Bryan (Poster Final Draft): This project addresses the question of how to most effectively allocate stream remediation measures within the Michaux State Forest. The Michaux State Forest has a wide variety of streams and water trails within its boundaries. The park service realizes that a number of these streams are in need of varying degrees of remediation; however, the park service doesn’t have the resources to address each individual stream in need. As a result, it becomes necessary to prioritize these streams in such a way that the park service may remediate them in the most effective way possible, considering the resources they have at their disposal.
In order to do accomplish this objective, eight testing sites and their respective tributaries were examined. This project was conducted in conjunction with the research of three other students from Professor Kristen Strock’s conservation seminar, Billy Beckley, Matthew Giel, and Arden Baker, who aided in the collection of raw data and the recommendation process.
This project began with the compilation of existing water chemistry and macroinvertebrate data from the park service and Environmental Studies Department at Dickinson College, which came primarily in the form of tables. The aforementioned students addressed any gaps in this data. Existing water trail, elevation, vegetation, and land use data from online sources were then acquired, as well as any other relevant maps or data layers. Once all of this data was compiled, watersheds and watershed components were delineated. After watersheds were established, additional characteristics of the watersheds, such as drainage divides, flow direction, flow accumulation, stream order, etc, were rendered using terrain analysis techniques. In doing so, drainage sub-basins within the headwaters of the Yellow Breeches Creek and Mountain Creek could be modeled.
As a result, this research yielded elevation and relief profiles for the stream origins of highest elevation within the sub-basins of each testing site respectively. The watersheds characterized by the most significant relief were sites one and two within the Yellow Breeches watershed, as well as and sites one and five within the Mountain Creek watershed. Due to the number of similarities between the eight testing sites, macroinvertebrate, diatom, and water chemistry data will be cross-referenced with health standards according to the Robin L. Vannote’s River Continuum Concept, in order to provide further insight into the areas in most need of remediation.