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SFS Annual Meeting

2021 Detailed Schedule

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A FRAMEWORK TO CLOSE THE GAP ON WICKED URBAN STREAM RESTORATION PROBLEMS: INTEGRATING SCIENCE AND SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL VALUES [Oral Presentation]

Robert Hawley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Sustainable Streams, LLC, bob.hawley@sustainablestreams.com;

Kate Macneale (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
King County - Water and Land Resources, kate.macneale@kingcounty.gov;

Mateo Scoggins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
City of Austin, mateo.scoggins@austintexas.gov;

Matthew Burns (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Melbourne, matthew.burns@unimelb.edu.au;

Kris Taniguchi-Quan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, krist@sccwrp.org;

Kristina Hopkins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
U.S. Geological Survey, khopkins@usgs.gov;

Brian Murphy (Primary Presenter/Author)
Colorado State University, bmurph3@rams.colostate.edu;

Robert Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lycoming College, smithr@lycoming.edu;

Kathryn Russell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Melbourne, kathryn.russell@unimelb.edu.au;

Charles Stillwell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
USGS, cstillwell@usgs.gov;

Abstract: Restoring the health of urban streams has many of the characteristics of wicked problems. Diverse values and perspectives of academics, practitioners, managers, stakeholders, and community members complicate objective-setting across varying spatial and temporal scales, requiring negotiated trade-offs. We developed a framework to improve restoration of urban streams, using the guiding principle of first considering existing and potential values (particularly societal values) before setting objectives. This framework can guide urban stream management towards a more appropriate problem definition and solution space, encouraging adaptations that complement and enhance urbanization. A gap analysis of international case studies allowed us to assess how well objectives were established and met, and what was missing in the problem definition that limited their overall success. We applied this analysis to the current institutional framework to identify disconnections, underperformance issues, and missing processes. The analysis exposed the shortcomings of projects that seek to address wicked problems throughout urban streams. A more integrative exploration of the problem, using a ‘values-first’ approach is expected to lead to a more holistic solution space that considers stream function and social-ecological values through monitoring and adaptive management at appropriate temporal and spatial scales.

A novel approach for creating transformative co-produced science through a professional meeting: the 5th Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology [Oral Presentation]

Robert Smith (Primary Presenter/Author)
Lycoming College, rsmith729@gmail.com;

Megan Fork (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, forkm@caryinstitute.org;

Frances Acuna (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Go Austin/Vamos Austin, frances@goaustinvamosaustin.org;

Robert Hawley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Sustainable Streams, LLC, bob.hawley@sustainablestreams.com;

Karastin Kartusin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, kkatusin92@gmail.com;

Martin Neale (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Puhoi Stour Limited, martin.neale@puhoistour.co.nz;

Rachel Scarlett (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Purdue University, rscarlet@purdue.edu;

Mateo Scoggins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
City of Austin, mateo.scoggins@austintexas.gov;

Abstract: Scientists, engineers, planners, policy makers, community members, and other stakeholders recognize the interdisciplinary and complex nature of approaches needed to effectively conserve, manage, and rehabilitate environments in a human-dominated world. Solutions to complex interdisciplinary problems require co-production of research and co-management through highly adaptable and empirically based frameworks that cut across disciplines and institutions. SUSE5 was structured to encourage the exchange of ideas across disciplines and stakeholder groups through a novel interactive and problem-based structure. Organizers focused on attracting a diverse group of participants and utilized a deliberate partnership with local government to create a holistic experience for attendees intended to generate actionable outcomes. Designed to generate actionable outcomes, SUSE5 focused on interdisciplinary participation and the inclusion of local stakeholders. Participants shared knowledge and learned about recent research by producing actionable management plans for real urban stream ‘problems’ in Austin, TX. Several challenges materialized during SUSE5, but we believe our experiences represent a thought-provoking and positive perspective on how scientists can share and synthesize knowledge to ensure scientific expertise translates into meaningful, equitable, and inclusive solutions to complex environmental problems in coupled human and natural systems.

