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York Creek Management Plan - Goals and Desired Uses

4. Goals and Desired Uses

Goal: To improve water and habitat quality sufficiently to make feasible the reintroduction of indigenous game fish species by the year 2000.

Benefits of achieving this goal include:

  • Utilization of the species' indicative capabilities to monitor water quality over time
  • Return of recreational value to York Creek, including sport fishing
  • Enhancement of some watershed property values, particularly those along the riparian corridor
  • Improvement of aesthetics of the riparian areas, many of which have public access
  • Improvement of water quality of the Grand River, the receiving water of York Creek
  • Continuation and expansion of a multijurisdictional cooperative effort for the local units of government, regulatory agencies, and others dealing with York Creek specifically and natural resource management in general
  • Establishment of a sense of stewardship for natural resources among watershed residents, especially young people

These goals are common to nearly everyone; we all want clean water to drink and swim in, to ski in and sail on, and to catch fish from. A June 1994 Times Mirror Magazines-Roper Poll showed that water is the number one ecological concern to Americans. (US EPA. 1994.) In order to achieve these water quality improvement goals, not only must those in the watershed work to alleviate the impacts of past land use decisions, they must also learn to plan proactively to preclude additional detrimental impacts of future decisions. A critical tool for better land use decision making is information. Local officials need access to as much information in the least encumbered collection possible. AWRI is assisting local officials in this effort by providing them with information and technical support regarding current land uses in the watershed.

In conjunction with the watershed project, Alpine Township purchased a copy of ArcView, a software package through which local officials can store and retrieve watershed information in a single location, rather than having to locate and compile numerous hard copy data sources. WRI staff have presented workshops attended by township officials and staff regarding the capabilities of ArcView and will continue to provide technical assistance regarding the use of the software. Township officials will then have access to more information at a single computer terminal than they currently have in various locations as hard copy data and maps. Officials can then easily apply the various information to individual locations throughout the watershed when making land use planning decisions, such as during the site plan review process for new construction proposals. By overlaying the information in various combinations, township officials will be able to apply a variety of data to each land use scenario that they are approached with.

Specific pollutant reduction goals include:

Suspended solids concentrations reduced by 50% by 1998. As flows are predicted to increase by as much as 90% in some sub-basins, and the predicted increases will be due to new construction and increased imperviousness, even seemingly small reductions in concentrations over the next few years should be viewed as a success. However, as many of the proposed BMPs are designed to control erosion and sedimentation, suspended solids loads should be expected to decrease more than the other chemical parameters monitored during this study.

Stream peak flows following rain events reduced by 40% by mid 1997. Even though stormwater runoff modeling conducted by WRI predicts significant increases in runoff volumes, maintenance of existing control systems combined with proper design and construction of additional systems should decrease peak flows. This goal should be adjusted pending the completion of the ongoing stormwater investigation in the watershed. A decrease in stormwater runoff volumes must be achieved before other BMPs can be effective in the effort to return York Creek to viable habitat for indigenous species.

Page last modified January 19, 2011