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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Students of the stream
Energetic educators (pg 3 of 3)

Brown's Creek, located in Stillwater, Minnesota, is one of 15 remaining trout streams in the Twin Cities metro area. The creek's ability to support trout is threatened by existing and new urban development in its watershed. As we've learned, development can degrade streams when increasing amounts of impervious surfaces cause large amounts of water to flow faster to the stream instead of soaking into the ground. This 'runoff' carries with it pollutants like nutrients and sediment, and can cause channel erosion and habitat degradation. Brown's Creek also suffered from past rerouting through a wetland, which slowed down water flow and exposed it to the sun, making water temperatures too high to meet trout habitat requirements.

The decision was made to realign the channel closer to an approximation of its original path. The channel was designed with stream dynamics and fish habitat in mind. Special structures called rock vanes and rock weirs were used to direct flow away from the banks of the stream, which will prevent bank erosion during large storms and flood events. Root wads from blown-down trees were also installed to deflect flow and provide fish habitat. The banks of the new stream were seeded with a mix of native, deep-rooted grasses that will stabilize surrounding soils and minimize erosion.

The restoration effort was achieved through a broad collaboration with the state, city, watershed district, private businesses, conservation organizations, and volunteer citizens. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring of Brown's Creek is accomplished through active citizens and enthusiastic students. Under the leadership of energetic educator Andy Weaver, biology students from Stillwater High School are contributing to the condition of the watershed while learning valuable lessons about stream systems.

Andy Weaver
See Andy Weaver and his biology class
At work in Brown's Creek
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Students of the stream
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