Abstracts from the Mid-Atlantic Stream
Title links will take you to presentations
|Session A Abstracts:
|Beargrass Creek Revisited– A Perspective on the Evolution of Stream Restoration over the Past 15 Years
J. George Athanasakes, Stantec, Louisville, KY
Have you ever completed a project with the thought – “I sure wish I could do that project again!”? As designers in a rapidly evolving profession, many of us complete projects with this thought crossing our minds, but rarely do we have an opportunity to essentially do a project again. The author was first involved in a project along the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek located in Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky back in 1997. This project was necessitated due to a landslide that occurred along the creek and was one of the first stream restoration project completed in the city of Louisville. Almost 15 years later, the opportunity arose to design a new restoration project on the Middle Fork within Cherokee Park less than 1 mile upstream of this first project. This new project utilized the latest trends in the field of
stream restoration and provided the author an opportunity to do a project over again almost 15 years later. A comparison between these two projects helps to highlight how the river restoration field has evolved over the years and interestingly enough in some aspects has remained the same. This talk will present these two projects compare the techniques used, rate the effectiveness and highlight the evolution of the profession over the last 15 years.
|Environmental Visualization and 3D Modeling to Support Stream and Watershed Restoration in the Appalachians
Charles Yuill and Peter Butler, Landscape Architecture Program, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Advances in spatial analysis and environmental visualization methods allow for DEM’s and other landscape characterizations, such as active erosion pattern measurements, to be produced which accurately represent landform and stream channel surface variability and offer important opportunities to measure and monitor morphological change and sediment transfer patterns across a variety of spatial scales. Many of the techniques currently employed (traditional theodolite surveying, GPS, and even aerial LiDAR) often suffer from coverage or resolution limitations resulting in trade-offs between spatial coverage and the detail of the data captured. This paper will describe the field and processing methods required for using Terrestrial (ground based tripod mounted) LiDAR and associated visualization techniques to acquire highly precise three dimensional data (often with hundreds of measurement points per m2) for areas for potential restoration planning and design. The study sites to be discussed include areas with rapidly changing morphologies, diverse vegetation and the presence of water, and these conditions are discussed with regard to laser accuracy and use limitations. The paper will also discuss integration of terrestrial LiDAR with airborne LiDAR and photo-realistic environmental visualization.
|Does Stream Restoration Really Create Habitat? - Quantifying Instream Habitat Using Two-dimensional Hydrodynamic Analysis
Gerald Bright, Philadelphia Water Department, Office of Watersheds, Philadelphia, PA 19107
The science of stream restoration has progressed steadily in its application from pure stream bank stabilization to the placement of large instream structures and diversions and into the current paradigm of Natural Stream Channel Design. Despite the progression observed in the application of stream restoration concepts, little progress has been made in the application of post-construction monitoring techniques, specifically techniques capable of quantitatively assessing the success or failure of a project. Most stream restoration projects list goals of ecological uplift or achieving dynamic equilibrium with watershed processes; however, the success or failure of a project has typically been determined using qualitative techniques such as photo monitoring or rapid bioassessment protocols. Given the considerable investment required to design and construct traditional stream restoration and natural stream channel design projects as well as an economy driven by fiscal accountability, the elements of successful projects need to be gleaned from quantitative analysis of the physical changes associated with channel modifications, realignment, reconfiguration and the placement of instream structures.
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has taken an active role in physical, biological and chemical monitoring within the stream networks comprising the five watersheds that span the City of Philadelphia. Physical monitoring has been consistent with tradition fluvialgeomophic assessment schemes such as analysis of permanent cross-sections; however, the increased use and application of two-dimensional hydrodynamic models has prompted changes in the PWD physical assessment protocol. Two-dimensional hydrodynamic models offer distinct advantages over one-dimensional models due to their superior ability to resolve spatial variations in flow velocity and depth when compared to one-dimensional models. The program River2D was used to model both the pre-restoration and post-restoration channel and floodplain bathymetries of an approximately 3,000 LF urban stream reach in Tacony Creek, Philadelphia. The River2D model suite also has a habitat module capable of quantifying species-specific physical habitat templates (depth, velocity and substrate) as weighted usable area (WUA) based on habitat suitability curves. Instream channel hydraulic parameters and WUA for three fish guilds were then compared between the two model domains in order to determine quantitatively, if stream restoration created a net uplift in terms of habitat and resilience to watershed processes.
|2D Modeling Sounds Impressive, but is it useful?
Bruce Cole, San Antonio River Authority, San Antonio, TX
This paper discusses the use of a 2D adaptive finite element hydrodynamic model as a design tool for stream restoration projects implementing natural channel design (NCD). Empirical data based on regional curves, field indicators of bankfull, reference reaches and project experience traditionally drive natural channel designs with little to no modeling assisting the design decisions. This method has caused a hesitant/reluctant adoption in the engineering community. It is proposed that modeling could benefit the design process by reducing risk and assisting with refinements to in-stream structure placement, pool to pool spacing, or other channel features.
Additionally, modeling may help with the expansion of restoration and NCD techniques to the world of urban drainage and flood control. One of the challenges to this expansion is the ability to provide comparable assessment results in terms of water surface elevation impacts, velocity distribution and other factors that traditional engineered channel project designs are based on. Traditional flood conveyance channel designs are typically developed using 1D steady state models, such as HEC-RAS, and are driven by the results of the modeling and given project constraints. 1D models are not capable of showing the energy dissipation effects of pools, the reduction of shear stresses on stream banks that in-stream structures (i.e. cross vanes and j-hooks) provide, or other hydraulic details. These are details that floodplain managers, storm water maintenance managers, and hydraulic engineers require to help with the acceptance and adoption of these techniques in place of the traditional design standards and design methods. A 2D model is a tool that can help demonstrate and compare in a visual, mathematical way, how channels designed using NCD will function and perform in contrast to traditional channel design.
The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and Micheal Baker, Jr recently completed the East Salitrillo Stream Restoration Project in City of Converse, Texas. This project is the first pilot project in the region that demonstrates the use of restoration and NCD techniques to address bank erosion, channel incision and general stream instabilities within an urban drainage corridor. Several local floodplain managers, storm water mangers and consultants have toured the site and frequently asked questions related to the hydraulic performance of the new channel configuration and in-stream structures. 2D models will be prepared for the pre-project site condition and the post-project site condition to demonstrate the hydraulics of the project that cannot be answered using a 1D model. It is anticipated that these model results will provide a tool that will aid with the communication and education of the consulting world, and the public, about restoration and NCD techniques, and provide further confidence in the applicability of these techniques as a legitimate alternative to traditional channel design.
| Applying Principles for the Ecological Restoration of Aquatic Resources to Legacy Sediment Problems in Pennsylvania
Jeffrey L. Hartranft, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Harrisburg, PA
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its partners are developing the Natural Floodplain, Stream, and Riparian Wetland Restoration Best Management Practice (BMP) to address aquatic resources impaired by legacy sediment. The new and innovative BMP is an ecological restoration and management strategy that is founded in the Principles for the Ecological Restoration of Aquatic Resources developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of implementing the BMP is to restore the natural potential of aquatic resources impaired by legacy sediment. The BMP specifically targets the impairments by restoring natural valley morphologies that are altered and degraded by legacy sediment. Natural valley morphologies are re-established to restore the natural ecological functions and services of floodplains, streams, riparian wetlands and other natural aquatic resources buried by legacy sediment. The Big Spring Run Natural Floodplain, Stream and Riparian Wetland Restoration Project located in Lancaster County, PA involves the skills and insights of a multi-disciplinary team. The project includes extensive monitoring before, during and after the BMP implementation to evaluate whether restoration goals have been achieved at this site. The post implementation monitoring may provide useful information for future restoration efforts and baseline data gathered at this site may beuseful for model development and predicting BMP implementation results on larger scales.
|Adaptive Management in an Urban Stream Restoration: A Case Study
Kathleen J. Anderson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, Pittsburgh, PA and David Derrick,U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS
Nine Mile Run is one of the last remaining free flowing streams in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over the years, most of the stream has been culverted except for the lower 1.9 miles which runs through a city park. The stream suffered from a wide fluctuation of flow conditions, combined sewage overflows during wet weather, damage by mountain bike riders, stream bank erosion and a general lack of form and sinuosity. Through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program (known as Section 206), the Corps partnered with the City of Pittsburgh and many others to reconstruct the stream. The result was a dramatic increase in ecosystem values. For example, total fish species, number of fish, and the overall biomass of fish sampled increased 140, 130, and 650 percent respectively between pre and post project sampling. Still, there are some elements of the restoration which did not turn out as expected and therefore the team resorted to “adaptive management” techniques after the major construction was completed. In addition, two major storms in the watershed (2007 and 2009) resulted in some of the original features being overwhelmed by the flows, again, necessitating adaptive management be employed to save the project from failing.
