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Rivers, Streams and Lakes

Climate change is resulting in shifts in temperature, precipitation, and seasonal streamflow regimes across North America, impacting water resources for plant, wildlife, and human communities. Learn more about what CASC scientists are doing to inform water resource and fisheries managers through the projects below.

Filter Total Items: 218

Ghuts, Grit, and Gills: Aquatic Data Synthesis for Climate Adaptation in the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are vulnerable to sea level rise, intense storms, and unpredictable rainfall brought by climate change. These changes influence the health of freshwater streams (known as “ghuts”), sedimentation, erosion and water quality (“grit”), as well as aquatic communities and ecosystems (“gills”) that are unique to the islands and important for indigenous peoples’ heritage, local fishe
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Ghuts, Grit, and Gills: Aquatic Data Synthesis for Climate Adaptation in the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are vulnerable to sea level rise, intense storms, and unpredictable rainfall brought by climate change. These changes influence the health of freshwater streams (known as “ghuts”), sedimentation, erosion and water quality (“grit”), as well as aquatic communities and ecosystems (“gills”) that are unique to the islands and important for indigenous peoples’ heritage, local fishe
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A Decision-Support Tool for Invasive Plant Management Under Fluctuating Great Lakes Water Levels

Water levels in the Great Lakes are fluctuating in ways that we have not seen in the past, with both historically low- and high-water levels occurring in the last decade. Expectations are that larger and more frequent water-level fluctuations will occur in response to climate change. The increased variability in lake levels has implications for the management of invasive plants found in the coasta
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A Decision-Support Tool for Invasive Plant Management Under Fluctuating Great Lakes Water Levels

Water levels in the Great Lakes are fluctuating in ways that we have not seen in the past, with both historically low- and high-water levels occurring in the last decade. Expectations are that larger and more frequent water-level fluctuations will occur in response to climate change. The increased variability in lake levels has implications for the management of invasive plants found in the coasta
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A Fresh Set of Tools: New Information for Managing Fisheries During Changes in River Discharge

The Bonnet Carré spillway (BCS) is a flood-control structure along the Lower Mississippi River designed to prevent flooding in the city of New Orleans by diverting excess water into the nearby Lake Pontchartrain estuary. Alarmingly, the BCS was opened as many times over the past decade (2011–2020) as it had been over the six prior decades combined (1951–2010), with devastating effects on the estua
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A Fresh Set of Tools: New Information for Managing Fisheries During Changes in River Discharge

The Bonnet Carré spillway (BCS) is a flood-control structure along the Lower Mississippi River designed to prevent flooding in the city of New Orleans by diverting excess water into the nearby Lake Pontchartrain estuary. Alarmingly, the BCS was opened as many times over the past decade (2011–2020) as it had been over the six prior decades combined (1951–2010), with devastating effects on the estua
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Climate Adaptation for Data-Limited Inland Fisheries

Inland fisheries have tremendous cultural, economic, and subsistence value. However, climate change brings new stresses to land-locked fisheries that raise novel challenges for resource managers. One fundamental challenge in inland fisheries is how to best assess and manage data-limited fisheries when resources are finite and uncertainty is pervasive. To address this challenge, we will use quantit
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Climate Adaptation for Data-Limited Inland Fisheries

Inland fisheries have tremendous cultural, economic, and subsistence value. However, climate change brings new stresses to land-locked fisheries that raise novel challenges for resource managers. One fundamental challenge in inland fisheries is how to best assess and manage data-limited fisheries when resources are finite and uncertainty is pervasive. To address this challenge, we will use quantit
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Developing a Rio Grande-Río Bravo Basin International Research Conference

Stretching almost 1,900 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin (RGB) supplies drinking water for more than 6 million people and irrigation for about 2 million acres of land. The river also supports habitat for many at-risk and endangered species. Because of its size and diverse ecosystem services, the RGB faces complex shared-management challenges that will requi
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Developing a Rio Grande-Río Bravo Basin International Research Conference

Stretching almost 1,900 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, the Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin (RGB) supplies drinking water for more than 6 million people and irrigation for about 2 million acres of land. The river also supports habitat for many at-risk and endangered species. Because of its size and diverse ecosystem services, the RGB faces complex shared-management challenges that will requi
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Forecasting the Future of Ongeim’l Tketau (Jellyfish Lake), Palau in a Changing Climate

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, locally known as Ongeim’l Tketau (OTM), is an iconic tourism site and an important area of biodiversity. This landlocked marine lake is part of the Rock Island Southern Lagoon UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing an expression of Palauan national pride, and has brought in millions of dollars to the local Koror State economy. OTM is also home to the unique Golden jellyfi
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Forecasting the Future of Ongeim’l Tketau (Jellyfish Lake), Palau in a Changing Climate

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, locally known as Ongeim’l Tketau (OTM), is an iconic tourism site and an important area of biodiversity. This landlocked marine lake is part of the Rock Island Southern Lagoon UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing an expression of Palauan national pride, and has brought in millions of dollars to the local Koror State economy. OTM is also home to the unique Golden jellyfi
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Groundwater and Stream Temperature Modeling to Assess the Effect of Warming Temperatures on Coldwater Fish

