The eight-year, $6 million Farrar Dairy Stream and Wetland Restoration site, completed for the North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program (NC EEP), aimed to reestablish an interconnected floodplain corridor by restoring the streams, riparian buffers and forested wetlands along the North Prong of Anderson Creek (NPAC), the main stream through the site. The streams and wetlands at the site had become degraded through poor grazing management, ditching and vegetation removal. The NPAC was channelized to maximize use of agricultural fields, resulting in the disconnection of the NPAC with its floodplain. Ditches had been installed to drain wetlands, and incoming tributaries to the NPAC were straightened and deepened to convey water rapidly through the property. Impoundments and berms were built to attract migratory waterfowl, but these features disrupted the natural hydrologic regime of the site. All of these anthropogenic activities resulted in disruption of the natural system and presented the opportunity to return a highly altered system back to a functional stream and wetland complex.
KCI was responsible for identifying the site’s potential for the full-delivery program and negotiating with property owners, as well as for the assessment, design, construction, monitoring and maintenance of the project site. With the goal of returning the site to its pre-disturbance, natural condition, KCI’s environmental scientists implemented design elements that included lifting the bed of the channel, holding surface water in the wetlands, and treating runoff from cattle feedlots. The restoration plan called for filling and plugging ditches created in the drained hydric soil areas to restore hydrologic conditions, and incoming tributaries to the NPAC were returned to natural channel forms. Existing wetlands of marginal quality were enhanced by removing berms, treating invasive species, and partially filling and regarding open water impoundments. Restored areas were connected to a stream and wetland preservation area along the downstream end of the NPAC creating an interconnected wildlife corridor. Finally, a planting plan was developed and implemented to kick start the re-development of a functional Coastal Plain Small Stream Swamp community through the planting of species known to exist within these community types in the wetland micro-topography created as part of the project.
The project resulted in the successful delivery of 11,881 stream mitigation credits and 62 riverine wetland credits for the NC EEP, while fulfilling the owner’s lifelong dream of converting a large portion of his property into a hunting preserve.
For more information on the project, view the below video: