Problems and Challenges
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Runoff and sedimentation
In the Lake Superior basin, water runs off the clay soils very quickly, especially during flashy rain events and fast snow melts. The rapid runoff changes the shape and character of streams by causing erosion of soils and streambanks and leads to heavy sedimentation.
Sediment is one of the biggest challenges in our watersheds. Too much suspended sediment in a stream can impair fish breathing and vision. Sediment on the streambed reduces habitat space for macro-invertebrates and can cover fish eggs. Sediment can also pile up along the river’s channel, leading to changes in hydrology, and can cause the Chequamegon Bay to turn red.
What can you do?
- Slow the Flow! Here are some great partner resources:
- Lake Superior Duluth Streams: Tools for Stormwater Management
- EPA: Soak Up the Rain
- Slow the Flow Nonprofit – awesome resource for learning about the basic principles of slow the flow
- University of Florida – ways to slow the flow
- Agriculture Practices – Slow the Flow on your farm!
- Crop Rotation;
- Contour Buffer Strips;
- Cover Cropping;
- Rotational Grazing;
- Grass Waterways;
- Water and Sediment Control Basin;
- Manure Storage;
- Riparian Buffers;
- Wetland Protection/Restoration
- Forestry Practices – reduce runoff
- protecting Riparian Buffers & Wetlands;
- proper Forest Road Construction & Maintenance;
- proper Pesticide Use