CHALLENGES, BARRIERS, AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS FOR IMPLEMENTING SMALL-MUNICIPALITY MS4 PROGRAMS [Oral Presentation]

Craig Carson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
McCormick Taylor, Inc., CTcarson@mccormicktaylor.com;

Robert Hawley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Sustainable Streams, LLC, bob.hawley@sustainablestreams.com;

Madison Heller (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lycoming College, helmadi@lycoming.edu;

Michael Paul (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Tetra Tech, Inc., Michael.Paul@tetratech.com;

Mateo Scoggins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
City of Austin, mateo.scoggins@austintexas.gov;

Melvin Zimmerman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lycoming College, zimmer@lycoming.edu;

Robert Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lycoming College, smithr@lycoming.edu;

Leslie Rieck (Primary Presenter/Author)
Lycoming College, rieck@lycoming.edu;

Abstract: Federal regulations for municipal separate storm sewers (MS4) in the United States have been in place since 1990 as part of the Nation Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), aiming to reduce sediment and pollutant loads originating from urban areas. However, small-municipal MS4 permittees face several challenges in their efforts to regulate stormwater. We summarize common challenges concerning MS4 management and offer real-world examples of effective approaches for satisfying MS4 requirements. For example, with no direct federal funding mechanism, small municipalities are at a particular disadvantage in terms of finding funding sources. Grants or the creation of a stormwater utility can offset costs to local communities but face barriers to implementation (e.g., lack of personnel with the experience and time to apply for grants). Additionally, it can be challenging to identify appropriate BMPs and find suitable sites for BMPs in densely developed small municipalities. Flexibility and consideration of local social, political, and landscape conditions can help municipalities find innovative and cost-effective BMPs for their situation. Small municipalities can benefit greatly from a realistic, facts-based clarification of MS4 policies and practices that lays out many options available to achieve NPDES requirements.

Community-centric urban stream renewal: lessons learned from SUSE5 [Oral Presentation]

Mateo Scoggins (Primary Presenter/Author)
City of Austin, mateo.scoggins@austintexas.gov;

Abstract: Urban streams can provide both amenities and disamenities to people living in cities. Governments and institutions invest resources to improve the values and services provided by urban streams. However, the conception, development, and implementation of such projects often does not include meaningful involvement of community members and other stakeholders. As a consequence, project objectives may be misaligned with community desires and needs, and projects may be perceived as failures. The 5th Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology in Austin, TX in February 2020 aimed to explore new approaches to urban stream projects, including ways to maximize co-benefits, and better integrate community members. The outcomes of this meeting, which included four field case studies, cross-discipline urban stream expertise from five continents, and input from the Austin community, have been aggregated into a conceptual model that challenges the traditional approach to urban stream management. Institutional barriers to community inclusion were identified and analyzed using real-world examples, which clarified power, equity, and values disparities that must systematically be addressed before solutions take shape. Stakeholders and community members must be integrated throughout the process to effectively identify appropriate goals and co-benefits of stream restoration.

EFFECTS OF LARGE-SCALE DRINKING WATER ORTHOPHOSPHATE ADDITION ON URBAN STREAM NUTRIENT DYNAMICS AND EUTROPHICATION POTENTIAL [Oral Presentation]

Richard Dabundo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Pittsburgh, RCD35@pitt.edu;

Sarah Haig (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Pittsburgh, SJHAIG@pitt.edu;

Emily Elliott (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Pittsburgh, eelliott@pitt.edu;

Anusha Balangoda (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Pittsburgh, ANB287@pitt.edu;

Isaiah Spencer-Williams (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Pittsburgh, IMS17@pitt.edu;

Abstract: Orthophosphate (PO43-) is the readily usable form of phosphorus for algal growth. Despite this concern, PO43- is commonly used as an additive at drinking water treatment plants to reduce lead in drinking water. Concurrently, deferred maintenance results in greater than a 30 percent loss of drinking water through failing urban water infrastructure in the Pittsburgh system. This study investigates the impacts of a large-scale PO43-addition to a drinking water distribution system on urban stream nutrients, including measurement of PO43- additions on algal growth. Water samples were collected from five urban streams and seven distribution system sites in the Pittsburgh area before and after PO43- addition. We conducted comprehensive water chemistry analyses, nitrate isotope analyses, and nutrient addition bioassay during before and after PO43- addition. Our study reveals a significant increase in total phosphorus in urban streams following PO43- addition, but no significant change in nutrient limitation status. However, nutrient addition bioassays revealed changes in nutrient limitation status in some urban streams following PO43- addition. This study underscores the need for more studies to evaluate the impact of PO43- additions to urban steams, particularly in cities with aged drinking water infrastructure.

EVALUATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STREAM MICROHABITATS AND TAXA TRAITS IN PIEDMONT STREAMS IN NORTH CAROLINA [Oral Presentation]

Anthony Roux (Primary Presenter/Author)
Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services, Water Quality Program, Charlotte, NC; William States Lee College of Engineering, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Tony.Roux@MecklenburgCountync.gov;

Sandra Clinton, PhD (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, sclinto1@uncc.edu;

Abstract: Stream habitat quality and benthic macroinvertebrate diversity are negatively impacted by urbanization. To better understand urbanization impacts, we quantified which components of habitat diversity were most important for controlling benthic macroinvertebrate taxa and trait richness and diversity by quantifying the relationship between these metrics and microhabitats at the reach level in 10 streams with high habitat quality. We collected benthic macroinvertebrates from 7 microhabitats (riffles, root wads, leaf packs, woody debris, undercut banks, backwater, and sandy areas) to correlate taxa and their traits with each microhabitat. Riffles were the most diverse microhabitat in terms of taxa (44) and diversity (2.7). Leaf packs, root wads, and woody debris also supported abundant taxa (29, 21 and 19 respectively) and good diversity (2.7, 2.6 and 2.3). Sand and undercut banks were less productive habitats with fewer taxa (8 and 10) and lower diversity (1.5 and 2.1). Indicator species analysis indicated that some taxa and traits were specific to specific microhabitats while others were common among the microhabitats. By correlating the taxa and traits with specific microhabitats, we can better evaluate the impact of urbanization on benthic macroinvertebrate communities and improve restoration design.

EXPLORING TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL DRIVERS OF NUTRIENT DYNAMICS IN AN URBAN STREAM RECEIVING MINE DRAINAGE [Oral Presentation]

Alba Argerich (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, argericha@missouri.edu;

Jessica Wilson (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Missouri, School of Natural Resources, wilsonjess@mail.missouri.edu;

Abstract: This study takes place within the Tri-State Mining District in a small urban stream known as Lone Elm Creek in Joplin, Missouri, USA. Lone Elm Creek receives point source discharge of metal contaminants, primarily lead, zinc, cadmium, and iron, from an abandoned subsurface mine shaft (i.e., mine adit). We explore how the mine adit influences net and gross nutrient uptake metrics across temporal and spatial scales along two consecutive reaches located upstream and downstream of the mine adit. We performed constant-rate ammonium and phosphate injections in addition to sampling surface water chemistry and primary producers for nine consecutive months (biweekly during summer months and monthly during fall and winter). Preliminary findings indicate that nutrient uptake in the upstream and downstream reaches are driven differently. Ammonium uptake in the upstream reach is largely influenced by seasonal patterns in primary producers while the downstream reach shows a relationship between ammonium uptake and streamflow. Additionally, nutrient uptake in the downstream reach is influenced by elevated inputs of ammonium and iron from the mine adit.

IDENTIFYING LINKS BETWEEN HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: A MACROECOLOGICAL APPROACH [Oral Presentation]

Felisha Walls (Primary Presenter/Author)
Virginia Commonwealth University, wallsfn@mymail.vcu.edu;

Daniel McGarvey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Center for Environmental Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, djmcgarvey@vcu.edu;

Abstract: Pollution or physical degradation of streams and rivers, and their local and upstream landscape features, can present a host of risks to human health. Yet, the consequences of environmental degradation are rarely considered in research on human well-being, particularly at regional to national scales. The objective of this study is to compare an array of stream health metrics with spatially congruent human health metrics throughout the conterminous United States (CONUS). Stream health metrics were obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Stream-Catchment (StreamCat) dataset. StreamCat includes natural and anthropogenic watershed characteristics for 2.65 million stream and river segments within the CONUS. Human health metrics were obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER) database. We focused exclusively on age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) for all counties within the CONUS between 1999-2017. Random forest models were used to identify important stream health metrics for predicting county-level AAMR. In future research, we will use statistical models to explore potential causal pathways between human health and the environment.

SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIABILITY IN STREAM WATER QUALITY ALONG A RURAL-TO-URBAN GRADIENT [Oral Presentation]

Alba Argerich (Primary Presenter/Author)
School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, argericha@missouri.edu;

Angel Colon-Santiago (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of Missouri, angel.colonsantiago@mail.missouri.edu;

Abstract: Hinkson Creek watershed is a multi-land-use watershed located in Boone County, Missouri, that runs through the city of Columbia. Hinkson Creek has failed to meet water quality standards for aquatic life since 1998. Consequently, a Collaborative Adaptive Management plan was put in place to guide remediation actions using a science-based approach. As a part of this plan, we started a monitoring effort with broad spatial coverage and spanning different hydrologic conditions to capture pollutant hotspots and hot moments at the Hinkson main stem and tributaries. Here we present the results of nine synoptic samplings that occurred between 2018 and 2020. Our results show that agriculture pollution signals show a strong seasonality, whereas urban pollution signals persevere across streamflow conditions and seasons. We observed maximum chloride concentrations during summer, under baseflow conditions, indicating potentially extended effects of winter road salt applications.

SPATIOTEMPORAL VARIABILITY IN STREAM METABOLISM DOWNSTREAM OF WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS [Oral Presentation]

Sarah Ledford (Primary Presenter/Author)
Georgia State University, sledford@gsu.edu;

Jacob Diamond (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), jakediamond@gmail.com;

Laura Toran (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, ltoran@temple.edu;

Abstract: Regulation of point-sources to streams has improved water quality across the United States, but concerns continue about the large nutrient loads from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The increase in nutrients is expected to increase metabolism in the stream, but the spatial and temporal impacts have not been well constrained. We monitored dissolved oxygen (DO) for one year at nine sites on a suburban Philadelphia stream with four WWTPs and modeled metabolism upstream and downstream of WWTPs. We found that WWTPs drove the largest increase in gross primary productivity in spring when light was not limiting around 1 km below each plant. However, the impact was spatially limited, with rates returning towards pre-WWTP levels within 3 km. After leaf-out, this impact diminished, and all sites, including those upstream of WWTPs, had metabolism controlled by light availability. Our high temporal and spatial database shows the stream is most likely to fall below minimum DO thresholds upstream of the WWTPs. Longer-term monitoring is more likely to capture more individual instances of non-compliance which may disincentivize the collection of longer term datasets that would reveal more about the functioning of the system.

THE IMPACT OF RESTORING AN URBAN FORESTED WATERSHED ON EPT BIOMASS [Oral Presentation]

Jacqueline Hartman (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, jackiehartman10@gmail.com;

Abstract: Macroinvertebrates serve important functions in freshwater ecosystems as a link in freshwater food webs and are a source of biomass for higher trophic levels. Even though understanding macroinvertebrate biomass is highly important in freshwater ecology, it is often not an analysis included in restoration monitoring. To address this research need, we quantified macroinvertebrate biomass before and after restoration in a forested urban watershed. Samples were collected from 2016-2020 at within the Reedy Creek Nature Preserve in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa were collected using the NC Qual-4 method along 50m stream reaches pre-restoration and 100m stream reaches post-restoration. Two years post-restoration results indicate total EPT biomass increased from 60.13 mg/m2 pre-restoration to 326mg/m2 post-restoration in the 2 sites influenced by urban development, total EPT biomass increased from 788.62 mg/m2 pre-restoration to 1156.4 mg/m2 post-restoration in the 4 sites influenced by historically agricultural land, and there was no evident change in total EPT biomass pre-restoration (229.38 mg/m2) and post-restoration (219.53 mg/m2) for the forested control site. We hypothesize that EPT biomass has increased post-restoration due to either the removal of predator or introduced substrate into the habitat.

