• 79°

Chambers backs continued efforts to fix Moore’s Creek

LaFAYETTE — On Monday of this week, the Chambers County Commission backed a request made by Extension Coordinator Ken McMillan to seek funding for Phase Two of the Moore’s Creek project.

Phase One took place last spring on the portion of the creek that flows from South 8th Avenue to Veterans Memorial Parkway in Lanett. The second phase would be taking place in the portion of the creek that flows through the Langdale community in Valley.

The commission agreed to send a letter of support for continued funding for the project.

“We have a great opportunity to continue with these much-needed improvements with Phase Two,” McMillan told The Times-News. “The proposed award totals $302,950 with match requirement of $201,967. The funding period is from February 2018 to February 2020. Letters of support from community partners are needed for the funds to be awarded.”

There’s a number of ways to account for the local match. In-kind labor and volunteer assistance can go to it.

McMillan is proposing for Chambers County to partner with the Alabama Department of Transportation to stabilize areas around the Highway 50 crossing of Moore’s Creek in Lanett. “It’s an area that has been impacted by storm water runoff from the highway,” he explained. “We will have a follow-up planting at the Phase One site as well as two watershed cleanup events. We will also be working along the portion of Moore’s Creek that runs in front of Valley City Hall. This is an area that can benefit from stream bank stabilization. We will continue to provide environmental science education for local schools. We will also host two technology transfer events through Auburn University.”

City and county officials will have the opportunity to take in a program called Nonpoint Source Education for Municipal Officials, or NEMO.

“We will provide construction and post-construction tours of active projects,” McMillan said. “We will work with local stakeholders to identify areas of need as well as future potential projects. We will appreciate your support in reaching our match goal.”

McMillan said that Phase One had been tremendously successful, largely due to the subcontractors and community partners being fully engaged.

“Phase Two in Lanett and Valley can likewise benefit our communities through our collaborative efforts. We will need stakeholders’ input and participation throughout the project to ensure success.”

The Moore’s Creek watershed is approximately 18 square miles and covers portions of the cities of Lanett and Valley. The creek is listed on the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s list of impacted waters for low dissolved oxygen and sedimentation.

The Moore’s Creek Project can offer some fun activities for volunteer participants. These include trash cleanups, rain barrel workshops, the planting of native vegetation and the removal of non-native species.

Project partners are currently monitoring three water chemistry sites along Moore’s Creek. Water quality parameters include, but are not limited to, pH, temperature, hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. Collecting water data helps detect issues in the watershed that need to be addressed. Anyone interested in being a water quality monitor can go to alabamawaterwatch,org for details.