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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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