Power to Save: College Students Help Preserve Streams

LOYALSOCK TOWNSHIP -- This week marks five years since the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee flooded much of northeastern and central Pennsylvania. That flooding also caused damage to creeks and streams.

Doctor Mel Zimmerman knows there is erosion along Mill Creek it's just behind his house.

"You can get extra sediment that would smother the habitat for the fish to be there. So we want to get that habitat straightened out so we can support populations again,” said Dr. Mel Zimmerman.

Dr. Zimmerman has spent about ten years working with the Clean Water Institute at Lycoming College and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to restore Mill Creek and a few other creeks in central PA.

"Putting these structures in it can kind of slowdown that that process pesticides chemicals getting into the water," said Dom Novella.

It may just look like a bunch of logs along the bank, but a mudsill was put in Mill Creek to help prevent erosion.

"There are many different structures that can be used for habitat improvement we have two here the mudsill and the multi-log vane,"

A multi-log vane is capturing sediment so it doesn't flow down Mill Creek. Over the summer Dom and several volunteers worked to build a couple of them in Sullivan County where they are also working to preserve fish habitat.

"Really by doing this project I can see where the fish are hiding where they are coming from," said Novella.

Student Dom Novella says he has also noticed an increase in the fish population which is just an added bonus for this fisherman.

"We are helping not only our local areas but we are also helping streams hundreds of miles away downstream," said Novella.