Sixmile Creek: A Status Report
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Sixmile Creek is unique in Tompkins County: it serves as the source of the City of Ithaca's drinking water and is geomorphically very active. For these reasons, the number of studies, data collection efforts, and management projects occurring along Sixmile Creek, and within the watershed, is proportionally greater than that in most other creeks and watersheds in the County and even in the Cayuga Lake watershed. An increasing awareness of watershed issues among many stakeholders in the Sixmile Creek watershed, with the leadership of Tompkins County, yielded questions about the effectiveness and outcomes of the many highly localized and often uncoordinated channel management efforts scattered throughout the watershed. In 2002, the Tompkins County Planning Department retained Milone and MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) to complete a Flood Mitigation Needs Assessment for Sixmile Creek, which suggested a more holistic approach to stream management and watershed needs (MMI, 2003). The following year, the City of Ithaca invited various local agencies, municipalities and scientists to participate in the "Sixmile Creek Partnership" in fulfillment of a grant obligation and to facilitate greater information sharing and coordination of projects in the Sixmile watershed.