Streambank Restoration – Town of Houghton, NY
Genesee RiverWatch has been awarded a $197,000 grant from the Great Lakes Commission to stabilize 1,800 linear feet of un-buffered agricultural field along the Genesee River in the town of Houghton, New York. Along with $119,000 in-kind donation from the owner, the total project cost is $316,000. This restoration will reduce sediment and phosphorus loads to the river while adding 1,800 feet of new riparian zone and protecting valuable farmland. The landowner has lost approximately 2.6 acres of land over the last ten years. This project will emphasize the use of bioengineering techniques and habitat enhancement that incorporates plants in combination with natural materials such as logs, live stakes (e.g., cuttings from species like willow), and brush bundles (i.e., branches from live woody plants). This approach creates a natural appearance and habitat for fish and wildlife. Bioengineering designs can lead to long-term stabilization of a shoreline, reducing the need for future work. Permit application and supporting documentation were submitted on May 5th. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation issued a Notice of Complete Application on August 13, 2020. Shortly after the 15-day public comment period we expect to have all of the necessary permits. Construction is planned for the summer of 2021.
Edelweiss Farms Streambank Restoration
The work to stabilize 1,980 feet of streambank at Edelweiss Farms near the Village of Fillmore, NY was completed in the Fall of 2019. This $284,000 project, supported by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, stabilized the bank and established a riparian buffer. In 2020, a no-cost extension of the grant was approved that will allow us to use a small amount of remaining grant funds to stabilize a 50 foot section above the upstream end of the site, mitigate the impact of the Rush Creek discharge to the river on this project. Work is expected to be completed by year end 2020.