Geomorphology, Biology, & Stability of Catskill Mountain Streams, New York

Science Center Objects

Problem - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Stream Management Program, in cooperation with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is implementing stream-restoration demonstration projects to decrease channel bed and bank erosion and improve water quality (lower suspended sediment and turbidity) in several priority streams of the Catskill Mountain Region ...

 

Problem - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Stream Management Program, in cooperation with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is implementing stream-restoration demonstration projects to decrease channel bed and bank erosion and improve water quality (lower suspended sediment and turbidity) in several priority streams of the Catskill Mountain Region (Fig. 1). A variety of issues relating to (a) the hydraulic geometry of stable and unstable stream channels, (b) validation of underlying assumptions used to characterize channel stability and design, and (c) the effects of restoration on stream-channel geomorphology, stability, biota, and sediment transport have not been addressed previously in the region. Restoration of streams in the region (Fig. 2) provides an opportunity for the USGS, the NYCDEP, and other collaborating agencies to conduct research, test assumptions, and monitor and assess the responses of interrelated elements to changes in stream-channel stability that should result from channel restorations.

Objectives - Primary objectives of this project are to document the effects that stream-channel restoration efforts have on stream channel geomorphology, stream habitat, and fish assemblages. The project consists of four general tasks that intend to: (1) augment work being done by the NYCDEP to develop models of the relations between drainage area and hydraulic-geometry parameters at bankfull flows in the region, (2) develop a database of hydraulic, geomorphic, and biologic characteristics for reference-stream reaches in the region, which is needed to identify, classify, and assess geomorphic stability of similar reaches, (3) develop and refine methods to model the relations among stream discharge, stream type, channel geometry, bed-sediment size distribution, and bed-sediment transport in stable reference reaches, and (4) determine whether channel and bank stability, habitat, and fish (Figs. 3, 4) and macroinvertebrate communities are significantly affected by restoration of streams in the Catskill Mountain Region. Hydrologic and geomorphic data will be provided to the cooperators and the public through conventional USGS annual reports. The response of stream habitat and fish populations and communities to stream restoration will be evaluated and published as three or more peer-reviewed journal articles and also presented at local, regional, and national meetings. Additional information on habitat and fish assemblages in reference reaches of the region will be published as a USGS peer-reviewed Science Investigative Report (SIR).

 Project
Location by County

Catskill Region: Delaware County, NY, Greene County, NY, Schoharie
County, NY, Sullivan County, NY, Ulster County, NY, Westchester County, NY, Putnam County, NY, Dutchess County, NY