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watersheds

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Lane Loya

on 6 July 2015

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Transcript of watersheds


What is a
Watershed ?

Macroinvertebrates as pollution indicators
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed
An Introduction to Watersheds
Watershed terminology
Headwaters to Estuaries Program
Saint Francis University
July 2015

"Why do I have to know this?"
Why is studying watersheds important?
We all live in a watershed

How many potential watershed impacts can you identify?
The Lake Saint Francis Watershed:
View facing south from the athletic fields above campus

The spring-fed stream along the hiking trail

The Lake Saint Francis Watershed: the lake itself.
Sedimentation and algal blooms common

image courtesy of CSERC.org


64,000 sq. miles
16X the size of the bay itself!
The six states that are part of the watershed?


Susquehanna River Basin: Facts and Figures

Categorizing streams in a watershed:
Stream Order
How are streams classified?
1 = headwater stream, no tributaries
2 = when two first order streams combine
3 = when two second order streams combine
Etc…

What are macroinvertebrates?
Value in studying them in aquatic habitats?
Limitations?
How do you sample them?
How do you identify them?
Hellgrammite

Dragonfly nymph

Damselfly nymphs

Common PA Stream Macroinvertebrates:
Moderately sensitive to pollution

EPTs
Ephemeroptera (mayflies)
Plecoptera (stoneflies)
Trichoptera (caddisflies)

Some caddisfly larvae

Stonefly nymph

Mayfly nymph

Common PA Stream Macroinvertebrates:
Generally very sensitive to pollution

Scud (amphipod)

Water striders

Midge larvae

Crane fly larvae

Common PA Stream Macroinvertebrates:
Less sensitive to pollution

Netspinning caddis larvae
Leaf Packs
Chesapeake Bay: Facts and Figures

A tour of ...
A local watershed example
The largest watersheds are often called
basins

The
topography
of the land determines the direction of water flow (water flows downhill!)

Larger watersheds are composed of many smaller ones, often called
sub-watersheds
or
sub-basins

Watershed
divides
(or
boundaries
) separate a watershed from those adjacent to it
Water flows on, in, under and through watersheds, affecting
water quality and quantity

As water flows downstream it collectively carries materials with it
What we do in our watershed affects humans and the environment
locally, regionally, and globally
Land use, geology, and climate all affect water quality and flow in a watershed

Part of the PA E&E standards…
Pennsylvania's
watersheds
Loretto
Clearfield Creek
W. Branch Susquehanna
Susquehanna
Chesapeake Bay
Susquehanna River Basin = 46.5%
Delaware River Basin = 14%
Ohio River Basin = 34.5%
Lake Erie Basin = 1%
Potomac River Basin = 3.5%
49,000 miles of waterways

4 million people inhabit it

The river itself is 444 miles long

The largest tributary of the Chesapeake Bay (50% of the freshwater)

http://www.srbc.net/pubinfo/factsheets.htm
43% of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Largest
estuary
in the US

200 miles long; from 4 to 30 miles wide

Mostly shallow (average depth 21 ft)

11,000+ miles of shoreline – more than west coast of US

Human pop in watershed is 17+ million… and growing

100,000+ streams/creeks in the watershed

Everyone lives within a few miles of one of them

Biodiversity: ~2,700 species of plants and animals
includes 348 species of finfish and 173 species of shellfish


500 million pounds of seafood produced per year


Nearly one million waterfowl winter on the Bay

Forests cover ~58 percent of the Chesapeake Bay watershed

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bay101/facts
Studying watersheds is multidisciplinary
http://www.stroudcenter.org/lpn
/

Raystown Lake
Can you find Loretto?
What is our "watershed address" here?
Which of the following is the best definition of a “watershed”?

A. a habitat that receives more than 100 mm of rain per year
B. a boggy area where soil is continuously damp all through the year
C. the upstream source of a body of water, such as a series of small springs
D. an area of land that collects precipitation and drains it into a given waterway

How are the boundaries of a watershed determined?

A. Political determinations
B. The elevation of the surrounding area
C. The size of the river
D. The state environmental agencies

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is made up of land from the following six states:

A. New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia
B. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia
C. New York, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia
D. New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio

Which of the following watersheds is the largest in Pennsylvania, in terms of area?

A. Susquehanna
B. Delaware
C. Ohio
D. Potomac

What environmental concerns about the Chesapeake Bay have you heard of?
Freshwater macroinvertebrates species can be used as indicators of water quality. Which of the following aquatic macroinvertebrate species are the
least
tolerant to pollution?

A. damselfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, cranefly larvae, crayfish
B. aquatic earthworms, nematodes, rat-tailed maggots
C. mayfly larvae and nymphs, stonefly larvae and nymphs, water pennies
D. midge larvae, blackfly larvae, scuds, dobsonfly larvae

One of the main water pollution problems occurring to the Chesapeake Bay is cultural eutrophication. Which of the following is the primary cause of this problem?

A. excess acid mine drainage discharge
B. excess nutrients such as fertilizers
C. excess pesticides and herbicides
D. excess soil and silt sediments


One of the major water pollution problems in the Chesapeake Bay is the disruption of photosynthesis from too much sedimentation. What is the primary source of this sediment?

A. sewage treatment plants
B. land erosion
C. industrial factories
D. parking lot runoff

Runoff from farm fields (such as animal waste) is considered to be a “non-point” source of water pollution. By definition, what does “non-point” mean?

A. it cannot easily be traced to a single discharge site
B. it becomes more toxic as it moves toward the ocean
C. it has a biological origin and is not a synthetic chemical toxin
D. it comes from the surface and not from underground aquifers

Raystown Lake - Overview

Natural or Artificial?
Purpose?
How old?
The Good?
The Bad and Ugly?
Largest lake
entirely
within PA
Max depth ~200 feet
27 miles long, 8300 surface acres, 21,000 acres surrounding
Which part of the lake is highest in nutrients?
The headwater springs at the top of the trail
Experience a watershed in person - see the start of the Chesapeake Bay and examine geography and water flow
Identify potential impacts to Lake St. Francis
Look for invasive species
Note various stages of forest succession
Figure out stream order
Try not to get too muddy!
Trail Hike this afternoon: Your tasks
Photo courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers
Photos courtesy of raystownray.com
Photo courtesy of Virginiaplaces.org
Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Photo courtesy of ACES
Lane Loya, PhD
"
Water is the beginning of all things
."
-Thales of Miletus, 600 BC

Odonate biogeography, ecology and physiology
Benthic macroinvertebrates, stream health, and riparian interactions
Foraging ecology of birds on insects
Full transcript