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Upstream Newsletter keeps you informed about the Center’s latest freshwater science and education news. We send it out as a e-newsletter prior to posting it on our website.

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Alcoa and NFWF Award Whole Farm Restoration Funds

Stroud Water Research Center has been awarded one of six highly competitive conservation grants from a partnership between Alcoa and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

The grant will be used for our “raise the bar” approach for whole farm conservation including forested streamside buffers on 18+ farms in Lancaster and Franklin counties, Pa.

Stroud Center Scientist Honored for Outstanding Service to Water Sciences Community

Anthony Aufdenkampe, Ph.D. (left), receiving the Outstanding Service Award from Brian McGlynn, Ph.D., professor of watershed hydrology and biogeosciences at Duke University and member of the CUAHSI Board of Directors. Photo: Tara Muenz

Anthony Aufdenkampe, Ph.D., Stroud Center Assistant Research Scientist, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI).

The award was presented to Aufdenkampe “in recognition of his outstanding vision and leadership in the development of critical zone science and contributions to cyberinfrastructure.”

The presentation was made July 29, during the CUAHSI biannual symposium in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The nonprofit research organization represents more than 100 U.S.-based universities and international water science organizations. The award is conferred to two individuals every two years. Read more »

Photo courtesy Waterkeeper Alliance

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to Receive 2014 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence

Stroud Water Research Center’s Board of Directors and executive staff agreed to confer the 2014 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for his work with the Riverkeepers and Waterkeeper Alliance and life-long dedication to freshwater streams and rivers.

Kennedy will receive the award at The Water’s Edge gala, set for October 23 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.

“Mr. Kennedy has been a staunch advocate for the rights of people and wildlife to clean fresh water and a long-time champion of stream and river ecosystems worldwide,” said Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., director of the Stroud Water Research Center. “I’m thrilled that he will be here to receive this award.”

Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped launch 222 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.

Kennedy serves as president of Waterkeeper Alliance, vice chair and chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio.

Tickets to The Water’s Edge are now on sale.

“It’s All One Physical, Chemical, and Biological Continuum”

Wetlands plants. Photo: Stephanie Dix

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a rule to that would restore protection to small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

The public comment period, open through October 20, has been garnering lots of debate. Stroud Center Director Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., says while the regulations have not been clear, the science shows that you have to protect headwaters to ensure water quality downstream.

“It starts from the groundwater outflow that forms wetlands, which coalesce to form smaller streams . . . then the river,” he said. “It’s all one physical, chemical, and biological continuum.”

Read more in Cascading Debate Amid Effort to Clarify Clean Water Rule.

Stroud Center Lends Expertise to BioBlitz

Members and interns of our entomology group along with our education program manager participated in the BioBlitz in the Upper Delaware River Watershed over the weekend, monitoring wetlands and streams for aquatic macroinvertebates on the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in New York.

More than 50 scientists and amateur naturalists tallied 807 species, a number sure to increase as additional identifications are done in the coming months.

Stroud Center and Conservation District Team Up to Enhance Chester County Agriculture and Water Quality

Partnership to Develop Conservation and Restoration Plans For Area Farms

Stroud Water Research Center’s Watershed Restoration Group and the Chester County Conservation District (CCCD) agreed to provide conservation plans, manure management plans, Mushroom Farm Environmental Management Plans, forested stream buffers and other Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Chester County farmers.

The partnership takes advantage of the unique strengths of both organizations. The Chester County Conservation District has a long history of providing technical assistance to area farmers, while the Stroud Center produces groundbreaking research, education programs and restoration initiatives.

Read coverage in the Daily Local News and The Unionville Times.

Trekkers learning to canoe. Photo: Dave Arscott

Teens Learn About Water Quality

10 teens canoed, hiked, and camped along the Brandywine River to get hands-on environmental lessons, learn team-building skills, and understand the importance of water quality to all residents in the watershed.

Stroud Center staff took the teens on a headwater stream tour and taught them how to collect, analyze and interpret the results of water quality samples. Trek partners and organizers include the Coatesville Youth Initiative, Philadelphia Outward Bound School, UrbanPromise Wilmington, and the Stroud Center.

Read Teens Take Five-Day Trek Along Brandywine Creek.

Research Scientist Emeritus Denis Newbold, Ph.D., (left) and Director and Senior Research Scientist, Bern Sweeney, Ph.D. Photo: Kay Dixon

How Many Trees Does It Take to Protect a Stream?

New Study Provides Answers

A literature review conducted by Bern Sweeney and Denis Newbold asked how wide a streamside forest buffer needs to be to protect water quality, habitat, and plant and animal life in small streams.

Readers of our Upstream Newsletter got a sneak peek at the good news and bad news in February but the full study has just been published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

The Stroud Center purchased open access rights to the article in order to make it available for public download.

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2013 Annual Report: A Year in Review

Read To the Streams We Go: Pioneering Freshwater Science and Solutions:

For the list of gifts and contributions, sponsors and volunteers, financials, and staff, please see the PDF version of the annual report.

Under the Surface: Fracking Wastewater Proves Devastating to Mayflies

Adult mayfly

Adult male Stenacron interpunctatum mayfly. Mayflies serve as water health indicators. Photo: Dave Funk

A study by Pennsylvania-based Stroud Water Research Center found that even highly-diluted levels of fracking wastewater could have a deadly effect on an insect known for its fragile beauty and long-considered a key indicator of stream health.

The study, funded by the Delaware River Basin Commission, found that a sample of wastewater produced during hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania had a devastating effect on mayflies. It raises questions about potential impacts to fish, stream invertebrates, birds and humans living near unconventional oil and gas activity and the possibility of long-term degradation of marine environments from hydraulic fracturing (also called fracking). Read more.

Students Learn Fish Grow on Trees

Students prepare to release trout fingerlings

“Goodbye Nemo!” Pocopson Elementary School students say goodbye and wish the trout fingerlings they raised from eggs well before releasing them into the stream.

Pocopson Elementary fifth graders raised brook trout from eggs and, on March 28, released the fingerlings into a stream behind the school to wrap up a yearlong environmental educational program.

The trout release day concluded a yearlong environmental education program called Trout in the Classroom designed to foster awareness and knowledge about cold-water conservation in students and encourage continued participation in conservation, management and outdoor recreation programs. Students in the West Chester, Pa. elementary school monitored tank water quality, recorded fish behavior, engaged in stream habitat study and learned to appreciate water resources. During the trout release day, students participated in five program activities.

Stroud Water Research Center Director Bernard Sweeney, Ph.D., helped the students understand why recent tree planting activities on the school’s campus benefits fish and other stream dwellers.

“Trout grow on trees,” quips Sweeney. “Streamside forests help streams regain enough of their natural characteristics to once again support natural communities of aquatic plants and animals, including trout.”

The Trout in the Classroom Program is supported by a partnership between Valley Forge Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The partnership provides curriculum resources, workshops for teachers and program partners, technical support, brook trout eggs, fish food and grant funding.

Others who presented learning modules to the students include: Andrew Desko, Southeastern Regional Specialist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, who taught fly-casting; Terry Peach, owner of Marblehead Flyfisher Inc., who taught student about fly-tying; and a representative from Trout Unlimited who helped the children release their fish into the stream.

Read more about the day on the Daily Local website.

Leaf Pack Connects Students with Nature

Photo: Charlie Graham

A partnership between Stroud Water Research Center and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is helping more students and teachers connect with nature and investigate their local stream ecosystems using the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit.

Developed by the Center, the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit is a hands-on scientific stream-testing kit that measures the numbers and kinds of insects and other invertebrates in streams to determine overall water quality. Read more or shop for kits.