UPPER SUSQUEHANNA COALITION
STREAM TEAM BACKGROUND
Streams of the Southern Tier NY and Northern Tier PA, their condition and challenges, are a direct result of the unique interaction of geology, topography, climate and cultural impacts of the region.
A vast majority of the watershed area for most streams in this region consist of glaciated soils that include a restrictive fragipan that allows minimal infiltration of precipitation and maximum run off potential. Steep topography promotes rapid runoff events. Glacial till demonstrates minimal cohesion of stream bank soils and maximizes bedload. Bedload features are fairly unique in their shape and size being flat and easily dislodged. Winter snowpack and intense summer rain storms create multiple out-of-bank occurrences each year. Woody debris from eroding banks, even in climax forests, create multiple debris jams during high water events that divert flow forces into fragile banks, often resulting in new channel formation. This stream characteristic is one reason that sufficient buffers are needed to reduce deleterious effects on infrastructure and residences?
A history of clear cutting of forests at the turn of the century and the use of stream channels as “skid trail” for logs did much to destabilize geologic channel stabilization. Infringement by roads, development, bridges, and crop fields by man have resulted in a culture of maintenance that has painted creeks as liabilities for landowners and municipalities. Unregulated landuse and resultant watershed hydrology changes further aggravates channel instability.
A pending landscape challenge that may affect roads, stream and watershed hydrology is the potential for extensive development of the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies the entire region. The multiple interactions of the fragipan, pipeline ditches, water withdrawals, increased road traffic and drilling pad placements may have significant impacts on the stream corridors and their functions.
UPPER SUSQUEHANNA COALITION
STREAM CORRIDOR OBJECTIVES
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition will be recognized as a source of quality, value driven technical assistance in addressing stream corridor rehabilitation projects.
- The USC will develop a standard of performance that is recognized by the general public, constituents, cooperating agencies and organizations, municipalities and others as a high quality service.
- Develop Committee to set standard for survey, design, construction specs, etc. that is identifiable by customers
- USC members to adopt standards
- Oversight team to train members and review project products for quality assurance
- The USC will provide a quality service/product for a value to its customers
- Develop a standard for contracting and implementing projects
- Develop a “USC Rate” for services
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition will be recognized as a source of quality, value driven technical assistance in developing watershed assessment projects.
- The USC will develop a standard of performance that is recognized by the general public, constituents, cooperating agencies and organizations, municipalities and others as a comprehensive and balanced approach to watershed planning that incorporates both the resource and community needs.
- Maximize use and capabilities of technological tools (GIS, total station surveys, etc.)
- Develop a standard for watershed background studies and reports that consider all physical and socio-economic impacts.
- Develop a prioritization or “triage” approach that considers local watershed needs in developing an action prioritization plan
- Develop a standard for outreach and education.
- Develop a standard for decision making at the most common level.
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition will be recognized as a source of quality, value driven information and education for professionals, decision makers, municipal officials, communities and landowners in working with stream corridor dynamics.
- The USC will develop a regional center for learning watershed and stream principles.
- Identify target needs and audiences that can be served through a Center.
- Secure funding to hold series of trainings for identified target audiences.
- Develop module trainings that can be utilized in an ongoing fashion through the regional center and the USC members.
- Identify, enlist instructors for Center programs that address regional needs of target audiences.
- Develop train the trainer series for materials and modules
- Hold annual trainings through Center to establish a recognizable source of information
- Partner with regional Universities, such as BU to host workshops, and develop student curricula to aid in building technical capacity