Workshop #2 8:30 am – 12 pm (BACK)
Wednesday, October 30
Leaf Pack Technology and Restored Streams
J. Patrick Barber
Acer Enterprises, LLC
The first stream restoration projects worked under the premise that if you build a stable stream channel, then the aquatic fauna will return to the stream reach. The concept was that fish and large invertebrates can migrate upstream and downstream into restored stream reaches. The science of stream restoration has developed over the years such that a successful restoration project is now defined by the functional uplift provided to the stream. At the top of the functional lift pyramid is biology, including the biodiversity and life histories of the aquatic life and riparian life. The parameters of the biology function include macro-invertebrate and fish communities. In many areas of the United States, the regulatory environment is requiring a stream restoration project to have at least the biology studied as part of the pre- and post-restoration activity.
However, research has found that macrobenthics are extremely slow to re-populate any area. A study completed by the EPA in 2002 by Mr. Dave Penrose and updated for the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program in 2008 by Mr. Penrose found that even streams with healthy upstream and downstream populations of macrobenthics were very slow to re-populate. Post construction macrobenthic monitoring of restored stream found that many of these streams did not meet re-population goals or guidelines that were established to ensure a stable macrobenthic population.
The biggest challenge that newly restored streams have in attracting macrobenthics is the lack of the proper medium/micro-habitat for them to grow. Most restoration streams lack the leaf pack that is mandatory for these organisms to live and reproduce.
Since June 2012, Acer has been testing numerous techniques and has developed and tested to determine the best mechanisms to grow bugs in leaf packs and ultimately to transfer these leaf packs to restored streams. This workshop will provide an overview of the pillow/tube technology in restoration projects.