Looking Glass River bank stabilization project postponed

Updated October 17: Bob Bishop has just let us know that the City of DeWitt has had to postpone this project until spring 2009 because of some last-minute details to be worked out with its DEQ permit. We’ll post more news on this project as it becomes available. The design plan can be reviewed on the Friends of the Looking Glass website:

Hello Everyone, As some of you may have read in the DeWitt Insider, the City’s Newsletter, Sat, Oct 18 has been set for volunteers to help with the project, to keep the costs down. The work site is the south bank of the Looking Glass River at Riverside Park (main bridge/park in downtown DeWitt). City crews and engineering consultants will spend several days prior preparing the site, and volunteers are needed to help actually lay the fibrous material at the “toe” of the eroded bank and “engineer” several layered steps of it while it is backfilled with rock and soil.

We need several dozen able-bodied teens and adults throughout the day. You can start arriving @ 8AM or whenever you can get there. Several people have already expressed interest in helping. Please consider giving some time back to this great community cause – a once in a lifetime opportunity. Please let me know if you or someone in your sphere of influence can help. We’ll build the list and turn it over to the City. This work will reestablish the eroded riverbank, save the remaining trees that line the river, narrow the expanded stream channel and improve aquatic habitat, as well as provide an environmental educational experience for residents and students. FLG has been advised that area teachers will give extra credit for middle school and high school student participation. To save space in the park for equipment and construction materials, you can walk to the worksite or get dropped off, park your bike/vehicle next door at RiverTrail park, or canoe/kayak to the jobsite. Please bring any of the following if you have them: chest or hip waders, gloves, spades/dirt shovels. Put your name on the shovel handle in indelible ink such as from a “Sharpie” pen. On behalf of the Board of the Friends of the Looking Glass River, thank you everyone for helping make this community project a huge success! Bob Bishop FLG Communications ph: 881-1758 – cell

3 responses to “Looking Glass River bank stabilization project postponed

  1. Why did they only provide a two week period for securing a permit? That was poor planning. Most of their proposed designs would need a public notice under Part 301, which requires a 21 day period for comment, not including MDEQ review time.

  2. Just to clarify: the bank stabilization project is being managed and funded by the City of DeWitt, so it’s their DEQ permit application. Friends of the Looking Glass is supplying volunteer support.

    For LOAPC’s Red Cedar clearing operation and bank improvement project, I donated an evening of pro bono legal work to the Club to make sure we were in compliance with DEQ’s Woody Debris Management protocol and didn’t need a permit. I know that nobody likes government red tape, but the permit system is small price for us good guys to pay for making sure the bad guys don’t trash our environment–especially our rivers. I’m glad DEQ is doing its job.

  3. Thanks for the update. The two week permit time was in the JFNew proposed timeline in the link. Under the City of DeWitt, the MDEQ permit number is 08-19-0017. The application did have a public notice. However, it’s not available to look at – this usually means that there’s been a modification proposed *after* noticing.
    With the amount of wood that is in the Looking Glass, I cannot fathom why the City was thinking of lunker structures; (underwater fish shelters) they complicate the project by adding in-water excavation, add a lot of expense, and are mainly used when shelter is scarce. Narrowing the stream will also increase the existing erosive velocity, which will threaten any added bank stabilization. IMO, they should have limited the project to bank stabilization with natural methods. (fascine and cuir bundle method) No seawall. It’s cheap, requires almost zero excavation, and a team of volunteers can finish a proposal of this size without an excavator, almost zero ‘engineering,’ and within a day’s time. (the JFNew plans on the link did not really promote this option well) The only ‘problem’ is that it adds vegetation at the shoreline. Since this method inhibits the sight line of the river, designs with this method need openings for access/viewing. Unfortunately, many parks like to mow their whole shoreline. SE Michigan parks use this method almost exclusively, now, with really good results. …just an example…

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