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Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

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Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems (Spanish; September 2010)

Según científicos del Servicio Geológico de Estados Unidos (USGS) no hay nivel de desarrollo urbano que no degrade los ríos. En un “podcast” reciente y en español donde Susan Soltero de Radio WALO (Humacao, Puerto Rico) entrevista a los científicos Ana María García, Tom Cuffney y Gerard McMahon mencionan que aún en las fases tempranas, el desarrollo urbano puede impactar negativamente la vida acuática de los ríos.

According to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey there is no safe zone of development for the health of urban streams. In a new USGS audio podcast of a Spanish-language interview by Susan Soltero on Radio Walo (Humacao, Puerto Rico), scientists Ana Maria Garcia, Tom Cuffney, and Gerard McMahon note that even the early stages of urban development can negatively affect aquatic life in streams.


Stormwater, impervious surface, and stream health. (September 2010)

Urban development is associated with an increase in impervious surfaces, that is, surfaces such as rooftops, sidewalks, and streets that prevent precipitation from infiltrating into the groundwater. Impervious surfaces increase the volume and energy of stormwater that reaches streams and can lead to adverse physical and water quality impacts, including erosion and increased nutrient runoff. In this video USGS scientist Tom Cuffney and Tom Schueler, director of the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, discuss the effects of impervious surfaces on stream health.


The effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems. (June 2010)

Development can have negative effects on streams in urban and suburban areas. As a watershed becomes covered with pavement, sidewalks, and other types of urban land cover, stream organisms are confronted with an increased volume of storm water runoff, increased exposure to fertilizers and pesticides, and dramatic changes in physical living spaces within the stream itself.

USGS Corecast: Overview of the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems

In this Corecast episode, USGS scientist Jerry McMahon provides an overview of the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems and describes two take home messages for managers: there is no "safe zone" of urban development for stream organisms, and management efforts need to account for strong regional differences in stream ecosystems across the country.

Expanded video podcast on the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems: Part I

In this podcast USGS scientist Jerry McMahon describes features of the urban environment that influence stream ecosystems.

Expanded video podcast on the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems: Part II

In this podcast USGS scientist Jerry McMahon describes the objectives and design of a national USGS study of the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems.

Expanded video podcast on the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems: Part III

In this podcast USGS scientist Jerry McMahon describes the major findings from a national USGS study of the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems.


Habitat Connections video series (November 2010 - May 2011)

These 36 interviews with water-resource managers, land planners, and citizen groups from Portland, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Baltimore, Maryland show how people are connecting with their streams and connecting with each other to protect these streams. In urban areas across the county, people are working hard to restore and improve habitat in urban streams.


Additional USGS podcasts and multimedia resources are available from:

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Mar-2014 14:45:38 EST