Woodland Dam Removal. The Woodland Dam Removal and River Restoration Project was completed the last week of July, 2015 by several project partners including ACCD, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, American Rivers and the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed Association.

Little Sewickley Creek |
The Woodland Dam was located on Little Sewickley Creek, one of Allegheny County’s cleanest, most diverse streams that is designated a High Quality Coldwater Fishery by PA DEP.

Over the past several years, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Duquesne University have conducted fish surveys above and below this old dilapidated structure and found that it is a complete fish barrier to over 30 species of fish from being able to migrate into the 15 miles of upstream habitat in the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed. In addition, the dam also presented a significant public safety hazard and was causing significant erosion along the streambanks.

With the owner on board, project partners were able to obtain the required funding for the dam’s removal with the goals of reconnecting fish populations and reducing erosion and sedimentation to the stream. Beran Environmental was contracted to perform the work. Following the successful removal of the dam, rock cross-vanes were installed to increase fish habitat and stabilize failing streambanks. We will continue to monitor the fish passage with our project partners in the upcoming years.

Raccoon Creek Streambank Stabilization Raccoon Creek is approximately 46 miles long, running through mainly rural areas with agricultural land, wood lots, and previously strip-mined land. These land uses have led to more than 2.5 miles of Raccoon Creek being degraded by siltation from highway, road, and bridge construction and runoff, as well as vegetation removal.

The Raccoon Creek Watershed covers 184 square miles and is listed as a priority watershed by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The site of this project is a 500 ft section of the stream on the property of a commercial agricultural operation that has experienced severe stream bank erosion, with sections of failing stream bank and loss of the riparian buffer.

The project proposes to stabilize the streambank and restore streamflow characteristics through natural methods such as streambank grading with riparian vegetation, live fascines, and rock deflectors. One year after the project’s completion, the ACCD and Beaver County Conservation District will perform post-construction monitoring with a pebble count to measure siltation and a macroinvertebrate survey.

Modifications would prevent an estimated 400 to 800 tons of sediment from entering the stream at the project site.