Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Riverfront Park Erosion Update

Last week I told you about the destruction of the vegetation on Riverfront Park's riverbank and explained why that vegetation is so important in preventing erosion, slowing flood waters, filtering pollution, providing a habitat for wildlife, and practically, just giving us a nice natural, cool place to picnic or fish on a hot summer's day.

I was curious as to what effect the weekend storms had on the muddy riverbank, so I went back yesterday morning. Here are some photos:

The Municipality must have also agreed that the erosion risk was now high, because they placed this blue construction bolster along the riverbank. Not a great look for our park. But more importantly in this photo, some of the scant vegetation that was left after the borough's "improvements" was gone after the weekend storms.

Here's a closer look at that bare spot from the above photo. You can see how much more vulnerable this part of the riverbank is to erosion now.

This is the end of the lot, just beyond the circle. There had been a deep eroded ditch there which Public Works filled with mud, but you can see on the right side of the photo that the runoff has already begun to form a new ditch under the bolster. This is where the parking lot is closest to the river and now there's no vegetation at all to protect either the riverbank or the parking lot.

This is the same spot on the other side of the bolster. It looks like at least a foot of riverbank washed away over the weekend here. I stood on the curb to take this photo ~ that's how close the river is to the parking lot.

This is better because the remaining trees and vegetation helped to provide protection from erosion, but you can see that some of the debris that had been on the bank is now in the water, so some flooding or erosion did take place.

This was only the result of one fierce but short storm Saturday, and some longer, more gentle bouts of rain on Sunday. I haven't had a chance to see if last night's storm did more damage. But it's absolutely imperative that native plants with good roots be replaced along the riverbank as quickly as possible.

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