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Southeast Missouri 2018-2019

The Huzzah and Barny Creek projects completed for The Nature Conservancy illustrate a project that is entirely focused on the rehabilitation and protection of natural resources.  WRS worked with the non-profit Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Ozark Regional Land Trust, and the landowners to design and build the stream improvements. The improvements were focused on protecting the river resources for recreation and for habitat.
Huzzah Creek is an ecologically significant watershed located within the Ozarks Ecoregion in southwest Missouri. The project area falls within the Meramec River Hills Subsection of the Ozark Highlands Ecological Section. The Landtype Association for the project area is categorized as Huzzah Oak Woodland/Forest Hills. An excerpt from a document describing the climate, topography, geology, hydrology, and ecological context for this area is attached. Group 1: Huzzah Creek sites are owned by different private land owners, depending on site.
Group 2: Barney Creek sites are within the Mark Twain National Forest and are owned and managed by the USFS.Water Resources Solutions (WRS) was selected by The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Field Office (TNC) to design and construct stream stabilization improvements to stabilize the eroding streambanks at two chosen locations on Huzzah Creek and three chosen locations along Barney Creek, a tributary to Huzzah Creek.

The project will serve as a demonstration of implementing nature-based approaches to stream management using natural channel design techniques and bioengineering approaches to streambank stabilization to restore the hydraulic, geomorphological, and ecological function of the sites.  Second, this area is recognized for its high biodiversity and quality within the Meramec River Basin (TNC 2014), including a number of Missouri Species of Conservation Concern as well as federally protected species that will benefit from the projects proposed herein (MDC 2014; TNC 2014). Third, the MDC has recently initiated the “Woodlands for Wildlife” partnership among private landowners, NGOs, and public agencies for improving native plant and animal communities on public and private lands within the Huzzah and Courtois Creek watersheds within the Middle Meramec COA (MDC 2014). n other drainages that have a high-potential for incidents resulting in sediment contamination due to current and future mining activities (e.g., Huzzah and Courtois Creek Drainage). The Meramec and its tributaries are also highly prized and heavily utilized for sport fishing, paddling, and floating, particularly the upper Meramec River and the Huzzah and Courtois creeks, and are an important economic driver for local communities and St. Louisans alike. This partnership has become a model of successful implementation of conservation projects on private lands, and has built a high-level of trust and a proven track record with private landowners

The TNC, U.S. Forest Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, Ozark Regional Land Trust, and a private landowner are all key stakeholders in this project, and coordination is a very important aspect. The Huzzah Creek project sites are located on private land and total approximately 2,000 linear feet of eroding streambank. The Barney Creek project sites are three smaller sites totaling approximately 1,000 linear feet.

WRS performed a streambank assessment at each of the project sites. The streambank assessment involved a geomorphic assessment, including a field visits and a profile and planform analysis, to determine the dominant process of the streams. This component is critical when determining the best streambank stabilization solutions. Geomorphic data, such as bar height, scour lines location(s), erosion and mass wasting, and bed and bank material, was collected during the field visits. Utilizing ArcMap with GIS shapefiles and aerial photos, WRS also performed an historic aerial photo analysis to determine how the streams have adjusted in planform. The geomorphic assessment determined the dominant process of both Huzzah Creek and Barney creek was meander adjustment, as at each project site, the amplitude of the meander had increased.

WRS also performed the hydraulic modeling of each of the project sites using U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) modeling program to determine design factors such as velocity, shear stress, and flow depth. The proposed streambank stabilization design will feature root wads, log vanes, and regraded stable slopes revegetated with native vegetation. WRS will prepare final plans and specifications for each of the project sites, prepare all permit submittals, and complete the construction of the streambank improvements. The estimated completion of the project design is winter 2017 with construction to be completed early 2018.

Steve Herrington

The Nature Conservancy
2816 Sutton Blvd., #2
St. Louis, Missouri  63143