Aquatic life populations in Gore Creek have shown some modest improvements at several test sites along the river as the town continues to work with its partners to “Restore the Gore.”
Since 2012, Gore Creek has been listed as an impaired waterway for failing to meet EPA standards for aquatic life. These standards are based on annual surveys of aquatic macroinvertebrate populations in the creek. The bugs, worms and crustaceans that live in Gore Creek can tell us a lot about the health of the ecosystem and the availability of food and habitat in the stream. Macroinvertbrate population numbers fluctuate from year to year, but have consistently shown a downward trend, particularly through town.
The latest test samples
, collected in 2016, show modest improvements in these scores at several sites on Gore Creek including Bighorn Park, East Vail, Ford Park and the Vail Wastewater Treatment Plant while a site just above the confluence with the Eagle River showed an alarming decline.
The town is optimistic that its efforts to restore riparian habitat, disrupt the flow of polluted runoff, reduce the use of landscaping chemicals, and provide public education are paying off and similar or even greater improvements will be documented in 2017.