Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017MS209B

Assessing and predicting in-stream processes in the Catalpa Creek Watershed

Institute: Mississippi
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $21,663 Total Non-Federal Funds: $44,155

Principal Investigators: John Ramirez-Avila, Sandra OrtegaAchury

Abstract: Excessive erosion and the transport and deposition of sediment in surface waters are major water-quality problems in Mississippi. Researchers in the state have shown that a significant portion of sediment loads exported from the watershed are contributed by streambeds and mostly from active unstable streambanks. The main channel of the Catalpa Creek has been listed as Impaired due to sediments from headwaters to the outlet. The Water Resources Management Plan for the Red Bud-Catalpa Creek Watershed was formulated to restore and protect the ecosystem health, ecosystem services and quality of life, and water resources within the watershed; and create experiential learning activities for students, educators, and practitioners. To develop remedial measures and future BMPs within the Catalpa Creek Watershed for reducing water quality impairment, and a stream restoration design to improve stream morphology, biological integrity and function of the main stream and tributaries, it is necessary to identify stressors, sediment sources and loads currently transported, and critical zones for upland and in-stream management and/or restoration within the entire watershed. Hypothesizing in-stream processes are important mechanisms driving sediment supply into the streams and an important portion of the sediment budget for the Catalpa Creek Watershed, this research will focus on the identification, assessment, evaluation and prediction of in-stream processes within the study watershed. To address the research objectives three sub-studies will be undertaken using a combination of methods including field reconnaissance and detailed data collection, laboratory analysis, and channel modeling. Modeling results can help to determine critical areas to be potentially considered for future management and restoration activities, as well as to optimize a design for a desired outcome and to understand what results might be expected. Project results will be transferred to a broad group of academic, technical and research stakeholders, supported in collaboration with private, federal and state agencies.