The Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for excellence and innovation in clean water infrastructure through the Performance and Innovation in SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) program. The creek restoration was one of 28 projects by state or local governments, public utilities, and private entities that were recognized by the 2017 PISCES Program.
The PISCES program celebrates innovation demonstrated by Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) programs and assistance recipients. The CWSRF is a federal/state partnership that provides communities a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects.
Over the past 30 years, CWSRF programs have provided more than $125 billion in financing for water quality infrastructure. Nearly half the Upper Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project’s $60 million cost came from the CWSRF, including $6 million principal forgiveness.
Dubuque’s Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project received recognition for replacing one-mile of the buried Bee Branch storm sewer with a creek and floodplain. Daylighting the creek not only allows stormwater from flash floods to safely move through the area, but will also restore aquatic habitat by allowing sunlight to foster the growth of the microorganisms needed to sustain fish. The creek design includes riffles, runs, a cobble creek bed, submerged boulders, and permeable pavement for nearby streets.