Stewarts Creek Stream Restoration

Another project of ours near Mount Airy involves stream restoration for tributaries of Stewarts Creek. Stewarts Creek is the largest water source for Mount Airy and is one of two streams supplying water to the treatment plants in the area. Our work at Stewarts Creek began in October of 2019 and finished April 2020.

Watershed Restoration

In 2009, the State of North Carolina identified Stewarts Creek as a watershed in need of restoration. The responsible department stated the creek “suffers from degraded riparian buffers and includes WSW-designated waters. A 3.3-mile stretch of Stewarts Creek is considered to be impacted by habitat degradation due to impoundments.”

Our friends at Ecosystem Planning and Restoration (EPR) are working with us to restore and enhance over 4,100 feet the Moores Fork stream, as well as over 7,000 feet of three additional tributaries flowing into Stewarts Creek.

Stream Restoration Goals

The goals for this project include:

  • Restoring the connectivity between the channel and the floodplain to improve water quality, reduce the sediment load in the channel, and improve the aquatic habitat. Floodplains play a critical role in maintaining stream and watershed health and are the interface between a river and the land adjacent to it. When a floodplain is disconnected from the stream channel the results are an unstable river, loss of aquatic habitat, and often poor water quality. Water and energy that would otherwise spill onto the floodplain and dissipate are instead contained within the stream channel, where it erodes the streambed and banks.
  • Completing this sizable project in a tight time frame. The project timeline was complicated by over 40 inches of rain in a very flashy stream environment.  

Our stream restoration team works to rebuild waterways, channels, and wetlands in order to protect natural resources, improve water quality, support aquatic and wildlife habitats, aid in controlling floodwaters and pollution runoff, and minimize erosion.