Ochlawaha Bog

Project History

The Ochlawaha Bog Restoration Site is located near Hendersonville in the southern mountains of North Carolina and provides habitat for a population of bunched arrowhead (S. fasciculata). The bunched arrowhead is a federally endangered plant species that exists in less than a dozen locations in world. Additionally, Southern Appalachian Bog habitats are extremely rare and most in the region have been degraded by agricultural practices and development. All design and construction activities were carried out with the sensitive nature of bog habitats and this rare plant in mind.

The main stream was historically impacted by agricultural practices. Land use practices included removal of riparian vegetation, draining of wetlands, and relocating, dredging, and straightening of the stream.  Agricultural dredging of the perimeter field ditch had resulted in a head-ward migration of channel incision. The main stream flowing through remnant bog had incised 5 to 6 feet further dewatering the historic wetlands. Soils investigations revealed buried hydric soils in the agricultural field beneath 12 to 18 inches of alluvial deposits. Prior to restoration land use impacts had extirpated the bunched arrowhead form the site and the last known occurrence of the colony was observed in 2007.

The main stream was raised in-place through the upper reach to limit impact to the existing forested community. This was accomplished through the installation of log sills and backfilling the channel. Where the stream entered the agricultural field the terrace was excavated down to expose the buried hydric soil and the channel was re-constructed as a type E5 stream. The main stream has a drainage area of 0.18 square miles and was constructed with a bankfull width of 8 feet and a width/depth ratio of 12. Installation of brush and wood structures were used to enhance channel stability and increase habitat diversity.  Additional restoration activities included construction of several depressional features to provide a diversity of habitats.

The Ochlawaha Bog Site was sponsored by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) with funding provided by the US Fish and Wildlife and the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Wolf Creek Engineering provided design and construction oversight for the restoration of 1,100 feet of streams and 6 acres of wetlands. Construction was performed by North State Environmental, Inc. and was completed in winter of 2011. In the spring of 2011 dozens of rosettes of bunched arrowhead emerged throughout the restoration area.

Before Restoration

During Construction