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Ridley Creek Watershed

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Virginia Foggo

on 17 January 2012

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Transcript of Ridley Creek Watershed

Ridley Creek
Definition
A watershed is an area of land that water flows through, across or under on it's way to a body of water. Watersheds are found everywhere
Importance
Watersheds provide habitats for all animals. Without them, there
would be no where for living organisms to live. Habitats offer
food/nutrients, water , shelter and air (oxygen), the basic needs of living
organisms. Without these things, life is not sustainable on earth.
Parts of a Watershed
Upland Area
Floodplain Area
Riparian Zone
An area of land at a higher elevation above a water body. Upland forms watershed boundries or divides.
Upland is important because it provides habitat for animals, minimizes soil erosion and filters surface run-off.
A flat area of land surrounding a water body that is subject to periodic flooding.
Floodplains are important because they provide habitat for animals, create recreation for humans, hold excess water and filter out sediment.
Riparian means "of the river" Riparian Zones are the non-cultivated, vegetated land that touches and surrounds a body of water.
Riparian zones sometimes include wetlands. Wetlands help stabilize slopes and stream banks, supplement nutrients, filter pollutants, provide habitat, and maintain proper water temperature.
Functions of a Watershed
Water Capture
Water is transferred from the atmosphere and captured in the soil, and can then infiltrate through soil surface and percolate down into soil profile.
Plants help water capture. The roots create channels for water to travel through and plant litter slows down the absorbtion process and allows the soil to capture more water by more water and snow can stay on the surface.
Examples of water capture in the water cycle are percolation, infiltration, percipitation and condensation.
Water Storage
Water is stored within the pores between soil particles in the soil profile. That water then percolates through the soil to become groundwater.
Without water storage there would be no way for us to get water and there would be no where for run-off to go. This would make land subject to flooding.
Water storage can be affected by soil depth, texture, and structure. These can be controlled by the amount of vegetation, shading, and tempurature.
Water Release
Water Moves underground through the soil profile or across the land surface as runoff
Water is transferred from the atmosphere and captured in the soil, and can then infiltrate through soil surface and percolate down into soil profile.
Plants help water capture. The roots create channels for water to travel through and plant litter slows down the absorbtion process and allows the soil to capture more water by keeping more water and snow on the surface at a time.
Examples of water capture in the water cycle are percolation, infiltration, percipitation and condensation.
Beneficial release is important to the watershed because, it creates subsurface (groundwater) and overland flow. When water is released, it either seeps into the ground water, or exits the watershed through streams and rivers. Without beneficial release, there would be a lot of flooding and little ground water.
Plants help with subsurface and overland flow. They create transpiration so water can then be removerd from the soil, thus creating channels for water to travel through. Vegetation can also protect stream banks and absorb energy from flowing water.
Plants roots create channels for water to travel through during capture and storage. Plant litter allows for more water and or snow to stay on the surface wich prevents the soil from becomeing over saturated by slowing down the infiltration process. Plants and veggitation also act as protection against pollution.
3 types of plants found in the Pennsylvania area are Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood), Acer rubrum (Red Maple), and the Quercus alba (White Oak). All three of these trees participate in the Hydrological cycle through transpiration. Their roots also help to create paths or channels for water to travel through.
The Importance of Plants and Animals
They also provide shade and habitat for living animals.
Without plants we couldn't have animals because they need plants for habitat, food, air, etc. Without animals, life on the watershed isn't sustainable. Even if one species of animals were to become extinct, it would effect the entire food chain.
3 common animals in Pennsylvania include the Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox), Procyon lotor (Raccoon), and the Odocoileus Virginianus (White-tailed deer). These 3 mammals help the watershed by maintaining the foodchain and preventing overpopulation. They also help through decomposition, which contributes to the nitrogen cycle.
Pollution
Sediment is the main cause of water pollution in our watershed. The sediment comes from erosion and run-off from construction sites.
Excess nutrients are also entering the watershed by way of fertilizers, wild animals (geese, ducks, etc.), two public waste water treatment plants, domestic animals and septic systems.
The pollution in the Ridley Creek Watershed is mainly from residential areas, but some also comes from agricultre. Run-off containg house hold cleaners, detergents, pet and human waste, fertilizers, etc. enter the watershed and create pollution. Erosion is also a major contributor. The erosin creates sediment in the water which increases turbidity.
The pollution can effect the the water quality in our watershed. The fish are then effected by the poor water quality and through bioaccumulation, the fish we eat from our watershed could pose serious health issues. This could also cause major fish kills, creating a problem in the food chain. Also, WQ effects the growth and development of plants which are vital to the watershed.
One major distinction of the Ridley Creek Watershed are the adjoining forests from the Tyler Arboretum and the Ridley Creek State Park. This provides the watershed with an abundance of beneficial plants. The Pant roots create channels for water to travel through during capture and storage. Plant litter allows for more water and, or snow to stay on the surface which prevents the soil from becoming over saturated by slowing down the infiltration process. Plants and vegetation also act as protection against pollution by buffering water.
What You Can Do
To keep from polluting the watershed, plant as much vegetation as possible, ruduce the amount of toxic chemicals you use on a daily basis, pick up after your pet, and use organic cleaners.
Stay informed. Understand how your actions affect your watershed and learn different ways to prevent pollution.
The Ridley Creek Watershed Conservation Plan consists mostly of planting vegetation and raising awareness. They are planning on planting a reparian buffer zone of 75 ft. (the recommended minimum= 66 ft.). They are also planning on planting trees and other vegetation all the way up the hilltops to help with surface run-off.
Committies are being created to raise awareness about pollution issues and to get people involved in protecting their watershed.The CRC (Chester Ridley and Crum Watersheds Association) periodically does testing to measure the affluence of pollution in the ridley watershed. The CRC programs ensure protection of all water sources, forests, and all other natural resources of the Delaware River Valley. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) manages a "stream water flow device" that is updated weekly. The EWP (Emergency Watershed Protection Program ) preforms emergency measures to ensure the safety of watersheds, by preventing excess erosion, excessive runoff, drought, and flooding whenever natural disasters cause damage to the watersheds across the country. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) protects watersheds from the release of harmful chemicals.
Improvements to storm drains and park trails are being done and flood-prone structers are being removed.
Pennsylvania holds multiple laws and regulations regarding the water quality of surface water. These laws state specific criteria for all water quality measures. They also state that water cannot contain substances attributable to point or nonpoint source distribution in amounts that can be harmful to human, animal, plant or aquatic life, including floating materials, grease, oil, paint, or any other substances that produce color, taste, odors, and settle deposits. Then there is the Clean Water Act which also prevents the release of harmful chemicals into water, and holds stardards for water quality of surface water.
by: Zack Irons, Hunter Mazur, Harrison Hotham
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