The Restoration of Little Westham Creek – Delivering Ecological Uplift in an Urban Watershed
The restoration of Little Westham Creek on the campus of the University of Richmond is an example of how to provide water quality improvements and ecological uplift within the context of an urban watershed. Developed as part of the City of Richmond’s MS4 TMDL program, this project has reduced sediment and nutrient loads to the James River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The design approach provides improved stream habitat while putting most storm flows into a restored floodplain. RES, University of Richmond and VCU has been monitoring fish, benthos, plants, pollinators, temperature, water quality and wildlife along the restored stream/floodplain corridor. Much of this monitoring has shown an uplift in ecological functioning but also some of the challenges of working within a densely developed urban watershed.