Lakeville, MN – Stream/Channel Restoration
Middle Creek, a tributary of the Vermillion River in Dakota County, Minnesota, suffered from issues related to stream function, bank failures, and erosion due to land use changes in the area. The land was agricultural prior to being developed for residential housing. This led to the erosion of the banks and an over-widened system where too little water was spread out over too much area. As a result, the stream suffered from water quality problems, and the risk of flooding and damage to infrastructure increased. Restoration of the creek was essential to prevent further damage and ensure its continued survival.
The project was undertaken by Moore Engineering in collaboration with Lakeville and Vermillion Watershed. The aim of the project was to restore the stream’s functions and prevent the continued erosion of the banks. To achieve this, the team used various techniques, such as vegetation thinning to remove thick tree cover and undesirable species, and the installation of grade control structures to regulate water flow. Bioengineering practices, including the use of Coir Logs and tree root wads, were implemented to stabilize the banks and create a habitat for fish and other invertebrates. Vegetative riprap was another technique used, which involved over-excavating a bank, installing rock, and putting soil back over the bank before reseeding. These measures helped to prevent or stop erosion, control stream incisions, prevent bank failures, and improve habitat along the stream and within the stream channel itself.
The Middle Creek restoration project resulted in many positive outcomes for the stream and the surrounding community. The restoration efforts helped to improve the water quality in the stream, creating a healthier environment for aquatic biodiversity. The project also created a high-quality natural amenity for the neighborhood or development, which includes paths for recreational use. Additionally, by stabilizing the stream, the risk of flooding and damage to infrastructure was reduced. The restoration project was undertaken at a time when it was easier to access the stream before residential development, making it cheaper and more efficient to fix something before it becomes an issue. Overall, the restoration of Middle Creek has helped to create a more sustainable environment for the creek and surrounding area, ensuring its continued survival for years to come.