Measuring the Health of the Blue River

The photographs below were taken to assess the Blue River and provide documentation of the habitat, water quality and development indicators for the Blue River Report Card. These are just a few examples of how the Blue River has been impacted and the varying levels of restoration needed. Photos are by Ian Fannin-Hughes. 

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Northern Water Snake_Blue River near Nal

Northern water snake (above) and Great blue heron (below) signals good land and aquatic habitat that supports a strong food web with predators. 

Great Blue Heron_Indian Creek_2016.JPG
SVAP Excellent_Camp Branch at 175_2018.j

Camp Branch is an example of a prime stream site in the Blue River. It is least impacted and has an intact habitat and stream structure. Excellent river bank quality and vegetation.

Yard Waste Dumping_OP_2020.JPG

Example of people dumping yard waste (and trash) near streams in Overland Park. Dumping causes vegetation death and flooding.

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Note: Water Quality did not have complete enough data to score and grade.

64_Beaver2_Coffee Creek.jpg

A sign there is good water quality is ample vegetation along the river bank.

Erosion_2018.jpg

Active pollution and erosion in the stream mixes with non-polluted waters.

Active Pollution_Indian Creek at Pflumm_

Food dye in the stream (Flat Rock Creek tributary of Indian Creek) shows active pollution and a poor quantity of river bank vegetation and tree cover.  The stream water color has changed.

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SVAP Good_Coffee Creek at Switzer_2017.j
Bridge_Blue River at Kenneth_2006.JPG

A bridge over the Blue River at Kenneth Road that shows impacts to the river. Stream crossings include changes to water movement and sustainability.

Coffee Creek is a good stream site with low banks, but has been impacted by new development (in the background) loss of protection over the stream and the vegetation.

Erosion_Indian Creek at Quivira_2019.jpg

Active bank erosion on Indian Creek. The lack of tree and native plant cover allows for severe bank erosion.