Limestone springs are found in places where water flows up from underground, usually creating a pool that is the source of a stream. Erosion and sedimentation has affected many limestone springs in our area, often due to clear cutting the vegetation surrounding the spring. The roots of plants located on the banks of water bodies (known as the riparian zone) stabilize the soil and keep it from washing into our streams. Without this vegetation, eroded sediment can accumulate so much that no gravel, or other larger rock types, can be located on the stream or spring bottom. A diversity of rock types on stream-bottoms is important for the survival of many aquatic animal species.
This limestone spring has been choked with sediment, and we received funding to remove it with the intention of improving aquatic habitat for a population of Coldwater Darters (a state-listed fish species). In these pictures, you can see the process of sediment removal. This process is much more difficult than installing preventative measures, such as silt fences, when cutting trees near a water source.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - Benjamin Franklin