National Geographic : 1996 Feb
BANK DEPOSITS Armed with shovels and hoes, a prison crew applies topsoil and native plants to restore an eroded bank of the Boardman River, a major tributary of Grand Traverse Bay. Tromped by hikers and fishermen, the worn slopes dump sand into this blue-ribbon trout stream, suffocating spawning grounds and altering flow. New shrubs and grasses planted at some 65 sites now help block a thousand tons of sand a year from entering the Boardman. "Old-timers have seen the river com ing back," says project director Steve Largent. Tidier banks cause other problems. Lush lawns-like those fronting nearby Kids Creek (above) can spill excess fertilizer and pet wastes into streams unless homeowners plant shoreside buffers.