Abstract: Session B  11:30 am (BACK)

Test Driving the Bay Program Protocols to Define  Removal Rates of Individual Stream Restoration Projects

David Beisch
Williamsburg Environmental Group, Inc.
Richmond, VA 

Authors:  Doug Beisch, P.E., J. Alex Forasté, P.E., Josh Running, Thomas Battiata, E.I.T.

Degraded urban streams are a significant source of sediment and nutrient pollutant loadings to the Chesapeake Bay.  The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model (CBWM) simulates sediment dynamics of basins approximately 60 mi2 to 100 mi2, however does not explicitly simulate channel bank erosion and associated nutrient contributions from the smaller 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order streams.  To develop practical guidance for quantifying reductions from stream restoration activities, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) developed Recommendations of the Expert Panel to Define Removal Rates for Individual Stream Restoration Projects, approved on May 13th, 2013.  The guidance outlines 4 protocols and provides Bay states with recommended methods to quantify, and receive credit for, sediment and nutrient load reductions resulting from individual stream restoration projects.   

Williamsburg Environmental Group, Inc. (WEG), in coordination with the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) and others, is evaluating and “test driving” these protocols on several restoration projects in order to evaluate the methods.  The feedback, together with other information, will potentially be used to refine and adjust the protocols to improve usability and accuracy.  WEG applied all 4 protocols, as applicable, to a total of 3 projects being actively designed located in the tidewater and northern regions of Virginia.  The final results, namely the annual sediment and nutrient load reductions quantified on a project wide and per linear foot basis will be presented.  In addition to basic application of the protocols, WEG conducted targeted analyses of protocol 1 (credit of prevented sediment during storm flow) and 3 (credit for floodplain reconnection volume) to further investigate very specific elements.  These analyses included creating a sample inventory of total phosphorus concentrations in stream bank soils that WEG submitted for laboratory measurements at more than 12 project locations, in order to compare to the CBP default value, and an assessment of protocol 3, including an evaluation of the alternative method.  WEG will share the results from these project applications and discuss key findings following coordination with CWP and CBP in the summer of 2013, and will present a summary during this presentation.