Sediment continues to come into Gee Creek from projects. The photo above was taken Sunday morning, November 7th. I discussed the situation Saturday with public works director Bryan Kast. He said the city is working with Ridgefield Heights to mitigate the problem. Still. much sediment is entering the creek. Last week, Wednesday into Thursday, there was a little over an inch of rain. Not only was there a great deal of sediment coming from Ridgefield Heights, but also a project draining into a tributary running next to Reiman Road. In addition, there was heavy sediment coming into Gee Creek upstream from Royle Road. Because of the dirty run-off, the city has given a stop work order to all three projects. This week could be very bad as heavy rain could happen later this week.
The photo above was taken Friday on the project east of Reiman Road. I saw large vehicles moving through a very muddy terrain. This project is one of three with a stop work order.
Above is a photo of a project in the county north of the city. The bare dirt is covered and proper erosion control measures are being done. Summers in our area are dry with a transition to wetter weather in the fall. The time to prepare is before it gets wet and not after. Also, some activities need to be restricted. Moving heavy equipment in muddy areas makes it worse.
Things will likely stay bad this fall and winter with the wettest weather yet to come. Gee Creek has taken a hit, but is resilient. We have evidence that Coho salmon are returning to spawn and there is a population of sea-run cutthroat trout in the creek.
I hope the city makes some changes in erosion control efforts. Projects need to be better prepared for the change from dry summers to wet fall and winters. Having a healthy creek, with salmon and trout, would certainly be a good thing for our community. To do that will require changes to erosion control efforts. I am optimistic that it can be done.
By Paul Snoey