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Connecting People and Urban Streams

Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
If no transcript and/or closed-caption is available, please notify us.
[Music playing]





Faith Fitzpatrick: I'm Faith Fitzpatrick-





I work at the U.S. Geological Survey





with a team of scientists studying the





effects of urbanization on stream





ecosystems, in this video we'll look





at how urban development alters the





habitat or physical features where





creatures live in or near the streams.





Habit is made up of four basic things;





Water, shelter, food and space. Flowing





water is important to provide habitats





and food for all sorts of creatures.





Healthy streams typically have a range





of flows that change through the seasons.





Healthy stream habitats have a diversity





of water velocity and depth combinations





and geomorphic features. Such as, shallow





rapids and deep pools and many bends





and curves. Boulders and logs in the





stream and grass and shrubs along its





banks offer protection during floods and





provide food and cover from predators.





It's not just the stream that provides





habitat for fish, but how the stream





is connected to the land and low-lying





areas along its banks. Low areas right





next to the stream help alleviate





flooding and also help provide shelter,





refuge and food for amphibians, insects, reptiles and birds.





In urban watersheds run-off from roads,





parking lots and rooftops and the





addition of storm sewers cause more





frequent and erosive flows because less





rainfall is soaked in to the ground.





Storm flow acts like a fire hose that





scours streambeds and banks and destroys





and unravels the physical features





that aquatic creatures call home.





Sand, silt and clay from bare soils





at construction sites, smother gravel





riffles, clog channels and fill in





pools. Fine sediment can accumulate





contaminates in nutrients and is a





real problem in streams with gentle





slopes. As streams are lined with





cement, go underground or are altered





by dams or road-crossings, the





connections among habitats are lost,





limiting the movement of fish and other organisms.





Vegetation along an urban stream is





frequently over run by aggressive,





invasive plants. Most invasive plants





start out in people's gardens, but





they easily spread to banks, flood





plains and wetlands where they crowd





out native plants. As people connect





with their streams, watershed volunteer





groups connect with regional planning





commissions, sewerage districts and city





planners and engineers to improve the





livability of urban stream corridors





for both wildlife and humans.





Jeff Martinka: So you have more power





than you think because a lot of us don't





make time to let our voices be heard.





Faith Fitzpatrick: The Milwaukee Metropolitan





Sewerage District has been able to





speed up its goal of removing or





redesigning cement lined channels





that block fish passage. These





rehabilitation projects are reconnecting





habitats and also improving aesthetics





and safety for people while maintaining





flood control. Because of the importance





of preserving salmon and other species





on the endangered species list habitat





improvement and protection in the





Portland, Oregon area is first and foremost





in rehabilitation projects. Large logs





are used in many of the rehabilitation





projects to provide shelter and resting





places for fish and other creatures.





The protection of Chesapeake Bay has





brought together a diverse group of





water resources planners and managers,





as well as engineers, ecologists and





landscape architects. They've been using





sand seepage systems, base flow channels





and plants to filter storm water. These





techniques reduce runoff, peak storm flows,





bank erosion and gullying while improving





infiltration, water quality and habitat.





An important part of rehabilitation





projects is measuring success. Monitoring





flow, water quality, habit and biological





characteristics before, during and after





rehabilitation activities are especially





critical for projects where there is a





high risk to infrastructure or endangered





species. For urban streams hope for





habitat is all about connections,





reconnecting the continuum of habitats





that streams provide from their head





water to mouths, reconnecting streams





to flood plains and wetlands and most





importantly, reconnecting people with





each other and their streams.





Thanks for your interest in our





study of the urbanization effects





on stream ecosystems, conducted as





part of the National Water-Quality





Assessment Program of the U.S.





Geological Survey. Please visit our





website for more information about





the study and also access to our





data and our reports.





[Music playing]



[End of Audio]

Details

Title: Connecting People and Urban Streams

Description:

Faith Fitzpatrick (U.S. Geological Survey) outlines the importance of habitat to the health of streams and shows examples of connecting people to urban streams through rehabilitation efforts across the USA. (5 minute version)

Location: NC, MD, WI, OR, USA

Date Taken: 5/11/2011

Length: 5:50

Video Producer: Douglas A. Harned , National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), USGS, North Carolina Water Science Center, Raleigh, NC


Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

Faith Fitzpatrick: Scriptwriter, Narrator, Scientist Consultant

Gerard McMahon: Producer

Douglas Harned: Producer, Video, Editor

Alan Cressler: Video

Luke McMahon: Video

Brian Pointer: Video

Amanda Bell: Video

Steve Sobieszczk: Video

Michelle Moorman: Video

Erik Staub: Video

Luke Myers: Video

Ray Douglas Audio

Jeff Martinka (Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.)

File Details:

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Tags: AquaticEcology Baltimore DouglasHarned EUSE Ecosystems FaithFitzpatrick Habitat Hydrology Maryland Milwaukee NAWQA Oregon Portland StreamRehabilitation StreamRestoration USGS Urbanization WaterQuality WaterResourceManagement Wisconsin

 

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