Client: NC Division of Mitigation Services
Location: Catawba County, NC
Wildlands is currently performing ecological restoration work at a site northwest of Lake Norman in Catawba County, NC. The project will provide 5,779 stream mitigation units and 7.0 wetland mitigation units on unnamed tributaries to Lyle Creek in the Catawba River basin.
This project is located on an active tree farm. The site includes headwater tributaries to Lyle Creek. The farmer was maintaining these streams as canals, which were frequently mowed and dredged. The lack of riparian shading and heavy nutrient input from the adjacent farmland contributed to massive algal blooms and low dissolved oxygen concentrations. The stream beds were covered with over a foot of decomposed organic matter. Onsite wetlands were regularly mowed and ditched.
The design objectives were to restore the hydrologic connectivity of the stream and floodplain by raising the onsite streams, to maintain sediment transport through the valley transitions, and to decrease fine sediment input from bank erosion through creation of stable streams appropriate for the valleys.
Construction management techniques focused on reusing onsite materials wherever possible. Wetland grasses growing along the existing stream banks were harvested as sod mats and placed along the banks of the new channel. Brush cleared during construction was used to build brush riffles. Construction of the project was completed in 2011. The project is currently in the post-construction monitoring phase.