Meet the Expert – Krystal Lomas
CVC’s Krystal Lomas is an Aquatic Restoration Technician. Her job is to help restore streams in the Credit River Watershed.
What do you do at CVC?
On a typical day, you can find me wading in streams looking for restoration opportunities. When an opportunity to improve the health of the stream is confirmed, I work with my team to apply stream restoration techniques. We use technique such as installing sediment traps, removing online ponds and mitigating dams and barriers.
Once a project is complete, I support monitoring activities. Monitoring helps us evaluate a project’s success. For example, I collect water flow data which helps us understand how water is moving through the stream and conduct electrofishing to assess the number of fish using the newly restore stream.
What motivates you to do this work?
Protecting and restoring nature has always been a passion of mine. It’s hard but rewarding work. Seeing firsthand how my work improves water quality and enhances habitat for wildlife is the reason I love my job. Ecological restoration is always evolving so I am always learning. I also work with a great team and learn from my co-workers and project partners.
Why is aquatic restoration important?
Aquatic ecosystems like streams provide important ecosystem services. They help clean and absorb water, recycle nutrients and provide habitat for fish, birds, invertebrates and many more species.
There are many opportunities to improve the health of streams in the Credit River Watershed. Streams throughout the watershed have been straightened, diverted or buried underground. Restoring streams back to a natural state improves bank stability, provides spawning grounds for native fish and food for wildlife. Creating healthy habitats also builds climate change resiliency and reduces flood risk.
What can we do to help protect streams?
There are many ways you can protect streams within our communities.
Participate in litter clean up events to reduce the amount of litter entering waterways.
Leave a buffer. If you have a creek, river or stream flowing through your property, avoid mowing grass all the way to the water’s edge. Mowing to the edge can increase erosion. Plants stabilize the bank with their roots and provide shade to cool the stream. Plants around streams also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
What restoration project are you most proud of?
Our team worked with a landowner to remove a control structure impacting the West Credit River. This project makes me proud because we could see the direct benefits to fish. Once we removed the structure, fish could freely move downstream and water temperatures reduced. We were excited to see that brook trout returned to this section of the stream. Brook trout require cold water to survive and their return marked an important milestone of success.