Cold-water fish species such as trout and salmon are highly valued components of many stream ecosystems in Michigan and the Great Lakes region and are sensitive to rising stream temperatures. For example, the timing of spawning and development rates of these species are affected by stream temperature from late fall through spring. Historically, stream temperature modeling has focused on air temper
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Groundwater and Stream Temperature Modeling to Assess the Effect of Warming Temperatures on Coldwater Fish

Cold-water fish species such as trout and salmon are highly valued components of many stream ecosystems in Michigan and the Great Lakes region and are sensitive to rising stream temperatures. For example, the timing of spawning and development rates of these species are affected by stream temperature from late fall through spring. Historically, stream temperature modeling has focused on air temper
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Integrating Streamflow and Temperature to Identify Streams with Coldwater Refugia in the Northeast

The amount of water flowing through a stream is an important driver of aquatic habitat, but scientists don’t often measure streamflow in the small stream networks that feed larger rivers. Monitoring smaller streams is especially important as climate change is causing them to (a) flood more often and more intensely, and (b) lose habitat as drought events and water temperatures increase. A better un
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Integrating Streamflow and Temperature to Identify Streams with Coldwater Refugia in the Northeast

The amount of water flowing through a stream is an important driver of aquatic habitat, but scientists don’t often measure streamflow in the small stream networks that feed larger rivers. Monitoring smaller streams is especially important as climate change is causing them to (a) flood more often and more intensely, and (b) lose habitat as drought events and water temperatures increase. A better un
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Intermittent Stream Risk Assessment: Mapping Patterns of Stream Drying and Identifying Vulnerabilities of Stream Fish and Crayfish Communities to Drying

Small creeks and streams often dry out during the summer but still support many insects, fish, crayfish, and plants. Though intermittent streams are the most common type of flowing water across the globe, not much is known about which, how, why, or when streams dry or about how patterns of drying affect species in these habitats. More information about patterns of stream drying can help inform the
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Intermittent Stream Risk Assessment: Mapping Patterns of Stream Drying and Identifying Vulnerabilities of Stream Fish and Crayfish Communities to Drying

Small creeks and streams often dry out during the summer but still support many insects, fish, crayfish, and plants. Though intermittent streams are the most common type of flowing water across the globe, not much is known about which, how, why, or when streams dry or about how patterns of drying affect species in these habitats. More information about patterns of stream drying can help inform the
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Mapping Riparian Vegetation Response to Climate Change on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and Upper Gila River Watershed to Inform Restoration Priorities: 1935 to Present (Phase 2)

Recently intensifying drought conditions have caused increased stress to non-native tamarisk vegetation across riparian areas of the San Carlos Apache Tribe (hereafter Tribe) and the Upper Gila River watershed in Arizona and New Mexico. This also increases wildfire risk in the area, making the removal of tamarisk vegetation a primary restoration and climate adaptation objective for the Tribe. T
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Mapping Riparian Vegetation Response to Climate Change on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and Upper Gila River Watershed to Inform Restoration Priorities: 1935 to Present (Phase 2)

Recently intensifying drought conditions have caused increased stress to non-native tamarisk vegetation across riparian areas of the San Carlos Apache Tribe (hereafter Tribe) and the Upper Gila River watershed in Arizona and New Mexico. This also increases wildfire risk in the area, making the removal of tamarisk vegetation a primary restoration and climate adaptation objective for the Tribe. T
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Synthesizing the Responses and Vulnerabilities of Freshwater Invertebrates to Droughts and Heavy Precipitation in the Midwest

The Midwest United States is facing wetter winters and springs and more variable precipitation in the summer and fall. Heavy floods and prolonged droughts are costly to agriculture, housing, transportation infrastructure, and recreational opportunities across the region. These extremes also stress the health of freshwater ecosystems that are important to the regional economy and quality of life. T
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Synthesizing the Responses and Vulnerabilities of Freshwater Invertebrates to Droughts and Heavy Precipitation in the Midwest

The Midwest United States is facing wetter winters and springs and more variable precipitation in the summer and fall. Heavy floods and prolonged droughts are costly to agriculture, housing, transportation infrastructure, and recreational opportunities across the region. These extremes also stress the health of freshwater ecosystems that are important to the regional economy and quality of life. T
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The Long View: Developing a 500-year Climate Adaptation Plan with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee Peoples have had a sustained presence in the southern Appalachians over the past 12,000 years, with a peak population of about 250,000 people inhabiting approximately 32 million hectares across Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Early contact with European settlers caused drastic population declines and land loss, due to disease, land cessio
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The Long View: Developing a 500-year Climate Adaptation Plan with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee Peoples have had a sustained presence in the southern Appalachians over the past 12,000 years, with a peak population of about 250,000 people inhabiting approximately 32 million hectares across Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Early contact with European settlers caused drastic population declines and land loss, due to disease, land cessio
Learn More