Legacy Disturbances and Restoration Potential of Coastal Plain Streams

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Fletcher, Dean E.
Stillings, Garrett K.
Paller, Michael H.
Barton, Christopher D.
Carroll, G. Denise
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Stream restoration and enhancement provides opportunity to correct or improve previous alterations that have destroyed, diminished, or impaired the character and function of stream systems. The Savannah River Site (SRS) as a National Environmental Research Park operated by the Department of Energy provides an ideal research opportunity for restoration of coastal plain streams. The temporal range of disturbances to SRS streams span the range of pre-SRS legacy impacts through the early infrastructure development in the early 1950's to more recent and current industrial activities. A multiphase program has been established to characterize SRS streams, identify risks of legacy and recent disturbances, and identify disturbed stream reaches improvable by restoration. Phase I involves a broad scale survey of potential stream disturbances and stream basin characterization. Phase II, initiated in 2010, assesses the effects of stream alterations in a subset of Phase I identified streams. Stream hydrology, geomorphology, and habitat availability at the reach, segment and basin level are being assessed. The proposed Phase III project will further evaluate a select subset of stream reaches by measuring additional hydrology, physicochemistry, and geomorphology features. This thorough stream evaluation will guide prescription of restorative actions. Future phases will implement and monitor enhancement and restoration efforts.
Sponsored by: Georgia Environmental Protection Division U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Water Science Center U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Water Resources Institute The University of Georgia, Water Resources Faculty
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