State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008MA133B
Title: Quantifying Sediment Transport in Red Brook, Wareham, Massachusetts: Impacts of Dam Removal
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 6/01/2008
End Date: 5/31/2009
Congressional District: 9
Focus Categories: Geomorphological Processes, Sediments, Management and Planning
Keywords: sediment transport, geomorphology, hydrology, sediment management, water quality
Principal Investigators: Douglas, Ellen Marie (University of Massachusetts-Boston); Gontz, Allen (University of Massachusetts-Boston); Kichefski, Steven
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 37,974
Abstract: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified sediment as the most widespread pollutant in the Nation's rivers and streams, affecting aquatic habitat, drinking water treatment processes, and recreational uses of rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Dams, dikes and water control structures impound sediment and impede the natural flow and transport processes within a river. The impact of dam removal on sediment processes is largely unknown. We propose to study the pre- and post- dam removal sediment dynamics of the Red Brook, Wareham, Massachusetts, a small coastal stream already identified as a priority for restoration by the Massachusetts Riverways Program. Our hydrogeomorphic characterization will allow us to better understand the sediment characteristics of the stream and how restoration activities affect sediment transport processes. Our dynamic sediment balance will quantify the impacts of dam removal on sediment redistribution and assist in developing a sediment management plan for the stream. Finally, the results of our research will help establish a protocol for long-term monitoring of restoration sites at this and other locations across Massachusetts.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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