You’ve likely heard in the news that many Minnesota lakes and streams are “impaired” - that is, they are not meeting standards of the Clean Water Act. Locally, Sand Creek is impaired for aquatic life. Why? Too much sediment and phosphorus, and lack of high quality habitat.
This fall, a stretch of Sand Creek in Coon Rapids will begin getting a restoration “makeover” to improve water quality and habitat for aquatic life. This stretch is from Xeon Boulevard east to the railroad tracks, about ½-mile long. The project includes installing habitat features in the channel, stabilizing erosion along the banks, and tree thinning for native plant restoration.
The first phase will begin this fall. It will be the most
visually different and impactful to the public eye. It is restoring the habitat
alongside the creek to:
· help stabilize the soil
· clear out invasive species
· restore native plants
This means many trees need to be
removed to open up the canopy so that understory plants can get enough light. Some
of the tree root-stumps called “root wads” will later be used for in-channel habitat
and bank stabilization.
After getting input from the City Forester, ecologists surveyed the site for a planned tree thinning this fall. Adjacent property owners have been notified and are supportive of the project.
The Coon Creek Watershed District is leading this water
quality and habitat restoration project thanks to funding from two water
quality grants: $269,563 from the US EPA plus a $195,158 Clean Water Legacy
grant match from the State of MN.
After this phase comes in-channel habitat restoration,
expected to begin winter 2019.
For more information go to www.cooncreekwd.org/lowersandcreekresto,
call the Coon Creek Watershed District at 763-755-0975, or email Water Quality
Coordinator, Justine Dauphinais, at email@example.com.