A stream restoration expert from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center became involved and developed solutions to preserve the restoration. Using local contractors, reconstruction was done in September 2007 and again in December 2009. Reconstruction techniques utilized a mix of R-5 and R-6 stone (used for keys and to choke the large stone), large rip-rap (used for Engineered Rock Riffles), very, large rocks (used for Single Stone Bendway Weirs), and lots of willow shoot cuttings (used for bank stabilization). Add to these ingredients a large yellow machine with an “opposable thumb” for grabbing and a few hard-working volunteers and the result is a stream that is now on its way to recovery.
One of the key offshoots to the project has been the formation of the Nine Mile Watershed Association, which has been assisting the city with ongoing maintenance/adaptive management and has been actively monitoring the stream and its associated ecosystem. Due to the monitoring, there is an abundance of pre and post project data which enables this stream to serve as a case study, especially as related to an urban stream setting. This presentation will discuss the many challenges in the original construction as well as the “adaptive management” techniques used to keep the restoration intact and continuing to function well. The “lessons
|Use of a Rapid Visual Assessment to Monitor In-Stream Structure Success
Karen Jennings and Sean Crawford, Coastal Resources, Inc, Annapolis, MD 21401
When in-stream structures are used in a restoration project, there is some risk that a number of minor problems could work together to threaten the success of a particular structure, or that a failure in one structure could lead to the failure of adjacent structures. Early identification of minor problem areas can lead to large cost savings in structure remediation. Cross section and profile measurements can be used to monitor channel changes over time, but are typically not spatially sufficient to capture small areas of piping or the beginnings of structure cut-around. A visual assessment protocol can be a useful supplement for monitoring in-stream structures to identify problems that may be too small or localized to show up in channel surveys.
We have used a structure performance and failure risk analysis methodology based on and including the Rock Cross Vane Rapid Assessment Tool (RCV-RAT) developed by Paige Puckett at North Carolina State University (2007). In addition to the Rock Cross Vane, we have developed rapid assessment tools for in-stream structures such as rock vanes, log vanes, J-hooks, constructed riffles, and step pools. The methodology consists of a visual examination and rapid assessment of each structure to determine areas of developing weaknesses or problems with structure performance. This tool identifies primary and secondary failure mechanisms for a particular in-stream structure that may threaten the integrity or function of the structure, and gives a numerical rating to visual indicators of each failure mechanism.
In this context, the structure is considered to have signs of failure if it is not durable, or if it is not performing a key function related to the reason for including the structure in restoration design (i.e. grade control, pool formation, etc.). A failure indicator is the visual clue or observation that indicates the structure is not durable, or that it is not performing its intended function. The primary causes of failure are characteristics of stream flow or hydraulics. Secondary causes of failure influence stream flow or hydraulics, for example design or installation flaws. Secondary causes do not directly lead to structure failure, but can lead to primary causes. A numerical rating is applied to failure indicators identified in the field which incorporates the severity of the failure, risk to the project success or adjacent infrastructure, and cost to repair. The numerical ratings can then be used to prioritize the repair of structures that display failure indicators.
Data forms can be tailored to specific structures and to the pre-construction goals of a particular restoration project. This allows for monitoring not only the structure stability, but also whether individual structures are meeting intended design goals. Because of the focus on failure mechanism paths, use of this methodology can provide unique insight into why certain structures are or are not performing as intended. We have also found the protocol to be useful for observing structure problem development or resolution as the stream evolves to accommodate the new structure. In this way, data from such assessments may help contribute to future understanding of how streams respond to particular types of in-stream structures.
Puckett, P., 2007. PhD Dissertation, North Carolina State University, The Rock Cross Vane: A Comprehensive Study Of An In-Stream Structure, 264p.
|Lone Oak Stream Mitigation Bank: Instream Structure Innovations, Construction, Challenges and Field Fits
Dan Sweet, Wildlands Engineering Inc., Charlottesville VA
The Lone Oak Stream Mitigation Bank is located south of Charlottesville, VA and is the second largest stream bank in Virginia. Over four miles of Ballinger Creek and its tributaries were restored and enhanced in 2010. Over 150 acres of forested buffers were planted in former pastures in early 2011. The as-built report has been submitted and the project is on track to meet success criteria in monitoring year one.
Following design and throughout the construction of the project efforts were made to take more innovative approaches to instream and streambank structures and to address unforeseen construction issues.
Collaboration between the designer and the construction contractor resulted in a substantial shift in the approach to outer meander bend stabilization. Series of vane structures along the pool bends were replaced with log j-hooks at the tail of riffle, brush toe and brush mattresses. At the time of this abstract, several near bankfull events have occurred and the bends are stable. Innovative approaches to constructed riffles were also implemented and will be presented.
Unforeseen bedrock, existing tree preservation, and challenges in farm pond removal led to design changes in both pattern and profile. The process for efficiently completing these changes and implementing them in the field will be discussed.
Enhancement segments involving instream structures were largely field fit and incorporated existing bed features, pattern, and bankfull benching. The overall number of bed features was reduced to incorporate existing morphology while still maintaining dynamic stability throughout the reach.
The presentation will present and discuss the changes made from design to implementation both in terms of the decision making process and how the implemented change relates to the overall restoration objectives of the project. In addition, the effect that the implementation changes had on the overall project crediting will be discussed.
Lessons learned on riparian buffer planting and establishment will also be presented.
|Evolution of the Constructed Riffle
Shawn D. Wilkerson, Wildlands Engineering, Inc., Charlotte, NC
The widespread practice of stream restoration has a fairly short history of about 15 years. In this time, the science and applications of stream restoration have evolved substantially. This presentation looks specifically at the cross-over or riffle section and how the engineering and scientific community has dealt with its design in restoration. From historical grade control practices such as concrete weirs, to cross-vane mania, and eventually constructed riffles, designs have evolved to more naturally address the riffle section considering vadose zone flow, habitat, large woody debris, and the use of natural substrate. This presentation will play off of an evolutionarily time-line moving from the Dark Ages through the Riffle Enlightenment with periods such as the Boulder Era and the Riffle Transitional Age.
A new age of enlightenment in stream restoration brings not only the use of reference reaches for geomorphic form but also in bed form and habitat structure. Examples of new riffle forms, materials, and diversity will be presented with the goal of inspiring designers to continue to advance the science of stream restoration. This presentation will offer engineering details, construction photos and post construction photos of a variety of new riffle designs including chunky riffles, rock-n-roll riffles, woody riffles and jazz riffles.
|Watt's Branch Stream Restoration
Mark Secrist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Annapolis, MD
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Chesapeake Bay Field Office (Service) is currently implementing almost two miles of stream restoration on Watt’s Branch. The highly urbanized watershed starts in Prince George’s County, MD flows through the NE section of the District of Columbia and empties into the Anacostia River.
The Service initially conducted a watershed level assessment of Watt’s Branch. The assessment showed typical impacts on stream stability and habitat conditions from the urban environment. Essentially, 100 percent of Watt’s Branch had been channelized or altered. Because of the severe impairment throughout, the Service rated Watts Branch as a high restoration priority, and identified and prioritized restoration opportunities within the watershed.
In partnership with the District Department of the Environment, the Service developed the design plans for the stream restoration project located in D.C. This restoration project will have a broad environmental impact by restoring aquatic habitat, reducing bank erosion, and addressing water quality issues affecting Watt’s Branch.
Construction on the project began in December 2010 and is expected to be completed by August 2011. During the design and construction, there were many instances in which constraints from the urban environment affected the project. Those constraints presented unexpected construction issues and modifications during construction.
|Session B Abstracts:
|Application of the Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply (WARSSS) to the design of a Salmonid Habitat Improvement and Passage Project.
Mike Adams, Stantec Consulting, Inc., Leesburg, VA
The stream restoration profession is replete with unsubstantiated claims of habitat enhancement, water quality improvement and sediment reduction. Design objectives tied to these nebulous assertions of recovery cannot be evaluated without a basis by which to compare the status before restoration with conditions following restoration. The Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply (WARSSS), a multi-phase river assessment tool developed by Dave Rosgen and available through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides among its many features a means by which to measure and predict sediment inputs from bank erosion. The primary objective of the tool is to evaluate the stability of a channel through a series of assessments and sediment transport computations. One such assessment tool is the Bank Assessment for Non-Point source Consequences of Sediment (BANCS) model, which can be validated to provide a site-specific predictive tool for both pre- and post-restoration conditions. The BANCS model within WARSSS provides a designs basis for which sediment reduction is a measurable goal. WARSSS was implemented for the Arroyo de la Laguna project in Pleasanton, California, a multi-objective project that includes a goal of facilitating the re-introduction of steelhead trout upon the removal of downstream fish passage barriers.
