This a periodic bulletin for the stream restoration community to keep you apprised on progress made by all the expert groups that are revisiting the stream restoration crediting protocols for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
First, quite an impressive crew you all are: 65 hard-working expert practitioners that have kindly volunteered their time and wisdom to this noble endeavor—so, thanks for all your help !
So, here goes our exclusive CSN streaming service:
Herewith is our stream of consciousness which provides a quick update on the considerable progress being made in revising the crediting protocols by the 65 finest minds in stream restoration.
Pleased to let you know that great work of Group 2 on the new outfall and gully stabilization credit is nearing final approval by the Chesapeake Bay partnership. The recommendations were presented to the Water Quality Goal Implementation Team on 9/9, though a final decision on approval has been delayed until 9/30. There was a bit of drama over the summer on some environmental issues, but the new Protocol “5” is almost done its winding journey thru three different Bay work groups. One key change that was made over the summer is that the Protocol may be used to calculate prevented sediment for restoration projects that address actively eroding headcuts. To minimize the potential disturbance of in-stream habitat, any Protocol 5 project implemented to address active headcuts in perennial streams must meet the more stringent Protocol 1 qualifying conditions and may not pose barriers to aquatic organism passage.
Not to be outdone, Group 3 came to consensus in late August on its recommendations to improve how the prevented sediment protocol is applied. Kudos for their persistence over the last year in tackling (and solving) some real tough issues. There will be a presentation of their findings at the 9/17 USWG meeting around 10:45 AM. As always, there will be a 30-day external comment period for folks to provide their two cents.
We have been trying for months to arrange for presentations on the research on the Big Spring Run project in PA, and are pleased to let you know that we have tentatively scheduled one with Michelle Audie (EPA-R3) and Ken Forshay (EPA-ORD) for 10/15 between 10am-12pm. We are still working to schedule a second presentation that profiles USGS and PADEP research and will keep you posted on how you can listen in.
Greg Noe of USGS recently published an interesting paper on his floodplain reconnection research in the Pocomoke River which is worth a read.
Group 4 was in hibernation for the last six months, but is being resuscitated as we speak. This group is looking at the hyporheic box and floodplain reconnection issues, and is scheduled to meet on 9/23.
Like bacteria in a petri dish, our stream groups tend to multiply, so the most recent rumor is that we are considering creating a small, short-term, informal team to scope out crediting options for stream valley restoration/legacy sediment removal projects. Expect more details in a month or so. At this time, we are not looking for volunteers, but Groups 3 and 4 will get a chance to review any crediting options that this new team proposes.
Lastly, it is always good to recognize the fine stream restoration projects that have been built in recent years, so here is a link to BUBBAs winner in the stream restoration category: https://chesapeakestormwater.net/2019/08/spotlight-on-the-alger-park-restoration/
The District Department of Energy and Environment asked that their $5k grand prize be donated to the Latin American Youth Center. The funds will help to support their River Corps program, which engages residents of the District of Columbia ages 18–24 through classroom and field-based experiences to build the next generation of environmental stewards.R