Stream Restoration Progress

June 11, 2018 - Meeting Expectations

Now that the restoration site has been left to grow for almost 4 years, the project's goals are finally becoming reality. The native vegetation that was planted in the summer of 2014 is now established and thriving. The creekside is a healthy riparian zone with a combination of American Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii), Box Elder (Acer negundo), and Black Willow (Salix nigra). There is also a healthy establishment of hydrophilic plants along the left bank. Not only is the vegetation doing great, but the structure of the creek is withstanding the test of time as well. The stream channel remains to be sinuous and the banks are still stable.

Picture of the creek
Picture of the creekside
Picture of the creek
Picture of the creek

August 27, 2015 - Early Succession

A year after the plantings, American Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii), and Box Elder (Acer negundo) established themselves well along the restoration. The restoration is still in the early successional stages with many years to go before reaching a climate community. 

Aug 27

April 17, 2015 - Trees, Frogs, and Salamanders, Oh My! 

CI students are collecting data in the CVS plots. In the pictures below, you can see the coverboards and PVC pipes that the amphibian team established to monitor for frogs and salamanders. While checking the PVC pipes, they found 18 green tree frogs! 

April 17
April 17
CVS problems

February 19, 2015 - Seasonal Changes 

Winter is here and the seasonal vegetation has died back. You can see in the photo below that the meandering structure is still functional after a stormwater event. 

Feb 19

September 30, 2014 - Jump Start

In the early summer of 2014, 500 native trees were planted by live stakes and propagated plants in the stream restoration site. This included American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), Black Willow (Salix nigra), and Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum). The photo below shows the early successional stages of a restoration. 

Sept 30

March 7, 2014 - CVS

Mentored by Dr. Cal Sawyer, Jeremy Pike, and Dr. Don Hagan, a Creative Inquiry undergraduate research team was created to monitor the overall success of the restoration. The CI established 8 Carolina Vegetative Survey (CVS) plots to monitor the successional changes of the restoration. CVS plots are designed to monitor stem count and percent cover for all vegetation. This research project is focused on woody vegetation. 

CVS set up
CVS set up

July 22, 2013 - Rain, Rain and More Rain

The month of July has been the wettest on record. The site has experienced multiple bankfull events and one rainfall event greater than 8 inches in under 3 hours. Fortunately, we still have a site resembling the newly constructed channel (see June 28th post). The final instream structure was constructed last Thursday and regrading is underway to remove excess soil deposited from this months storm events. We want to say a special 'Thanks' to Donnie and his crew from RiverWorks for putting up with 12+ inches of muck last week.

July 15
July 18th
July 5

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June 28, 2013 - Channel Cut, Mountain Gone

Construction has progressed at a rapid pace. This week the entire mountain of dirt was removed from our site by what seemed an endless amount of dump trucks. We were also amazed to find a newly formed channel, instream structures and erosion control matting.

Mountain Gone
New Channel
Cross Vane
Rock Vanes

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June 26, 2013 - Unearthed

Today the crew from RiverWorks truly unearthed a great find.

Wagon Wheel

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June 18, 2013 - Surveyors On-Site

Professional surveyor and Clemson graduate Tad Abraham was on-site today staking out the new stream channel. This photo of the 'mountain of dirt' puts a good perspective on the soil removed. 

Cal and the dirt

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June 13, 2013 - Lots of Water, Nowhere to Go!

An estimated 8+ inches of rain fell this morning on the Clemson area.


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June 12, 2013 - Trees Down, Earth Moving

All trees were dropped late last week with the majority of debris and usable timber stockpiled.  The sizable task of removing the earthen berm has just begun.  Upon viewing this from the field side, there doesn't seem like much soil to remove.  This was not the case when visiting the site from the downstream end.  There is a significant amount of soil to be removed in order for the stream to access any sort of floodplain.  It will be interesting to get a final calculation of actual soil removed.

Jun 12
June 12
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June 4-5, 2013 - Equipment Arrives

Construction equipment showed up on site today. This is the beginning of an estimated 8 week period of time where trees and soil will be removed, a new channel and floodplain will be created, instream structures will be constructed and non-native plant species will be replaced with appropriate native plant species. This is an exciting time for the Clemson community.

Project Sign