Creative Strategies for Implementing Projects to Manage Non-Point Source Pollution: A Case Study from the McDaniel Farm Park Stream Restoration Project

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The Sweetwater Creek watershed is located in central Gwinnett County within the Ocmulgee River Basin. The study area is comprised of 26 square miles. A total of 153 projects were identified in the Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) for Sweetwater Creek. Total cost of all projects was estimated at $15,044,500.

Implementation of projects was broken down into two primary phases:
• Phase I - Prioritization of the recommended projects in the WIP
• Phase II - Project design and construction

Project prioritization included a review of data from the Sweetwater Creek WIP to develop a short list of BMP and stream projects for implementation. This was accomplished by conducting limited field work to review short listed projects. The work also included a review of regulatory requirements for potential projects and preliminary discussions of land acquisition issues.

The McDaniel Farm Park stream restoration project was the first step in bridging the gap between watershed planning and implementation. As a result of the Phase I study, the McDaniel Farm Park stream restoration project was the first project chosen for implementation for a number of reasons. 1) The project was identified in the WIP as providing reduction in TSS because of eroding banks along an unnamed tributary to Sweetwater Creek. 2) The project was located on County-owned land within an existing park and the project could be completed on County-owned property, avoiding land acquisition that could cost the County additional time and money for the project. 3) Because
the project is located in a park there will be a number of opportunities to provide public awareness and education to citizens regarding the program. 4) There was a nearby road construction project that was going to impact a stream channel and as a result the Georgia Department of Transportation (GA DOT) needed mitigation credits to obtain a 404 permit for the project. The McDaniel Farm Park stream restoration project could be used to provide mitigation for the road project. GA DOT cost for mitigation for the road project was $1.6 million.

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