This presentation will discuss the objectives and methodology of the WARSSS protocol, in particular the utility of the BANCS predictive model, as well as linkages between WARSSS and fish habitat restoration and improvement. Since a significant component of the WARSSS assessment is germane to identifying limiting factors that may affect fish populations within a particular reach, the focus will be on how the protocol was used to evaluate current conditions and improvement opportunities a one-mile reach of Arroyo de la Laguna. Results of the evaluation will be shared including geomorphic and habitat characterization, morphological description and river stability predictions. Discussion will also focus on follow-up validation including a comparison of predicted sediment loss versus measured losses
|An interactive spatial database of compensatory stream mitigation projects in the southern West Virginia coalfields
Catherine Artis and Todd Petty, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
With an expansion of large-scale surface mining in southern WV, there has been a concomitant expansion of stream restoration projects that are required as compensatory mitigation. For example, over the decade from 1997-2007 there has been a minimum of 218 mitigation projects implemented in the southern WV counties. Nearly half of all compensatory stream mitigation permits were filed due to expected impacts caused by surface mines. The relationship between surface mining production and stream mitigation permits has remained fairly constant over this period. Unfortunately very little is known about most of the mitigation projects. There is no centralized database on the location of the projects, nor is there information on the effectiveness of specific projects. Consequently, the over-riding objective of our research is to conduct a quantitative assessment of the mitigation: what types of mitigation projects are being implemented?; where are the projects located?; what corollary information exists (e.g., water quality, habitat quality and biological communities)?; and what are the ecological benefits of specific projects? In addition, we will be creating an interactive spatial database of known existing mitigation projects within the study region, which includes the Tug Fork, Upper and Lower Guyandotte River, Coal River, Upper Kanawha River, Elk River, Gauley River, and Twelvepole Creek watersheds. We will present data on the types of mitigation projects implemented, the stated objectives of mitigation, the length of mitigation projects, environmental correlates measured at mitigation sites, and an analysis of pre-post mitigation conditions where available. We will also demonstrate the utility of the spatial database that is being constructed. The results from our analysis and the spatial database represent an important basis for tracking future mitigation projects and improving the mitigation process in this rapidly developing region.
|Geomorphic Monitoring of the Patapsco River Following the Removal of the Simkins Dam, Patapsco River, Maryland
Graham Boardman, McCormick Taylor Inc, Baltimore MD
The Simkins Dam was removed in late 2010 as part of the Patapsco River Restoration Project aimed at restoring critical spawning and rearing habitat for American eel, alewife, blueback herring, yellow and white perch, and American shad. Removal of the roughly 10-ft high concrete dam exposed approximately 64,000 yds3 of coarse sand and gravel in the 10-acre impoundment area. The project team and regulators elected for passive sediment management whereby the deposit was neither dredged nor protected from natural fluvial erosion and thus much of it was transported and deposited in the downstream reaches. This approach warranted an extensive monitoring program including pre- and post-removal evaluation of suspended sediment and river stage at two downstream USGS stream gages, fish and macroinvertebrates, and stream channel geomorphology. The geomorphology study includes 31 permanently benchmarked cross sections, over 100 benchmarked photo monitoring points, five Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) including impoundment bathymetry over nearly 2.5 linear miles, and detailed facies mapping at each of the cross sections. These survey efforts were undertaken in 2010 before dam removal, again in early Spring 2011 post-dam removal, and following a storm event in Spring 2011. Survey efforts will be repeated in the Fall of 2011 and in the Spring and Fall of 2012. One survey effort has been reserved to record geomorphic changes immediately following a significant storm event during the monitoring period. The primary goal of the stream channel geomorphology study is to understand the upstream and downstream geomorphic response of the river to the dam removal by documenting morphologic changes, the movement and transient storage of sediment, and bed sediment grain size changes. With these data, and data from a companion suspended sediment gauging study, we can compute a sediment budget and estimate the rates at which quasi-stable channels develop in the upstream and downstream reaches. Changes in channel morphology and the rates at which they occur have important implications for the project’s ecologic, engineering, aesthetic, and recreation objectives. Here we describe the establishment of the survey as well as present preliminary results observed in the months preceding and following dam removal. We also make recommendations based on our experience to date in the field and analyzing data.
|Rapid Stream Restoration Monitoring Protocol Abstract
Sandra Davis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Annapolis, MD
In recent years, there has been a strong emphasis by the restoration community to evaluate the success of their stream restoration projects. Restoration monitoring is critical in assessing the achievement of restoration objective(s), improving restoration science to improve future restoration projects, and evaluating benefits to Federal Trust Resources and other species of concern. However, time and financial constraints often hinder opportunities for restoration project monitoring. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office (Service) developed a rapid stream restoration monitoring protocol to promote monitoring by reducing the financial and time demands necessary to evaluate the success of a project.
The protocol is a three-tiered stream restoration monitoring methodology to evaluate the stability and functional success of stream restoration projects that use a natural channel design approach.
At this time, the Service has only prepared protocols for the first tier survey. The first tier is a rapid monitoring survey that visually evaluates the stability and qualitative functional success of the restoration project. The purpose of the first tier is to visually evaluate the stability and functional success of a restoration project. It consists of seven main components: A) bankfull determination, B) limits of investigation, C) rapid stream restoration monitoring form, D) evaluation parameter definitions, E) monitoring procedures, F) limited stream measurements, and G) monitoring/restoration thresholds. Although it relies primarily on observation, this tier can effectively evaluate the success of a project and provide consistent and comparable results/recommendations when implemented by an experienced and prepared evaluator. The criteria for determining whether to recommend additional monitoring (i.e. second tier) or restoration repair (i.e. third tier) are the severity of the impact and the potential consequences of the impact.
If the impact is localized and does not pose a significant threat to the success or function of the restoration, the second tier survey can be implemented. During the second tier survey, the Service proposes that project evaluators establish monumented surveys to determine the trend of instability and to compare the existing stream conditions to the proposed design criteria and reference data to determine if remediation is required. The third tier survey should be performed if the impact is widespread and poses a significant threat to the success or function of the restoration and restoration repair is required. If remediation is required, the third tier survey includes restoration design and implementation.
|Stream and Wetland Restoration at Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Forest
Greg Jennings, Mike Shaffer, Karen Hall, Justin Church, David Bidelspach, Mike Geenen, Dan Clinton,
David Penrose, Bill Swartley, Tom Gerow, Darrell Westmoreland
North Carolina State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering,
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Forest Resources,
North State Environmental, Inc.
Beginning in 2005, North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources implemented a comprehensive stream restoration project on Purlear Creek on the Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Forest property in northwestern North Carolina, USA. The goals were to improve water quality and habitat in mountain streams to provide recreational fisheries. This project serves as a public demonstration and research site to promote best management practices for restoring and maintaining natural stream functions in watersheds with excessive stream sedimentation resulting from forestry and agricultural land uses. The restoration project included several components: (1) stream channel realignment and floodplain vegetation planting for a 200-m tributary in 2006; (2) restoration of a 2-ha wetland by ditch-plugging and planting in 2006; (3) streambank stabilization and in-stream structure installation in a 500-m reach of Purlear Creek in 2007; (4) stream channel realignment and floodplain vegetation planting for a 600-m reach of Purlear Creek in 2007; and (5) stream channel realignment and floodplain vegetation planting for a 500-m reach of Purlear Creek in 2009. The project makes extensive use of log structures for grade control, flow direction, and hábitat enhancement. During each project phase, engineered plans were created based on reference streams to restore natural physical and ecological stream functions. During construction, educational workshops were conducted to teach contractors, consultants, and agency representatives about natural stream construction techniques. Comprehensive project site monitoring includes hydrology, morphology, vegetation, and in-stream hábitat. Results to date indicate that the stream system is stable with a growing diverse plant and animal community. Ongoing benthic macroinvertebrate studies indicate rapid reestablishment of stable populations. This presentation will highlight lessons learned during and following project implementation while emphasizing opportunities for long-term monitoring studies to evaluate ecosystem restoration performance.
|Built to Last? An Evaluation of Aging In-stream Structures
Scott Hunt, Michael Baker Engineering, Inc., Cary NC
In-stream structures are an integral component of most stream restoration projects. They are incorporated into restoration designs with the goals of improving channel stability and bed form diversity, providing grade control, improving aquatic habitat features (such as pools), and/or improving sediment transport efficiency. In-stream structures are most often constructed from natural materials such as large rocks, logs, and woody debris that are placed or anchored into the channel bed and bank, obstructing or diverting stream flows and energies. Although they have been used to stabilize channels and improve aquatic habitat for over 80 years, there is still considerable debate regarding the effectiveness of in-stream structures and how to use them properly.
In-stream structures come in a myriad of types and configurations, but one commonly used subset involves the use of in-stream structures with vane arm(s) that change the direction of stream flow. The vane arm(s) angle off of the stream bank and point in an upstream direction, redirecting stream flow away from the stream bank where the vane is placed. Examples of this type of in-stream structure include rock and log single vanes, cross-vanes, and J-hook vanes. The oldest of these in-stream structures in North Carolina have been "in the ground" for approximately 10 to 12 years. While there have been several studies that have examined the effectiveness and stability of in-stream structures, all have studied newer in-stream structures that had recently been installed. Few studies have examined older in-stream structures to determine how they have evolved over time with vegetation growth and movement of sediment.
