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CCphotoThe Cullowhee Creek

Restoration Project

    The United States has more than 3.5 millions miles of streams, many of have been degraded by present and past land use activities.  Cullowhee Creek on Western’s campus is no exception.  Stream corridors are complex ecosystems that develop due to the sum of many natural (ex. hydrology, topography, geology, biology) and artificial influences (ex. land use, storm water diversion, alteration of stream path and channel banks).  Disturbance of streams can result in a variety of adverse changes as the stream system attempts to adjust to new conditions; these changes can include increased sedimentation, disruption of natural flow conditions, decreases in biodiversity, and deterioration of water quality.

    A restoration project for Cullowhee Creek was started in June 2005. The project was halted prior to the start of the Fall 2005 semester and is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2006.  The restoration project is being funded by a land development company to receive mitigation credit for some development related stream disturbance in southern Jackson County. The restoration of Cullowhee Creek at Western, or more accurately called rehabilitation, will attempt to restore much of the streams natural functions to improve, among other things, channel stability, biodiversity, sediment transport, and storm flow regulation.  Many Western students, especially those in Geology, Natural Resources Management, and Biology, are involved in monitoring of the restoration to evaluate project success.


Cullowhee Creek Stream Restoration Links

    Cullowhee Creek Resources

            General Topographic Map-Campus
            General Topographic Map--Cullowhee Creek Watershed

            General 3-D Satellite Image--Cullowhee Creek Watershed
            Campus Map

            Detailed Aerial Photographs and Restoration Plan Maps


      Restoration Assessment Methods (Geology Courses)
          Channel Profile and Structure Evaluation
          Riparian Channel Evaluation

          Geology Students in Action--Photogallery

          Photographs and description of the Cullowhee Creek Restoration


 The Cullowhee Creek Restoration Project

            Buck Engineering (The company performing the restoration project)

            WCU Press Release on Restoration

            Mountaintop community (community development using Cullowhee Creek for mitigation credit)
            Discovery Land Company (Company that is developing Mountaintop)

General Stream Restoration Links Page

Geology Program Home Page

rev. sept. 05