Peabody employed state-of-the-art techniques in natural stream restoration, designing and constructing a stream channel that improves stability while providing essential biological habitat. Natural rock and wood materials promote in-stream stability, while an adjacent floodplain stores water during peak flow events. Construction was initiated in 2005. Since then, the creek has flourished amid multiple natural challenges, including nearly 15 inches of rainfall during a 24-hour period in 2008. Many local roads, levees and flood control structures failed at the time, but the stream required no repair.
The stream and watershed are improving water quality and contributing to a flourishing ecosystem. Similarly, the team’s work to embed rock in the channel bottom and install structures including log vanes, root wads and large boulders created vital habitat. In many instances, the restored section of West Fork Busseron Creek is more stable and enjoys a higher density of aquatic life than in nearby sections of the stream that were not part of the mining operation.
Peabody’s Farmersburg mine has previously been recognized for its prime farmland restoration and Good Neighbor practices by the U.S. Department of the Interior.