VT West Branch Natural Channel Design Restoration 2001-2002

(Link to Metadata) Because of the well known problems of the river, the West Branch was identified as a restoration implementation site to be funded as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Project Impact Initiative. The Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC) coordinated the project development and construction of the river restoration project on the West Branch in Stowe, Vermont between 2000 and 2001. This is Phase I of the project. There is significant amount of work planned for both the West Branch and the main stem of the Little River. The West Branch is a classic example of degraded river system due to multiple human disturbances. Occurring excessively in the 1980�s, gravel mining was just one of these disturbances. This reduction of sediment over-widened the stream channel, disallowing sufficient sediment transport. As of 2003, the West Branch (5.8 miles) is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency�s (EPA) 303(d) impaired waters list for the pollution listing of physical habitat changes. There are several causes of instability on the West Branch, including excessive gravel mining, urban runoff, and floodplain encroachments. All of these have led to the West Branch�s active stream channel losing connection to its floodplain in many locations. The stream has responded to these human induced disturbances by trying to reestablish a new floodplain at a lower elevation and degrading its bed. The bed degradation has migrated upstream (head cut) and created additional instability. The head cut has also caused the adjoining tributaries to become unstable, further contributing to the excess sedimentation of the West Branch. During this valley forming process, additional stream energy has remained in the channel causing streambanks to oversteepen and the additional bank erosion has lead to a channel bed build up of sediment (aggradation). This sedimentation process has many adverse impacts on fisheries habitat and water quality. Deep pool areas have filled in with sediment and fish spawning habitat has become smothered with fine sediment. Creating quality trout habitat in the West Branch was one of the restoration goals of the project. By re-establishing a stable reach of the river and providing habitat for all life stages of trout, the project partners hoped to achieve increases of instream cover and greater depth in pools. Multiple site visits occurred during year 2002 (Spring and Fall), which was the first year following construction. In order to assess changes to the project area over a period of time, permanent photographic stations were established along the river. These photo stations are documented by Michael S. Adams of the Army Corps of Engineers on the site plans. Pre-restoration photos were taken by Mr. Adams prior to construction in 2001. These photos, titled 'Army Corps of Engineers Pre-Restoration Photo Inventory (2001) of the West Branch in Stowe, VT' can be found zipped with this dataset. The first year of photos were taken on September 27, 2002 and the second year photos were taken on September 8, 2003. These restoration photos are included in the 'Photo inventory of the Post-Monitoring (2002-2003) of the West Branch in Stowe, Vermont' zipped with this dataset. Data results for the 2003 post monitoring project are published in the spatial dataset titled 'Post Monitoring (2003) of the West Branch Natural Channel Design Restoration Project in Stowe, Vermont' (see Cross Reference for this metadata citation and information about data download). NOTE that this metadata was generated using the NBII Biological Profile and includes information about methods in Section 2 that will be lost if imported into a metadata software that doesn't recognize the biological fields (i.e. ArcCatalog).

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Maintainer Admin_VCGI VCGI
Last Updated July 30, 2019, 19:29 (CDT)
Created July 30, 2019, 19:29 (CDT)
Identifier http://geodata.vermont.gov/datasets/0a2f5a1498ab4688964c58b2aa8e0b79_8
Issued 2016-10-17T03:04:37.000Z
Modified 2018-04-26T15:19:19.717Z
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metadata_type geospatial
publisher VT Center for Geographic Information
resource-type Dataset
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