Where rivers cross underneath roads and bridges, there is a potential for runoff to carry substances like sand and other water contaminants from the road surface into nearby rivers and streams. If proper sediment reduction practices are not implemented, these contaminants can lead to stream bank erosion, reduced spawning habitat for fish and other ecological stressors that reduce water quality. Huron Pines is currently working with community partners in four of the counties within the Thunder Bay River Watershed to reduce sediment loading and improve fish passage by improving road/stream crossings over the next two years. The National Fish and Wildlife’s Sustain Our Great Lakes public-private partnership program is providing the majority of the funding to make this project possible.
To capture the changes in a river’s physical and biological characteristics during this process, Huron Pines would like to monitor physical and biological activity at a minimum of three of these replacement sites. This is a great opportunity to involve teachers and youth in the community to learn more about how stream channels form and how these undersized culverts can affect the biological community within the streams while contributing to a real world restoration project.