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Identifying important barriers in the Hudson River Estuary Andrew J. Peck, Ph.D. Michelle Brown Craig Cheeseman The Nature Conservancy October 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Identifying important barriers in the Hudson River Estuary Andrew J. Peck, Ph.D. Michelle Brown Craig Cheeseman The Nature Conservancy October 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying important barriers in the Hudson River Estuary Andrew J. Peck, Ph.D. Michelle Brown Craig Cheeseman The Nature Conservancy October 2012

2 Project Background Aquatic connectivity for streams and rivers is important Barriers can be dams, culverts, and natural fall lines Thousands of barriers exist in the Hudson River Estuary How do you know which ones are the most important?

3 Project Background Partners: TNC, NYNHP, DEC-HREP Steering committee: TNC, NYNHP, HREP, DEC, DOT Phase 1Prioritize barriersFall 2011 Phase 2Field assess barriersJanuary – Dec 2012 Phase 3Prepare final productsJanuary – March 2013 Process and Timeline

4 Model Components 1. Species 2. Condition 3. Connectivity

5 Model : Species Component Partial Species List: Diadromous Fish Brook Trout Eastern Box Turtle Comely Shiner Northern Red Salamander Eastern Pond Mussel

6 Species –Brook Trout

7 Species – Eastern Box Turtle

8 Model: Condition Component 1.Active River Area 2.Impervious Surface 3.Ecoregional Forest Matrix Blocks 4.Priority Tributaries

9 Condition – Active River Area

10 Condition – TNC Priority Tributaries

11 Model: Connectivity Component Criteria Categories 1.Network Length 2.Absolute Gain 3.Downstream Barriers

12 Connectivity: Culverts and Dams

13 Remote Prioritization Results Prioritization MetricNumber of Possible Barriers Total possible barriers13,057 Total possible barriers on high condition streams3,277 Total possible barriers with > 2000m network length1,677 Total possible barriers with >=750m stream gain924 Total possible barriers that intersect SGCN models363 Possible barriers intersecting with SGCNs that are culverts283 Possible barriers intersecting with SGCNs that are dams80

14 Field Assessment Data Collection Methods –River and Stream Continuity Partnership Assessment Protocol –Lake Champlain Basin Fish Passage Initiative Final report Juvenile Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) –4 inch difference between bottom of culvert and top of water –Least common denominator with published data

15 Field Results: Dams and Culverts

16 Field Results: Barriers and Non-Barriers

17 Field Assessment Prioritization Degree of barrier to passage + Degree of habitat impact Site Score Prioritization: Tier 1 = 12 – 14 Tier 2 = 9 – 11 Tier 3 = Barrier Ranking Criteria: 1.Inlet Drop (4 inches) 2.Crossing slope matches stream 3.Depth in culvert matches stream 4.Outlet Drop 5.Velocity Impact Ranking Criteria: 1.Relative Scour Pool Size 2.Crossing Alignment 3.Span Description 4.Wetted width (stream vs. culvert)

18 Preliminary Results: Priority Barriers

19 Discussion False Negatives –There are probably more barriers out there Storm damage reduction aspects, not biodiversity, likely to fuel replacement Incorrect notion that FEMA will only replace what was there

20 Next Steps Differentiate between resident and diadromous fish barriers (Fall line layer) Develop field application Strategic replacement with partners DEC Funding Opportunities

21 Questions


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