Urban riverscape assessments: a framework to assess complex social-ecological systems [Oral Presentation]

Simon Mould (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
DPIE, simon.mould1@gmail.com;

Peter Nelson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Colorado State University, Peter.Nelson@colostate.edu;

Geoff Vietz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Streamology/University of Melbourne, geoff@streamology.com.au;

Kathy Russell (Primary Presenter/Author)
University of Melbourne, kathryn.russell@unimelb.edu.au;

Brian Murphy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Colorado State University, bmurph3@rams.colostate.edu;

Abstract: Urban riverscapes, comprising the river channel, connected floodplain, and their biotic communities, are complex socioecological and hydrogeomorphic systems, often degraded yet highly valued by communities. The linkages between altered physical, hydrological and ecological conditions and human values and uses are often opaque, making it difficult to develop, justify, and fund appropriate restoration, renovation or protection approaches. To plan for urban riverscapes which support human connections and values, we developed a flexible yet structured framework to assess urban riverscape condition and trajectory. The framework provides a structure to assess multiple riverscape facets (e.g. human connections, hydrology, geomorphology and ecology), and the connections between them, at multiple scales (e.g. watershed, riverscape and reach). In developing the framework, we drew on non-urban analogues from environmental flows and hydrogeomorphic methods, and the development of two recent urban stream assessment methods in the US and Australia. Despite the challenge of integrating social, ecological and hydrogeomorphic science, an integrated process-based stream assessment framework that provides a consistent evaluation approach and incorporates stream values can advance urban stream planning and management, reduce maintenance, and improve stream health as well as the livability of our cities.

WATERSHED IMPERVIOUSNESS AND STREAM SIZE MORE STRONGLY RELATED TO BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES THAN INVASIVE RIPARIAN HONEYSUCKLE [Oral Presentation]

Kristen M. Diesburg (Primary Presenter/Author)
The Ohio State University, diesburg.1@osu.edu;

S. Mažeika P. Sullivan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
The Ohio State University, sullivan.191@osu.edu;

Abstract: Urban streams are subject to stressors such as increased imperviousness; widespread hydrogeomorphic, chemical, and biological alterations; and invasive species. We investigated associations of invasive riparian honeysuckle and benthic macroinvertebrate communities through both observational and experimental studies at 21 streams in the Columbus Metropolitan Area, Ohio. Although honeysuckle density was related to lower relative abundance of herbivorous and small-bodied invertebrates, it was a poor predictor of benthic invertebrate density, diversity, and community composition. We also found no indication that experimental removal of honeysuckle influenced invertebrate density, diversity, %Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera (EPT), or %detritivores. Instead, impervious surface and/or bankfull width were implicated as negative and positive drivers, respectively, of invertebrate density, diversity, and %EPT. Taken together, our results indicate that properties such as stream size, channel adjustment, and impervious surface in the watershed may overwhelm potential signals from invasive honeysuckle. Thus, expanding green spaces and reducing imperviousness may be the most effective management strategies for biological water quality in urban catchments

A City and Its River: Ellerbe Creek Watershed, Durham North Carolina [Poster Presentation]

Steven Anderson (Primary Presenter/Author)
Duke University & Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, sa165@duke.edu;

Jonathan Behrens (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, jrb146@duke.edu;

Jasmine Parham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, jasmine.parham@duke.edu;

Keshi Satterwhite (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, keshi@ellerbecreek.orh;

Rickie White (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, rickie@ellerbecreek.org;

Christopher Timmins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, timmins@duke.edu;

Lee Ferguson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, lee.ferguson@duke.edu;

Catherine Wise (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, catherine.wise@duke.edu;

Nishad Jayasundara (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, nj58@duke.edu;

Emily Bernhardt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Duke University, emily.bernhardt@duke.edu;

Abstract: Recent reports document the destructive impacts of systemic environmental racism and economic inequities on biodiversity and human health in cities. Inspired by this work, our research is engaging community residents, conservation organizations, and undergraduate and graduate students in a year-long investigation in Ellerbe Creek watershed (Durham, NC). Ellerbe Creek is a 37 square-mile highly developed watershed in central Piedmont of NC. As in most human dominated landscapes, wildlife and plant diversity is limited to fragmented greenways and patchy forest parcels, streams are receiving a high diversity and concentration of pollutants, and socio-economic legacies of racial and income inequalities alter the structure and public access to the benefits of urban ecological systems. Our project seeks to merge the fields of biology, environmental chemistry, urban ecology, and social sciences to better understand how the distribution of ecological benefits and risks overlap with the distribution of economic and social capital of watershed residents. We ask: how are ecological amenities and chemical risks distributed relative to social and economic capital within the watershed?