In this presentation, we will evaluate vane type in-stream structures that have been installed for 5 to 12 years, and have been tested by numerous large storm events. The average age of in-stream structures to be reviewed is expected to be approximately 7 years. The review will include in-stream structures made of rock and log materials, from project sites across North Carolina, ranging from the Coastal Plain to the Mountains. The presentation will describe the original design goal of each in-stream structure, whether the in-stream structure is still functioning as designed, and how the in-stream structure has evolved in both form and function since installed. The presentation will conclude with design recommendations for future projects, based the results of this study.
|Can the BANCS model parameters be use to predict streambank erosion at an actively eroding and restored stream reach of Horseshoe Run: Tucker County, WV
Abby McQueen, Canaan Valley Institute, Davis, WV
The process of erosion from the bed and banks of streams is poorly understood and this lack of understanding is limiting the advancement of streambank erosion prediction models. This study was designed to provide insight into both the processes and prediction of erosion at the local scale. The objective of the study was to determine if the Bank Assessment of Nonpoint Source Consequences of Sediment (BANCS) model parameters could be used to predict erosion along a 1.5 km reach of Horseshoe Run in Tucker County, West Virginia. Streambanks along this reach have been actively eroding over the past decade and recent streambank stabilization practices have been installed to minimize erosion on the lower third of the reach. We hypothesized that different mechanisms were responsible for erosion in the upper and lower reach and therefore different parameters may be needed to predict erosion using the model. MANOVA and PCA confirmed that the streambank sites in the upper reach were different than those in the lower reach. A cluster analysis revealed that groups of streambanks in the upper reach with uniform bank composition, high surface protection, low bank angles, and intermediate rooting depth and rooting density values tended to have less erosion. All subset regression determined that streambank erosion in the upper section is influenced most directly by the angle of the bank, the amount of sand and gravel present in the bank, and the hydraulic stress in the near bank region, while erosion in the lower section is influenced most directly by the angle of the bank and the vegetation parameters. Our results suggest that the BANCS model input parameters may provide valuable insight into the susceptibility of a streambank to erosion; however, weighting or scoring the parameters differently depending on the dominant erosional processes present at a site could improve the model performance.
|Ecological Benefits of Compensatory Stream Mitigation in Southern West Virginia Watersheds
Eric Miller and J. Todd Petty, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, Morgantown, WV
Large scale surface mining in the Appalachians causes significant alteration of headwater catchments, and these impacts may be offset through implementation of stream restoration projects. A survey of mitigation in southern WV indicates that more than 100 stream restoration projects were constructed as compensation for mining impacts from 1997-2007. For example, several habitat enhancement structures (cross-vanes and j-hooks) were constructed along an 8 mile section of the Little Coal River as mitigation for mining related impacts upstream. Unfortunately, very little is known regarding the ecological benefits of the mitigation projects. The over-riding objectives of our research are to: 1- quantify the ecological benefits of stream restoration projects in the southern WV coalfields; 2- identify factors constraining benefits; and 3- determine if restoration projects on larger rivers represent acceptable compensation for impacts to headwater streams. Our presentation will focus on results from research on the Little Coal River, but we will also present preliminary results from sampling conducted on 20 additional mitigation projects in the region. Our results from the Little Coal River indicate that the benefits of the structures include: increased fish habitat and bed complexity, increased substrate diversity, increased macroinvertebrate biomass and diversity associated with substrate changes, and increased fish biomass and diversity associated with changes in habitat complexity. Poor water quality in the form of elevated TDS represents a critical factor limiting benefits of habitat restoration actions. Preliminary results from the network of additional mitigation sites indicate wide variability in ecological response to restoration. Overall our research suggests that there are measurable ecological benefits of mitigation. However benefits are highly variable and constrained by water quality and by the general condition of the surrounding watershed. Ultimately the results of our research can be used to develop stream mitigation procedures that are more effective in restoring and maintaining ecological function of mined watersheds.
|Our Best Chance to Show Restoration Success: Comprehensive Monitoring in Red Hill Branch Subwatershed, Howard County, Maryland
Mike Pieper and Colin Hill, KCI Technologies, Inc.; Beth Franks and Mark Southerland, Versar, Inc.; Mark Richmond, Howard County, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Environmental Services, Stormwater Management Division
Howard County, in cooperation with the Columbia Association (together called the Little Patuxent Restoration Partners), received grant monies from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Local Implementation Grant program for restoration in the Little Patuxent Watershed. The goal of this program is to fund in-the-ground restoration projects and demonstrate restoration success within 3 to 5 years. In keeping with Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, reductions in the loading of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment to downstream waters are the primary concern. The Upper Little Patuxent River Watershed Management Plan identified the Red Hill Branch subwatershed as a priority for restoration. Howard County, therefore, focused a large portion of its restoration and monitoring efforts within this subwatershed, including stormwater management facility retrofit, bioretention, stream restoration, and a neighborhood raingarden program. A monitoring program for the Red Hill Branch subwatershed was designed and initiated in 2009, prior to construction of the restoration projects. Upstream and downstream sites are being monitored, as are a bottom-of-the-watershed site and a control site, providing for a full Before-After-Control-Impact monitoring design. Monitoring protocols were developed to evaluate the pre- and post-restoration conditions of water quality, channel geometry and sediment load, and the integrity of fish and benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Changes in pollutant loading and water quality is a key component of the program and is assessed through dry-weather (base-flow) and wet-weather (storm-flow) monitoring. Recognizing that the biological response to restoration is technically straightforward, but confounded by ecosystem complexities and long time lags, we included several geomorphic assessment techniques that might show responses in shorter time periods. These techniques include annual surveys of permanently-monumented channel cross-sections, longitudinal profile surveys, particle size analyses, substrate facies mapping, bulk-bar sample sieve analyses, and assessment of bed and bank pins and scour chains. Sediment transport, both suspended sediment and bedload sediment, is monitored through the use of siphon samplers and pit trap samplers. This presentation will describe the design of this comprehensive watershed restoration monitoring program and detail the results of the first two years of pre-restoration monitoring.
|The effects of stream restoration on streambank migration, water quality, and macroinvertebrate communities in the Cacapon River, West Virginia
Jonathan Pitchford, Point Marion PA
Stream restoration is occurring in the United States at unprecedented rates; however, pre- and post-assessment is often lacking, which undermines the progress of restoration science. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of channel reconstruction, in-stream structures, and riparian planting on streambank migration rate, water quality, and macroinvertebrate community diversity in a 1 km reach of the Cacapon River, West Virginia. The restoration approach included re-contouring streambanks to include a bankfull bench, establishment of log vanes to dissipate erosive action of high energy flows, and extensive planting of woody vegetation to enhance streambank stability and riparian integrity. Assessment of the approach included cross-section and streambank profile surveys, establishment of erosion pins, continuous turbidity monitoring, grab sampling, and macroinvertebrate collections in several locations throughout the restored reach before and after restoration. Preliminary results suggest that streambank reconstruction has abated streambank erosion and sediment is being deposited on the bankfull bench. The difference in turbidity levels upstream and downstream of the reach also indicates that channel sources of sediment within the reach were highest before restoration and during the active construction phase compared to post-restoration levels. Macroinvertebrate community diversity before, during, and after restoration further corroborates these findings as community diversity was highest one month following restoration compared to diversity before restoration or during the active construction phase. Data collection in 2011 will help to further quantify the effectiveness of this approach on a longer time scale.
|Mechumps Creek Corridor Restoration Project, Ashland, Virginia
Josh Running, Williamsburg Environmental Group, Inc., Williamsburg VA and Charles Gowan, Randolph Macon College, Ashland, VA
For the past decade, students at Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) have studied the Mechumps Creek Watershed. Located in the Town of Ashland, Virginia, which is approximately 10 miles north of the City of Richmond, its headwaters are surrounded by approximately 820 acres of highly urbanized land. Classroom studies have focused on nutrient, fish, macroinvertebrate and bacteria monitoring, and produced trend analysis data to evaluate impacts from non-point source runoff associated with surrounding land uses. Un-attenuated stormwater runoff has physically, chemically, and biologically degraded this Chesapeake Bay Tributary stream, as evidenced by declining productivity within the ecosystem, high bacteria and sediment loads, and poor overall water quality.
In 2007, R-MC and Williamsburg Environmental Group, Inc. (WEG) partnered in an effort to further evaluate the sources of impairment affecting Mechumps Creek and options for improving conditions through stream restoration practices, stormwater retrofits and riparian buffer enhancement. Funding was sought to repair the disrupted ecological corridor and R-MC students presented their plans for restoration (totaling approximately 3600 feet +/-) to the Ashland Town Council. The students’ proposal was approved and the Town Council provided the initial $100,000 to support the project. In 2008, with WEG’s support, R-MC students successfully wrote a grant to obtain the funding needed to start the design phase of the project and in 2009 another grant was obtained for construction funds. The two grants totaled $145,000 and were both awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
In the summer of 2010, WEG completed design of the first Phase of the three Phase project which totaled approximately 1200’. The design utilized natural stream channel design principals and incorporated constructed riffles with “log rollers” for habitat, large woody debris/root wads, inner berms, instream structures, and stormwater outfall retrofits. Stream construction was completed in November 2010 by Environmental Quality Resources, LLC (EQR). In December, over 30 volunteers from R-MC, the Town, WEG, and the local community installed native riparian buffer and stream bank plantings. Total cost of the restoration project (including planting) was approximately $120 per linear foot. Students from RM-C will continue their studies for an additional 10 years, including physical, biological, and chemical monitoring on the restored section of stream.
