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STREAMSIDE HEALTH AND VULNERABILITY MAPPING PROGRAM AND APPLICATION
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STREAMSIDE HEALTH AND VULNERABILITY MAPPING PROGRAM AND APPLICATION

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  • 1. Streamside Health and Vulnerability Mapping Program and Application Marci Meixler, PhD, GISP Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • 2. Background
    • Healthy, vegetated streamside buffers are a critical mechanism for reducing flooding and improving stream health.
      • Reducing streambank erosion
      • Improving water quality by trapping sediment and filtering out contaminants from groundwater
      • Shading and cooling stream waters
      • Providing leaf litter and woody debris which serve as food and habitat for in-stream organisms
  • 3.
    • Streamsides are in relatively poor condition as a result of a long history of alterations for agriculture, railways, and development.
  • 4.  
  • 5. The purpose of this project was to provide tools for local government to develop a set of maps that summarize the relative “health” and “vulnerability” of the network of streamsides that fall under their jurisdiction.
  • 6. Streamside health Streams ( 30 m buffer ) Land cover
    • Buffer streams 30 m
    • Clip land cover & classify
  • 7. Streamside vulnerability
    • Streams buffered 90 m & used to clip land cover, soils, and elevation
    • Calculate runoff using land cover and soils
    Streams ( 90 m buffer ) Land cover Soils Elevation
  • 8. Streamside vulnerability
    • Streams buffered 90 m & used to clip land cover, soils, and elevation
    • Calculate runoff using land cover and soils
    • Calculate slope from elevation
    • Slope * runoff
  • 9. Caveat: Given the scale of resolution of the data sources, the maps can only provide general patterns of streamside condition, not information on sites of erosion, presence of invasive plants, or other more localized problems. Ground-truthing is critical for a detailed accurate assessment of streamside condition. 
  • 10. Model results validation John Mickelson, Geospatial Contractor at Ecological Services “ the CS data and methodology clearly performs well, giving a good approximation of general (upper end) Stream Health patterns.” “ The benefit of utilizing automated geospatial scripts cannot be understated. Not only do they make the results more easily checked, since they are repeatable and avoid operator error, but they save enormous time resources when approaching projects of this sort.”
    • New York Department of Environmental conservation
    • US EPA
    • Hydrologic and habitat modification workgroup, NY
    • Town of Dryden, NY Conservation Board
    • +600 downloads 2008-2009
  • 11.
    • Thank you!
    http://mbbain.environment.cornell.edu/ StreamHealth/index.html Marci Meixler, PhD, GISP [email_address]