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Bridges are Great – Bugs are Better

March 31, 2015

Do full span bridges and culverts improve water quality? In the case of the Maple River, the proof is in the pudding thanks to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Since 2001, their staff has been monitoring the West Branch of the Maple River every other year. They track aquatic macroinvertebrates, phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH and more.

The program, funded through the Environmental Protection Agency, takes measurements at two sites of the West Branch Maple River, where it crosses US 31 and upstream at Ely Bridge Road. The findings show aquatic macroinvertebrate numbers and diversity took a sharp up-tick following the installation of timber bridge at Pleasant View Road and the culvert replacement at Robinson Road.

For more information, please contact Kira Davis, Water Quality Specialist, at kdavis@ltbbodawa-nsn.gov or at 231-242-1572.

Maple River Water Quality Assessment Map

LTBB Surface Water Quality Protection Program

EPA's Surf Your Watershed

Maple River HomeWaters Update - Spring 2015


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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