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Extension hosts streambank repair workshop

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Feb. 28, 2013 | Modified: Mar. 28, 2013
Extension hosts streambank repair workshop

A streambank repair workshop in 2012 shows participants how to care for their creeks.

Photo submitted



Have you ever wondered how to care for your creek, but weren’t quite sure where to begin?

Well, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension has you covered with a hands-on workshop to reduce streambank erosion.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 27, specialists from N.C. State University will provide a streambank repair workshop in Newland.

The event starts at 9 a.m. in the classroom at the Newland Volunteer Fire Department. Following lunch, which will be provided, the workshop will move to a creek in town for some hands-on lessons.

“The workshop is a great time to ask questions and learn about the causes of streambank erosion and how to create a healthy streamside environment,” extension agent Wendy Patoprsty said. “Participants will have hands-on experience in enhancing an eroding streambank, using grading, matting, plants and other various natural materials.”

To register, visit http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops/stream_repair.php. For more information, contact Patoprsty at wendy_patoprsty@ncscu.edu or (828) 264-3061.



About Streamank Erosion

According to Patoprsty, sediment (soil, dirt) is the No. 1 water quality problem that faces North Carolina.

Sediment clogs waterways, destroys habitat, creates problems for drinking water filtration plants and can carry other pollutants into our waterways.

“As the streambank erodes, all that soil is washing downstream, and you are losing your yard,” Patoprsty said. “We all know how expensive real estate is, so why should you let it wash away? We can minimize streambank erosion by installing native plants and live stakes.”

Live stakes are a long hardwood cutting from a native shrub, adapted to moist conditions, planted outdoors without rooting hormones.

In this area, Patoprsty said, the most commonly used stakes are silky dogwood, elderberry, ninebark, silky willow and buttonbush.

“These woody plants have extensive root systems that stabilize the soil on stream banks during rainfall and high water flow,” she said. “ The shade produced by the shrubs help maintain the cooler temperatures that our mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive, while the leaves help provide habitat and food for insects and fish. Leaves fall into the stream, aquatic insects eat and live in the leaves, trout eat the insects.

“‘Greening our creeks’ with vegetation is really important, because it acts as a filter to prevent sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, pathogens and heavy metals from entering our rivers.”

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