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DUWC'S Stream and Wetland Assessment Management Park (SWAMP)  

 

PHASE FOUR:

SANDY CREEK UPPER TRIBUTARY PROJECT

 

 

 

Machinery moves gingerly to restore a section of degraded stream channel while protecting the surrounding forest.

Photos by Mengchi Ho, DUWC

 

In mid-March 2009, construction began on Phase 4 of the Stream and Wetland Assessment Management Park, a restoration of an unnamed tributary of Upper Sandy Creek.

 

The Phase 4 site (map) lies on both sides of NC-751 south of the intersection with Duke University Road.

 

The degraded creek, shown below, was deeply incised, eroded, and clogged with sediment.

 

 

 

The stream has now been recontoured and the channel reconnected to its floodplain in the surrounding bottomland hardwood forest. The photo below, taken in 2010, shows the restoration area shortly after completion. Wetland plants have reestablished themselves in the area since this picture was taken.

 

 

In colaboration with the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District and with funding NC's Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Wetland Center has introduced a new technique called "anabranching." In the anabranching project, small weir structures in the Phase IV channel will make it possible for researchers to vary both the amount and periodicity of floodplain conenctivity to a greater degree than had been previously possible, allowing more contact between the stream and its riparian wetland floodplain. The project will allow Duke researchers to collect comparative data on a variety of restoration techniques.

 

Project Goals: The project maximizes the opportunity for watershed-level water quality improvements by reconnecting a degraded stream to the original floodplain and connecting Phase 4 with SWAMP's three earlier phases. The project's major emphases are to improve stream flow, hydrologic water retention, and sedimentation prevention. Phase 4 will improve water quality across 210 acres of the watershed.

 

DESIGN and CONSTRUCTION SPONSORS
Durham Soil and Water Conservation District
(Sponsor & Cooperative Agency)

North Carolina Division of Water Quality (Funding Agency)

 

ADDITIONAL SPONSORS
Duke Forest
(Sponsor & Cooperative Agency)

Duke University Wetland Center Case Studies Program (Sponsor, Graduate & Undergraduate Research)

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (Sponsor, Native Species Plantings)

 

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

Michael Baker Engineering, Inc. Cary NC

River Works, Inc. Cary NC

 

NEXT: Phase 5

Intro

Rationale

Stream & Floodplain

Dam and Impoundment

Stormwater Treatment

Phase 4

Education

Research