We're all downstream. —
Jim and Margaret Drescher, Windhorse Farm

Water World – October 2, 2013

A new method to better discern where streams begin has been developed by researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, resulting in a new map of the Potomac River watershed stream network that significantly improves the information needed for assessing the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems.  "For the first time, we have an accurate representation of where streams once flowed through major urban areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and where streams currently flow through forests," said the study's lead author Dr. Andrew Elmore of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory. "This information is critical for quantifying the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems."  For more information, click here.

Rivers by Design shows planners, architects and developers the crucial role that they can play in river restoration. It provides practical advice and information to maximise the ecological, social and economic benefits of development by integrating water management into the planning and design at all scales. Step-by-step guidance on planning projects ensures the goals of sustainable development are achieved to meet the needs of local people and the environment. A series of case studies from RESTORE demonstrates successful examples of how well located, planned and designed development can increase ecological quality, reduce flood risk and create social and economic benefits such as improved recreational facilities and public spaces. For more information, click here.


This map (PDF) (1 pg, 669K) shows the results of a series of geographic information systems (GIS) analyses examining the extent of different types of streams in the continental United States at the county level. The map was generated as part of an analysis (PDF) (2 pp, 76K) aimed at illuminating regional patterns of dependence on intermittent, ephemeral and headwater streams for water to supply public drinking water systems in the United States, using the most recent, valid data available. In the continental United States, about 117 million people, over one third of the total U.S. population, get some or all of their drinking water from public drinking water systems that rely at least in part on intermittent, ephemeral, or headwater streams. In the continental U.S., 357,404 total miles of streams provide water for public drinking water systems. Of that total, 58% (207,476 miles) are intermittent, ephemeral, or headwater streams. A more detailedsummary of the analysis (PDF) (2 pp, 76K) and breakdown of the results by state (PDF) (1 pg, 175K) and by county (PDF)(31 pp, 3.8MB) are presented. For more information, click here.

Contact: Alice Mayio – EPA Federal Register – March 25, 2013

The draft NRSA finds that 55% of the nation's river and stream miles do not support healthy biological communities when compared to least disturbed sites in similar ecological regions. Fair conditions are found in 23% of river and stream miles, while 21% are in good condition and support healthy aquatic communities. Of the stressors that were examined, phosphorus and nitrogen are the most widespread. Biological communities are at increased risk for poor condition when phosphorus and nitrogen levels are high. This is the first time a national monitoring study of the overall condition of rivers and streams has been conducted using a statistically-valid random sample approach. For full EPA Federal Register notice, click here. National Rivers and Streams Assessment 2008-009 Draft Report, 17930. For more information, click here. EPA report: More than half nation’s rivers in poor shape, click here.

Sustain Our Great Lakes – January 22, 2013

On January 22, 2013, Sustain Our Great Lakes hosted a webinar focused on stream restoration in the Great Lakes basin. Experts featured four case studies to illustrate how natural channel design and in-stream structures are being used to improve stream habitat across the basin. In addition, the webinar provided information on relevant funding opportunities. For a recording of the webinar, click here. The webinar recording is approximately 2 hours. To view the PowerPoint presentations without the webinar recording, please click here