Aiding and abetting an already highly active Watershed Association is the new coal mining company kid on the block in Cliffs Natural Resources. They have been a tremendous help with many of the referenced items. Along with the watershed group, the state road garage folks, and a large group of Man High School students, a major multi-mile stream cleanup project was just completed.
With the High School just at the mouth of the creek’s entrance to the Guyandotte River, all would feel better yet if these cleanup projects would someday no longer be needed. Though dastardly littering is dying a slow death, it’s just not soon enough to suit the vast majority. As if all the recent positive factors weren’t enough, some really good news just arrived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District to ice the cake even further.
A long awaited Mitigation Bank project for the upper section of Buffalo Creek has been approved by the Corps.
This means that other future stream impacting projects from mining to shopping malls and highway construction (such as Route 10) can buy restoration credits to offset their own project impacts. Some of these are already in the works. It should also mean that the lower reaches of the stream should also be approved for restoration in a more expedient fashion.
The ultimate goal is to have complete “watershed” restoration that results in both better storm-water protection and fishing habitat at the same time. The Watershed Association has worked hard within and beyond the community to facilitate the Army Corps decision.
It is anticipated that by some avenue or another, the entire stream could be restored all the way down to Man High School.
It may take five years or more but as this stuff seems to go of late, getting the initial permit is more than half the battle.
Take it from yours truly that the watershed group’s persistence has been instrumental in the effort.
As far as individuals that need to help and want to know what they can do along Buffalo or any other creek for that matter, keep the litter and unauthorized equipment out of the stream channel.
Cooperate with sanitary sewer projects.
Allow trees and shrubs to grow providing shade and leaf litter wherever possible.
Obey the fishing seasons, bag limits and sundry regulations. And stay tuned.