ASSESSING STREAM ECOSYSTEM STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (I.E. LEAF DECOMPOSITION) IN THE LOGAN RIVER AND AN URBAN CANAL IN LOGAN, UTAH [Poster Presentation]

Ellie Smith-Eskridge (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Utah State University, a.smitheskridge@aggiemail.usu.edu;

Ally Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Utah State University, ally.smith@aggiemail.usu.edu;

Tacy Petersen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Utah State University, tacy.petersen@aggiemail.usu.edu ;

Michelle Baker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Utah State University, michelle.baker@usu.edu;

Abstract: Urban water systems are highly managed, especially in the semi-arid, Intermountain West. Here, humans have constructed extensive conveyance systems to support agriculture, mitigate flooding, and discharge stormwater. Despite their regional prevalence, the ecological structure and functioning of these conveyance systems remains largely unknown. To address this gap, we are comparing ecosystem structure and function (i.e. leaf decomposition) between an urban canal and a natural stream, the Logan River, in Logan, Utah. We hypothesized that leaf decomposition would be slower in the canal compared to the river because of reduced shredder abundance associated with poorer water quality. To test this hypothesis we collected water quality and freshwater invertebrate samples, and we measured leaf decomposition at twenty sites along the Logan River and the canal. Preliminary results show that the Logan River and the canal do not differ in leaf decomposition rate. We are exploring how metrics of ecosystem structure (i.e. stream temperature, nutrients, metals, freshwater invertebrates) affect leaf decomposition in both waterways. Results from this study can provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the complex effects of various environmental factors on urban waterways and their ecosystem structure and function.

Do macroinvertebrate community structure and function tell the same story? A case study in an urban watershed [Poster Presentation]

Hannah Wojtysiak (Primary Presenter/Author)
Virginia Tech, hannaw21@vt.edu ;

Josh Goldman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, hokiephenom5@vt.edu ;

Sarah Turner (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, saraht4@vt.edu;

Amber Mundy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, amberm99@vt.edu ;

Sidney Huffman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, sidhuffman1@gmail.com ;

W. Cully Hession (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, chession@vt.edu ;

Tess Thompson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, thwynn@vt.edu ;

Marcus Aguilar (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
City of Roanoke Virginia, Marcus.Aguilar@roanokeva.gov ;

Sally Entrekin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Virginia Tech, sallye@vt.edu;

Abstract: Stream degradation in urban environments can reduce macroinvertebrate diversity via sedimentation and altered hydrology that inhibit ecological function and restoration. Our goal was to compare leaf decomposition rates and the index of biotic integrity (IBI) in two second order Roanoke River tributaries to assess alignment between macroinvertebrate community structure and ecological function. Macroinvertebrate samples for the IBI were taken according to state rapid bioassessment protocols (Virginia Stream Condition Index, VSCI). Hess samples were taken for taxonomic community analysis, and decomposition bags were deployed in each stream for leaf mass loss. We predicted that tributaries with historically greater indices of biotic integrity would have greater shredder abundance and faster rates of leaf mass loss. Spring 2020 VSCI scores in the two urban streams were 45 and 49, and shredder average abundances were 2 and 5, respectively. Decomposition rates for our two urban streams were 0.6% and 1% per day. Low shredder abundances and relatively fast leaf mass loss rates suggest a possible mismatch between VSCI scores and function. Agencies engaged in constructing restoration projects can use combinations of macroinvertebrate community structure and ecological function to prioritize proposed restoration projects.

