“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.
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.
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
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:
- Message From the Director
- 2013 At a Glance
- From Cradle to Grave: How Studying Mayflies Throughout Their Lives is Key to Understanding Stream Pollution
- Watershed Restoration Group to the Rescue
- Research Projects and List of Published Titles
- Restoration and Education Projects
For the list of gifts and contributions, sponsors and volunteers, financials, and staff, please see the PDF version of the annual report.
Save the Date!
Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence sculpture designed by Simon Pearce. Photo: Yeda Arscott
Please join us for The Water’s Edge and presentation of the 2014 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence on Thursday, October 23 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa.
Each year Stroud Water Research Center hosts its gala in celebration of our most precious resource — water. This special evening allows us to bring together our friends and neighbors whose support is critical to our endeavors. Proceeds from the evening support our freshwater research, restoration, and education programs.
Presented at The Water’s Edge gala each year since 2011, the Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence, also known as the SAFE Water Award, is a prestigious award for outstanding achievement in freshwater-related activities.
The award, which includes a sculpture specially designed and created by Simon Pearce Inc., honors individuals, institutions, or organizations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of freshwater resources and ecosystems, to improving the quantity and quality of fresh water on the planet, or to developing policies and practices which help perpetuate clean fresh water for future generations of humans and wildlife.
To receive notification of event updates, please subscribe to our e-news.
Under the Surface: Fracking Wastewater Proves Devastating to Mayflies
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.
Latest Edition of Upstream Now Online
- Fresh Water Sources Less “Fresh” from Greater Salt Use
- Tara Muenz Joins Stroud Center
- Upcoming Events
- Sharing Our Science
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. Get Upstream in your inbox — subscribe now!
Students Learn Fish Grow on Trees
“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.
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.