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ARRA Funding Supports Stream Habitat Restoration in the Meramec Watershed
Midwest Region, May 4, 2010
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Cattle are now fenced out of the riparian corridor, note old cowpath leading into the trees. (Photo by the Missouri Department of Conservation)
Cattle are now fenced out of the riparian corridor, note old cowpath leading into the trees. (Photo by the Missouri Department of Conservation) - Photo Credit: n/a
Missouri Department of Conservation biologists plant willow stakes while the contractor slopes the stream bank and places rock (Photo by the Missouri Department of Conservation).
Missouri Department of Conservation biologists plant willow stakes while the contractor slopes the stream bank and places rock (Photo by the Missouri Department of Conservation). - Photo Credit: n/a

ARRA funding provided through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in conjunction with other partnership dollars, was used to improve fish and aquatic habitats on three Missouri farms in the Meramec watershed. 

Adam Boman of the Missouri Department of Conservation hosted a site tour on May 4th for Branch Chief for Fish Conservation Joanne Grady. We visited three cattle production farms in the Meramec watershed to inspect work put in place with ARRA funding.

The objective of these projects was to reduce stream bank erosion rates; sedimentation; and nutrification by installing alternative livestock watering systems, light equipment and livestock crossings, exclusion fencing, and by protecting and planting the riparian corridor.

Each landowner selected tools from this list to meet their farm’s needs and objectives. Their riparian corridors are comprised of a variety of trees, shrubs and grasses.  Removing the cows from the stream corridor and maitaining the vegetation aids in: stabilizing the streambank, increasing channel depths, reducing bed load, regulating water temperatures, providing in-stream cover and carbon, and filtering nutrients.  These projects aid in reducing stream problems both upstream and downstream by protecting the riparian corridor from livestock use and will contribute to improved water quality for the species that depend on these streams for survival.

In light of the ARRA funding intentions to create jobs in addition to funding habitat improvements, efforts were made to strategically spend ARRA funds to meet both objectives. ARRA funds supported excavation, rip rap hauling, pipe ditching, well drilling and water tank placements. Partner funds paid for fencing and riparian plantings.

The Meramec Basin is a species-rich aquatic system with 43 species of freshwater mussels and 90 species of fish. It is a priority aquatic watershed in Missouri’s State Wildlife Action Plan. The area was subjected to widespread logging in the early 1900s and has been additionally fragmented by pastures and development. Its close proximity to St. Louis means that the watershed is both impacted by development and treasured for the vital role it plays in outdoor recreation and tourism.

Natural resource concerns in the upstream portions of the watershed include forest and forest riparian corridor conversion to pasture and row-crops along with associated excessive nutrification and increased sedimentation within waterways.


Contact Info: Joanne Grady, 573-234-2132 x101, joanne_grady@fws.gov



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