Soil Erosion and Sedimentation
Soil erosion results in soil being detached, carried away, and eventually deposited elsewhere. It is a natural process, and rivers and creeks naturally hold soil, deposit it in some places and pick it up in other places. In the Huron River Watershed, soil erosion is a problem when it is accelerated because of high water flow and human disturbance (i.e. farming, construction) of the land surrounding our streams. When the amount of soil in the creek exceeds the ability of the water to transport it downstream, the excess soil can clog rocks and gravel beds, which are important habitat for fish, insects, and other river life. When excess soil drops out of the water and remains in the stream, the process is known as sedimentation.
Erosion and sedimentation can also have these affects:
-Loss of fertile top soil
-Flooding from clogged ditches, culverts, and storm sewers
-Muddy or turbid streams
-Damaged plant and animal life
-Clogged ponds, lakes, and reservoirs
-Damaged aquatic and other habitats
-Decreased recreational value and use
-Structural damage to buildings and roads
-Naturally occurring factors also influence both the rate and the amount of erosion and deposition into streams.