The Macatawa Watershed Management Plan established the goal of stabilizing approximately 7,000 feet of streambank in the Peters Creek Subwatershed. Peters Creek is a major tributary to the Macatawa Watershed. Niswander Environmental (NE) restored 600 feet of Peters Creek in 2019. This project was incredibly successful, and in 2022 NE restored another 1,700 feet upstream of that project. The streambank was restored by reducing the slope on failing banks, increasing bank storage for higher flow events, and placing toe wood at critical locations. The restoration will reduce pollutants reaching Peters Creek and the Macatawa River.

Natural Channel Design (NCD) techniques were used to obtain the proper pattern, profile and dimension of the stream and utilizing structures with natural wood material (e.g., toewood, log vanes, log riffle) to assist in meeting design criteria. NCD was used to stabilize the stream which was undergoing significant streambank erosion and channel bottom downcutting prior to the project. To create a stable stream reach, the channel was sized and relocated to meet reference conditions. Bankfull (floodplain) benches were created along the entire restoration stream reach. Other design features included the use of toewood to reduce velocities and near bank shear stress resulting in decreased bank erosion, installation of a j-hook log vane to direct velocity vectors away from the bank, and the construction of log riffle to serve as grade control.

The mitigation and restoration projects located on Peters Creek were completed in 2022. Niswander Environmental (NE) and Green Watershed Restoration (GWR) conducted design work for Progressive Brighton LLC and ODC Network and developed the monitoring plan collaboratively with EGLE. Stream planform, cross section, profile and structures including toe-wood, vane structures and riffles within the project reach are stable and functioning as designed. The Peters Creek Restoration Project was funded by both the ODC Network’s Project Clarity Initiative and EGLE’s Non-Point Source Program (319) grant funding.

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