development in the urban area has resulted in substantial erosion, impaired water quality, endangered aquatic species and caused property damage and habitat loss. Many of the urban residents live in apartments or mobile home parks and are directly impacted by adverse water
quality, flooding, and lowered property values.
Wildcat Creek has documented water quality problems. The watershed is listed as impaired (303d Kansas report) for nutrients (phosphorus), bacteria, and low levels of dissolved oxygen. In addition, Wildcat Creek and its tributaries are habitat for the Topeka Shiner, which is an
endangered fish species that requires very specific water quality conditions. Flooding in the urban portions of the watershed has increased from a 1 in 20 year occurrence to almost an annual event. In 2010, a major flood event caused serious damage to and threatened human
health of residents of lowest income and most vulnerable residents of the watershed. With the rapid rate of urbanization in the rural upstream areas watershed, it is expected that flooding frequency will increase unless a plan is developed and implemented.
The Wildcat Creek Watershed Council is an ad hoc group that has been meeting and corresponding since 2009 to address the problems with Wildcat Creek. The Council has been working to bring together the watershed community and identify the historic and ongoing research and construction activities in the watershed. The general vision of the group is to improve the environmental quality of Wildcat Creek to insure the protection of the property and enhancement of the quality of life.
The vision of this project is the development of a sustainable organization that can effectively address the future of the Wildcat Creek Watershed. The Wildcat Creek Watershed Council urgently needs assistance to establish itself to move beyond a large list of correspondents to a sustainable organizational structure and action. Specific project goals are:
This effort has widespread support in the local watershed community and state and local agencies and councils.
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