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Robert Black,
Biologist,
934 Broadway,
Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402

(rwblack@usgs.gov)
(253) 552-1687
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Cedar River Watershed

Project Summaries

  
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9722-BUR - The Preparation of a Workplan to Develop and Refine New Approaches to Assess Stream Ecosystem Conditions within the Cedar River Watershed, Washington - Completed FY2001

Problem - A program of aquatic monitoring and research in the Cedar River Municipal Watershed in the Cascade Range of Washington is essential to assess the impact of the management activities and conservation strategies implemented by the Cedar River Habitat Conservation Plan (CRW-HCP). The CRW-HCP requires both the monitoring of aquatic and riparian restoration projects to determine the impacts of restoration activities and conservation strategies and the monitoring of stream and riparian areas to determine long-term trends in aquatic ecosystem health. The USGS and the City of Seattle completed an experimental stream monitoring pilot program in 2000. The goals of the program were to collect and analyze information on the condition of aquatic habitat over a broad range of streams in the watershed using macroinvertebrates, and to then use this information in developing a long-term stream-monitoring program. The results of this effort produced varying results. To help meet the goals outlined in the CRW-HCP, the USGS Washington Water Science Center will prepare a comprehensive workplan outlining the limitations of the monitoring approach evaluated as part of the pilot study as well as propose a cost effective modification of the previous monitoring plan.

Objectives - The overall objective of this project will be to develop a workplan with guidelines on how the City of Seattle should accomplish their CRW-HCP aquatic ecosystem monitoring goals. Specific objectives include: 1) Review of the existing BIBI bio-monitoring plan pilot results and how they apply to the CRW-HCP monitoring goals. 2) Develop a revised aquatic bio-monitoring approach utilizing the strengths of existing bio-monitoring tools as well as new tools. 3) Identify and develop field methods, analytical methods, timelines and budgets.

Relevance and Benefits - The proposed development of a workplan will address the limitations of the original pilot work and will build upon this effort to generate a more encompassing and flexible bio-monitoring plan to meet the needs of the City of Seattle's CRW-HCP monitoring goals. The proposed work will develop a workplan that directly addresses a number of science needs outlined in the USGS Washington Science Center's Science Plan. These needs include issues related to Endangered Species Act listings and Water Quality.

Approach - To address the first objective, the USGS and City of Seattle scientists will review the existing BIBI results from the experimental stream monitoring pilot program as part of the workplan development. As part of this review the following questions will be considered: 1) Is a BIBI the most efficient and effective method to monitor long-term land management impacts to the aquatic system under the current CRW-HCP? 2) If a BIBI is not the recommended method for long-term monitoring of aquatic ecosystems in the CRW, are there alternative approaches using benthic macroinvertebrates or other (biological or physical) indicators that would be useful? To address the second and third objectives, the USGS and the City of Seattle will develop a workplan that incorporates the findings from addressing Objective 1 into a revised aquatic bio-monitoring approach utilizing the strengths of existing bio-monitoring tools as well as new tools. This workplan will outline revised and new approaches, both field and analytical approaches to meet the monitoring goals of the CRW-HCP.

WA401 - The Cedar River Watershed Macroinvertebrate Community Analysis - Completed FY2001

Problem - The City of Seattle has requested an analysis of macroinvertebrate samples collected in the Cedar River Watershed. An interpretation of the community data from these samples is needed to help identify impacts to the aquatic system.

Objectives - The purpose of this project is to use benthic invertebrate communities to identify impacts to the aquatic system within the watershed for the purpose of habitat restoration. In order to accomplish this study, three interrelated objectives need to be addressed. These are: 1) provide accurate identification and enumeration of benthic macroinvertebrates with appropriate quality- control and quality-assurance methods; 2) develop and statistically evaluate a benthic index of biological integrity (B-IBI); and 3) complete a habitat and landscape evaluation, and use multivariate statistics to help enhance the B-IBI developed for the Cedar River Watershed. This may help identify other factors responsible for the patterns in macroinvertebrate community structure.

Relevance and Benefits - As part of the City of Seattle's Cedar River Watershed monitoring plans, a benthic index of biological integrity (BIBI) will be created. The information generated from the development of the BIBI will be used to: 1) evaluate the condition of the Cedar River's aquatic biological integrity or health; 2) identify impacts to the aquatic system from activities such as timber harvesting, road construction, and road maintenance, and 3) help the City of Seattle prioritize watershed restoration projects. The success of this project is critical in the successful management of the Cedar River watershed which provides two-thirds of the water supply for the greater Seattle metropolitan region in addition to being home to numerous terrestrial and aquatic organisms, such as salmon, some of which are federally listed as threatened species. In addition, the completion of this project will provide valuable baseline data that can be used by other local, state, and federal biological monitoring programs both now and in the future. The report will also evaluate the effectiveness of one of the more popular, but controversial monitoring tools in biological stream monitoring.

Approach - 1) Hire a contract laboratory to do the identification and enumeration with strict quality-assurance requirements, and review the work at each quarter of the samples completed; 2) select metrics that have been suggested by recent studies of macroinvertebrate communities, and use "nested" ANOVA, Mann Whitney Test, and Wilcox Signed Ranks Test to evaluate the significance of each metric in its ability to indicate human impact; and 3) using the metrics that have been determined best for the B-IBI, multivariate analysis using principal component analysis (PCA), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), discriminate function analysis (DFA), and canonical correspondence (CCA), will be used to help further identify the factors most responsible for the observed macroinvertebrate community patterns. Along these lines, an analysis of how habitat patterns affect macroinvertebrate communities will be evaluated by using mathematical pattern analysis algorithms.

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