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Watershed Threats and Problems - Town Creek

Town Creek Aqueduct
Town Creek

There are problems in paradise. Popular swimming areas are experiencing occasional high fecal coliform counts. Some residents report that the water is not as clear as it used to be. Acid rain has made the northern portion of Flintstone Creek no longer suitable for trout stocking. A ten-fold increase in acidity has been observed after rain events and snow melts, even in the well-buffered main stem portions. Inadequate streamside tree cover contributes to excessive erosion and can exacerbate locally high summer temperatures in Town Creek. Widespread over browsing by the white-tailed deer threatens the regeneration of our forests with serious implications for damage to riparian ecosystems. Failure of some landowners to implement best management practices in their operations poses a potential threat to water quality. A small but accelerating stream of building permits and industrial site applications suggests another long-term problem uncontrolled commercial and residential development in the area. Cut in half by Interstate 68, the Town Creek Watershed will continually experience pressure from the rapidly urbanizing areas to the east.

Other threats to the watershed include exotic invasive species - aggressively spreading species without natural predators. Because they do not have natural predators, they are able to out-compete the native flora and fauna in the area. This problem can be exacerbated by another watershed threat - timber harvesting that takes place in an unsustainable way. Managed timber harvests help maintain the diversity and health of a forest. Without this type of management, the forest's composition can be altered, opening up habitat for undesirable and invasive species.

The ridge and valley terrain of the region does not have adequate water resource to sustain extensive development of any kind and it is especially prone to erosion and flooding. These trends should serve as a wake up call that Town Creek needs some tender loving care if it is to survive the next century with its natural environment and residents' way of life intact.

Watershed Map

Town Creek Watershed Map
Map contains the following: