Kankakee River Basin Commission commences Yellow River sand project

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kankankee river
The Kankakee River Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org

The Kankakee River Basin Commission of Indiana has started a demonstration project to reduce sand erosion in the Yellow River, which was recently identified as the main source of sand problems of the Kankakee River.

North States Environment of North Carolina is handling the $500,000 project. The firm intends to use trees and large woody debris to stabilize river banks following the same strategy they have successfully implemented in Michigan. They have already begun work north of Knox.

The development is located about 10 miles upstream from English Lake where water runoff from the Yellow River meets water from the northeast part of the Kankakee.

The project begins with clearing trees from river banks, said KRBC executive director Jody Melton. The trees will then be repurposed as materials to stabilize the sand.

While people have claimed that natural materials are going to rot, Melton said that as long as the wood stays underwater, it will not deteriorate. Furthermore, the project description explained that they are more affordable than traditional solutions and possess the best chance of succeeding in the long term.

“If successful, this project has the potential to transform the way we have managed the stream corridor in the past into a much more holistic, long-term, more cost-effective and more sustainable solution that would have the acceptance of local communities and farming interests,” stated KRBC’s report to state legislators.

The report also indicated that it will “no doubt” encourage local investors to look into natural solutions which will result into a lower demand for state funding over time.