Black Gore Creek, Vail, CO
2004 - Present
The construction, operation, and maintenance of Interstate-70 at Vail Pass, along 10 miles of Black Gore Creek has caused significant sediment to flow into this once pristine headwater stream. The excess hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment are impairing aquatic life. The creek was listed in 2002 on the state 303d list for impaired waters.
In 2004, RiverRestoration was retained by the Eagle River Watershed Council to assist with the development of a TMDL that would move the creek off the impaired waters list. The Black Gore Creek Steering Committee needed new ideas for watershed restoration and to create a TMDL that would build consensus among stakeholders as well as identify implementable action. Coordinating with the US Forest Service, Colorado Department of Transportation, CO Dept of Health and Environment and local governments, RiverRestoration identified the water quality impairments, defined stream health targets, and led the authorship of the TMDL. In addition, RiverRestoration developed and implemented an annual Sediment Source Monitoring plan; established the capacity of the creek to assimilate sediment; furthermore, RiverRestoration created calculations for annual “Sediment Budget” and “Load Allocation” that informs basin management and prioritizes stabilization projects.