MARYLAND STREAM RESTORATION ASSOCIATION

MSRA Webinar Series - What Biological Uplift can be Realistically Expected from Stream Restoration? Early Results of a Before/After Control/Impact Study, feat. Bree Stephens & Bob Siegfried

  • 16 Dec 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (EST)
  • GoToWebinar
  • 172

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MSRA Webinar Series - What Biological Uplift can be Realistically Expected from Stream Restoration? Early Results of a Before/After Control/Impact Study, feat. Bree Stephens & Bob Siegfried

In response to COVID-19, and in attempt to continue offering opportunities for discussion and to promote advancement of the Maryland stream restoration industry, MSRA is excited to announce a series of webinars featuring leading industry researchers and partners.  Stay tuned through our website and social media channels for the series schedule.  Continuing Education Credits will be offered for these events.  We hope you will join us:  

When: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Time: 12:00 p.m. -  1:00 p.m.

Where: GoToWebinar

Following your registration, and prior to the event, you will receive a webinar link from GoToWebinar which will give you access to the webinar.

Will you be attending?

Register Today!

EVENT DETAILS:

Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members

Presenter Bio:

Bree Stephens is a stream ecologist and designer in Richmond, VA RES office. She leads our biological surveys throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  Bree received her Master degree in Environmental Science at VCU, where she focused on fisheries biology and worked for the VCU Fish Lab.  She joined RES in 2017, where her goal is to guide stream restoration designers and engineers in incorporating ecological uplift wherever possible into stream restoration designs.

Bob Siegfried is a Sr. Project Manager (and old school stream ecologist) in RES’s Richmond office, providing leadership to large restoration projects and listening to what the streams are telling us. 

Presentation Abstract:

RES is currently conducting an extensive before/after control/impact study of fish and benthic data from stream restoration projects in Virginia and Maryland. We currently have 29 streams in our study. We sample prior to restoration, immediately post-construction before site has vegetated, and at a minimum 1 year post-restoration. We are only in the second year of a 5 year program but feel that we are already seeing valuable results. We believe that this dataset will be one of the most extensive true BACI studies of stream restoration ever conducted in the mid-Atlantic. What is clear is that every site is unique in its ability to achieve biological uplift of the aquatic community. Using the before and after data and our knowledge of the project site and watershed, we can start to build tools to allow us to predict what would be realistic expectations for biological uplift. Those tools include: 

  • True “Before” data – You must sample the before conditions in the restored reach in order to have a valid measure of uplift. The use of adjacent reaches or nearby streams as controls is not effective. 
  • Recruitment Assessment – “Once you build it can they get there?” is a basic question that must be answered. Literature clearly shows that proximity of populations of fish and benthos to re-colonize the restored reach is the best predictor of success. You must evaluate the potential for benthos and fish to recruit to the restored reach from upstream and downstream sources. 
  • Watershed Condition Assessment: Water quality is the primary variable that determines what species can survive long-term within a restored reach. You have to consider the level of development in a watershed and the potential for acute and chronic toxic inputs. 
  • Habitat Improvements – Only after considering the above assessments can you start evaluating how habitat improves as a result of restoration may provide biological uplift. We will present the results from several divergent sites to illustrate the tools above, and the BACI data to show the streams response to restoration. Although the data is limit now, we will make some observation about habitat features and fish species. 
  • Pikes Branch – an ultra-urban system with limited aquatic uplift but with significant ecosystem improvements. 
  • Timsbury Creek – Straight forward restoration with quick recovery post- restoration 
  • University of Richmond Restoration – Legacy sediment impacted site that shows significant capacity for recover of stream community but limited by presence of non-native predators 
  • Proctor’s Creek – Acid soils impacted site that showed significant improvements post restoration 


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