GIS-based prioritization system for MS4 compliance projects in small municipalities [Poster Presentation]

Bailey Schwenk (Primary Presenter/Author)
Lycoming College, Schbail@lycoming.edu;

Robert Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Lycoming College, rsmith729@gmail.com;

Abstract: The Clean Water Act regulates discharges of pollutants into streams and rivers, which includes point source discharges. Thus, local governments and other entities that manage municipal stormwater systems must meet certain requirements for mitigating stormwater through the MS4 program. This research aims to determine a framework for prioritizing best management practices (BMPs) and locations in small urbanizing areas to fulfill the MS4 requirements. This work is part of a broader initiative to build a college-community partnership and improve local water quality. A list of criteria for BMP selection and placement was generated and GIS data consistent with the criteria were created to generate a spatial model identifying ideal BMP locations. The criteria chosen included the areas outside of combined sewer systems, land outside the floodway, areas of existing BMPs, land parcel size, public ownership of land, impervious and pervious surfaces, and land within MS4 urban areas. We discovered that ideal locations for BMPs are limited in small river-towns such as Williamsport, PA, and that prioritization systems can be a useful tool for small municipalities with limited capacity.

MANATEES IN MIAMI: EXAMINING THEIR PRESENCE AND PERSISTENCE IN AN URBAN RIVER THROUGH THE LENS OF HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS [Poster Presentation]

Aarin Allen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, acallen@fiu.edu;

Joel Heinen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, heinenj@fiu.edu;

Jeremy Kiszka (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, jkiszka@fiu.edu;

Natalia Piland (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, npiland@fiu.edu;

Erin Abernethy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, efabernethy@gmail.com;

Elizabeth P Anderson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
Florida International University, epanders@fiu.edu;

Andrea Otalora (Primary Presenter/Author)
Florida International University, aotal003@fiu.edu;

Abstract: Manatees are a charismatic resident of Florida’s waters, and yet they are classified as threatened by the Endangered Species Act. Protection plans have been created at multiple government levels—local, state, and federal—but individual place-based research remains limited. Much of what does exist has focused on natural areas serving as manatee critical habitat, but less is known about manatees in urbanized systems. This is the case of the Miami River as well, a highly urbanized aquatic system that cuts right through the city of Miami in which manatees are often seen. To address this gap, it is important to obtain an understanding of how manatees are faring in such systems, particularly where they are subjected to degraded habitat conditions and threatened with mortality or injury by watercraft collisions. Our study employs a socio-ecological approach, aiming to construct a history of manatee observations in the Miami River and to assess people’s perceptions and knowledge of the manatees with whom they share this urban space. Through the inclusion of a social dimensions component, our study will offer data and insights for management of manatees that minimizes discord between people and wildlife.

MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE FLOWS AND IN-STREAM FAUNA: MOSQUITOFISH AND INVERTEBRATE ABUNDANCES IN GRAYSON CREEK, CONTRA COSTA CO., CALIFORNIA [Poster Presentation]

Queenie Li (Primary Presenter/Author)
UC Berkeley, quli168@berkeley.edu;

Patina Mendez (Co-Presenter/Co-Author)
University of California, Berkeley, patina.mendez@berkeley.edu;

Abstract: Gambusia affinis is used worldwide in mosquito control programs. Although designated an invasive species in California, it is currently unknown how well they persist after high winter flows of Mediterranean climates. California mosquito control relies on stocking mosquitofish that have to be restocked intermittently from losses. From November-February 2021, we inventoried habitat characteristics, sampled aquatic and terrestrial habitats for macroinvertebrates, and counted stocked mosquitofish in Grayson Creek, in Northern California, in 3 sampling sites (11 sub-sites). Using sticky traps, we sampled terrestrial insects. Sciaridae, Simuliidae, and Chironomidae dominated the samples and increased in abundance after heavy rains to levels greater than those just before the rainy season. We collected in-stream fauna using drift nets at each site, and abundance increased after flows except for at the furthest downstream location, where macroinvertebrate abundance continuously decreased. Mosquitofish abundance via visual survey counts also decreased during periods of high flow until disappearing altogether. Insect abundance recovered after heavy flows removed the mosquitofish, and Culicidae were rarely present throughout the entire sampling period. Thus, it is unclear if abundance is attributed to the mosquitofish or other ecosystem characteristics.