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Little Shades Creek Enhancement Project

 

Work is progressing on Little Shades Creek, February 10.
Work is progressing on Little Shades Creek, February 10.

By: Heidi Richards, Cawaco RC&D Coordinator, Jefferson County

The Little Shades Creek Enhancement project in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, is funded by a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant administered by USEPA, ADEM, and the Cawaco RC&D Council.

The goals for this project are to improve water quality, habitat, and stream stability in 1,500 linear feet of Little Shades Creek and provide a demonstration of urban natural channel design stream enhancement and storm water management.

Little Shades Creek is a sub-watershed of the Shades Creek Watershed (HUC 3150202-060) within the Cahaba River Basin. The project is located in the Ashley Woods subdivision in the City of Vestavia Hills in Jefferson County, Alabama. The watershed at the project site has a drainage area of almost 8 square miles and is over 35% developed.

The existing conditions of the stream reach were found to be impaired due to severe stream bank erosion, mid-channel sediment bars in areas of over wide channel bottom, lack of deep-rooted native riparian vegetation on some stream banks, non-native invasive plants, lack of in-stream habitats, and storm water discharges from adjacent parking lots and streets. The stream bed material consists of gravel/cobble overlaying bedrock. Project constraints include sewer lines crossing under the streambed, a greenway trail along the left bank, bridges upstream and downstream, and several storm water outflow pipes and channels.

Cawaco RC&D partnered with over 13 other participants to ensure the complete funding and success for this large project. Supporters include State Senator J. T. “Jabo” Waggoner, State Representatives Greg Canfield, and Jack Williams.
 

Little Shades Creek before


Little Shades Creek before