Stream Stewardship: the idea that each and every one of us is responsible for the sensible use of streams that flow through our property. If you do have a stream running through your yard, there are special steps you can take to be an effective stream steward.
Our Life at the Water's Edge series of factsheets provides streamside residents with the tools and knowledge they need to increase their land value, reduce erosion and flooding on their properties, and protect and improve the quality of the Chagrin River and Lake Erie.
From your backyard to your streams, we’re all connected. Even if you don’t have a stream running through your yard, your actions on your property can have impacts on our waterways. Making the connection between your yard and its downstream impact on our natural resources is critical for maintaining and improving the water quality of our streams.
Our creeks, streams and lakes are a resource that should be protected as a source of natural beauty and recreation. In addition, our creeks, streams and areas surrounding them are an integral part of communities’ infrastructure as they assist in managing pollutants and flooding. Creeks and streams can suffer from erosion problems leading to homeowner troubles. Depending on the severity of the problem there are numerous ways to reduce the erosion.
Historically, creek and stream erosion solutions have involved conventional measures of placing hard materials like railroad ties, concrete or large stones (rip rap) on streambanks or building walls of wire baskets filled with stones (gabion baskets). Hard structures like gabion baskets are typically used when infrastructure such as utility lines, roads or buildings are endangered by the eroding stream. Any in-stream work to install these hard structures requires an Ohio EPA 401 permit and a US Army Corps of Engineers permit.
A creek or stream with limited damage may be stabilized with vegetation. The banks are planted with deep rooted plants that can hold soil in place and can withstand flooding and fast moving water. Vegetation planted along the creek or stream can be extremely useful in controlling soil erosion, providing wildlife habitat and improving water quality.
Establish deep-rooted vegetation using native dormant shrub cuttings (stakes) on eroding stream banks to stabilize them.
Plant deep-rooted native shade trees, shrubs, tall grasses or green herbaceous plants on the upper section of the bank to prevent erosion. Consider planting a strip of medium height native grass (2-3 feet tall) between the stream bank and lawn instead of mowing to the stream's edge. When mowing the lawn add a design by mowing a curve along the lawn and planted area. Add color to the edge of the planted area with flowering plants. To view the stream, cut or mow view corridors, and/or make a pathway corridor to the stream. Use wood chips or other soft materials that will soak up rain.
4145 Erie Street, Suite 203
Willoughby, OH 44094
CRWP delivers beneficial services to local decision makers in the context of a watershed approach. CRWP supports these services with on-going studies of watershed functions, and shares and collaborates with organizations and communities facing similar issues statewide. CRWP is funded by annual dues payments from member communities, foundation grants, and grants from State and Federal agencies. Member dues are based on the amount of land in the watershed and the assessed value of the community.
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