Silver Creek Watershed

Riparian habitat improvements in the watershed

February 14, 2022

Riparian habitat improvements in the watershed of Ashwaubenon and Dutchman Creeks (ACDC)

With the assistance of a $215,000 Lower Fox River/Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant from the Fox River Trustee Council awarded in December 2021, over the next three years NEW Water will address water quality, riparian and instream habitat fragmentation, and degraded aquatic habitat by restoring 1,200-1,500 feet of riparian corridors in Ashwaubenon Creek and Dutchman Creek (ACDC). Activities will include in-stream debris removal, selective tree thinning, invasive plant removal, adding in-stream habitat for fish and wildlife, planting of desirable tree species, and seeding the floodplain with native seed mix where there is a lack of quality herbaceous vegetation.

Erosion AC photo

Restoring riparian corridors in ACDC will improve downstream water quality and aquatic habitats by reducing runoff and stabilizing stream banks, both sources of excess nutrients and sediment. Additionally, this work will provide habitat enhancement for forage and pollinator species and enhance migratory bird and waterfowl nesting habitat.

The grant will help address an identified need in the watershed. 

In 2018 and 2019, NEW Water and partners conducted field inventories along 16 miles of Ashwaubenon Creek (AC) and 10 miles of Dutchman Creek (DC). Information was collected on soil type, height, and length, photos were captured, and conditions were noted such as streambank erosion, barriers to fish passage, areas of gully erosion, invasive species, pipe and drainage outlets, dumping sites, road and stream crossings, tile drain outlets, areas needing creek or ditch clearing, areas of excessive sediment deposition, and wetlands. The inventory results show the need for streambank stabilization to correct erosion issues and debris clearing to reduce barriers to fish passage and increased erosion. Streambank instability, erosion, and bank failure are occurring from a lack/loss of healthy natural vegetation along streambanks. Development, maintenance issues, row cropping without buffers, and poorly managed historic livestock grazing has contributed to the loss of natural riparian vegetation in the watershed.

Learn more about the NEW Watershed Program >>

Learn more about the Lower Fox River / Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) here >>

Back to Newsroom