Urbanization can lead to increased sedimentation, erosion, pollution, and runoff into streams. The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBPs) are sets of guidelines that can be used to assess a habitat’s sedimentology, hydrology, vegetation, and geomorphology to determine impairment. An unnamed tributary of Stone Dam Creek on the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) campus in Conway, Arkansas runs partially underground and through the urbanized UCA campus watershed. The stream was assessed using the USEPA’s RBPs to determine impairment of the stream, and received a RBP score of 71.2 out of 200 compared to 153.5 in a reference stream. An ecological restoration design was then prepared for a 2-year, 1-hour rainfall event to address areas of impairment. The goal was to increase the RBP score by increasing cross-sectional area of the stream as well as by improving stream morphology where possible. With the proposed design, modeled stream velocity was reduced throughout the stream by an average of 19.6%. It was assessed that as a result of the reduction in velocity and changes to morphology, RPB scores would increase throughout the stream reach.
Boyle, Paige E.; Savin, Mary C.; McCarty, James A.; and Matlock, Marty D.
"Habitat assessment and ecological restoration design for an unnamed tributary of Stone Dam Creek, Conway, Arkansas,"
Discovery, The Student Journal of Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 16:5-13.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/discoverymag/vol16/iss1/5