Funded by Ohio EPA Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) Grant

Streambank on the East Branch of the Chagrin River will be restored using natural channel design techniquesChardon Township was awarded a $96,070 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Surface Water Improvement Fund grant in 2012 to restore a severely eroding headwater stream within the East Branch of the Chagrin River watershed adjacent to approximately 225 linear feet of failing road embankment along Wisner Road. The restoration project will utilize stream stabilization techniques to address the long-standing Wisner Road embankment erosion as well as re-establishing a natural, fully vegetated 0.15 acre riparian corridor along the project area which will include native plant materials supplied by project partner, the Holden Arboretum.  For more photos and updates visit Chardon Township's Wisner Road Stream Restoration page on Facebook.

The project is located 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Mitchells Mill Road and Wisner Road in Chardon Township, Geauga County. The East Branch of the Chagrin River is a State Scenic River, is designated as an Outstanding State Water and is in attainment of its coldwater habitat (CWH) aquatic life use water quality standards designation at the project location, however the East Branch immediately downstream of the project site is in non-attainment due to excessive sedimentation being delivered to the river. The Township’s project will assist in addressing this issue by stabilizing the head-cutting stream at the project site.

Controlling a head-cut is one of the most difficult challenges in stream restoration. Head-cutting involves the downward erosion of a stream channel’s bed elevation as it adjusts to a natural or human induced disturbance. This particular restoration will seek to stabilize the head-cutting stream by filling the stream valley with compacted clay material and rebuilding a properly sized stream channel at the appropriate elevations and profile adjacent to Wisner Road on top of the filled valley. The erosive energy of flowing water through the stream channel will be dissipated by the construction of a series of step pools and rock weir structures, which will provide a natural, cascading effect along the stream’s naturally steep gradient.

This project will demonstrate to local road departments, county engineer offices, and parks departments one of the ways to address head-cutting streams using natural channel design techniques that can protect roadway or trail infrastructure, eliminate erosion and improve local water quality.

This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of the Surface Water Improvement Fund.