R-MC and the Town hope to continue their efforts towards restoring Mechumps Creek. Currently, the Town has MS4 requirements for bacteria and is looking for solutions to comply with their TMDL; therefore, the next phase will incorporate stream restoration with regenerative stormwater wetlands. This practice will incorporate wetland cells adjacent to the stream channel that will employ an engineered substrate to promote infiltration and nutrient uptake. This type of practice has been used in Maryland and North Carolina but would be one of the first implemented in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The project has been the subject of several local newspaper articles; radio stories (NPR), and was a featured story on the local NBC affiliate, Channel 12 News.
|10 year Monitoring Study of Habitat, Fish and Macroinvertebrate Response to a Natural Channel Design Stream Restoration Project in North Central PA
Melvin Zimmerman, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
In order to compensate for loss of trout habitat, the Dunwoody Sportsmen’s Club in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife constructed a large (4 mile) habitat restoration project on Big Bear Creek, between 1999 and 2001. Over 150 rock or log cross vein or J-hook habitat restoration structures were built following Rosgen Natural Stream Channel Design protocols. Lycoming College began pre-monitoring of macro and micro habitat, as well as fish and macro invertebrate populations in 1999 and just completed the 10th year of post monitoring. Significant increases in macro benthic and trout populations has been observed and these will be compared to results from a non-restored watershed (Ogdonia Creek). Data on the genetic analysis of sympatric Brown Trout populations in the watershed will also be presented.
|Session C Abstracts:
The Road to Brook Trout Recovery
Kenneth R. Anderson, II, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Tionesta, PA
The Road to Brook Trout Recovery stream restoration project monitored the water quality and biological response of several treatment regimens implemented to address acid precipitation impaired headwater Brook Trout populations within three tributaries in of the South Branch of Kinzua Creek watershed. The project is located the United States Forest Service’s Allegheny National Forest, in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Brook Trout recruitment was limited within the treatment stream reaches by anthropogenic episodic stream acidification. The project used an innovative stream restoration design that involved placement of limestone sand and crab-shell chitin in passive stormwater treatment system constructed along dirt and gravel roads to improve runoff water quality and treat stream reaches. The existing roads, used primarily for access by resource extraction companies for purposes such as logging or oil and gas development, were retrofitted with passive stormwater treatment systems. Brook Trout fishery and water quality were monitored for two years prior and two years after project implementation within five adjacent tributaries involved in the study. The study design involved three treatment and two control tributaries. All treatment streams and one control stream lacked recruitment while another control stream maintained recruitment of young of the year Brook Trout prior to project implementation. The project has shown an increase in Brook Trout spawning efforts within treatment streams, increase in Brook Trout recruitment in two of three treatments tributaries, immigration of new species in treatment tributary, and improvements of water quality measures within all three treatment headwater stream sections. It is hoped that the project will lead to the adoption of best management practices for dirt and gravel road stormwater facility design that not only reduce sediment runoff from road surfaces but also provide a mechanism to improve pH and alkalinity of stormwater runoff in acid precipitation impaired catchments.
|Headwater Stream Restoration
Thomas A. Graupensperger, Dewberry, Carlisle, PA
Headwater streams by definition are located within the upper portions or “headwaters” of the watershed, have smaller catchment/drainage areas with steeper stream channel gradients and typically exhibit direct hydrogeologic connection and response. As such, headwater systems are more readily impaired by impervious cover changes from land development and associated collection and conveyance alterations; and subject to rapid, high flow stormwater runoff response associated with the shorter duration higher intensity events of recent experience, all of which must be considered in restoration design. Watershed and site specific considerations including: varying layers and forms of historical and recent prior land development and watershed alteration; unique or Karst subsurface hydrogeologic conditions, sinkholes, swallow holes, and losing stream flows; deep colluvial soils, thick alluvium and legacy sediments; infrastructure (roads, sewers, storm sewers and outfalls, other utilities), park and recreation and trail facilities; protected wetlands, threatened and endangered species habitat must be identified, characterized, evaluated, and considered during site restoration alternatives analysis and throughout succeeding design and construction phases.
Case studies for four (4) separate sites in different physiographic provinces with varying watershed and site specific hydrogeologic characteristics including:
Mill Lane Tributary to Valley Creek, Chester County, PA
Lower Piedmont, Legacy sediments over karst drainage, sanitary sewer conflicts.
Location: Ecology Park, East Whiteland Township, PA
Bullfrog Valley Road, Mill Creek Tributary, Hershey, PA
Upper Piedmont, Colluvium over karst terrain gas line conflicts.
Location: Millpond Park, Derry Township, PA
Bells Mill Run Tributary to Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA
Upper Coastal Plain, Metamorphosed Schist, Stormwater outfalls and sanitary sewer lines.
Location: Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
Tributary to Quittaphilla Creek, Annville, Lebanon County, PA
Upper Piedmont, Limey shale with Swallow holes, stormwater pond, dam and bridge.
Lebanon Valley College Campus Natural Area, Annville, PA
are compared, contrasted to identify similar and varying constraints and opportunities and with specific restoration approaches developed for each project site. Construction modifications, and lessons learned are presented to assist others in identifying similar concerns during the design process to be avoided.
|How Much is Enough? Flow Duration as a Parameter for Determining Mitigation Success in Headwater Stream Systems.
Kevin Tweedy Michael Baker Engineering, Inc., Cary, NC
Protection and restoration of headwater stream systems are gaining increased interest as numerous research studies have documented the wide range of ecological and water quality functions these systems provide. However, few research studies have quantified the hydrologic components of these systems, and even fewer still have provided recommendations for restoring hydrologic components to headwater systems. In recognition of the importance of restoring headwater stream systems, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (NCDWQ) published the guidance document “Information Regarding Stream Restoration with Emphasis on the Coastal Plain” (2007), allowing for stream mitigation credits to be developed in certain Coastal Plain systems without requiring the restoration or construction of a defined channel. This guidance primarily addresses small, "riparian headwater systems" that historically may have functioned more as diffuse flow wetlands than well defined stream channels.
While the USACE/NCDWQ guidance allows for restoration of these systems for stream mitigation credit, specific hydrologic success criteria are not provided. The document specifies that the use of a reference site may be appropriate for developing the target hydrology. This presentation will discuss the process of identifying appropriate headwater reference sites, and quantifying reference site hydrology to aid in the design and post-construction monitoring of headwater mitigation sites. Reference hydrology data will be presented, and have included the collection of groundwater levels with automated well units, and surface flow measurements using a specially designed flow meter that records relative magnitude and flow duration.
The results of this study have been applied to two completed, large-scale mitigation sites in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Collected reference data are being compared to mitigation site data to determine the extent of hydrologic restoration that has been achieved on the sites. The methodologies described in this presentation can be used to set science-based, hydrologic success criteria for headwater stream restoration projects, and has application beyond Coastal Plain regions.
|Unassessed Water Program in Pennsylvania
Mel Zimmerman Biology Department, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) lists over 45,000 unassessed waters in PA (mostly first and second order streams) that have never had a designated classification based on fish populations (in particular trout biomass categories for designation of class A, B, C, etc. trout streams). The Unassessed Waters Initiative was first launched in 2010 and included as a pilot program 2 college participants (Lycoming and Kings Colleges). Based on the 2010 success of classification of over 300 waters, the 2011 sample now includes an additional 12 other participants. This presentation will include a review of the sampling protocols as well as the results of the 2 years of sampling and case studies of how the data were used to give protection to these sensitive watersheds.
|Session D Abstracts:
|Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative
Gary Garrett and Tim Birdsong, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Mountain Home, TX
The Llano River Phase of the Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative is a holistic, watershed-based approach to conservation, focused around an iconic species – the State Fish of Texas. This project is one of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan’s "10 Waters to Watch" for 2011 and includes conservation actions that promote functional riparian and stream ecosystems while emphasizing conservation of native fish communities.
Most lands contained within the native range of Guadalupe bass are privately owned, thus effective coordination with private landowners is critical to the long-term conservation of habitats important to these natural ecosystems. We are working with a network of willing landowners, NGOs and local governments interested in implementing coordinated landscape conservation actions at a watershed scale. Through more than $1.4M in grants and donations from project sponsors, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Anheuser-Busch Corporation, project partners are taking action to protect and restore instream, riparian and upland habitats. Specific actions include stream bank stabilization and reestablishment of native vegetation to support functional riparian zones, removal or redesign of road crossings that serve as barriers to fish passage or that alter natural fluvial processes in the river, instream structural habitat enhancements, including placement of root wads, log and boulder complexes that support sustainable populations of Guadalupe bass and other native fishes, and upland grasslands restoration to support recharge of springs and restored hydrologic flows.
