Cahoon Creek gets clean bill of health

Khaled, Leo and Nick perform water chemistry testing on samples from Cahoon Creek. Photo by Richard Gash

This past winter the Sea Scouts, along with the middle school Marine Environment Explorer Club 360, conducted a study to determine the effects of runoff and storm water on the Cahoon Creek. We set out to determine if the creek was being affected by anthropogenic pollution. The study included analysis of the soil, water, over cover density and macroinvertebrate at the source of the stream (the Metroparks, Bradley Woods Reservation), at the mid-point, and at the mouth (Bay Boat Club).

The soils ranged from sandy to silt/loam to clay at the mouth. This difference helped explain the higher level of phosphorus at the source. A clay soil has great phosphorus ion holding capabilities whereas a sandy soil would allow phosphorus to easily flow into the stream. The over cover density or amount of tree growth along the stream, studied by looking at Google Satellite views on the web, averaged above the 100 feet width recommended by the experts. Other anomalies such as an acidic pH level of 6.0 and a low level of macroinvertebrate at the mouth could be explained by sampling later in the day with an overcast sky and limited sample size.

In conclusion, our results indicate a healthy Cahoon Creek. This was confirmed on a warm, sunny Sunday in February when sheepshead and a shoal of shad were seen swimming upstream by the mouth of the creek at Bay Boat Club.

We had a great team and fun participating in the project. Since the project is over, we look forward to sailing on Lake Erie this summer!

Sea Scouts is a co-ed group looking for adventures in or on water. For additional details contact Richard Gash at or 440-871-6106.

Khaled Hamil, Leo Cavalier and Nick LaRosa

I'm in the Bay High School class of 2020.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.21.2017