Paper No. 20-17
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF IMPLEMENTING STREAM DAYLIGHTING STRATEGIES ON LITTLE BLACK CREEK IN MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI
Daylighting is a relatively new stream restoration technique being used in urban environments where natural streams have been redirected through underground culverts and combined with storm sewer systems. The technique involves removing culverts and unburying streams. Daylighting is done not only to restore natural stream habitats, but to address urban issues such as minimizing runoff of polluted water, reducing flash floods, and improving the livable environment. The city of Muskegon Heights, Michigan has proposed daylighting Little Black Creek as a component of their urban revitalization plan. Spatial understanding of the length of culverted portions of streams as well as the proximity to the downtown area are key factors in constructing an assessment. As such, this study sought to identify and measure portions of Little Black Creek that are culverted. In addition, water level data were collected at three specific study areas along the creek in order to establish baseline water levels and evaluate the changes in water level during rain events. In some instances, additional physical (i.e. stream profiles) and hydrochemical (i.e. temperature, conductivity) data were collected to further understand the current health of the stream. The results were combined with those from previous research on Little Black Creek and compared to other daylighting projects of similar scale. While further investigation is necessary to determine the feasibility of daylighting opportunities, the results from this preliminary assessment highlight the pros and cons of implementing daylighting strategies on portions of Little Black Creek.