This community-based approach to conservation will work to curtail or eliminate activities on the landscape that degrade water quality, reduce water quantity, degrade riparian systems, favor non-native species, or fragment stream systems, while encouraging a wide array of sustainable land-use activities that are compatible with aquatic resource conservation.
|Wild Trout Habitat Enhancement Project, Beaver Creek, MD (Handout)
Doug Hutzell, Hagerstown, MD and John Mullican, MD DNR Fisheries
Beaver Creek is one of the largest limestone streams in Maryland. Originating as a freestone stream on the west slope of South Mountain, the majority of the flow during the summer months is influenced by the numerous springs in the Hagerstown Valley. Upstream of the spring’s influence, Beaver Creek is considered a warm-water stream and flows underground much of the year due to local Karst geology. Intensive agricultural operations (dairy and row crop) within the Hagerstown Valley have severely impacted Beaver Creek throughout its length.
Beaver Creek has historically been managed as a put-and-take trout fishery. Effective 1 January 2004, approximately one mile of Beaver Creek was established as a catch-and-return/fly-fishing-only area open to the public. Due to favorable year-round water temperatures and natural reproduction of brown trout, this area is now managed for wild trout.
Stream restoration on Beaver Creek started in the late 1990’s then followed with projects in 2004, 2005 and 2010. All projects employed the Natural Channel Design approach. In the most recent project, structures were modified to enhance fish habitat by using wood in structure construction. Working closely with the DNR Fish Biologist we were able to maintain the gravel in the riffles and runs to promote spawning of wild trout. Surveys for trout have been conducted since 2000. By using the Zippin three –pass depletion method, we were able to obtain estimates of standing crop and the abundance for both adult and young -of- year trout. The first three projects were constructed solely with rock structures which lack the habitat for smaller fish. Eventually wood was introduced by flooding events and the habitat for both fish and macro-invertebrates was enhanced.
We have found that the restoration activities are improving the fishery. Integrating more wood into the design has accelerated the response time of the return of fish to the newly restored reaches.
Eight years of fish survey data from the restored areas of Beaver Creek will be presented.
|Riparian Ecological Community Assessment of a Restored Reach of the Cacapon River, West Virginia
Kathryn R. P. McCoard and James T. Anderson, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, Morgantown, WV
Stream restoration can improve water quality and aquatic life by decreasing nutrient and sediment loads into the stream and by minimizing erosion and flooding effects. Restoration of riparian zones can be a major contributor to these improvements. While many stream restoration studies have focused on monitoring in-stream changes as a basis for evaluating project success, fewer have emphasized monitoring of riparian terrestrial wildlife as indicators of improving stream condition post-construction. Our objective was to monitor riparian wildlife responses during a streambank restoration project. A single 1,110 m restoration reach (referred to as RR) of the Cacapon River, West Virginia, was selected for natural stream design restoration. Four survey plots were established on both sides of the river reach. Reference (RS) and control (CS) sites were located upstream and downstream of the RR, each with 2 survey plots on both sides of the river. Within the plots, bird count surveys were conducted once a month; small mammal trapping grids were monitored for 2 trap nights once a month (May – August); frog call surveys were conducted 3 times a year; and Wood Turtle activities were observed throughout the project. Survey time periods were: April 2009 – April 2010 (pre-restoration), May – June 2010 (during-restoration), and July 2010 until August 2011 (post-restoration). Among the 5 sites, 78 species of birds, 5 species of small mammals, and 9 species of anurans occurred. Bird species richness was highest (p < 0.05) in the RR, during June and July, and during restoration activities. Small mammal abundance was highest post-restoration and lowest during-restoration among the sites (p < 0.05). Deer Mice composed 91% of the captures, 31% occurring in the RR. Within the RR, a positive relation occurred with pre-restoration Deer Mice abundance (52%) while a strong negative association occurred with during-restoration abundance (15%; p = 0.009). Anurans were unaffected as their reproduction sites were either non-riparian vernal pools or small coves within the stream that were untouched during the project. Wood Turtles appeared unresponsive to restoration activities and continued travelling their home ranges, despite the presence of large machinery. Post-restoration, however, turtles were found using log jams and geotextiles as refuge. We anticipate observing increasing riparian biodiversity as post-restoration time length increases and the riparian zone matures.
|Comparing the Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Diversity of Restored Urban Streams to Reference Streams
Scott Stranko, Maryland DNR, Annapolis Maryland
Substantial losses to stream biological diversity have been documented throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the United States due to urban-related impacts. Stream restoration has been used to improve stream conditions and, in part, to ameliorate these losses. However, it is not yet clear if biological diversity is recovering in streams within this region as a result of restoration activities. Our objective was to critically examine the efficacy of urban stream restorations with regard to biological diversity. To do this, we compared restored urban stream sites to urban non-restored, non-urban (streams without substantial urbanization, but with evidence of other sources of degradation such as agricultural, water quality, or physical habitat impacts), and reference (minimally degraded by any potential perturbation) stream sites using five measures of fish and five measures of benthic macroinvertebrate diversity. Using both multivariate and univariate statistical analyses, we show that biological diversity of restored urban streams was not different from non-restored urban streams and was lower than non-urban and reference streams. Over time, restored urban sites also showed no apparent increase in biological diversity, while it decreased at two of the reference streams coincident with an increase in urban development within the site catchments. The results of this study indicate that the restoration approaches used in the urban streams we studied, which are commonly deployed in the mid-Atlantic, are not leading to recovery of native stream biodiversity. This along with recent findings from other studies indicates a need for dramatic changes in restoration approach, and we argue for a large-scale, watershed focus that includes protection of the least impacted streams and the implementation of other land-based actions such as increased stormwater management, riparian replanting, and reforestation within the watershed where possible
|Session E Abstracts:
|The use of low head weirs to reconnect floodplains in severely entrenched perennial streams: An Anne Arundel County TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan Strategy.
Hala E. Flores, P.E., Anne Arundel County Government, Annapolis, MD
Anne Arundel County Government has completed comprehensive stream and watershed assessments for seven of its twelve major watersheds. Many of these streams are considered severely entrenched with no access to the floodplain even in extreme storm events. This entrenchment has accelerated the rate of sediment and pollutant transport to the receiving waters while depleting the surrounding surface and ground water resources. This has resulted in the systemic loss of surrounding functional wetlands and reduced floodplain capacity to act as natural water quality filter for the watershed.
Anne Arundel County recognizes that meeting the nutrient and sediment Chesapeake Bay TMDL will hinge on restoring the physical habitat and geomorphic conditions of the non-tidal ephemeral and perennial surface drainage systems. The preferred method for restoring the ephemeral outfall systems is through the use of Regenerative Step Pool Storm Conveyance systems which utilize a series of riffles, weirs, and pools overlain over a bio-filter system and planted with native vegetation suitable to their aquatic zone. For perennial streams, the goal is to connect the streams to their floodplains where the channel only carries the baseflow and all higher storms are stored in adjacent floodplain wetland systems. Anne Arundel County is currently developing a comprehensive Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to address the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. One of the WIP core strategies deals with the restoration of severely degraded and degraded perennial systems and explores the most effective and cost efficient technique for connecting streams with their floodplains.
Anne Arundel County has explored two alternatives for connecting streams with their floodplains. The first alternative is to physically raise the entire length of the entrenched channel and restore the cross-section at the desired elevation. The average unit cost for this restoration technique ranges from $500-$1500 per linear feet. The second alternative, which is the subject of this presentation, was discovered when an in-stream low head weir was installed at the discharge point where approximately 3000 ft of ephemeral channel restoration at the Aurora Hills subdivision met the perennial Wells Branch tributary of the Severn River Watershed. The decision to install this weir on Wells branch stemmed from concern that active headcutting in the stream could unravel the restoration work. In less than two years, sediment has filled the void behind a 50 ft long weir connecting approximately 500 ft of upstream channel to the adjacent floodplain and burying the weir so it is an indistinguishable feature in the stream bed. The construction impact and cost for this work was approximately ten times less than the conventional full restoration option while yielding the same results. Based on this success and the success from other examples to be discussed in this presentation, a proposal to restore the entire length of Wells Branch through a series of strategically placed and spaced weirs was made in hopes of arresting the headcuts and reversing the long term degradation of this system. In addition, this technique offers hope as a viable and cost effective strategy for meeting the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
|Jackson Creek Mitigation Bank
Daniel Johnson & Blair Goodman,Tidewater Environmental Services Inc., Johns Island, SC and James B. Atkins, Richland County Planning & Development Services Dept., Columbia, SC
Urbanization and growth rates in the northeast section of Richland County are among the highest in South Carolina and necessitate enhancement and long term preservation of the remaining natural resources. For this reason, enhancement of Jackson Creek and adjacent wetlands and buffers has been identified as a priority for Richland County, private landowners, Richland County citizens, and the Gills Creek Watershed Association (GCWA). The purpose of this project is to establish a framework for the enhancement of the existing streams, wetlands, and buffers along and adjacent to Jackson Creek, within the identified project area, and improvement of adjacent areas via planning, Best Management Practice (BMP) retrofits, and education. Objectives of the project include:
• Establishing a unique mitigation banking framework in an urban environment;
• Long term preservation of natural resources and buffers in an urbanized environment;
• Improving water quality through stream restoration and wetland and buffer enhancement,
• Promoting BMP construction and retrofits within and adjacent to the proposed Bank to target non point source pollution and addressing established Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) on Gills Creek;
• Providing educational opportunities for the public and to students at Dent Middle School, located adjacent to the proposed Bank;
• Providing green space in an urbanized environment;
• Guiding sustainable community improvements and growth and generate economic activity; and
• Promoting Richland County’s objectives associated with the sound management and planning within the Gills Creek Watershed;
This unique urban banking model provides a true watershed approach by funding the construction of BMPs outside the project area and by incorporating County-wide programs and resources to promote Low Impact Development (LID) and green space adjacent to the Bank’s boundaries. Furthermore, development of a banking instrument for this project is a progressive step towards achieving the goals and objectives of multiple organizations to improve the Gills Creek Watershed and Decker Master Planning areas and provides a strategy for addressing the needs of the Jackson Creek and Gills Creek Watersheds by enhancing and protecting stream and wetland buffers, improving stormwater quality and volume control, stabilizing degraded stream channels and unstable stream banks, and acquiring land for preservation.
