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Assessing stream restoration potential of recreational enhancements on a urban stream, Springfield, Ohio

John Ritter, Kelly Shaw, Aaron Evelsizor, Katherine Minter, Chad Rigsby and Kristen Shearer
Assessing stream restoration potential of recreational enhancements on a urban stream, Springfield, Ohio (in The challenges of dam removal and river restoration, Jerome V. De Graff (editor) and James E. Evans (editor))
Reviews in Engineering Geology (2013) 21: 133-148

Abstract

The stream restoration potential of recreational modifications made to lowhead dams on an urban reach of Buck Creek, in Springfield, Ohio, is dependent on constraints imposed by the urban infrastructure on stream grade. A privately led initiative to improve the recreational potential of a 9 km reach of Buck Creek and its tributary Beaver Creek includes the modification of four lowhead dams. The hydraulic heights of these dams will be replaced with a series of v-shaped drop structures engineered to create hydraulics conducive to kayak play. The drop structure is a constructed channel constriction composed of a hard step in the long stream profile immediately upstream of a scour pool, forming a morphologic sequence of constriction, step, and pool. In this study, we assess the potential benefits of these changes for urban stream restoration. Two of the dams have been modified to date. Stream quality, as measured by the qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI), dissolved oxygen of surface and substrate water, and the pollution tolerance index (PTI), increased at the Snyder Park site but decreased at the Art Museum site. Stream quality increased at the Snyder Park site, where stream grade could be lowered upstream of the lowhead dam, but decreased at the Art Museum site, where grade upstream of the lowhead dam had to be maintained because of water and wastewater utilities buried in the channel bed. Where stream grade is lowered in the former impoundment, sand and gravel deposits upstream of the constriction are not embedded with finer particles and organic matter. Increased QHEI values, particularly the substrate metric, and greater abundance and diversity of pollution-intolerant macroinvertebrates, supported by higher dissolved oxygen in the substrate water, characterize the Snyder Park site. At the Art Museum site, the v-shaped constriction increased the upstream impounded area. The substrate has become embedded with fine sands, silts, and organics, lowering QHEI values, dissolved oxygen is critically low in the substrate, and macroinvertebrate populations are more pollution-tolerant. The results highlight the significance of stream grade if stream restoration is to be incorporated into the engineering design of in-stream recreational features.


ISSN: 0080-2018
EISSN: 2169-799X
Coden: GAEGA4
Serial Title: Reviews in Engineering Geology
Serial Volume: 21
Title: Assessing stream restoration potential of recreational enhancements on a urban stream, Springfield, Ohio
Title: The challenges of dam removal and river restoration
Author(s): Ritter, JohnShaw, KellyEvelsizor, AaronMinter, KatherineRigsby, ChadShearer, Kristen
Author(s): De Graff, Jerome V.editor
Author(s): Evans, James E.editor
Affiliation: Wittenberg University, Department of Geology and Biology, Springfield, OH, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Clovis, CA, United States
Pages: 133-148
Published: 2013
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 21
Accession Number: 2013-055454
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 3 tables, geol. sketch maps
N39°46'60" - N40°02'60", W84°02'60" - W83°31'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Bowling Green State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201334
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