Michigan and Ontario residents alarmed about pollution in Lake St. Clair shouldn’t limit their concern to combined sewer overflows. More could be done to improve water quality upstream in the small ditches and creeks that contribute algae-fueling nutrients to rivers like the Clinton and Thames leading to the lake.
|Big Spring Run - lancasteronline.com|
Good results are being realized in the Chesapeake Bay watershed from the restoration of floodplains and wetlands far upstream by removing legacy sediment deposits loaded with nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
One example is a project in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania which was completed five years ago. Sediment deposits from careless land use practices in the past were removed from 12 acres of bottom land. Four and a half acres of aquatic habitat were restored and reconnected to the watershed, as well.
Sediment removed is said to have been 22,000 tons, including 25 tons of phosphorus and 30 tons of nitrogen.
“Chief among the latest findings is research showing dramatic reductions in surface water temperatures and nitrogen, the re-establishment of threatened species of plants, colonization by the green frog and a 50 percent reduction in sediment leaving the restored ecosystem.”