|North Fork Roanoke River voluntary watershed restoration in Virginia through grant funded public-private partnerships.
Justin Laughlin, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Marion, VA
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has been working for over a decade to improve aquatic habitat in the North Fork Roanoke River (NFRR) watershed. The NFRR a major tributary of the Roanoke River Basin, is home to several rare and endemic species of significant ecological importance. The Catawba LandCare, landowner-led and community based organization works cooperatively with VDGIF and other partners to promote a sustainable approach to land management that produces economic, social, and environmental benefits. Catawba LandCare’s mission is to support a healthy environment that supports the agricultural community and open space. VDGIF has conducted watershed-scale stream restoration in the NFRR on private lands through multiple grant programs. Working through several grants, including the Landowner Incentive Program funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, VDGIF has connected several stream restoration reaches, restoring over 15,000 linear feet of the NFRR. This presentation will highlight how watershed-scale voluntary restoration of a sub-watershed is possible when the community and landowners drive the demand for improving the environment. By collaborating with Catawba LandCare, VDGIF has found an effective method to communicate with landowners about improving water quality, recreational fisheries, and protecting sensitive aquatic species. Knowledge and interest in stream restoration have spread rapidly throughout the watershed thanks to the landowner network. Our implementation genius, Mr. Ned Yost, has been instrumental in getting his neighbors and friends involved in restoring the watershed. The success of this watershed-scale restoration project is primarily due to the empowering of local landowner groups to protect and restore our waters which improves stream health and strengthens community connections.
|Session F Abstracts:
|Impacts of Coal Mining to Receiving Streams and Associated Remediation, Reclamation and Mitigation
Joshua B. Gilman, Stantec Consulting, Inc., Charlotte, NC
In the atmosphere of diversifying and seeking renewable energy supply and technology, coal remains a primary source of fossil fuel, and will persist internationally despite how our user consumptive culture may develop domestically. As a result, mining of coal in areas throughout the inter mid-Atlantic will also continue. In order to meet future global demand and satisfy evolving social preferences and accompanying legislation, practitioners must develop innovative approaches to remediate, reclaim and restore affected watersheds and receiving waters. This talk will focus on relaying information about the fundamentals of coal mining impacts to receiving streams and accompanying remediation, reclamation and mitigation.
Coal mining impacts to stream health vary both in duration and intensity. Historically abandoned mines were not uncommon prior to the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Many such mines continue to pollute our waterways, limiting their ability and potential to perform natural function and provide ecological values. While various legislation (including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, RCRA and the Clean Water Act, CWA) provides for a variety of mechanisms to enable remediation of these sites, alternative processes remain to be realized. More recently, mines permitted under the current SMRCA (revised 2006 an including guidance up through the April 2010 EPA CWA Section 404 Memorandum) better account for impacts and offsetting mitigation, but also leave room for lift. By providing a fundamental understanding of: 1) current coal mining practices/processes, 2) corresponding impacts to streams, and 3) the current approach to remediation, reclamation and mitigation, this presentation strives to evoke innovative approaches to achieving clean water.
Nathan S. Ober, Stantec Consulting Services Inc, Nashville, TN
The balance of ecology and public transportation can be achieved on site with stream and wetland mitigation. Through integrated planning during roadway designs transportation departments (DOTs) in various states have incorporated natural channel designs to complement roadway corridors. Traditional design methods for roadway project-related stream relocations produce oversized streams resulting in improper channel morphology and disequilibrium. Success of on-site mitigation designs is a product of proper assessments, site selection, planning, and project delivery which require collaboration throughout the roadway development process. Challenges associated with limited corridors and roadway structures can be overcome through a strategic restoration and culvert enhancements design approach. Although off site mitigation appears to provide the largest benefit to ecosystems, on-site mitigation provides benefit to local communities. Over 190 million people in the United States have driver licenses and travel past rivers and wetlands every day on public roads. A high percentage of drivers do not adventure off the road to visit these resources and they base their impressions of natural resources from the window of the vehicle. Through examples of on-site ecosystem restoration in Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina, this presentation will focus on: 1) the design approach for confined corridors, 2) enhancement of culverts to promote bankfull dimensions, 3) challenges integrating restoration into roadway designs, and 4) benefits and disadvantages to on-site transportation mitigation.
|Session G Abstracts:
|The City of Austin - Stream Restoration Program
Morgan Byars, P.E., City of Austin Watershed Protection and Development Review Department, Stream Restoration Program, Austin, Texas
The City of Austin Stream Restoration Program works for the purpose of protecting property while enhancing the character of Austin’s waterways. Streams are dynamic living systems that are constantly adjusting to water, sediment, vegetation and the myriad of anthropogenic influences. For over a decade, the City of Austin Stream Restoration Program has been developing and implementing bioengineering and stream restoration practices that encourage stable systems, provide habitat and retain the natural and traditional character of streams in the urban environment. The SRP was established as the erosion control services program in 1994 in response to citizen complaints about creek erosion. Initially the focus was on implementing stream bank stabilization projects, but the program has evolved to include a more comprehensive multi-objective watershed approach to stream management. Program services include geomorphic assessments, regulatory initiatives, technical assistance, training seminars, planning, design and construction of stream restoration projects.
The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department (WPD) completed a city-wide watershed master plan in 2001. The master plan identified existing problems as well as outlined needs for problem prevention related to its three primary missions of flooding, erosion and storm water quality. The master plan initiated a multi-objective approach to assessing, prioritizing and solving watershed problems that includes identification of cross mission opportunities and impacts. The SRP utilizes this framework to develop solutions to stream stability problems that also consider the goals of flood hazard reduction and storm water quality treatment and protection. In addition the SRP attempts to include opportunities for public outreach and community education where possible.
The SRP achieves goals of reducing erosion hazards, restoring stream stability and preserving habitat through construction projects, voluntary buyouts, landscape restoration and regulatory programs. Examples of regulatory solutions include development of erosion hazard zone boundaries, on-site detention requirements and stable channel design criteria. Construction projects include stream stabilization using bioengineering and natural channel design approaches. Landscape restoration projects attempt to establish riparian zones with a complex of canopy, understory and ground cover. The latter may also include integration of LID stormwater systems and property acquisitions when appropriate. The SRP may implement these as capital improvements projects (CIP) using private consultants and contractors or with in-house engineers, scientists and City construction crews. The SRP utilizes 2 City construction crews year round to build and maintain stream restoration projects. Having access to multiple implementation resources allows the SRP to efficiently implement both large and small scale solutions. By considering multiple interests during the solution development process, the SRP can maximize opportunities for beneficial uses while minimizing adverse impacts to floodplains and those that interact with them.
|Assessing Surface Runoff As A Tool For Evaluating Watersheds And Stream Restoration
Pamela C. Dodds, Montrose, WV
The overhead trees on the Appalachian mountain ridges intercept rainfall so that it gently penetrates the ground as groundwater rather than flowing overland as runoff. This means that 1) the rain will gently fall to the ground and recharge groundwater and 2) the surface flow of rainwater on the ground will be slower than in cleared areas, thereby reducing the velocity and quantity of stormwater drainage. Conversely, where development occurs on forested ridges or where there are numerous roads constructed on forested ridges, the protective tree canopy is lost, the stormwater flow is greater in the cleared areas, groundwater is intercepted by road construction, and increased stormwater drainage results in habitat destruction within streams and the consequent death of aquatic organisms.
