This group con ducts two major stream cleanups annually, removing more than 2,000 discarded tires, cars, trucks, major appliances and other trash from the eight streams it has adopted. They often help other stream teams with special challenges. In 2007 they received a grant to buy video surveillance gear to catch illegal dumpers. “When there is a large item in the river, the Arnold Stream Team is there to take it apart and haul it off,” says Fisheries Management Biologist Mark VanPatten. “I honestly believe there is nothing too big for them to handle. One time when they were winching something very large out of the river, they burned out a winch. They didn’t give up. They just took a break long enough to buy a bigger, more powerful winch. When it comes to a battle between the trash and Stream Team 211, 211 will win.”
A California company has landed a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a “green” control for zebra mussels. Marrone Organic Innovations Inc., working through the New York State Museum, will use the money to develop a microbe-based pesticide. Zebra mussels cause millions of dollars of damage annually and adversely affect native animals. Although control of existing zebra mussel infestations might be possible one day, prevention of infestations by cleaning and drying boats and equipment remain the most economical control measures. For more information, see the links listed below.
If you are losing land to stream-bank erosion, consider paying a visit to Hilda J. Young Conservation Area in Jefferson County. There, along the banks of LaBarque Creek, the Conservation Department and Missouri Stream Team have created a real-life demonstration of inexpensive stream-bank erosion practices that work. They started by cutting 1,300 willow stakes 3 feet long and planting them on eroding slopes. These grew into willow thickets that held the soil in place. On steep cutbanks where willow staking was not practical, they placed cedar trees with earth anchors to break the force of the stream current and encourage plant growth and natural soil deposition. Both the willow plantings and the cedar-tree revetments used free materials available on-site. Once erosion was at bay, Conservation Department workers and Stream Team volunteers planted more than 7,000 sycamore, cottonwood, green ash, maple, walnut and sweet gum trees, creating wooded borders along LaBarque Creek, guaranteeing that erosion would not return. For more information, visit the links listed below.
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