West Creek Coventry Restoration
A healthy stream has riffles, pools and floodplains. Riffles are shallow areas where water runs fast over rocks. Pools are deeper areas, where water slows down and sediment has time to settle to the bottom, which helps keep the water clean. With clean water, sunlight can reach and nourish underwater plants that provide homes for aquatic insects which are food for fish.
Floodplains are the areas outside of the streambanks, where the water can spread out onto native plants during heavy rains. Riffles, pools and floodplains provide habitat and help the stream to “hold” more water, which can slowly seep into the ground and be used by plants instead of rushing past.
Why did West Creek need to be restored?
At some point, this stretch of West Creek was ditched so people could farm on the floodplain. This separated the stream from its floodplain and degraded habitat. Meanwhile, as the area developed, many surfaces that were once forested and green were paved over by roads, sidewalks, and buildings. Stormwater flowing quickly over these hard surfaces went directly into West Creek, picking up dirt and pollutants along the way, degrading habitat and making the water dirtier.
This 300 linear foot stretch of stream is just North of Normandy High School. It was incised, the banks were slumping, and floodplains weren’t being utilized to their fullest potential.
West Creek Conservancy commissioned EnviroScience to engineer and stabilize these banks and reconnect the stream to the adjacent unused floodplain.
This included toe rock, bioengineering, and branch layering. Upstream, many riffles were regraded to make the floodplain more accessible. The failing hillsides were graded back and secured to reduce the sediment loading downstream.
The outlet culvert that goes under Coventry Drive was protected and cleaned of debris. This restoration was strategically prioritized, and money was leveraged to help the watershed from the headwaters to the confluence.
OhioEPA, The City of Parma and Mayor DeGeeter, Cleveland Metroparks, West Creek Conservancy, EnviroScience and team, and NEORSD.