Surface runoff within a watershed can be evaluated using the equation Q = CIA, where Q is the discharge, C is the runoff coefficient for the ground cover, I is the rainfall intensity, and A is the area of the watershed. The surface runoff varies according to the ground cover, so the equation allows for “weighting” the areas according to the ground cover type and respective runoff coefficient. As documented in publications of the Center for Watershed Protection and of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the value of 10 percent impervious cover in a watershed has been determined to cause negative impacts. By calculating the surface runoff discharge where 10 percent impervious cover is present, this discharge value can be used as a threshold amount for evaluating the amount of deforestation or other development that will negatively impact the watershed. The surface runoff discharge resulting from 10 percent impervious cover can therefore be used as a tool to determine how much surface runoff discharge will cause negative impacts to a watershed and also how much of the watershed must be vegetated, especially in riparian buffer zones, to allow proper stream restoration activities to be successful.
|Retrofitting Urban Stormwater Infrastructure for Treatment and Ecological Enhancement in Philadelphia, PA
Rick Howley and Lance Butler, PWD-Office of Watersheds, Philadelphia, PA 19107
In 2005 the EPA established a sediment and nutrient TMDL for the Wissahickon Creek located in northwest Philadelphia. Wissahickon Creek is highly influenced by the urban infrastructure and landuses surrounding the stream corridor. In the early 20th century, the detrimental effects of stormwater and the need for management of it were not fully understood. During that time, tributaries to Wissahickon Creek were buried in separate sewer pipes and much of the neighborhoods, streets, and infrastructure in the Wissahickon Creek Watershed were built. Of the 11 square miles of the Wissahickon Creek watershed located in Philadelphia, 27% is impervious. Rainfall and the resulting run-off from these impervious areas has had a detrimental impact on the Wissahickon Creek and its tributaries. Sediment, nutrients, and other contamination from the city streets pollute the stream and flashy flows have severe impacts to stream corridor.
The City of Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has taken a progressive approach to addressing stormwater run-off issues in the City’s watersheds. PWD’s analysis of the existing drainage system and the topography in the Wissahickon Creek has become the foundation for the creation of three large stormwater treatment wetlands. These wetlands are Saylor’s Grove, Wise’s Mill Run, and Cathedral Run Stormwater Treament Wetlands.
• Saylor’s Grove Wetland is a 1-acre stormwater wetland located in the Monoshone Creek subshed of Wissahickon Creek. Completed in 2006, the wetland manages stormwater from a 156-acre watershed.
• Wise’s Mill Run is another tributary to Wissahickon Creek. The wetland is located on a tributary to Wise’s Mill Run. Stormwater is routed from the stormwater conduit along Wise’s Mill Road and treated in a 1.9-acre wetland/bioretention facility, managing stormwater from a 100-acre watershed. Wise’s Mill is a comprehensive project also consisting of approximately 2000-feet of stream restoration coinciding with the wetland creation portion of the project. This project was completed in 2011.
• The Cathedral Run project is similar to Wise’s Mill Run and has wetland creation and stream restoration aspects. The Cathedral Run facility is 1-acre biorention wetland designed to manage stormwater from a 91-acre watershed. This project was completed in 2011.
After the construction of these facilities, PWD has taken several measures to maintain and monitor the wetlands. The reduction in sediment, nutrients, other urban contaminants, and peak flows prove that the stormwater treatment wetlands are very effective in accomplishing the goals established by the TMDL for pollutant removal and environmental restoration of the city. These wetlands will not only provide a valuable service to the community in their treatment of stormwater, but also in ecological improvement and park enhancement for the citizens of Philadelphia.
|Assessing Watershed Scale Responses to BMP Implementation in Urban Watersheds
John Jastram, USGS Virginia Water Science Center, Richmond, VA
The USGS Virginia Water Science Center, in cooperation with the Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division, is conducting a study of urban/suburban watersheds in Fairfax County, Virginia to assess watershed-scale water-quality responses to implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and stream restoration activities. Specifically, the objectives of the study are to: 1.) Describe current conditions and trends in both water quality and water quantity, compute loads in water-quality constituents, and use these data to evaluate water-quality improvements that are associated with BMP implementation and stream restoration activities, and 2.) Evaluate the transferability of results from intensively monitored watersheds to other watersheds with less-intensive monitoring. This unique study is reliant upon a long-term data collection effort in 14 small (1-6 mi2) watersheds that represent the range of land-use conditions in suburban Fairfax County. The study was designed to include a mix of intensively monitored watersheds, for which continuous streamflow and water-quality parameters are measured and over 100 routine and storm event samples are collected and less intensively monitored watersheds, for which periodic streamflow and water-quality measurements are made.
This presentation will include critical elements of the study design, the novel monitoring methods employed, and a discussion of preliminary results.
|Cumulative-Effects assessment and implementation of multi-stressor mitigation approaches in an intensively mined central Appalachian watershed.
Eric R Merriam and Todd Petty, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Mountaintop removal-valley fill (MTR-VF) mining within the central Appalachians interacts with other natural (e.g. geography and geology) and anthropogenic (residential land use) factors to determine in-stream conditions across large spatial scales and over long periods of time. Current management strategies (permitting, mitigation, and restoration) often prove ineffective because they do not account for cumulative effects of multiple factors at the watershed scale. Through a watershed-scale analysis of the Coal River (south-central WV), we constructed predictive models linking landscape indicators to current in-stream conditions and projected cumulative effects of multiple stressors at the watershed scale. Boosted regression tree (BRT) models explained approximately 90% of the deviance in water chemistry (e.g., specific conductance and selenium) and physical habitat (i.e. habitat quality and complexity). Models of biological condition produced similar results, explaining 70-80% of the deviance in biological community metrics, such as EPT and WVSCI. By integrating these models within a spatially explicit modeling framework, we were able to project changes (degradation and improvement) in watershed conditions across a range of alternative mine development / restoration action scenarios. Sensitivity analyses indicate that restoration efforts targeted at reducing the effects of deep mine effluent and impacts from residential land use (e.g., habitat degradation and untreated wastewater) will result in the greatest ecological benefits at the watershed scale. Through these analyses we also identified thresholds of surface mining below which ecological impacts can be managed through strategic mitigation and above which impacts are likely to be unmanageable. The framework outlined in this study is transferrable to other regions and provides a necessary next step in the science and practice of cumulative effects assessment and implementation of watershed scale mitigation approaches.
Beyond Channel Protection Volume (CPv): Moving From Stormwater Management to Integrated Restoration.
Erik Michelsen, South River Federation, Edgewater, MD
As part of the 2000 Maryland Stormwater Manual overhaul, a number of design engineering standards were changed and added in order to improve upon previous methods of stormwater management. Among them was the modification of the so-called “channel protection volume (Cpv),” which required 24-hour detention of the post-developed, one-year, design storm in upland practices, such as stormwater ponds. The driving force behind the addition of Cpv to the requirements was the recognition that the hydrologic changes associated with development can have significant impacts on deepening and widening stream channels, and that, particularly in urban environments, stream degradation contributes the vast majority of sediment loading to downstream resources.
Earlier attempts at channel protection, such as controlling the 2-year storm, were found not to reduce channel erosion, but instead to exacerbate it in some instances by extending the time that storm flows had to perform work on streams. All of these efforts were founded on the notion that stable stream systems are comprised of defined “bankfull discharges” channels, that convey the most frequently occurring flows (e.g., up to a 2-year return frequency discharge) but that spill out into the floodplain beyond that.
What if that entire paradigm is incorrect in the mid-Atlantic, and our efforts to convey these “bankfull” storm flows within stream channels have only hastened the demise of our creeks and rivers, and have helped contribute to the loss of countless acres of vital riparian habitat?
Historically, mid-Atlantic stream valley systems were perennially flooded – the very notion of a “floodplain” is a post-legacy sediment artifact, and researchers have coined the term “valley flat” to more accurately characterize these abandoned terraces along channels – and were comprised of an undifferentiated series of wet meadows, interspersed with vegetated mounds and islands, with water slowly coursing throughout. These systems were – and where they still exist, are – hugely effective at trapping sediment and processing nutrients, as well as providing vital habitat for some of the most endangered plant and animal communities in the region.
We should be encouraging the reconnection of streams with the valley flats – with appropriate protections for existing infrastructure, of course – and working to place additional protections on them whenever possible.
Moving forward, with the appropriate regulatory paradigm in place, new development has the capacity not only to stem the tide of additional insults to our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, but to be one of the primary drivers of restoring its health. Rather than forcing the management of large, arbitrary water volumes on development sites we can require developers to go down into these degraded systems and truly protect our stream channels – by reconnecting them to the valley flats – providing myriad nutrient and sediment reduction benefits, capping historical sediments in place, and restoring and regenerating our nontidal streams and wetlands across the landscape.
Aiming for water quality treatment using low impact and environmental site design practices in the upland, with safe conveyance along a treatment train into these restored stream valleys represents the most effective way to meet the water quality goals that new stormwater regulations are aiming to achieve. Looking at these systems holistically, rather than bi-furcating stormwater management from environmental restoration, is the most cost-effective and sustainable way we have to recover our resources.
Abstract for Sessions G and H are listed here.