Soil erosion can have a number of harmful effects on watercourses and their use. It produces sediment whose deposit can result in flooding, the filling-in of channels, and other harmful effects. Erosion may also cause damage to the banks and beds of watercourses.
Eroded soils are, by volume, the greatest pollutant of lakes and rivers. While most sediment comes from overland erosion throughout a watershed, river bank erosion is a major contributor. In aquatic environments, sediment pollution: Degrades aquatic and nearshore land habitats, killing aquatic organisms and negatively impacting birds and animals which depend on aquatic habitats; Reduces water clarity, light penetration, and plant productivity; Causes warming (which is most serious in cold water trout streams); Releases nutrients stimulating undesirable plant and algae growth; Affects angling success and fish feeding. spawning, and gill function, and changes bottom substrate, reducing channel capacities, and increasing flooding.