MWC Eco-brief: Stream Detritus
Detritus consisting of leaves, sticks, or other organic debris is essential to steam life. This material provides food, shelter, and chemical conditions that influence instream wildlife communities. Detritus jumpstarts the energy cycle in small streams, energy that flows downstream to larger streams and rivers. Although, too much of a good thing can be bad. For example, the dumping of leaves, grass clippings, or other yard waste in streams upsets the balance and jeopardizes stream health. This can result in die-offs of instream wildlife and excessive algae growth.