Ben's Branch Stream

Ben's Branch Stream

Chert Glades Stream Team # 5692.   

Everything done to the land affects the quality of the water in your watershed. Streams and rivers provide vital habitat and a source of fresh water for fish, wildlife and humans. Humans can harm water condition but we can also play a part in restoring habitat and water quality. One way we can protect a stream is by monitoring its health.

Our Chapter’s stream team recently adopted Ben’s Branch stream located within the Cardinal Valley Natural Habitat Restoration Project (from now on referred to as Cardinal Valley), in Webb City, Missouri. Ben’s Branch stream is a second order intermittent stream. It joins Center Creek, a fifth order stream within the Spring River Watershed Basin. This watershed area is within the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt, abandoned and left contaminated by tons of mining waste, left in uncovered piles. Runoff from these piles has entered groundwater and surface streams, contaminating them with lead, zinc and cadmium. Over the last few years, the Environmental Protection Agency, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Webb City, teamed up to clean, reclaim, and return the land to a more natural habitat. Northwestern sections of the restoration area include a wetland area near Center Creek that will help remove zinc and other heavy metals from the effluent water leaving the Center Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and then running into Center Creek. Cardinal Valley Natural Habitat Restoration

Project: http://webbcitymo.org/department/detail/cardinal-valleywetlands-restoration-project

 Bee on milkweed

Bee on milkweed

Chert Glades Chapter will actively monitor the health of Ben’s Branch stream as part of the Missouri Stream Team program. We will perform biological, physical and chemical monitoring. Physical and chemical aspects of water are frequently used to assess the health of a stream or determine the degree of pollution at the time a sample is collected. In order to track water quality over a period of time, we will also conduct biological monitoring, looking for living things such as stoneflies, dragonflies, mayflies, water beetles, and many other organisms that show sensitivity or tolerance to pollution. Missouri Stream Team Water Quality Monitoring is conducted two times annually, spring and fall. Our first test will be conducted on March 25, 2018. 

Other Chapter activities at Cardinal Valley will include bird counts, insect and wildlife monitoring, planting of forbs, collecting seeds from native wildflowers, litter cleanup, trail work, prairie burns and removal of invasive plants. 

Be sure to check here for information on upcoming monitoring times and dates. 

 

Photographs by Randy Haas and Amera Wild