As a landowner in the Coos watershed you may be faced with problems such as erosion of your sloped yard or stream banks flowing through your property, excessive runoff from your roof or driveway, or flooding of lower parts of your property. Our goal here is to offer you cost-effective and simple solutions to these common problems using watershed-friendly principles and products.
Problem: Streambank erosion
Solution: Riparian vegetation is a long-term solution to streambank stability once the source of the excess runoff is corrected: It is always important to try to maintain a healthy vegetated riparian buffer zone along the stream bank. Willow, red cedar, and spruce are just a few plants recommended for buffer zones within this watershed because they are water tolerant and root quickly. You then just have to remember not to mow that buffer zone and if you have grazing animals, make an effort to fence them off of the buffer zone.
Example: A great example of riparian vegetation in action in the Coos watershed is Willanch Creek. The photos to the right compare the stream bank conditions before restoration and eight years after restoration. In addition to stabilizing the stream bank the riparian restoration efforts improved the stream temperature and created more complex habitats within the stream by slowing downt he flow of the water.
CoosWA Example of Riparian Vegetation to Combat Streambank Erosion
Example of how a healthy vegetated riparian zone can stabilize a stream bank. These photos show before restoration and 8 years after restoration on the Willanch Creek.
Problem: Excessive runoff from your driveway
Solution: Permeable Pavers: One of the major causes of runoff is from impermeable surfaces such as driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other impermeable walking surfaces. A good way to reduce runoff from driveways and patios is to replace them with permeable pavers, grass or gravel driveway materials. A less expensive choice is to install gravel trenches along impermeable sidewalks or driveways to catch some of the runoff.
Examples of Gravel Trenches Along Driveways to Reduce Runoff
You can see more examples of attractive and watershed-friendly driveway improvements on the S &W Consulting webpage.
Problem: Pooling of water in your yard after a heavy rain event
Solution: Rain Gardens: You can reduce a lot of the runoff from you roof with strategically placed rain gardens that will also add to the beauty of your yard. A rain garden built below a downspout on a typical residential lot of one-quarter acre reduces runoff by 25%. If you do all of the work yourself, a rain garden typically costs only $3 to $5 per square foot. Other helpful information about building your own rain garden can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Runoff page.
Rain Gardens on Residential Properties in Action
Rain gardens can be aesthetically pleasing while providing benefits to the local watershed by reducing stormwater runoff from your property. You can learn more about the benefits of rain gardens and swales on the Oregon Metro website.